Lewis Hamilton goes for F1 title and history in United States GP
Bottas on pole, Hamilton just fifth after difficult qualifying for Sunday evening's race; Hamilton needs four points to be champion for a sixth time; Watch live only on Sky Sports at 7.10pm, with build-up from 5.30pm
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 03/11/19 5:23pm
Lewis Hamilton says he will attempt to turn a "negative into a positive" from fifth on the grid in Sunday evening's United States GP as he bids to secure his sixth F1 world championship.
- When and how to watch Sky F1 on Sunday evening
- Watch the US GP for £9.99 on NOW TV
- Hamilton starting in Austin's 'danger zone'
Hamilton requires a finish of eighth place or better to become just the second driver in history after Michael Schumacher to win the drivers' crown six or more times - but qualifying in Austin has made his chances of clinching the crown in ultimate style with a race win more complicated.
Starting on the third row behind all his chief rivals, the Briton is four places behind polesitting team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who must win and hope Hamilton finishes ninth or worse to take the title fight on to 2019's penultimate round in Brazil.
The race is live only on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event and begins at 7.10pm.
Hamilton blamed himself for his worst qualifying result of the year, saying he "just didn't have two good laps", but made clear he was calm about the situation.
"I don't look at this race as a particularly important race - it's as important as any other race to me," insisted Hamilton. "So it's not a standout individual important race for me, there's still two more after this.
"Naturally I approach it exactly the same, not looking to pull out miracles tomorrow. Things happen for a reason and today is a lesson learnt and I will try to see if I can turn a negative into a positive, for sure."
How big a disadvantage is row three?
Underlining Hamilton's unrelenting high standards, fifth on the grid is actually the five-time champion's lowest starting spot for a race since July 2018 when he suffered car problems in qualifying at last year's German GP.
With the top five starting on different tyres to the rest of the top 10, Sky F1's Anthony Davidson reckons Hamilton could be susceptible to the cars directly behind him when the lights go out.
"Unfamiliar ground for him really going into Turn One. All of the midfield battle around him on the soft tyres going through the first corner," said Davidson.
"He's going to be the medium tyre he qualified in in Q2 and that puts him in vulnerable position now against those on the soft tyre, which will get a better launch [at the start]."
Martin Brundle said Hamilton started in Austin's "danger zone".
What do Hamilton's rivals say?
Bottas, pole: "[Hamilton's] leading the championship with a big margin, he doesn't need many points and I'm sure he would like to win the championship in a nice way eventually when and if it happens. But obviously I will try to delay that, I try to focus on my own race, try to focus on winning the race rather than anyone else's opinions or mindsets.
Sebastian Vettel, second: "Towards the end of the season, realistically things are set. Mercedes is not touchable anymore [in the championship] and people just go for race wins and try everything to do it."
Max Verstappen, third: "I think of course Mexico was very good but we also expected it to be competitive. But of course the races we had before that were not like we wanted so I was a still a bit 'ok, let's see if we found the performance back?' and clearly this weekend was very positive overall so I think we can be very happy about it."
Charles Leclerc, fourth: "On my side we had to change the power unit, so it's probably not the advantage we had before but we will make the best out it. I'm pretty sure we are still quick down the straight so let's hope we have an opportunity at the start especially."
US GP schedule on Sky Sports F1
Sunday, November 3
5.30pm: US GP Pit Lane Live
6.30pm: US GP On The Grid
7.10pm: THE UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX (Simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event)
9pm: US GP Paddock Live
10pm: US GP Notebook
10.30pm: US GP Highlights
11.30pm: US GP Race Replay