Lewis Hamilton enters the United States Grand Prix this weekend knowing a fourth Formula One world championship is within touching distance.
Four wins from his past five outings - the only blemish a runners-up finish in Malaysia - allied with some misfortune for primary title rival Sebastian Vettel, have propelled Hamilton into a 59-point lead with four races to come.
Victory in Austin, where he has won in each of the past three years, combined with Vettel finishing outside the top five, would see Hamilton claim glory and move alongside the Ferrari man on four world titles.
If Hamilton can only take second, Vettel would need to finish ninth or lower for the Mercedes man to be spraying the champagne come Sunday.
It could be a double celebration for Mercedes, who will secure the constructors' championship if both Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas claim a podium finish, regardless of placings.
At the opposite end of the field, Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley looks likely to start his maiden F1 race at the back of the grid due to an accumulation of engine penalties.
But all eyes will be on Hamilton, who could join exalted company in equalling Vettel and Alain Prost's tally of four world championships. Only Juan Manuel Fangio (five) and Michael Schumacher (seven) have more.
WHAT WE LEARNED FROM PRACTICE
Once again, Hamilton looked in complete control during Friday's practice, going quickest in both sessions and setting a new lap record around Circuit of the Americas in FP2 at one minute and 34.668 seconds.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who signed a new deal through to 2020 earlier in the day, celebrated by going second quickest, just under four tenths slower than the championship leader.
Vettel spun into the gravel during FP2 but came back out and was third fastest, 0.524secs adrift of Hamilton, and the German seemingly has it all to do to prevent the Mercedes man claiming a fourth straight win in Texas.
Like Verstappen, Fernando Alonso signed a fresh contract this week but it was much the same story in FP1 for the McLaren man as he suffered a hydraulic leak and did not set a time. He did return in FP2 to go seventh quickest.
Carlos Sainz out-paced his new Renault team-mate Nico Hulkenberg in both sessions and there was further bad news for the German after it was announced he would be hit with a 20-place grid penalty for using a fifth engine, turbo and MGU-H.
Alonso's McLaren team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne is set to be pushed back 10 places for using his eighth engine of the season.
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 306
2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) – 247 (-59)
3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 234 (-72)
4. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) – 192 (-114)
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) – 148 (-158)
1. Mercedes – 540
2. Ferrari – 395 (-145)
3. Red Bull – 303 (-237)
4. Force India – 147 (-393)
5. Williams – 66 (-474)
2016: Lewis Hamilton
2015: Lewis Hamilton
2014: Lewis Hamilton
Isolated thunderstorms are predicted for Saturday, which could play havoc with qualifying. Clear skies are forecast for Sunday's race.
|Brady: Patriots still have a lot of football to play|
|´No one died´ - Belichick´s message to Patriots after stunning loss|
|Silva lauds Digne after stunning free-kick|
|Aduriz joins Messi, Ramos in LaLiga history books|
|We have a plan - Ravens coach Harbaugh prepared for Flacco return|
|´It´s difficult to accept´ - Gracia calls for introduction of VAR|
|LaLiga press on with overseas match plan despite Barcelona withdrawal|
|PSG open Coupe de France defence at fifth-tier Pontivy|
|Hazard backs Sterling as Neville reveals England star´s Euro 2016 concerns|
|Everton 2 Watford 2: Digne salvages draw with 96th-minute free-kick|
|Barcelona could ´steal´ Kane, says Pochettino|
|Oakland Raiders fire general manager McKenzie|
|Struggling Villarreal appoint Garcia Plaza as Calleja successor|
|Warriors assign Cousins to G League team|
|Barcelona pull out of plan to play LaLiga game in Miami|
|Pochettino to keep an eye on Inter when Spurs face Barcelona|
|Pochettino confirms Walker-Peters set to start against Barcelona|
|Denver Nuggets add free agent Young|
|Topping Group A no magic wand for an easy knockout draw, says Simeone|
|The cake has been made, now we need the cherry - Ancelotti targets repeat at Anfield|
|Lloris braced to face ´one of the best in history´ in Messi|
|Tuchel expects Neymar to face Red Star|
|Foden signs Manchester City deal to 2024|
|It happened to me! - Valverde laughs off Dembele timekeeping|
|´Projecting´ an Argentina return? Messi met with AFA president and Scaloni|
|Erasmus expects to leave head coach role after World Cup|
|Chelsea issue suspensions pending investigation into Sterling incident|
|Kane is extraordinary – Valverde hails reported Barcelona target|
|Man behind Naomi Osaka´s rise wins WTA Coach of the Year|
|England name unchanged Test squad as Willey returns for West Indies ODIs|
|Spalletti: No issue with Icardi watching Superclasico in Madrid|
|Klopp confirms 2013 talks with ´chatty´ Napoli president De Laurentiis|
|Sri Lanka spinner Dananjaya suspended due to illegal action|
|His reaction was just brilliant – Klopp praises Sterling for response to abuse|
|Gomez renewal a ´smart decision´ for both parties – Klopp|
|Magnificent Molinari named European Golfer of the Year|
|Barcelona best option for Frenkie de Jong, insists midfielder´s father|
|Gronkowski on Miami Miracle: ´Got to make that tackle´|
|Tottenham youngster Walker-Peters signs on until 2023|
|Juventus ´more of a family´ than Real Madrid - Ronaldo|
|Kingsley Coman contemplates retirement if injury nightmare continues|
|McVay ´sick´ over offensive failings as Rams coach takes blame for loss|
|Calleja axed as Villarreal coach|
|Kenyan Drake on Miami Miracle: I couldn´t let Gronk tackle me!|
|Ronaldo: I deserved Ballon d´Or, the numbers don´t lie|
|Rugby Australia to make Cheika decision this month|
|England defender Gomez signs new Liverpool deal|
|Ronaldo wants to see Messi follow him to Italy|
|Neymar happy to play in any position for PSG - Draxler|
|Paine insists he is ´fine´ after taking blow to finger|
|Ponzio: River players will be ´idolised´ for Libertadores success|
|Champions League permutations: How Inter, PSG and Liverpool can progress|
|Kohli: India were better and deserved to win|
|Bears shut down Goff, Rams|
|India survive dramatic finish against Australia|
|Klopp calls for electric Anfield atmosphere against Napoli|
|Saints clinch back-to-back NFC South titles, Bears trump Rams|
|Bucks improve to 2-0 against Raptors with win in Toronto|
|Black Caps include Patel for Sri Lanka Tests|
|Maidana: River want Real Madrid clash|
|Cowboys top Eagles in OT behind stellar Cooper display|
|AC Milan evaluating Fabregas signing – Leonardo|
|WATCH: Steelers´ chance at game-tying field goal slips away|
|Hayne will plead not guilty to charges, says lawyer|
|Boca boss Schelotto: The only thing I feel is sadness|
|Cardinals´ Fitzgerald makes NFL history with most receptions for one team|
|River Plate´s Copa Libertadores star Gonzalo Martinez confirms January departure|
|Klopp: I was never worried about Salah´s form|
|Packers QB Rodgers sets NFL record for most passes without an interception|
|World Cup bulking hampered Man United form – Lukaku|