Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monza, 2017

How Hamilton and Mercedes can clinch the championships this weekend

2017 United States Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton can clinch his fourth world championship crown at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.

And it could be a double success for him and his team as Mercedes are poised to wrap up the constructors’ championship.

Will both titles be decided with three races to spare? Here’s how they could be won this weekend.

How Lewis Hamilton can win the drivers’ championship

The table below shows what Hamilton’s points lead over Sebastian Vettel will be on Sunday depending on where they finish the race. Hamilton needs to leave Austin with a lead of at least 75 points to wrap up the title.

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Hamilton can only clinch the title if he wins or comes second. The finishing positions which will give him the championship are highlighted below.

Valtteri Bottas is also mathematically in championship contention and could have a bearing on the outcome:

Hamilton’s finishing position
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th+/DNF
Vettel’s finishing position 1st 52 49 46 44 42 40 38 36 35 34
2nd 66 56 53 51 49 47 45 43 42 41
3rd 69 62 56 54 52 50 48 46 45 44
4th 72 65 62 57 55 53 51 49 48 47
5th 74 67 64 61 57 55 53 51 50 49
6th 76 69 66 63 61 57 55 53 52 51
7th 78 71 68 65 63 61 57 55 54 53
8th 80 73 70 67 65 63 61 57 56 55
9th 82 75* 72 69 67 65 63 61 58 57
10th 83 76* 73 70 68 66 64 62 60 58
11th+/DNF 84 77* 74 71 69 67 65 63 61 60 59

*If Bottas wins the race and Hamilton finishes second, Hamilton will not have clinched the championship as Bottas could still beat him to it.

If the race is stopped early and half points are awarded there is no way Hamilton can win the championship this weekend.

How Mercedes can win the constructors’ championship

Mercedes are in a stronger position in the constructors’ championship and will win it this weekend unless Ferrari out-score them by at least 17 points. There are many possible outcomes, but here are some key points to bear in mind:

  • Mercedes will be champions if both Ferraris fail to score
  • Mercedes will be champions if both Ferraris finish behind them
  • Mercedes will be champions if one Ferrari fails to finish and the other does not finish in the top two
  • Mercedes will be champions if both Ferraris finish outside the top five
  • If Ferrari finish one-two, Mercedes will only be champions if they finish third and fourth

There are other finishing combinations under which the constructors’ championship can be won this weekend.

Points calculator

Use the F1 Fanatic Points Calculator to stay on top of the possible championship outcomes. You can also use it to see how the standings would look under past F1 points systems:

Over to you

Will either of the championships be won this weekend? Have your say in the comments.

2017 United States Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 69 comments on “How Hamilton and Mercedes can clinch the championships this weekend”

    1. Lewis needs to win. Simple as that. This is a huge race career and legacy win as the US gp could become Hamilton’s most successful track along with Canada. He needs to finish in style.

      1. I’m not sure why Hamilton “needs” to win, but why do people drive in F1 if they aren’t trying to win? Currently Hamilton has a 59 points lead over Vettel and a 72 points lead over Bottas, so if anyone “needs” to win it is both of them because they still have a mathematical chance of winning the World Drivers’ Championship.

      2. I may have missed your point here – but I’d suggest that it’s Vettel that “needs” to win… Hamilton can really afford to merely pick up points until the end of the season.

      3. Yes I agree with Ben @ben-n

        It is indeed Vettel that needs to win this race, to keep the hopes alive, to satisfy the hunger of his supporters, to answer the cries of the Ferrari fans.

        Hell , honestly he needs to win for all F1 fans, what would we want more ? an easy cruise to victory or an epic battle between two of the most talented drivers in F1 ever down to the last race of the season?

        1. There is no need to go the last round when the epic battle is virtually done and dusted. Why can’t the dominant challenger get an easy cruise?

    2. All Mercedes need to do is use the recently disclosed Wi-Fi hacks and wreak havoc in Ferrari’s garage through it. Cover it up by doing the same to a few other teams and spinning a story of how they also were affected and they have themselves not one, but two championships!
      Or they could go the boring route and be faster on track. But I think we all come to F1 for the cutting edge technology, so I know what we all want to see.

      1. Or they could buy you a tin foil hat

        1. @sravan-pe I think they were joking.

