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Hamilton aims for Big Ten in Texas

2014-10-30 07:40

BIG WIN IN TEXAS LOOMS: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton could grab his tenth win of the 2014 season at the 2014 US grand prix in Texas on November 2. Image: AP/ Pavel Golovkin


AUSTIN, Texas - Lewis Hamilton will be aiming for a big win in Texas this weekend (Oct 31 - Nov 2), even if the Formula 1 grid is the smallest he has ever known with the absence of back-marker teams Marussia and Caterham.

The Mercedes driver can become the first British driver to win 10 races in a season and join Nigel Mansell and the late Jim Clark as the only Britons to win five consecutive races.

Another triumph at the Circuit of the Americas - he won the inaugural race in 2012 - will also set him apart from his compatriots with 32 victories - one more than the record he shares with 1992 champion Mansell.


He can also land another big psychological blow on German team mate and title rival Nico Rosberg who is 17 points behind with 100 still to be won from the last three races.

Hamilton loves the Texas circuit; Rosberg has mixed feelings about it. The team is in Texas after wrapping up the Constructors' title in Sochi.

The intention is to turn the focus back to the track after a gloomy week for the sport dominated by talk of financial crisis and teams going into administration, while seriously-injured Marussia driver Jules Bianchi is ever-present in everybody's thoughts.

Hamilton said: "We have three races to decide the Drivers' championship - starting in Austin, one of the best weekends of the year. A lot of the American side of my family come to the race, plus I won the first F1 GP at the circuit back in 2012 - it's a special one for me.

"I really enjoy going there and I'm looking forward to another great race and, I hope, ending up with another Stetson hat on the top step of the podium."

Rosberg's record is less happy: his best finish in Austin was ninth in 2013 when Hamilton was fourth.

Rosberg said: "It's still all to play for... and I won't be giving up the fight until the flag drops in Abu Dhabi. I hope we can keep the entertainment going right to the end."

With the Constructors' title out of the way, the driving duel will move up a gear even if mathematically it is still a three-way battle. Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, the only driver other than the Mercedes duo to win races through 2014, is 92 points behind Hamilton so is as good as ruled out.


So is quadruple champion team mate Sebastian Vettel, 2013 race winner, who is in danger of collecting an engine penalty that will see him start from the pits.

Team principal Christian Horner said: "I think the reality is that Sebastian will take a sixth engine in Austin because it's inevitable he's going to have to use it. I don't think this engine can really go much further."

It could be that Vettel does very little driving before the race to save the new engine, something that makes him just as unhappy as the fans will be. He said: "The rule is completely stupid. So the people turn on the TV and see a driver who just stands around."

Mercedes-powered Williams should be in the mix, however, with Valtteri Bottas on a fine run of form.

At the back there will be the empty spaces where Marussia and Caterham usually line up after each went under administration. That leaves 18 cars, the fewest since 2005. It also gives Sauber, which has yet to score in 2014, marginally more of a chance of regaining ninth place from Marussia in what is almost a home race for Mexican Esteban Gutierrez.

Gutierrez said: "I'm looking forward to having great support from our fans there. The track in Austin is one of my favourites, I love driving there."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 US grand prix weekend

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