The fat lady has started to warm up for Lewis Hamilton’s fourth Drivers' Championship triumph following his victory in the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Englishman now has a potentially unassailable 59 point lead over his German rival Sebastian Vettel, and could wrap up the championship in Austin if he beats the Ferrari star by a measly 16 points.
Vettel’s form has suffered a drastic turn in fortunes following his victory in Belgium at the end of August.
All was looking good for the German driver, but then came the three GP’s in Asia.
The 30-year-old German suffered a crash at the first corner in Singapore, a disappointing showing in Malaysia, where the German suffered manifold failure during qualifying, and then a spark plug problem in Japan.
These three separate incidents have all-but ended his title chances as the Mercedes ace cruised to big points in all three races.
After the Japan GP setback, Vettel told Sky Sports F1 that it is important to be critical when things start to go wrong.
"It's normal you're critical, especially if things go wrong, so it's part of our job.
"I think I need to protect them. We've done an incredible job so far. Bitter the past two races with the reliability issues - but you know, it's like that sometimes.
"Of course it hurts and we're all disappointed, but now we need to get back, get some rest and then go flat out for the last four races and see what happens."
Vettel and Ferrari’s woes have been a blessing for Hamilton and Mercedes-AMG.
The 32-year-old Englishman had been expecting a fierce contest between the two, but following the latest Grand Prix, it looks like a matter of when, rather than if, for Lewis Hamilton.
In fact, the Brit could win yet another title at the next Grand Prix in America should he beat Vettel by 16 points.
That means, if Hamilton wins in Austin, he will become world champion if Vettel finishes sixth or lower.
Or, if Hamilton finishes second, he will become world champion if Vettel finishes ninth or lower.
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