          1. Now that you mention it I think I stand corrected. @keithcollantine

            1. I usually only take my tin-foil hat off when I’m in the shower (the running water blocks almost everything), so I’m good on that front. Though I wouldn’t say no to a Mercedes branded, Hamilton and Bottas signed tin-foil hat!

    3. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      17th October 2017, 14:35

      If Vettel wins the next 4 races Hamilton needs 42 points (3x 5th and 1x 4th) – he wins by 1 point
      If Vettel wins 3 of the next 4 races Hamilton needs just 34 points (3x 6th and 1x 5th) – they are tied but Hamitlon has more wins.

      Mercedes just needs 27 more points in the next 4 races to win Constructor championship – so even if Ferrari, Red Bull and Force India finish 1st-6th in next 4 races – Mercedes will still win with 4x 7th and 1x 8th.

      1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
        17th October 2017, 14:38

        % wise Vettel (59 out of max 100) is less behind Hamilton than Raikonnen was in 2007 (17 out of max 20).

        1. It would be nice to see Veetell be able to do what Raikkonen did against Haamiltton in 2007.Just for the sake of racing excitement)

        2. Michael Brown (@)
          17th October 2017, 17:45

          @jelle-van-der-meer That’s 2 races to go in 2007 compared with 4 races to go in 2017. With 4 races to go in 2007, the gaps were:
          Alonso: 3 out of max 40, 7.5%
          Räikkönen: 14 out of max 40, 45%

        3. Yes but 2 consecutive bad races is far, far more likely than 4, so the comparison is largely meaningless.

          1. Not really. Vettel doesn’t need Ham to have 4 consecutive bad races. 3 would be enough. 3 out of 4 bad races is roughly as likely as 2 consecutive bad races.

      2. Vettel hasn’t won 2 races in a row…. so that’s a big IF

    4. Hamilton DNF is Vettel’s only hope at this point, but I think entirely plausible. Engine failure or collision. This would also plant a little seed of doubt in Hamilton’s mind for the remaining 3 races.

      I think that’s the only way tbh, regardless of all these combinations. Hamilton won’t finish 4th, 5th etc etc. Much more likely is one DNF Vettel then finishing in front of Hamilton for the remaining races (with some help from Kimi).

      1. @john-h The interesting thing for me is going to be if Vettel does end up ahead of Hamilton – which is far from a guarantee given recent form – is he going to try to hold him up as well?

        Just as was the case with Hamilton 12 months ago, it’s not good enough for Vettel to come home first with Hamilton right behind him. Arguably Hamilton waited until it was too late last year, and Vettel needs to make an earlier start if he’s going to put Hamilton in a tricky situation. And COTA’s configuration of bends should make it much easier to hold another driver up than Yas Marina was.

        1. I totally agree that Hamilton left it too late last year and didn’t go far enough. There were cries of foul play at Abu Dhabi, but I actually thought Hamilton played very fairly… it was a really interesting and tense final 10 laps. He did it safely and if the pace he was setting was too slow, Rosberg should have overtaken him.

          Onto 2017, I agree that Vettel needs to start playing these games as early as possible, especially with two fiery Red Bull drivers close to the pace of the front runners now. It’s crucial for Vettel to be leading into Turn 1 at the next few races (it wasn’t in Singapore…!) and in his mind, surely the more chaos behind him, the better. I also expect some strange strategies for Raikkonen in the coming races, with him being deployed with the specific intent of holding up Hamilton.

          1. @ben-n It’s happened before with Ferrari and Hamilton, way back in the depths of time (2007) Massa and Raikkonen boxed in Hamilton at the start and arguably riled him enough that he made a mistake, went off and lost more positions. Surely Ferrari will be thinking along similar lines, as you said with two snappy Red Bull drivers lurking. Two differences though. I don’t think Raikkonen has the pace any more, he’d have to outperform his level this season to put himself ahead of Hamilton on the grid – unless the Mercedes goes on holiday again. And Hamilton is undoubtedly wiser. Based on the maturity shown this season, he’d back off, drop down to fifth, say, and recover positions later in the race. Whatever the case, I imagine the first corner is going to be tasty. It’s a great place for pushing people wide at the race start. Should be fun.

            1. You wont get two Ferrari’s in the top 4 on the starting

            2. Care to tell us which race Massa & Kimi did that to Lewis?

            3. rafael martins
              19th October 2017, 18:01

              You mean when Toyota lost power only at last corner of 2008 decider. Please go see a doctor. The only driver at the grid that slow down on pits was Hamilton at Rosberg last year.

