And as he pulled into parc ferme, a visibly emotional Hamilton buried his face in his hands - and steeled himself to face a sea of red.
Vettel was at his commanding best seven days ago to win in Belgium, but he was on the back foot from the start here after his critical collision with Hamilton.
"We have Vettel who is the Ronaldo of formula one and Kimi who is a great friend". Whilst the negativity is never great, that's what powered me along.
Hamilton was subjected to a plethora of boos on the podium, but insisted he was not fazed by the taunts of the Ferrari fans.
"I think it was 100 per cent Sebastian's fault", Rosberg told Sky F1. "I have really been happy with what I've been able to extract from the vehicle and again, just incredibly grateful and proud of the team for continuing to keep their faith in me, and keep pushing as they are".
There was no hiding the fact, however, that Vettel missed an opportunity to rein in Hamilton that could come back to haunt him at the end of the season if Hamilton goes on to take a fifth title. "Yes!" he said to his team on the radio. "Where did he expect me to go?"
Federer in daytime action on U.S. Open day four
Kyrgios hauled himself back into the contest after Lahyani's approach, having looked utterly disinterested in the early stages. Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates his first round win over Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan on day two of the 2018 U.S.
Hamilton also said his mental preparation is proving key to executing successful races. "Powering down to [Turn] 4, I was a bit surprised that Sebastian chose the inside rather than the outside of Kimi". "If he overtook me then for sure I would lose time". The pressure is at its highest I can ever remember. "Then I was the one who spun around, which was ironic".
"But in Budapest I think it was a bit different, that really compromised my race big time". He has a commanding 30-point lead in the championship now. So, when I touched Lewis, I span around and that was unfortunate, as my vehicle got quite some damages.
The Italian media and others surmised, however, that Raikkonen's uncompromising start may have had something to do with other matters off the track that left him in no mood to make life easy. "I don't just arrive with it, I have to work for it every single day".
"I was just telling him that he did a fantastic race", said Hamilton, "[he] drove incredibly fairly.
"To know that I am up there with Michael is always a real privilege".
The Briton often skimmed the gravel at the exit of the second chicane as he braked as late as possible in pursuit of the flying German's faster lap. I don't really know what to say about that. He said on Twitter he hoped to move up the field in the race.
"It was one of the most exciting victories that I've had that I can remember and it's such a great place to win". I respect him so much.