Kiwi Brendon Hartley has finished 13th on Formula 1 debut while championship leader Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory at the US Grand Prix.

Starting on the back row Hartley showed good speed, particularly late in the race, and rewarded the Toro Rosso team with a good performance given his lack of time at this level.

Meanwhile Hamilton was beaten off the line by Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel but recovered to ease to victory and all but assure himself of the world championship - something he can secure at next weekend's Mexican Grand Prix.

Vettel took second ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who climbed through the field to finish third after starting 16th.


The Dutchman passed the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap but he was ruled to have made an advantage from leaving the track as he passed the Finn and was handed a five second penalty. It dropped Verstappen to fourth and promoted Raikkonen to the podium.

Valtteri Bottas finished fifth and that was enough to secure Mercedes the constructors' title with three rounds remaining.

Hartley made a conservative start from 19th and went through the first corner in 20th place but he managed to jump Sauber's Pascal Werhlein on the opening lap and took advantage of Kevin Magnussen running wide in his Haas to be 18th by lap two.

He made an early pit stop and committed to the two-stop strategy which might not have been the better call by his team. The 27-year-old backed up what we saw in practice by impressing on long runs and managing his tyres well.

He went by Magnussen again late in the race after the Dane had clashed with Sauber's Marcus Ericsson. Hartley then managed to sneak by the Swede and Haas driver Romain Grosjean before the end of the race as well to secure an impressive 13th.

His Russian teammate Daniil Kvyat had a good day as well. He finished in 10th place to give his chances of keeping his seat a massive boost.

Vettel jumped Hamilton at the first corner thanks to a cracking start and he led the opening laps. But Hamilton settled down and put together a series of fast laps and made a comfortable pass to take control of the race inside the first 10 laps.

Vettel almost pulled off the under-cut at the first stop but Hamilton did enough to hold the German off and that was essentially the race.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo's engine gave up in his Red Bull on lap 16 while McLaren's Fernado Alonso suffered another engine failure in what has been a shocking season for the two-time world champ.