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Lewis Hamilton is on the brink of earning his fifth drivers’ world championship, as the season lands at the United States Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday.
The reigning champion can wrap up the title in Austin, Texas, after a phenomenal campaign for Mercedes.
Hamilton has claimed the chequered flag in the last four races, dominating the top of the podium with clinical precision.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has witnessed his season collapse during the second half of the campaign, and he lies 67 points behind the British superstar with four races to go.
Here’s how you can watch the 56-lap race from the Circuit of the Americas track:
Date: Sunday, Oct. 21
Start Time: 2:10 p.m. ET/7:10 p.m. BST
TV Info: Sky Sports F1, Channel 4 (UK); ESPN2 (U.S.)
Live Stream: Sky Go, All 4, WatchESPN
For a full drivers list, visit the Formula 1 website.
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In a season that was supposed to see the Prancing Horse catch up with the Silver Arrows, Hamilton has dominated the title race with a series of world-class performances.
In contrast, Vettel has made uncharacteristic mistakes, and there’s no doubting who has been the superior driver over the past 12 months.
Ferrari’s upgrades and advancements appeared to give Vettel the edge early in the season, as the German won the opening two races in Australia and Bahrain, but Hamilton has kept his cool under immense pressure to swing the pendulum back in his favour.
Hamilton needs to extend his lead in the championship by eight points to become a five-time F1 champion, and he can finish as low as sixth if Vettel fails to claim a single point in Austin.
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Spanish legend Fernando Alonso has said he considers Hamilton as one of the five greatest F1 drivers of all time after years of consistent excellence.
According to Mikael McKenzie of the Daily Express, Alonso said:
“I would probably say Michael [Scumacher], [Juan Manuel] Fangio, [Ayrton] Senna, [Alain] Prost and Lewis [Hamilton]. This would probably be the top five for me.
It is difficult to compare those different times and different Championships but Lewis matching Fangio with five will be a great achievement.
If one had to do that in our generation, I am happy it is Lewis as he has showed the talent and commitment.
When the car is dominating then he delivers and when it is not good enough to win a World Championship he still puts in the performance to show his talent.”
The McLaren driver’s comments are a huge compliment to Hamilton, with Alonso remaining one of the most candid men in motor racing.
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Vettel has not been good enough this season, and the four-time world champion will be in an introspective mood come the end of the year.
Ferrari had their best chance to flex their muscle in the face of Mercedes this season, but the individual brilliance of Hamilton has superseded any thoughts of a power shift.
The German constructor continues to dominate the sport, setting the tone for other teams to follow.
The title race isn’t quite over yet, but Vettel’s personal form does not match the challenge at large.
Ferrari will come again next season, as the Italians hope Hamilton’s incredible run comes to an end sooner rather than later.