The United States of America is Lewis Hamilton’s home away from home and it is possible, albeit unlikely, that the Mercedes man will clinch the Formula One title on Sunday.
Hamilton has taken part in six editions of the United States Grand Prix and he has been triumphant in five of them, with the exception being the 2013 race that Sebastian Vettel won ahead of Romain Grosjean, Mark Webber and the British star.
Four firsts and one second in the last five Formula One events have seen Hamilton pull away from Vettel and all but guarantee that he will succeed his former Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, as the Formula One champion between now and the final race in the United Arab Emirates. What was shaping up as one of the most competitive Formula One championship contests in years has fizzled out due to Vettel’s inability to stay in touch with Hamilton – the Ferrari driver retired from the Singapore Grand Prix and the Japanese Grand Prix either side of placing fourth in the Malaysian Grand Prix. Indeed, Vettel has won just one of the latest 10 Formula One races and his Ferrari colleague, Kimi Raikkonen, has not had the Finnish national anthem played in his honour since he took out the Australia Grand Prix staged in March 2013.
With no Rosberg about whom to worry and Valtteri Bottas not having posed a serious threat in recent rounds, Hamilton is worth backing to not only win the United States Grand Prix but also to qualify for Sunday’s race in pole – that is an odds-against way to side with the Briton. Some drivers in Hamilton’s position in a Formula One competition would adopt a safety-first approach but one thinks that the Mercedes team leader will want to prove his superiority over Vettel, not least because there is a feeling that the championship is close to being decided by luck rather than skill. Many bookmakers offer pole position-race winner prices and Hamilton represents a value bet to do the double. Check Bet365, 888Sport and BetVictor for the best odds closer to the start of qualifying.
If recent renewals of the United States Grand Prix are any guide – each of the last five have taken place at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas – then this year’s winning margin may not be very big and Vettel may clock the fastest lap.
The average winning margin in United States Grand Prix races held at the Circuit of the Americas is 3.7286 seconds and four of those five events have been settled by fewer than five-second gaps. If Hamilton does dominate Sunday’s United States Grand Prix from start to finish there is every chance that the Briton will take his foot off the gas in the latter stages but recklessness is not part of his current persona.
Vettel won the 2013 United States Grand Prix and he has been responsible for the fastest lap of the race in four of the five editions staged at the Circuit of the Americas. Again, fastest laps are usually registered near the end of races so, if Hamilton is cruising to victory, the driver most likely to capitalise on his conservative latter stages is Vettel, hence why he is interesting at second favourite prices – laying the market leader in fastest lap betting strikes one as a good general Formula One punting strategy.
Lewis Hamilton Pole-Race winner double
Qualifying – Saturday 21st October, 20:00 BST
Race – Sunday 22nd October, 20:00 BST
Sebastian Vettel to record the fastest lap
Sunday 22nd October, 20:00 BST