CAN HAMILTON WIN IN TEXAS AGAIN? Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2014 US GP. Can the Briton seal his third F1 title at the same event this weekend? Image: AP / David J. Phillip
Austin, Texas - Lewis Hamilton can live his own American dream by becoming a triple Formula 1 world champion in Texas on Sunday (October 25).
If the Briton scores two points more than Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg, and nine more than Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, at the Circuit of the Americas then it is game over with three races to spare.
A Mercedes 1-2, with Hamilton winning, would see to that.
No British driver has ever won two F1 titles in a row, despite the country providing more world champions than any other nation, but Hamilton looks set to make history in a country he considers home from home.
The 30-year-old would join Jackie Stewart, now 76, as Britain's only three times champions but it is another great - Brazil's late triple title winner Ayrton Senna - that he most wants to emulate.
"I didn't grow up watching Jackie, when I was a kid, I wanted to see Ayrton," Hamilton, who until recently raced with a similar yellow helmet to Senna's, told British reporters after victory at the Russian GP in October ago put the title within reach.
Hamilton said: "I don't have that connection with Jackie as I did with Ayrton. It has nothing to do with nationality, just that's the guy who caught my eye as a kid and that's the guy I aspired to be," he said.
"I haven't aspired to be like any of the other drivers."
If Brazil, in November, might have been a more symbolic place to secure the title then the United States is perfect in other respects.
Hamilton has a holiday home in Colorado and is a frequent visitor, as celebrity websites and his social media accounts bear witness, to both the east and west coasts of a country that is also his employer's biggest market.
With Mercedes wrapping up the constructors' title in Russia for the second year in a row, Sunday could see the 'double double' sealed in style.
The country's race has been good to Hamilton, who is chasing a literal hat-trick after winning two of the three GP's held so far in Austin and three of the last four in the United States.
Hamilton said: "If I can come away with a third (winner's) Stetson hat that would be unbelievable."
Rosberg has a mathematical chance of beating Hamilton
Rosberg, despite the mathematical odds against him, will be determined to keep his team mate waiting at least until F1 makes its return to Mexico on November 1.
With only three wins to Hamilton's nine, and Vettel's three, he needs to regain momentum after retirement in Sochi pushed him down to third overall in the championship behind Ferrari's four times champion.
Rosberg said: "It's clear that the title is a long shot for me now. But it's not in me to give up or back down, so I'll be pushing flat out to the end and hopefully having some fun out there in the final few rounds in 2015.
"Austin is definitely somewhere that you can have fun too...I got pole there in 2014, and I'm coming off the back of a really strong weekend in Russia in terms of my performance, so if I can repeat all of that then I'll be in a good position."