Another Formula One season is drawing to a close as the circus heads to Austin this weekend for the United States Grand Prix. Mercedes’ sixth constructors’ title in a row is wrapped up, with Lewis Hamilton needing just four points to seal his historic sixth drivers’ championship crown. We preview Sunday’s race at the Circuit of the Americas.

More to come from Magic Mercedes

Not since the height of Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher era of dominance has a constructor won six consecutive titles. Mercedes have dominated the hybrid-era and left the rest playing catch-up both on track and in the garages.

Truthfully, no other team has looked like getting close to the Silver Arrows. Ferrari challenged them during the second-half of the season, but it was too little, too late. Max Verstappen too has had his moments, but lacked the consistency to mount a real challenge.

Lewis Hamilton’s win in Mexico last weekend was a poignant reminder that they are showing absolutely no signs of applying the handbrake on their runaway success train either, leaving him with the simple task of needing just four points to claim his sixth drivers’ championship, putting him just one behind Schumacher’s record.

Hamilton is the most successful driver at the Circuit of the Americas, with four previous wins for Mercedes. That means he’ll be fully aware of the importance of putting his car on the front row of the grid, with all five previous winners at this circuit having started inside the top two. Hamilton is 9/4 to grab pole position and 15/8 to win his 11th race of the season and 6/1 to take pole, win the race and set the fastest lap.

Ferrari set fair for next season

Charles Leclerc has been the bright point in Ferrari’s campaign. Not many would have predicted the young driver to be ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel come this stage of the season, and he has now out-performed the German in qualifying on 11 occasions this season.

The Scuderia will be keen to see the Monegasque man turn his Saturday form into Sunday form next season and take the challenge to Mercedes from the outset. He’s qualified inside the top two in each of his last six races, so the 6/4 to take pole on Saturday is far from out of the question.

Sebastian Vettel’s season has certainly had its ups and downs, peaking with three podiums in his last four. He’ll be desperate to get back in a car capable of winning races consistently and in the second-half of the season, Ferrari finally look capable of that. His attention will have turned to next season already, but don’t discount him picking up a couple more wins before the season is over. With his recent form he should be right on it from the outset this weekend and is 9/4 to be the fastest qualifier, while he’s 11/4 for a second United States Grand Prix victory.

Red Bull ahead of the rest

It will be a great disappointment at Red Bull that they have failed to put Max Verstappen in with a chance of winning a title. As he’s proved beyond doubt, he’s more than capable of doing so, especially with the added maturity he’s shown at times this season. Although the Red Bull is more suited to fast cornering tracks, Max will have something to say this weekend following his demotion from pole in Mexico. He’s 6/5 to finish on the podium and 7/2 to get the bonus point for fastest lap of the race.

Mexico also proved to be a disappointing race for McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, who has had an excellent season. He’s currently 7th in the driver’s standings, just one point behind Pierre Gasly as they fight it out to go one better than the ‘best of the rest’. Sainz should do well at the Circuit of the Americas and is an outside 33/1 to finish on the podium, but perhaps has a more realistic chance at finishing in the top six at 6/4.

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