Austin: Lewis Hamilton swept to pole position for the United States Grand Prix early this morning as the Mercedes star targets wrapping up a fourth world title in today’s race.
The British driver edged Ferrari title rival Sebastian Vettel with his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in third place.
It was Hamilton’s 72nd career pole and 11th of the season.
“The team have done a great job. The track was very difficult with the wind. It’s going to be a great race,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton, 32, has to score 16 points more than Vettel on Sunday to make a fourth world title a mathematical certainty.
“It’s unlikely unless Sebastian makes a mistake – and he’s a four-time world champion,” added the Briton.
If Hamilton wins today and Vettel finishes outside the top five for Ferrari, he will be champion while he will also be crowned champion if he is second and Vettel is outside the top eight.
If Hamilton is third or lower, the 2017 title battle continues to the next race in Mexico next weekend.
Yesterday, Hamilton set a new record by claiming his 117th career front row start, beating the old mark of 116 set by seven-time champion German Michael Schumacher.
Vettel said it was crucial he matched Hamilton as much as he could.