Date: 23rd October 2015 at 8:14am
Written by:

Lewis Hamilton will go into the USA Grand Prix buoyed by the fact that title rival Sebastian Vettel will take a grid penalty in Austin.

The British driver is aiming to become a three-time Formula One World Champion and the first Brit to ever win back-to-back titles.

He currently holds a 66-point lead of Ferrari’s Vettel and 73-point lead over Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

The maths mean that Hamilton can clinch the 2015 Formula One World Championship this weekend, if he beats Rosberg by 2 points and Vettel by 9 points.

The most frequent result in 2015 has been a podium of Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel [in that order] and a repeat would crown Hamilton champion.

With the way the point system works in Formula One, Vettel ideally needs to beat Hamilton on Sunday, but a 10-place grid penalty for an engine change makes that possibility look unlikely.

Vettel has confirmed that the penalty was also scheduled and Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen will also take a grid drop.

‘We will have the hit of 10 places penalty for a new engine at this event, But it has always been the plan, it’s not a big secret and no surprise for us. Vettel told Sky Sports.

‘This was always the plan for us, to have the strongest engine available at every single point in the season. Our engine guys have done a massive job so this should not be understood as a down side.

‘If anything, this is a very positive sign because we’ve been pushing very hard and the guys have managed to make big steps in terms of performance.’

As Vettel alluded to, Ferrari hope to see a performance gain from the latest specification engine.

The new power-unit is believed to be narrower providing potential for an aerodynamic gain.