Lewis Hamilton clinches 6th Formula One world title at US Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has won his 6th Formula One world title at the US Grand Prix, after finishing second behind Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

The 34-year-old is now within striking range of Michael Schumacher's record collection of seven, after he took the chequered flag in Texas in second place.

Hamilton was required to finish only in the top eight to be certain of clinching the championship here.

"Get in there, Lewis," came the roar from Hamilton's race engineer, Pete Bonnington.

"That is it. Champion of the world. You did that in style, mate."

"Still we rise, guys," replied an emotional Hamilton. "What an incredible weekend. To everyone that came out, I cannot believe it. I really can't believe it."

The F1 driver is just one world title away from matching Michael Schumacher's record. Credit: AP

Valtteri Bottas did all he could to take the title fight on to Brazil by passing Hamilton, on a different strategy to his Mercedes team-mate, for the victory with four laps remaining.

While Red Bull driver Max Verstappen ran Hamilton all the way to the line, but finished just eight tenths of a second behind the Englishman.

Hamilton parked up in the spot reserved to celebrate his world championship.

Still sitting in his car, he removed his helmet and balaclava before standing on top of his silver machine and lapping up the adulation of the American crowd.

He ran into the arms of his Mercedes mechanics to celebrate before retrieving a Union flag.

Lewis Hamilton, of Britain, hugs his father Anthony Hamilton, after winning his 6th world title. Credit: AP

"It is overwhelming if I am honest," said Hamilton.

"I feel so much emotion. I have got my mum and dad here, my step-mum and step-dad here. It is an honour to be up there with the greats. My dad told me when I was six or seven never to give up - that is the family motto.

"I was pushing as hard as I could today and I was hopeful I could win but I didn't have enough left in the tyres.

"I don't know about how many championships I can win, but as an athlete I feel as fresh as I could be. We will keep pushing."

The 34-year-old will be aiming to match Michael Schumacher's seven world titles. Credit: AP

Hamilton was the youngest world champion when he won his first title in 2008 - a record since broken by Sebastian Vettel - and 11 years later he is firmly among the elite.

His tally of pole positions is the most ever and, still only 34, he has time to push for Schumacher's other records - the German won his last title at the age of 35 and his final race at 37.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: "Lewis is still very motivated and you can see he wants to win every single race.

"As long as that is the case, I think he can go for more. There is no limit."