Lewis Hamilton is closing in on a fourth Drivers' Championship title after finishing top of the podium following the US Grand Prix on Sunday.
The 32-year-old will win the title at the Mexican Grand Prix next Sunday if he finishes the race fifth or higher, a result that would see him wrap up a fourth Drivers' Championship.
Hamilton's rival Sebastian Vettel knew that only a victory in Texas on Sunday would do if he had any hope of catching the Brit, with just three races left of the 2017 season.
Vettel made the perfect start to the race in Austin, and he found himself quickest off the mark ahead of his rival before Hamilton took control during the sixth lap of the contest.
And, Hamilton believes he knows the reason why German Vettel squandered his lead when it mattered the most.
"When Sebastian got a better start than me, I didn't know how it was going to go,” Hamilton told Sky Sports.
“But then I noticed I was able to remain relatively close. Did I know I was going to be able to overtake him?
“Initially I was just thinking I needed to stay close and wait for the pit-stops."
Hamilton's form has been red hot throughout the calendar year, and he has won nine Grands Prix in the 2017 schedule.
Hamilton continued: "But then I could see him pushing and I was thinking 'I am pretty good on my tyres right now and he is going through that corner too quickly, he is going to kill his tyres’.
“And that's what he did - he was driving too quick through some of those corners when he didn't have to. He blew.
"If he had backed off in those places he would have been able to keep me behind, I'm certain."
There was a controversial moment at the end of the race, as Dutch youngster Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing was demoted to fourth position and a place off the podium.
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