The 17th round of the F1 World Championship takes place in the United States this weekend with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton arriving in Texas in pole position for the 2014 title.
With three rounds of the season remaining, Hamilton holds a 17-point advantage over his team-mate Nico Rosberg and the scene is set for another absorbing battle between the two in America.
Hamilton, who is targeting a fifth straight victory, said: “This weekend is really important in the battle for the title. The battle between Nico and myself is set to run right until the final chequered flag.
“Another victory this weekend would really boost my own quest for the title, and victory is my aim this weekend.”
Rosberg added: “Lewis has won the last four races and I’m very keen to stop his run this weekend. The most important thing is to score good points, and if that is a win then that would be good for me.
“Everyone at Mercedes-Benz is really looking forward to the final three races of the season and I know we are in for a great last three races.”
The Circuit of the Americas in Austin is a well-liked track on the F1 calendar. The undulating course is known to provide good race action, with the startline sending cars uphill towards a fine first corner.
Hamilton adds: “Austin is a good track and I enjoy racing here. The American crowds love F1, I’m sure they will enjoy the new turbocharged cars.”
Driving for the Silverstone-based Sahara Force India team, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez are also looking to score points in the USA.
Hulkenberg, who has recently signed to remain with the team in 2015, is currently eighth in the points standings, while Perez sits three places further back in 11th.
Mexican Perez said: “Texas is as close to home as I will race this season and I expect many family and friends to come and watch. I like the track and my aim is to score points this weekend. The aim for me is to finish inside the top 10 in the championship at the end of the season and a good race in the USA will help me.”
Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat will drive for the Bicester-based Toro Rosso squad.
Vergne, who will leave the team at the end of the season, is currently 13th with his Russian team-mate in 15th.