Today’s race in Austin could be a very poignant one for Mercedes driver and F1 world championship leader Lewis Hamilton.
Not only could it see him move to within touching distance of his second title, but he could also break Nigel Mansell’s record for the most wins by a British driver in F1.
Hamilton has enjoyed one of the best years of his career in 2014, winning nine races to give himself a 17-point lead at the top of the standings ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg. However, he starts behind his teammate on the front row of the grid at the Circuit of The Americas today.
The Briton now stands on 31 grand prix victories, ranking him joint-sixth in the all-time list alongside Mansell, who raced in F1 between 1980 and 1995. He won the world championship with Williams in 1992 before then winning the CART title one year later.
With victory today in Austin, Hamilton would move clear of Mansell and become the winningest British driver in F1 history, as well as drawing level with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso for fifth in the all-time list with 32 wins.
This would also be Hamilton’s third victory in the United States in just four attempts, having also won at COTA in 2012 and at the last Indy race in 2007.
Hamilton’s record in North America is a mightily impressive one, having won a further three races at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. No driver on the current grid can boast more victories in either Canada or the USA.
The Briton would also draw level with two other British F1 legends on three United States GP victories should he win in Austin today. Jim Clark and Graham Hill won three races apiece at Watkins Glen between 1962 and 1967, with Michael Schumacher being the only driver to have claimed more grands prix victories in the USA, boasting five from Indianapolis.
Finally, today also marks the sixth anniversary of Hamilton’s dramatic world championship win in Brazil, where he overtook Timo Glock on the last corner of the last lap of the last race of the year to deny Felipe Massa the title by a single point.