            4. https://vimeo.com/32400238

              Watch Massa and Kimi boxing car number 2 at the start Glorious. Then Fernando pulls a superb overtake. In an asinine comeback against Fernando, car 2 loses the brakes, goes off and gives away about eight positions… really sweet. About as delightful as in the previous race with the attempted pitstop at Shanghai’s tiny gravel trap. Hallowed ground. And no cranes around this time.

            5. Oh, and don’t miss about 3:15, number 2 messing it all up again… and btw Robert Kubica didn’t get much attention from the camera but his race was superb.

        2. I don’t think Vettel backing up Hamilton is a plausible strategy. Hamilton can take as many risks as he likes to get past Vettel. It’s Vettel that must avoid contact and a DNF.

          1. Given the way the Ferrari turned into a pile of lego bricks from a slight touch by Stroll, you may be right.

          2. @shimks

            “It’s Vettel that must avoid contact and a DNF”

            I disagree entirely. Vettel has nothing to lose at this point, no one is realistically expecting him to catch Hamilton.

    5. Sidepod Steev
      17th October 2017, 15:40

      If Hamilton wins and secures the Drivers Championship it really starts to make one wonder if it is Hamilton and not Schumacher, who is the greatest driver of all time. The statistics are rapidly falling into Hamiltons basket and once unattainable outright wins tally is insight and realistic to own.
      I believe we are seeing the greatest driver ever.

      1. Hamilton is already great.he has more pole positions in less done races and less in championship wins than anyone else..schumacher did all this in seven championship wins and more races in his career

      2. Im a huge Hamilton fan, but I don’t agree. Every driver can be, at best, the greatest of their own era, not of all time. Schumacher was from another era and he was hands down the greatest on his own, as Senna was, as Clark and Fangio were on theirs.
        Lewis is surely one of the best of his era, for me he’s definitely the fastest and most talented, however one may argue that Alonso is more complete and constant. Vettel has won more titles, however I tend to consider him a bit under Lewis and Fernando, however numbers force us to consider him one of the best too.

        1. You can’t put Vettel under Hamilton unless they drive the same machine. Vettel has great technical understanding of F1 car (like Lauda) and he is very fast. I don’t like Vettel (I don’t know but I just don’t) but I consider him better than Schumacher. Hamilton is just a good qualifier, not a great racer, at least not anymore. Did you see how he gave up his place to Max in Malaysia? Most of his pole positions were due to mercedes being number 1 and he was beaten fairly enough by Rosberg. But still, I consider him a good qualifier.

          Anyways, Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton, Ricciardo and Max are todays great drivers but I put Max on top (in terms of racecraft, that’s what we need today).

          I didn’t like Max at the beginning but I am starting to like him. Put anyone against him these days, Max will dominate in terms of racing and overtaking.

          1. “ettel has great technical understanding of F1 car (like Lauda)”

            So you saying Lewis doesn’t have technical understanding and for that reason he should not be compared to Vettel? Thought this type of talk left when Rosberg retired? I’d bet my last £ that Lewis has more technical understanding of the car & F1 than Vettel & Rosberg.

          2. HAM didn’t need to fight VER, he is fighting VET for the championship. The red bull package that weekend was superior to the merc package and VER is no slouch. Plus why risk the likelyhood of contact? to me makes good sense just to keep it clean. ROS demonstrated this last year, quite happy to settle for second position when it was mathematically in his favour, but when it wasn’t he was quite happy to take risks even if it meant potential contact.
            HAM has already proved to be excellent with race craft and qualifying and he’s proved that this year with his display at SPA in particular, it’s a shame we haven’t had more battles similar.

          3. Max reminds me of the younger Hamilton. I’d put them at the same level in terms of race craft. Well actually Hamilton a little bit above, but he started a bit older so maybe that cancels out. Only like @icarby says, Hamilton is racing a different race – for the championship, taking less risks, while Verstappen can basically race as he wants. I still consider Hamilton’s first year phenomenal, beyond what Max has achieved so far, despite the McLaren being more competitive, because he was racing Alonso, a double world champion, two competitive Ferraris and fighting for the title in the first year.

