Lewis Hamilton in his racing car
All British fans of Formula One racing will look to Shanghai next weekend to see if British driver Lewis Hamilton can live up to the hopes that he can win the World Championship as a novice driver, in his first season of Grand Prix.
After winning the Japanese Grand Prix he is now 12 points ahead of Maclaren team-mate Fernando Alonso, with 20 points left to be won in the Championship. The 22 year old has been praised by his current opponents, and by Formula One legend Damon Hill.
Renault driver Heikki Kovalainen, who finished second behind Hamilton in the Japanese Grand Prix told BBC Sport: "Lewis has had a really good season, consistently winning races, always up there fighting, no mistakes. I think he deserves the championship".
Damon Hill said "I don't think anyone predicted this, everyone knew he was good but he has really stunned everyone."
As a rookie, Hamilton was expected to spend this season learning from Alonso, but in fact has ploughed ahead of him. Alonso himself admitted he needed a miracle now to take the Championship title from Hamilton.
But Hamilton himself said he would not be celebrating until the title was in the bag. Although he is confident, he is not taking anything for granted. "We still have two races left, and anything can happen, so we need to knuckle down. I won't be going partying."
While the competition on the track continues, there has also been some conflict off the track, between Hamilton and Alonso, and between Alonso and Maclaren boss Ron Dennis. As a double world champion, Alonso feels he deserves additional support from his team, but Maclaren insist they will treat the seasoned pro and their protégé equally.
If Hamilton wins the championship, either in China or Brazil two weeks later, he will become the first man ever to win the title in his first season in the sport.