How Lewis Hamilton can seal world title No.4 in Mexico
MEXICO CITY — Lewis Hamilton’s victory in Austin inched him to the verge of this year’s championship crown. The Mercedes driver holds a 66-point lead over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel with three races, and 75 points, left to play for.
The permutations for this weekend are simple — much like he had to do for his first championship at the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, he must finish fifth or better. Unlike that dramatic Sao Paulo climax, where he passed Timo Glock for fifth at the penultimate corner, he has two more races to secure the handful of points he needs this season.
By finishing fifth or higher, Hamilton will ensure he is at least 50 points ahead of Vettel with the final two races to space. Given Hamilton’s recent form, it seems unlikely the championship will continue into Brazil without car failure or driver error.
The close fight in Austin should have served as a reminder of how close this championship could have been. It’s also likely Ferrari will be left wondering what might have been in Mexico City, where Mercedes is braced for a difficult weekend at the high-altitude circuit.
With a resurgent Red Bull impressing every weekend, fifth position might well be a fair target for Hamilton and Mercedes this weekend. Though it features a long start-finish straight — where Valtteri Bottas’ Williams topped out at 372.54 km/h last year — it also has two twisty, technical parts of the circuit likely to favour Ferrari and Red Bull. With Hamilton proving in Austin he has no desire to win the championship by collecting the points he needs to, all the ingredients are still in place for a classic contest.
MEXICO CITY — Kimi Raikkonen sympathises with Max Verstappen for the penalty he received after their last-lap U.S. Grand Prix battle, but has one message for the Dutchman: Accept it and move on.
Lewis Hamilton moved to within touching distance of a fourth drivers’ title after a dominant display at the Circuit of the Americas saw him claim his fifth victory in six races. You would have thought the focus after the U.S. Grand Prix would be on Hamilton’s magnificent display or the exhilarating battles throughout the field.
Forecasts for this weekend’s race look to be dry with sunny spells across the weekend with temperatures expected to be around 25 degrees throughout. No rain is expected across the three days of running.
Compounds: Ultra-soft, super-soft, soft
The circuit from a tyre perspective:
Surface is quite smooth and slippery, reducing tyre wear and degradation despite the high speeds (372kph was seen in 2016).
Weather can be a question mark in Mexico City at this time of year: anything is possible.
As well as the fast corners, there is also a well-known slow and technical stadium section: an interesting mix of old and new.
Most drivers went for one stop last year, including the winner, Lewis Hamilton.
Pit lane is the longest of the year, increasing the stop time and so influencing strategy.
“We now have to complete that job with Lewis, who is in the best possible position with three races remaining. We know that anything can happen in this sport, and that the tables can be turned on you very quickly. So there will be no let off in our vigilance and attention to detail in these final rounds. We will be racing to win.”
Lewis Hamilton has revealed a conversation with Toto Wolff at the end of the 2016 Formula One season has allowed his relationship with the team to blossom as he closes in on a fourth drivers’ championship.
Hamilton claimed a fifth win in six at the U.S. Grand Prix on Sunday — a result which puts him within touching distance of the title — requiring a fifth-place finish at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez this weekend. After another turbulent season alongside Nico Rosberg, Hamilton believes the conversation with Wolff was important in improving the team’s dynamic.
Hamilton has cited the arrival of Valtteri Bottas as another reason as to why the atmosphere within Mercedes has improved in 2017. When asked how the dynamic was last year with Rosberg as his teammate, he replied: “For sure, it was uncomfortable. I can’t say it was great last year.
“I think it’s great also that we are fighting another team so the focus is different. When you’ve got two strong drivers within a team as we had — well when the battle is within a team, it’s like a hurricane of strong energy. It’s not been directed anywhere. It’s just stuck in a room whereas now, together, we have this hurricane, bundle of energy, which we are firing into a car and moving us forward. It’s just overall a much happier dynamic.
“The dynamic works really well here. I think Valtteri naturally wants more and he has more to come. It’s not an easy car to drive and to come into a new team with a new team era of car and everything, I think it’s definitely been tough. He’s just going to go from strength to strength. I will work with him, I don’t mind if he wins some races but I don’t want him to win them all. I like that he can push me. Particularly at the beginning of the year, that’s what he’s been doing.”
Felipe Massa believes 2008 title rival Lewis Hamilton is one of the greatest drivers to have graced Formula One.
With Hamilton set to claim a fourth drivers’ title at this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, he is set to become Britain’s most successful ever F1 driver. Hamilton has already broken the record for most career pole positions and has moved into second on the all-time grand prix winners list.
Massa thinks Hamilton’s success means he should be put in the same bracket as Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna — two drivers often labelled as the greatest of all-time.
“Lewis is definitely one of the best drivers in the history of Formula One,” Massa told Sky Sports. “You cannot really take him away or place him in a different level compared to Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna. He’s there.”
“All the time you saw Lewis in the car he was impressive,” Massa added. “He impressed the people in whatever category he did. It was the same with Ayrton Senna. It was the same with Michael Schumacher. The problem is people always love to look back and say in the past it was much better than now, which is not true.
Lewis Hamilton “WELL DONE WORLD CHAMPION” bring it home.