Lewis Hamilton must carry on momentum for USA Grand Prix
The USA are to hold their third consecutive Grand Prix and, understandably, it is two-time winner on this track Lewis Hamilton who goes into this circuit as the odds-on 8/13 favourite.
Britain’s best driver currently leads the way in Formula 1’s Drivers’ Championship by 17 points, overtaking teammate Nico Rosberg after winning each of the last four races. With just three GPs of the season to go, Hamilton will hope to gain as much ground as possible before the final showdown in Abu Dhabi, where double points are available.
Hamilton, heavily odds-on at 1/5 to win the title, may have some competition from the improving Sebastian Vettel, though, who is defending champion here. The German has made the podium in two of the last three races this season, and is an enticing 8/1 chance to do so again.
Vettel is a massive 66/1 to finish first, but may face the prospect of having to start from the pit lane, if he is to use a sixth engine. If that is the case, he may sit out of qualifying.
“It’s to be seen, we need to confirm, but yes we have to get an extra engine at some stage this year and it’s very, very likely for this weekend,” he said.
“Obviously we had quite a bad first half of the season in terms of reliability, a lot of things happening, which put us in that position.
“Practice we’ll definitely run and try to maximise the track time but more focus towards probably to the race because qualifying for us is maybe not that important if it comes to down to a Sunday where we start from the pit lane due to the regulations.”
Vettel’s compatriot, Rosberg, will once again provide the toughest challenge to Hamilton. He has been totally outpaced by the Englishman the last few races, but will be ready to pounce on any error made as he looks to win his first championship title (7/2 second-favourite).
Rosberg has not won a race in the last six, but has been runner-up on four of those occasions. He is 5/2 to finally get his fifth victory of the season, and odds-on at 1/6 to finish in the top three. You can back the German at a more tempting 15/8 to be the fastest qualifier.
Drivers really enjoy this GP, with Hamilton saying: “Austin is one of the best weekends of the year.”
Daniel Ricciardo, 16/1 to win his fourth race of the season, meanwhile, added: “Hand on heart, this is probably the date on the calendar I look forward to the most. I’ve loved every minute of being in Austin.
“When they picked this place for the US Grand Prix, they absolutely nailed it. The city is awesome. I love listening to live music and this is a great place for that, plus Texas feels like real America, and that’s something I’ve really enjoyed just sinking into the last two seasons.”
There is bad news for struggling constructors Caterham and Marussia, though, whose drivers will not be able to take part in the USA and Brazilian Grands Prix at least, due to financial troubles.