Hamilton On the Brink of His 5th F1 World Driver’s Championship in Austin Next Weekend
After a F1 season that looked likely to go down to the wire in both the Driver’s and Constructor’s Championships, it seems as though recent races have done enough to all but confirm Great Britain’s Lewis Hamilton as the Champion elect for the 2018 season.
Heading into the race in Belgium a few weeks back, Hamilton held a 24-point lead over his great rival Sebastian Vettel, with the lead in the Driver’s Championship switching between them several times over the first half of the season.
Although Hamilton had a lead heading into the race at Spa, it was felt by many experts that the Ferrari car was faster than the Mercedes and that Vettel could close that gap and set up a thrilling end to the season.
Vettel did indeed win in Belgium, with Hamilton finishing second, which cut Hamilton’s elad down to just 17 points over the German, with the two drivers well clear of Kimi Raikkonen in third place.
It was even closer in the Constructor’s Championship with Mercedes just edging out Ferrari by 15 points as we headed into the second race of the second half of the season, on Ferrari’s home track of Monza in Italy.
That weekend started well enough for Ferrari with Raikkonen claiming pole and Vettel second spot on the grid, However, Mercedes had some technical developments to implement over the coming weeks and it was Lewis Hamilton who increased his lead to 30 points after finishing 1st in the race after Vettel could only finish 4th.
Since then, it has been a story of Mercedes dominance and in particular for Lewis Hamilton. Following those advances made by Mercedes, Hamilton has gone on to win in Singapore, Russia and Japan, claiming two further pole positions in those three races and in doing so, he has opened up a huge 67-point lead over Sebastian Vettel in second.
Indeed, Valtteri Bottas in third is closer to Vettel (57 points behind) than the German is to Hamilton at the top of the Driver’s standings.
Hamilton and Mercedes dominance of the last four races has also seen Mercedes open up a huge gap on Ferrari in the Constructor’s Championship, with the German team now 78 points clear of Ferrari and looking likely to claim their fifth consecutive Constructor’s F1 Championship.
With just four races remaining in the season, starting with the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas on the weekend of the 21st October, if Hamilton can finish eight points ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the race, regardless of their finishing positions, then the British driver will claim his fifth World title with three races to spare.
So what are Hamilton’s chances of doing precisely that in Austin that weekend and what are the best bets you can make on the race? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
And remember, if you do fancy a bet, bet365 Sport is the best place to head with a wide range of Formula 1 bets available. Get the latest bet365 Sport New Player Bonus by following the link.
F1 United States Grand Prix – Austin, Texas
The Circuit of the Americas will once again host the US Grand Prix and the 3.426 mile track is one of the most popular and competitive on the F1 circuit. Since the race became part of the F1 Calendar once again back in 2012, it has been held at this venue in Austin, Texas and has become a firm favourite with both fans and drivers.
The bad news for Vettel and Ferrari fans is that this is also a race that Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton has dominated. Indeed, Vettel sole win on this circuit came in 2013 when he was driving for Red Bull and Ferrari have not won on this circuit ever. Hamilton though has won all of the last four races with Mercedes and won the inaugural 2012 race driving for McLaren-Mercedes.
Indeed, if you go back to 2007, when the US Grand Prix was last held in Indianapolis, Hamilton won that race too, also for McLaren Mercedes.
This is clearly a race and track that Hamilton loves and enjoys and which also seems to suit the Mercedes car exceptionally well, that is a real concern for Sebastian Vettel as if Hamilton were to win his fifth US Grand Prix in a row on that Sunday, Vettel would have to finish second to even push the World title race mathematically into the next race of the season.
United Stated Grand Prix – Tips
To Win the Race Outright
*Odds shown are correct as of Tuesday 9th October 11.15am GMT at bet365 Sport
As you can see, given his dominant performances in recent races, and his superb record in this particular race, Lewis Hamilton is the odds-on favourite to claim the win that would all but confirm him as World Champion.
Vettel’s poor performances in recent races have seen him drop down to a 3-1 shot for this race and given his woes at the moment and the team’s lack of form, it is hard to see the Germany making a real challenge to Hamilton here.
Instead, Valtteri Bottas, who perhaps should have won in Russia after being forced to follow team orders to let Hamilton through to win that race, may well be in with a chance. The Finn has been Hamilton’s closest challenger in recent races and he is certainly due a change of luck. Maybe that will come in the United States, although you fear that if Bottas is leading with Hamilton second, he may be forced to let the British driver through.
The Red Bull’s of Verstappen and Ricciardo seem to be a little off the pace set by Hamilton and Bottas in the Mercedes at the moment, so if I was going to back a winner here I would take Hamilton, but I would be perhaps more tempted to back Bottas to win each way, which would offer me a 1/3 pay out should the Finn finish in the top two.