The bookies believe nothing can stop German Sebastian Vettel from becoming the youngest ever triple world champion when the 2012 Formula One season concludes with the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday.
The 25-year-old Red Bull driver is aiming to join fellow German Michael Schumacher (2000-04) and Argentine legend Juan Manuel Fangio (1954-57) as the only drivers to win three successive world titles, but will be the youngest ever to do so.
In partnership with Australian Mark Webber, Vettel has already steered the Red Bull team to their third successive constructors' title and now Vettel heads into the final race of the season in Brazil with a 13-point lead over the only rival that can catch him – Spain's Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso.
Alonso is also searching for his third world title having won in 2005 and 2006, but has failed to win any of the past nine races.
And with Vettel having won four of the past six races – the momentum is clearly with the German although he and Alonso have had to settle for second and third places in the past two events in Abu Dhabi and the United States.
Heading into the final race of the season Vettel is as short as $1.14 to win the title at Centrebet, $1.20 at sportsbet.com.au and best odds at $1.25 with Betfair while Alonso is $4.20 with sportsbet.com.au, $4.80 with Betfair and $5.50 with Centrebet.
However, a quick look at the equation heading into Brazil shows just how difficult it will be for Alonso to pinch the title from Vettel in the final race of the season.
Vettel will win the title if he finishes in the top four in Sunday's race – which he has done in 13 of the 19 races so far this season.
If Alonso fails to finish in the top three, which he has done in three of the past nine races, he will have no hope of catching Vettel.
If Alonso finishes third in Brazil, Vettel will still win the title as long as he finishes at least ninth.
If Alonso runs second then Vettel has to run at least seventh to claim the title.
However, if Alonso were to win in Brazil, Vettel would need to finish at least fourth to win the title – which would leave the pair equal on 285 points but with Vettel winning the title on the account of having won more races during the season.
But Alonso not only has to worry about Vettel in Brazil but also in-form British McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton, who won last week's US Grand Prix.
That gave Hamilton his fourth win of the season – one more than Alonso – but one fewer than Vettel although Hamilton remains a distant fourth in the overall standings on 190 points – behind Finn Kimi Raikkonen in third on 206 – but ahead of Webber in fifth place on 167 points.
Hamilton relegated Vettel to second and Alonso to third in Texas and is the second favourite, behind Vettel, to win Sunday's final race of the season.
Vettel is shortest at $2.75 at Centrebet and best odds of $2.98 at Betfair with Hamilton second pick at $3.25 with Centrebet, $3.50 with sportsbet.com.au and an attractive $3.85 with Betfair.
Alonso is then third favourite paying $4.25 with Centrebet, $4.50 with sportsbet.com.au and $5.40 with Betfair with Webber on the fifth line of betting to win his third race of the season at best odds of $16.50 with Betfair.
*Note prices subject to change