Proud Hamilton lifted by victory
Lewis Hamilton declared himself "massively proud" following a United States Grand Prix victory that has been long overdue.
After suffering heartbreaking mechanical issues in Singapore and Abu Dhabi where he had qualified on pole and led much of the race, Hamilton finally claimed the win he deserved in his penultimate race for McLaren.
Ordinarily, when Vettel emerges from the first corner with the lead he goes on to take the chequered flag, but not on this occasion.
Instead, after Hamilton passed Mark Webber on lap six, the 27-year-old reeled in the lead Red Bull before making his decisive move on lap 42, going on to take the 21st win of his career.
"I nearly lost my voice because I was screaming so much on the in-lap - not cool at all," said Hamilton.
"But for me and my team this is so special. It's been a long, long time since I had a win and I'm just so proud of the work the guys did.
"There is a huge amount of satisfaction. To be able to beat Red Bull and Sebastian is definitely a tough challenge, but we managed to do it.
"And what a great feeling to win the first grand prix here back in the States. I won the last one here (in 2007), so I'm massively proud and extremely happy."
Hamilton was given a small helping hand by HRT's Narain Karthikeyan as he held Vettel up just enough to allow Hamilton to close the gap sufficiently to make his move with DRS down the long straight.
"To overtake both Red Bulls was the coolest thing for me," added Hamilton.
"The backmarkers really came into play. Finally they worked in my favour because I've often been caught out when I've been trying to get through traffic, but things went my way.
"When Seb was delayed by a backmarker I knew I had to grab my chance, so I turned the engine up to maximum revs and pushed like crazy.
"Along the back straight I went to the outside, but Seb closed the door, so I moved to the inside and he came back towards me. I was very lucky. It was very close.
"But what made the difference between Seb and me is that I wanted it more."
Perhaps it was the adrenaline talking, but Hamilton waxed lyrical about the Circuit of The Americas which drew in a crowd of 117,000, and a three-day attendance of 265,000, proving a resounding success.
"There are a few grands prix that are somehow out on their own - Monaco, Silverstone, Montreal, Spa and Monza," said Hamilton.
"Now you can add this circuit to that list. It's already one of the best racetracks in the world, maybe even right up there in the top three.
"And the fans have been amazing. The warm welcome we've had has been fantastic, and I think this is probably one of the best, if not the best grand prix we've had all year."
With Vettel second and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso third, there is now a 13-point gap between the duo, ensuring F1 will have its 27th final-race decider in the sport's history.
Felipe Massa finished fourth ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button and the Lotus duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean, whilst Force India's Paul di Resta was a lap down in 15th.