British Formula One star Lewis Hamilton won the last race of the season for Mercedes and just in time to narrow the gap on Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Mercedes’ dominating performance in February’s season-opening race put Hamilton in an ideal position to win in the desert capital of Qatar this weekend.
Hamilton overcame final-lap setbacks to turn the air blue, with an excellent passing move in a dramatic finale. It gave him his fourth victory in six seasons, and handed Mercedes a third straight victory in the Americas.
The streak went to the garage, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas having to hold off the fast-charging Verstappen.
“Tonight, I’m in bed with goosebumps. You know what? It’s crazy,” Hamilton said. “It all went wrong but look at this place.
“I believe that the No. 1 ranking is about so much more than being the champion. It’s about being the winner. I am the winner, it’s not a competition.
“Max and I had a brief run-off, it was amazing. We are the best at what we do, there is a reason why, and we will keep pushing.”
Kimi Raikkonen, whose Ferrari continued with its strong run of races, finished third, with Ferrari claiming its first podium since 2012.