But behind him, there was action aplenty, much of it focused on Vettel. The Briton needs to outscore Vettel by just eight points to make the 2018 trophy his, but despite his form in the United States - he has a record six victories there - he isn't getting carried away.
And he drove well in the early laps.
One once 50 point gap has now increased to 67 after Vettel made an ambitious pass on Verstappen on Lap 10 at the Spoon.
"And he chose to go around the outside, he could have waited for me to understeer wide".
"Of course we didn't spin off the track [like in China], but he drove into the side of my vehicle". I had lost a lot of downforce, but there was not much I could do.
Vettel tried to overtake Red Bull ace Verstappen at Spoon corner in a bid to move up to third.
Vettel worked his way back up to sixth but couldn't move higher than that.
After a virtual safety vehicle, called after Leclerc pulled off with a mechanical failure, Bottas began to run into blistering problems with his tyres. The German blamed his Red Bull rival for that clash, but he knows that securing a world title triumph this year is now largely out of his hands.
Verstappen had already incurred a five-second penalty after nudging Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari off the track.
"Keep him [Bottas] under pressure, keep it clean".
Daniel Ricciardo showed young pretender Pierre Gasly how it's done.
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, ahead of Haas driver Romain Grosjean and Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley.
Driver of the day Tricky one, this.
"Obviously it wasn't wet enough to start with and then the rain didn't come, it came later", said a deflated Vettel, who qualified ninth but was bumped up to eighth after Esteban Ocon received a three-place penalty.
For so much of this season, Ferrari have had the fastest vehicle.
From sublime Suzuka, to fantastic Austin.
He finished 11th in the race on that occasion, unable to better the 10th-place finishes he had at the Azerbaijan and German Grands Prix this year. Can he tie up the title in a country which he calls home for at least part of the year?
Hamilton and Bottas held the lead cleanly through turn one but Vettel executed a magnificent first lap from eighth on the grid.
Verstappen went on to finish third regardless, and when told by team principal Christian Horner after the race that he would not be "too popular with Ferrari and the Italians", he jovially replied: "That's not my problem, they were too aggressive".