Eight more points. That is all Lewis Hamilton potentially needs to grab a fifth World Championship at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.
Once again, the Brit has comfortably seen off the challenge of the rest of the grid and should be able to mark another title success by winning one of his favourite races of the year.
Hamilton – Race Winner @ 10/19
While not offering much value, backing the Brit has to be the main bet for the weekend given his excellent form. Six victories from the last seven races have left Hamilton needing only to outscore Sebastian Vettel by eight points to grab the title.
As well as clinching a fifth world title on Sunday, the 33-year-old will be looking to emulate his idol Ayrton Senna by becoming only the second driver in F1 history to win the same grand prix five times on the bounce, with Senna having achieved the feat at Monaco between 1989-1993.
The switch to the Circuit of the Americas has certainly been to Hamilton’s liking – he’s won five of the six races staged at the venue – with Vettel being the only other driver to have triumphed at the track.
The German’s sole win Stateside came in 2013 but he has not had much luck since then, missing out on the podium in two of the subsequent four races.
The Ferrari driver is 3/1 to take the chequered flag but his recent record of one win from the last seven races, coupled with his previous showings in Texas, makes him a man to avoid.
Pole – Grid Position of Winner @ 20/31
The Circuit of the Americas has, more than many other non-street circuit, proven the importance of qualifying well, with all six previous winners having started from the front row.
Hamilton has been on pole for his last two victories, winning the previous two when starting from second.
Vettel was also on pole for his triumph in 2013 so it is worth looking at the race winner coming from pole, while it is 5/2 for the winner to start from second.
Vettel – Fastest Race Lap @ 9/2
While he might not have enjoyed as much success at the Circuit of the Americas as he would have liked, Vettel has been quick on the Austin asphalt.
The German has remarkably set the fastest lap time in four of the last five United States races and is a good price to add to that tally as he will need to push hard to keep his fading title dream alive.
In contrast, Hamilton is the 19/10 favourite but has never managed to set the fastest time despite his dominance.
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