Lewis Hamilton on the verge of fourth F1 World Championship

By @saihoops on
Lewis Hamilton, 2017 Formula One season
Formula One F1 - Malaysia Grand Prix 2017 - Drivers' News Conference - Sepang, Malaysia - September 28, 2017 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton speaks to journalists. Reuters / Edgar Su

Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of capturing the 2017 Formula One World Championship trophy after claiming victory at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. Hamilton edged out championship rival Sebastian Vettel and opened up an almost unassailable 66-point lead with three races left in the season.

Ferrari's Vettel would have to win all three remaining races and hope for Hamilton to either crash out or face technical difficulties as the 2017 Formula One season enters its final stages. Hamilton, after clinching his ninth Grand Prix victory of the year Sunday, would need just a fifth-place finish next weekend in Mexico, to secure his fourth world championship. 

Hamilton's victory also ensured a fourth consecutive Constructors' title for Mercedes, a feat that matches Red Bull's dominance between 2010 and 2013. In June, Hamilton broke idol Ayrton Senna's record for most pole positions in F1 history. A month later, he eclipsed Michael Schumacher's record for most starts in the front row.  

F1: Lewis Hamilton needs to finish fifth in Mexico to secure title

"I feel amazing. Look at this crowd. These guys have been amazing. Since 2012 the crowd has been growing year on year. I think this track is now my favourite track. A big congratulations to the team. They work so hard back at the factory and here. I feel great. It is a dream job. Many people would love to drive an F1 car and I can tell you it is the best experience in the world," Hamilton said after the victory. 

Vettel, who had a stronghold over the F1 World Championship race midway through the season, congratulated his rival after finishing second on Sunday. "At the start it was looking good, we got past Lewis, but we had to realise we couldn't go at his pace. We were then in no-man's land and were not quite sure what to do. We decided to pit again, with a fresh set of tyres and it was a bit more exciting but overall it was not the result we needed. They were quicker than us and we have to admit that."

With a total of 62 career Grand Prix victories, Lewis Hamilton is now 29 shy of Schumacher's record (91). The Briton would have to race at least three more seasons to upstage a record most thought would never be broken. The 2017 Formula One season resumes next weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit with the Mexican Grand Prix.