US Grand Prix Betting: Hamilton is heading on his victory parade

Lewis Hamilton is on the brink of his fourth world title
Lewis Hamilton is on the brink of his fourth world title
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Sebastian Vettel hasn't kept up the pace in his duel for the F1 crown, but as Lewis Hamilton closes on the title Ralph Ellis says you can only admire the Briton's dedication and desire...

"The only value bet I can see left for Hamilton this year has to be the [12.0] on offer for him to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year - especially as [1.48] favourite Anthony Joshua has had so many problems over an opponent for his next fight."

Does anybody else feel a bit cheated by the second half of the season? I certainly do. It was going to be a duel to the finish between the two greatest drivers, and instead it is turning into a victory parade with four races still to go.

Lewis Hamilton probably won't clinch the drivers championship this weekend. For that to happen he has to win the US Grand Prix and Sebastian Vettel finish sixth or worse.

Hamilton is [1.96] favourite to be the race winner and surely Vettel [3.65] can't have another debacle like the one in Japan which forced him to retire because a £59 spark plug went wrong.

So we might have to wait until Mexico to see Hamilton crowned champion for the fourth time in his spectacular career, but it isn't in doubt. Matched to win the Drivers Championship at [2.8] shortly after the Hungarian Grand Prix he's now [1.03] and frankly I'm surprised you can still back him at all.

The only value bet I can see left for Hamilton this year has to be the [12.0] on offer for him to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year - especially as [1.48] favourite Anthony Joshua has had so many problems over an opponent for his next fight.

Hamilton won the award in 2014 when Rory McIlroy was a similar huge favourite, and F1 fans always get involved in the public voting. Joe Calzaghe did win (ahead of Hamilton) in the early years of telephone voting in 2007 but since then no boxer has been in the top three.

Anyway the headlines this week have done their best to keep the F1 season alive. Nico Rosberg said Hamilton has a weakness which is "his emotional ups and downs."

But when you read the detail of the interview that the reigning - but retired - champion gave he was actually discussing the faults that helped him beat Hamilton last season.

This year Hamilton has, clearly, learned from those mistakes. He hasn't wasted energy by stirring silly feuds with the media. And while he's gone on leading his showbiz lifestyle on his days off, when he's been working he's turned up with massive focus to get everything right.

He's won the races he should have won, like at Spa on a circuit perfectly suited to his Mercedes. But he's also triumphed on the more twisty tracks where Ferrari and Red Bull should have had the upper hand.

He goes into this weekend some 68 points ahead of Valtteri Bottas, a margin that could have been even greater if he hadn't honoured a gentleman's agreement by moving over to let his team mate have a podium finish in Budapest.

Hamilton might still not be universally popular among his rivals. As well as Rosberg's little dig, Jenson Button has brought out his book and talked about their rivalry at McLaren.

But you have to admire his single minded dedication to his sport, especially this season where after losing out on the 2016 title he could easily have followed Rosberg and walked away but instead came back with new desire and ambition.

He was inspired by the prospect of a duel with Vettel. It isn't his fault that the Ferrari team have not managed to keep up the pace.

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