If Hamilton wins, Vettel must finish no longer than second to keep the championship alive next week into the Mexican Grand Prix.
"It's about getting the best possible race result and if it doesn't happen tomorrow, for us, then we will try again in Mexico and try and get one step closer".
Vettel was the only man who can deny Briton Lewis Hamilton a fifth Formula One championship, and started in fifth at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas. "We've had really good consistent performances but this was like a double bogey for us this weekend".
But Ricciardo caused more drama when he lost power and was forced to retire, bringing out a virtual safety auto, and Hamilton opted to pit while Raikkonen stayed out - a decision that had a huge effect on the race.
"I actually thought we would have been able to do better but this is the best we were able to do in the end", said Hamilton.
The victory on Sunday was the Finn's first since March 2013.
They shadowboxed until Lap 54, when Hamilton attempted to launch a move for second place in the final sector.
I'll be here for the next few hours for all the build-up, live updates and reaction from the 2018 US Grand Prix.
Needing to make up ground from his fifth place on the grid, following a three-place grid penalty, he tangled with Ricciardo and spun on the first lap.
Raikkonen, a former world champion, won a race that saw a blistering finish.
He roared past Ricciardo on the back straight, only to go too deep on his brakes, and lose the position.
Raikkonen kept Hamilton at bay until an early virtual safety vehicle led to Ferrari and Mercedes adopting different strategies. Despite qualifying second-fastest, Vettel will start from fifth on the grid after collecting a three-place penalty in practice on Friday.
"It's been a great weekend", he said.
That dropped him to fourth, and while team-mate Bottas was ordered out of his way, there was nothing Hamilton could do about either Verstappen or Raikkonen.
Mexico next weekend. Not past year a circuit where Mercedes excelled, Hamilton needs to score five more points than Vettel to be champion.
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton enjoy some light-hearted banter in their news conference as they reflect on their wheel-to-wheel battle at the US Grand Prix.
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