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Lewis Hamilton could clinch his third Formula One title on Sunday and one is picking the Mercedes man to take out the United States Grand Prix at odds of -200 with several bookmakers, including Coral and William Hill.
Hamilton leads Sebastian Vettel by 66 points so and, if he can extend his Formula One championship advantage by nine or more points, he will be uncatchable after the United States Grand Prix – there will be 75 points up for grabs in the last three races of the season and, in the event of a tie, the Briton would beat the German on the count-back system.
So a United States Grand Prix win for Hamilton would mean that Vettel, who will cop a 10-place grid penalty for the use of a fresh engine, would have to finish second to stay in the Formula One title hunt, albeit only mathematically given the power and reliability of the Mercedes car.
Everything looks set for a Hamilton party in Austin, where the weather forecast for the duration of the United States Grand Prix is bleak. Rain is forecast to fall upon Austin right up until Monday, which means that the odds are on a wet race on Sunday. There have not been many wet races in recent Formula One campaigns but, when the cars have gone around circuits either during or shortly after downpours, Mercedes has looked the goods compared to its rivals.
The final few laps of this year’s British Grand Prix took place in wet conditions and it was then that the Mercedes pair of Hamilton and Rosberg consolidated their positions of first and second respectively. The Formula One heavyweight that struggled in the Silverstone rain was Williams, with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas falling behind Vettel, while it is fair to say that Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat probably would have taken third place off the Ferrari man had he not spun his vehicle on the damp racing surface.
One can see Hamilton and Rosberg streaking away at the front of the United States Grand Prix field and, even if Vettel drives like a demon from the back half of the grid and gets within sniffing distance of the Mercedes duo, Silver Arrows bosses sending out team orders for their German driver to slow up his compatriot so that the Briton can win again.
The United States Grand Prix has been staged at the Circuit of the Americas in each of the last three years and it is a track that Hamilton loves. Hamilton won the 2012 United States Grand Prix by less than one second from Vettel, defeating his then teammate, Jenson Button (fifth) and Rosberg (13th) by emphatic margins. Hamilton was fourth in the 2013 United States Grand Prix, the highest placed driver not operating on Renault power and more than half a minute ahead of Rosberg (ninth). And Hamilton won the 2014 United States Grand Prix, overtaking pole sitter Rosberg (second) on the 24th lap and going on to win more comfortably than his official victory margin of 4.314 seconds suggests.
Bookmakers are, understandably, taking their time to post United States Grand Prix head-to-head markets but, if you see decent odds available about one of the Red Bull drivers getting the better of one of the Williams drivers then step in. Red Bull does not look like it will use Renault’s new engine in the United States Grand Prix because it would incur a grid penalty if it did. With Vettel definitely in that boat and Williams vulnerable in wet conditions, one would be keen to back the Red Bull men on such markets.
Hamilton to win US Grand Prix
24th Oct 19:00 GMT (Qualifying)
25th Oct 19:00 GMT (Race)
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