Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton outshining Nico Rosberg in Championship race

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Sunday's United States Grand Prix was another example of Lewis Hamilton proving the gap between a good driver and one that wins world championships.

The Briton produced another flawless performance to claim his tenth win of the 2014 season and fifth-in-a-row at the Circuit of the Americas extending his lead in the drivers' standings to 24 points.

No response

Team-mate Nico Rosberg has no response to Hamilton's incredible speed just after the first round of pit-stops and the German then couldn't do much to stop the No. 44 Silver Arrow from easing down the inside with DRS into turn 12 to take the lead from where Hamilton would control the pace en route to his second win at the Austin track.

As I mentioned his triumph at COTA was Lewis' fifth consecutive win a run that stretches back to the Italian Grand Prix in September.

Of course back then that victory came hot on the heels of the big controversy at the Belgian Grand Prix where Rosberg looked to make a move on his team-mate before clipping his rear wheel and causing a puncture.

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It caused uproar on social media and the Mercedes team came down very strongly on Rosberg for the incident at Spa and from then on it has been all Hamilton.

Nico gifted victory to Lewis at Monza after the out-braked himself into the first chicane with the Briton closing in, he would suffer a major setback as a wiring problem caused him to retire in Singapore and a mistake at the start in Sochi, locking up and badly damaging his tyres into turn two, also gave Hamilton an easy win.

But the two races where Rosberg has had the advantage heading into the race, in Suzuka and Austin, Hamilton has simply used his better racing instincts to close and pull off two great overtakes to keep his streak alive.

An unfair fight?

When Hamilton joined Mercedes at the start of 2013 most were uncertain whether Rosberg could match the man who he had grown up with as team-mates during their karting days.

Yes, Rosberg had had the edge over the great Michael Schumacher throughout most of their three-year partnership from 2010-2012, but the Schumacher who raced for Mercedes was never really the same that was so dominant at Ferrari in the early 2000's.

In Hamilton though, Rosberg would be facing one of the best of the current era and so could he still lead the team that he had helped build-up in the three years since Mercedes returned to F1.

Last year he was a match for Hamilton, taking two victories compared to Lewis' one but it was very much a bedding in year of the 2008 champion after leaving McLaren, a team he had been associated with since he was a young teenager.

For this year, however, he had a whole winter with the team and a car that better suited his driving style so surely in a straight fight with Rosberg there would only be one winner?

Proving his supremacy

Well at this point the answer looks more and more like a commanding yes, but when reflecting on the season it could be remembered more as one Rosberg threw away rather than Hamilton claimed.

Based on the head-to-head, Rosberg has been the championship leader at 13 races compared to Hamilton's four and twice had a championship lead of 29 points five more than Lewis' current advantage. But putting that aside its the other statistics that prove that in fact Hamilton is the more deserving world champion.

He now has ten wins to his name, compared to just four for Rosberg, he has had one more retirement than Nico and also had to start two races from the back of the grid and still managed to finish on the podium at both.

He has also done that while having to look after his allocation of engine parts following issues earlier in the season and looks on course to avoid any kind of grid penalty. And while Rosberg may have been the championship leader at three times the number of races of Hamilton it has been the simple case of retirements at bad times that gave him the advantage while it has been the sheer pace of Hamilton that has put him in his current position.

Using experience

There is no doubting too that as the championship has gotten nearer to its conclusion the experience for Hamilton in dealing with the pressure of fighting for the title given him the edge.

The events of Spa have also seemed to weigh heavily on Rosberg ever since, although his retirement in Singapore may actually prove to be more decisive in the championship battle, but again it was the failure to cope with the pressure that incident created plus the inability to counter Hamilton's recent charge that for me has proven why Rosberg isn't quite champion material.

To bounce back from disappointment after disappointment and keep upping the standard when the pressure mounts, however, is the sign of a champion and for Lewis Hamilton that is exactly what he has done.

While there is still plenty that could change in the final rounds of Brazil and particularly Abu Dhabi, Hamilton is for me already the champion of 2014 and it would be a real shame for the comical double points at the final race to stop him making that title official.

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Formula 1

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