Hamilton on the fast track to triple glory
By Alan Baldwin
MONZA, Italy (Reuters) - Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, a man with a strong interest in the title race staying open as long as possible, had feared Lewis Hamilton would have his third world title wrapped up by Monza.
If the sport's 84-year-old commercial supremo had only added the words 'all but' when he made the prediction before the season started, he would not have been far wrong on Sunday's evidence.
Hamilton departed the Italian Grand Prix circuit, performing a tyre burnout for the fans on his motorcycle as he left, with a 53 point lead over Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg in the championship and seven races remaining.
In simple maths, that means the Briton does not have to win again this season to join Jackie Stewart as Britain's only triple champions.
With 25 points for a win and 18 for a second place, Rosberg has to hope that Hamilton suffers some of the bad luck the German endured at Monza when his engine blew while in third place with two laps to go.
Even that might not be enough.
Looking at past performances, it appears to be all over bar the shouting -- of which there is sure to be plenty sooner rather than later.
The big question now is where will Hamilton clinch the championship, with the United States (round 16 of 19) or Mexico looking possible on current form as the chances of Abu Dhabi hosting another decider recede into the distance as fast as Rosberg's hopes. Continued...