It's music to Hamilton's ears as he wins four times
Formula One battle could be over after today's US Grand Prix
"It's going to be one of the closest, if not the closest, fights I've experienced," declared Lewis Hamilton of his world title duel with Sebastian Vettel back on April 9.
The rivals were locked at 43 points after two races and Formula One fans and pundits were predicting a titanic tussle between two of the sport's greatest competitors.The hostility intensified at the Spanish GP in May as a well-timed Mercedes pit stop allowed Hamilton to pip Vettel in a pulsating battle that led Hamilton to say: "It was the rawest fight I can remember."
Sadly for the fans, the implosion of Vettel and his supposedly superior Ferrari has seen the tables turned and Hamilton can sew up a fourth championship today.
If Hamilton wins the US Grand Prix, Vettel must be in the top five to keep the title race alive.
Hamilton has felt at home at the Circuit of the Americas in Elroy, Texas, since its inception in 2012.
The Briton likens the venue to Silverstone with all the grandstands and spectator areas packed out. He has won four times on the track with Vettel the only other driver to conquer the 5.5km course.
Victory would take Hamilton's overall record in the US to six race wins and see him surpass Michael Schumacher's record.
Vettel must take some responsibility for his and Ferrari's spectacular collapse in recent races.
The German held his hands up to driving into the back of Hamilton in Azerbaijan. He triggered the start-line crash that wiped out himself, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen in Singapore. In the last two races, however, mechanical issues have hampered his cause further.