Mercedes claims fourth F1 constructors' championship in Austin

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Mercedes has won its fourth consecutive Formula One constructors' championship with three races to spare in 2017 following Lewis Hamilton's victory at the U.S. Grand Prix.

The Brackley-based outfit headed to Austin with a comfortable 145-point buffer over rivals Ferrari and remained on course to seal its fourth world championship crown in a row after Hamilton stormed to pole position, with Ferrari needing to outscore Mercedes by 17 points to keep its slim title chances alive.

Mercedes has faced a genuine challenge in both world championships this season in the shape of a resurgent Ferrari, though aspirations of a first title triumph for the Scuderia since 2008 suffered a major setback following a string of difficult weekends in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.

This year's campaign has marked the first season in which more than two different teams have recorded grand prix victories since F1 switched to 1.6 litre V6 hybrid engines for 2014.

Despite the added competition this season, the German manufacturer -- which won all but eight of the 59 races between 2014 and 2016 -- has still managed to claim 11 victories from 17 races so far in 2017, with Hamilton taking nine and new recruit Valtteri Bottas scoring two, in Russia and Austria.

Mercedes has become the first team to win championships across a major regulation change, and have also joined elite company in matching Ferrari (2000-2004), McLaren (1988-1991), and Red Bull (2010-2013) in winning four straight titles.

Following his fifth win at the Circuit of the Americas, Hamilton is on the verge of wrapping up his fourth world championship, and could seal Mercedes' fourth successive drivers' title as early as next weekend's Mexican Grand Prix.