Britain`s Lewis Hamilton clinched his third Formula One world championship on Sunday after winning a thrilling and unpredictable U.S. Grand Prix for Mercedes.
The 30-year-old became the first British driver to win back to back titles and also the first to win 10 or more races in successive seasons.
Hamilton`s German team mate Nico Rosberg, who started on pole, finished second after making a costly late mistake while leading. Ferrari`s Sebastian Vettel took third place a mere 0.5 of a second behind.
Hamilton had needed to beat Vettel by nine points and Rosberg by two to take the crown, but for much of the race it looked as if he would have to wait at least until Mexico next weekend.
Born: Stevenage, England. Jan. 7, 1985 (29 years old)
* Hamilton`s paternal grandfather emigrated to England from the Caribbean island of Grenada and worked for the London Underground transport system. His full name is Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton. The name Davidson was taken from his grandfather, who drove a school bus in Grenada.
* His parents divorced when he was two. Father Anthony worked for the railways while mother Carmen worked for the local council. He first sat in a go-kart on a family holiday in Ibiza when he was three. He started karting seriously when he was eight years old.
* Hamilton was a winner in every category of karting, taking his first British title by the age of 10, and joined McLaren`s young driver programme in 1998. He was European Formula A kart champion in 2000, with current Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg runner-up.
* The Briton won the 2003 Formula Renault UK title with 10 race wins, the 2005 Formula Three Euro series with 15 wins and the 2006 GP2 championship, following on from Rosberg.
* Hamilton made a sensational F1 debut with McLaren in 2007, aged 22. In his opening race in Australia he finished third, was second in the next four races and then won the sixth and seventh races in Canada and the United States.
* His run of 2007 podiums ended after nine in a row and he ended the season second overall with four wins, one point behind champion Kimi Raikkonen.
* In 2008, Hamilton won the title, aged 23 years and 301 days. At the time he was the youngest ever world champion and he took the title in thrilling style with an overtaking move on the last corner of the last lap of the last race in Brazil.
* In 2009, Hamilton finished fifth overall. He was fourth in 2010, fifth in 2011 and fourth in 2012. He then moved to Mercedes for the 2013 season on a three-year contract.
* Hamilton won 11 races in 2014 to Rosberg`s five, becoming the most successful British driver of all time in terms of race wins.
* In 2015, he won the opening race in Australia and has led ever since. Along the way, he passed his boyhood hero Ayrton Senna`s career tally of 41 wins and has now equalled the late Brazilian`s haul of three titles. He is the first British driver to win back-to-back F1 titles.