Lewis Hamilton says he doubts he’ll be able to tie up the 2017 Formula 1 world championship this weekend despite storming to pole position for the United States Grand Prix with title rival Sebastian Vettel starting on the front row alongside him.

The Mercedes driver blasted to a second career pole position at the Circuit of the Americas with a new track record of 1m 33.108s to stay just under two-tenths clear of Vettel in the Ferrari.

With Hamilton needing to win the United States GP and see Vettel finish sixth or lower to wrap up his fourth F1 world title this weekend, the British driver has continued to play down the likelihood as he focuses on a fifth win in six years at COTA.

“It’s highly unlikely it's going to be the case, Sebastian did a great job today to bring the Ferrari back up,” Hamilton said. “I think ultimately all I can do is do the best I can with my abilities and try to get maximum points.

“Sebastian is right there so, unless he makes a silly mistake which is unlikely it will go to the next races. It's going to be a great race out here tomorrow, going be a tough one because looking after the tyres in these conditions is still tough but looking forward to it.

“The track was very difficult today, with the wind picking up you've got a headwind into turn one, a tailwind out of turn one, whole of sector one is tailwind and then a headwind into  turn 9, so it's shifting the whole way through the lap.

“You're kind of gauging how hard you can push, how much must lay off. But that's why I love it here, such a fantastic track to drive and especially when you've got a car you can rely on.”

Hamilton holds a 59-point lead over Vettel going into the US GP this weekend.

 

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