The weather forecast for this weekend’s Formula 1 United States Grand Prix may be gloomy, but if Lewis Hamilton shines on Sunday, he can claim the world drivers’ championship trophy for the fifth time. So, how likely is it that he can triumph in Austin?
The 2018 United States Grand Prix – What Does Hamilton Need to Do in Texas?
Lewis Hamilton’s fans already know that their hero loves the Circuit of the Americas. In fact, two years ago, he told the Telegraph that he viewed the US Grand Prix as being “like a second home race”. Therefore, if he manages to clinch the world championship there on Sunday, his achievement will probably seem even sweeter. He needs to gain just eight points more than Sebastian Vettel in this weekend’s F1 outing to guarantee that his name will be engraved on the famous motorsports trophy again. That means that if Hamilton is first across the line in Austin, his German rival will have to finish second to deny him the championship win.
If the Mercedes driver finishes in second, Vettel will need to cross the line in at least fourth place to keep the title battle alive. If Hamilton finishes in third, fourth or fifth, the Ferrari driver will need to finish no more than three places behind him. A sixth-place finish for Hamilton would mean that Vettel could finish no lower than tenth if he wants to extend the championship race. However, if Hamilton finishes in seventh position or lower, he’ll have to try to seize the title in Mexico instead.
What are Hamilton’s Chances of Winning the Formula 1 US Grand Prix?
Lewis Hamilton is certainly the favourite for the race win in Austin this year. When he topped the podium in Suzuka at the beginning of the month, it was his fourth back-to-back victory and his ninth of the season. What’s more, his record at the US Grand Prix is almost spotless. He’s won five of the six Grands Prix that have taken place at the Circuit of the Americas since the US edition of the race was resurrected in 2012. He also triumphed in Indianapolis in 2007. The only glitch occurred in 2013, when he crossed the line in fourth. That year, the race winner’s trophy went to Vettel, who was driving for Red Bull Racing.
However, while Hamilton’s dominance, both in Austin and in recent races, suggests his fans could be celebrating on Sunday, there’s still plenty that could go wrong. Back in July, for example, his first-lap collision with Kimi Raikkonen handed the British Grand Prix win to Vettel, although Hamilton battled back to finish second. Mercedes haven’t been immune from mechanical issues either, with both their drivers being forced to retire from the Austrian Grand Prix.
The elements could also play a part in deciding the outcome of this weekend’s race. While it’s currently expected to be cloudy but dry on Saturday and Sunday, there is a chance of rain. Some would also argue that Hamilton’s recent run of wins doesn’t reflect his performance accurately, as controversial team orders came into play in Sochi. However, the Brit is in the perfect position to seal the deal in Texas if luck is on his side.
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