At the last F1 race in Japan one of the senior figures at Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes team likened his series of misfortunes this year to throwing a sequence of double sixes. Not impossible, but very surprising to witness.
It's a good analogy because while Hamilton has been unlucky to suffer the various engine-related problems he's had, he is no less likely to 'throw another double six' and experience another setback. Chance, as they say, has no memory.
That’s why his odds on winning the drivers' championship have risen to 4.50 as team-mate Nico Rosberg has opened up a 33-point lead with 100 points available over the remaining races.
It's not looking good for Hamilton, but there are powerful reasons to believe he can still do it.
The next venue is a Hamilton favourite
Hamilton has raced in America five times and only failed to win once. Three of those victories have come at the current home of the race, Austin's magnificent Circuit of the Americas.
Drivers have won from further behind
Hamilton's points deficit isn't insurmountable: far from it. Ten other drivers have been as far behind or further and made up the deficit.
One Rosberg retirement would change everything
Mercedes are so much quicker than their rivals that Hamilton can expect to take a huge bite out of Rosberg's lead if his team mate experiences any problems. That 33-point margin could easily be eight by Sunday evening, and if that happens all bets are off.
Mercedes have the teams' title
The team clinched the constructors' championship at the previous race in Japan. So any desire they might have had to play it safe and ensure they collect points has gone. Hamilton therefore has the maximum chance to take the fight to Rosberg.
Rain would help Hamilton
When rain falls one Mercedes driver can be relied upon to excel, and as this year's races in Monaco and Silverstone demonstrated clearly it isn't Rosberg. Hamilton is a wet-weather ace: if the conditions take a turn for the worse Rosberg is more likely to find himself fighting a rearguard action against the Red Bulls than taking on his team mate.
Rosberg hasn't won a title yet
He is playing a canny game with the media, refusing to talk about the title and sticking to the 'one race at a time' PR line. But it doesn't change the fact that when it comes to delivering championships Hamilton has done it three times and Rosberg hasn't. The pressure he feels will be much more familiar to his championship rival.
Hamilton is the better driver
Rosberg is driving better this year than he ever has before, and that is part of Hamilton's problem. But put the two against each other in a straight fight and you'd still pick Hamilton every time. This weekend may well prove the beginning of his fight back.
Keith Collantine is the editor of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic