Lewis Hamilton will have his first chance to clinch a record-equalling seventh Formula 1 world championship at this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix.
Hamilton left the last round at Imola with a season-high 85-point lead over Mercedes team-mate and sole title rival Valtteri Bottas.
With four races and a maximum of 104 points remaining, Hamilton is firm favourite to equal Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven titles.
If Hamilton holds a 78-point lead or more after Sunday’s race at Istanbul Park, he will be crowned world champion with three races to spare.
Experience is on Hamilton’s side heading to Turkey; the 35-year-old is one of just three drivers on the current grid to have raced in F1 at Istanbul Park.
Bottas must reduce the deficit to Hamilton to 77 points or fewer after Sunday to take the title fight to Bahrain.
If the deficit is 78 points after this weekend, Hamilton could score zero points across the final three races and still clinch the title, even if Bottas won all three races and claimed all three fastest lap bonus points.
The title race narrowed to the Mercedes duo after Red Bull’s Max Verstappen mathematically dropped out of contention at Imola.
Mercedes clinched a record-breaking seventh consecutive constructors’ championship at Imola, beating Ferrari’s previous record of six recorded between 1999 and 2004.
How Hamilton can claim record-equalling F1 title in Turkey
|If Bottas is||Hamilton needs|
|1st with fastest lap||Cannot seal title in Turkey|
|1st without fastest lap||2nd|
|2nd with fastest lap||4th|
|2nd without fastest lap||4th, or 5th with fastest lap|
|3rd with fastest lap||5th|
|3rd without fastest lap||6th|
|4th with fastest lap||7th|
|4th without fastest lap||8th with fastest lap|
|5th with fastest lap||8th|
|5th without fastest lap||8th, or 9th with fastest lap|
|6th with fastest lap||9th|
|6th without fastest lap||10th|
|7th||Seals title regardless of Bottas’ result|