Hamilton on verge of glory

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"I've not given that much thought", said Hamilton, adding that when he had referred to a "gentleman at the front" who understood his thinking he was not considering the protest action. "You know what I am talking about".

With temperatures forecast to continue at around 30C, it may be that conditions favour Ferrari's faster, but less reliable car at a track that Hamilton, chasing a sixth overall US GP win, relishes.

Hamilton also expected Ferrari to bring some sort of upgrade to Austin.

When asked if he felt he had a car capable of matching Mercedes at Austin, Vettel said: "When we're on track, I think yes, but today we spent more time in the garage which wasn't the right thing".

Hamilton admitted he agreed with the stance black athletes are taking and he empathised with his American friends. Who, if anyone, becomes accountable for checking and double checking that a new spark plug will fire with absolute reliability the instant it is supposed to do on the grid? Maria Mendoza has been put in charge of quality control at Ferrari HQ in Maranello. Last year's race produced 79 overtaking moves, 23 of them were completed by using the DRS, so expect plenty of racing action again this weekend. They're going to be quick, they have an opportunity to win. I lost the rear into Turn 19, it was my mistake.

With only four races left, Hamilton holds a massive 59-point lead over his nearest rival, Vettel, with only 100 points left in the drivers' standings.

That means finishing first or second on Sunday, and hoping Vettel has a nightmare for the fourth race in a row. Here is a look at the odds to win this race. He has recently described his Mercedes as a "diva", good one week, not so good the next.

"I don't plan to let all the BS pull me down", Hamilton said. I'm sure we can step it up.

Lewis Hamilton can win a fourth driver's title on Sunday, which would draw him level with Sebastian Vettel and Alain Prost.

However, the four-time champion still believes in his chances of overhauling Hamilton.

The next closest driver to Schumacher in career Formula One championships is Fangio, who won five titles in a seven-year span from 1951 to 1957.

Vettel's Ferrari team-mate and 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen was seventh ahead of Esteban Ocon and his Force India team-mate Sergio Perez with Carlos Sainz 10th in his first run for Renault after leaving Toro Rosso.