Lewis Hamilton is being backed to win the upcoming United States Grand Prix and therefore clinch his sixth World Championship.
The Mercedes driver is currently 15/8 on Paddy Power to win Sunday’s race in Austin, Texas.
With a win, the Briton would secure an early World Championship title, the sixth of his career.
But already with a 74-point lead over Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton doesn’t even need to win on Sunday.
If Bottas takes first place at the Circuit of the Americas, a finish in the top eight for Hamilton is enough to secure the top prize in Formula One.
The 34-year-old has only finished outside of the top eight once from 18 tries this year, when he crashed behind the safety car in Germany in July. And on that occasion he still strode home in ninth place, even after an additional delay in the pits.
And if Bottas doesn’t take home the number one spot in the US, Hamilton will retain his world champion crown. It would be a third successive World Championship for the Briton, and a sixth in total.
Young Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc is currently available at 2/1 to win the race in Texas, with Sebastien Vettel at 3/1.
Max Verstappen can be backed at 11/2, with Bottas given odds of 9/1.
But Hamilton is certainly the one to beat. Punters have given him 6/1 odds to win the championship by 100+ points. His 74-point lead could be extended on Sunday, with a maximum of 78 points remaining from the three races left in the season.
The Mercedes driver claimed victories in eight of the first 12 races to give himself a considerable lead in the standings. A sixth world championship would leave him just one behind Michael Schumacher’s record of seven titles.
It’s currently 11/10 for a Ferrari victory, with Mercedes at 5/4. Red Bull are currently 9/2 to be the winning team on Sunday, while the likes of McLaren, Williams and Renault are all massive outsiders at 500/1.
Hamilton is expected to thrive once again in a country where he has had previous relative success. The US Grand Prix is tailor-made for the character of Hamilton, with over 100,000 spectators expected on race day.
First and second practice takes place on Friday, with a final practice session and qualifying on Saturday. The race then takes centre stage on Sunday.
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