            1. Just rewatched the 2010 season and it was alarming to see the similarities between VER and HAM. Plus it was also good to see close battles. HAM was unlucky that season…

          4. As someone answered, hamilton would’ve been silly to risk fighting verstappen, and he still is a strong racer no doubt, he didn’t make the mistake vettel did at singapore, fighting with people who aren’t his championship contenders. I also absolutely disagree that vettel is better than schumacher, vettel hasn’t even won starting from further behind than 3rd place, that’s insane, check spa 1995 for one!

        2. Alonso is more complete and constant.

          Well that’s the Alonso Story told by Alonso, week in, week out. It’s not actually true, though is it? He has poor races like everyone else, only less noticeable as he’s so far down the pecking order now, and always has a big multipack of excuses for poor performance. He lost out to Hamilton in 2007, and when he last had a reasonable car, I always thought he was happy to trail in second to Vettel with little show of ambition. He’s a great driver. I just down by the line he himself is always selling that he’s virtually flawless.

          1. * don’t buy

      3. Hamilton isn’t the complete package. He’s never relentlessly been 100% a whole season, like Schumacher and Alonso were. He bottled his first championship year, being outscored by Alonso in a slow Renault in the last 5 races , he even had blips in form against Button and Rosberg. This year, once again he’s not had to go the distance.

        Vettel’s 4 championships with lack of challenge from Lewis says enough.

        1. Vettel’s 4 championships with lack of challenge from Lewis says enough.

          That sentence also says enough of about your understanding of those four years.

          1. I understand Seb won with the best car right? and Alonso challenged in the third best team.

            The message is, when anyone else wins it’s the car, when Lewis wins he’s the greatest.

            1. Alonso is the only driver who has consistantly impressed in poor cars/teams. The only driver to have won 2 world championships in not the best car the whole season.

              If Lewis was ‘the greatest’, his fans wouldn’t have to go back to 2007 to prove it. Vettel was far more dominant and relentless during his 4 championships than Lewis has been during any championship year or the ones he was supposed to be a challenger, 2007, 2010 for example.

            2. Fans probably go back to 2007 as it HAM’s rookie year where he went up against ALO when he was a double world champion and finished above him albeit them being on the same points but HAM counted as second due to count back. He also set a record that year with 9 podiums in his first F1 season, who else has done that?
              I’m not saying HAM is the greatest, that’s open to personal opinion, but he’s definitely a great.
              Bottomline, if you put HAM/VET/ALO/RIC/VER in a championship winning car there’s a strong bet they will deliver on that. What would be good if all five get that opportunity at the same time.

            3. BigJoe Alonso did everything with No1 status, without it he would not achieve much. Alonso is not on Hamilton ‘s level and never will be and don’t even mention him again. I taste a lot of anger from your post towards anything positive about Hamilton, grow up. Back in 2007 Hamilton was No2 driver for like five races and McLaren gifted Monaco win to Alonso despite Hamilton was faster than Alonso, without his No1 status Hamilton would have beaten Alonso hands down.

            4. @BigJoe

              when anyone else wins it’s the car, when Lewis wins he’s the greatest

              …and no matter where Alonso finishes some people will claim he dragged the car to “a position it wasn’t capable of”, and that his Singapore win in 2008 can be used to justify how much better than Hamilton he is.

              Alonso couldn’t beat Hamilton over a whole season in the same car (despite Hamilton/McLaren screwing up the last two races) so how does Alonso scoring more points than Hamilton over a certain number of races of your choice in a season of your choice justify anything at all?

        2. “He bottled his first championship year, being outscored by Alonso in a slow Renault in the last 5 races”….

          What are you talking about?

        3. He bottled his first championship year

          How can you bottle it if you still win? And let’s not forget where 10 of Alonso’s points came from…

          This year, once again he’s not had to go the distance.

          Wait, so this year he isn’t the complete package because he is beating his competition too conclusively? So if he wraps it up early (like in 2015), that counts against him in your book? And when he takes it in the final race (2008 and 2014) that also counts against him because it means he isn’t dominating enough?

          Vettel’s 4 championships with lack of challenge from Lewis says enough.

          Did you watch in 2010 or 2012?

          Vettel was far more dominant and relentless during his 4 championships than Lewis has been during any championship year or the ones he was supposed to be a challenger, 2007, 2010 for example.

          Sorry, please can you point out how Vettel was dominant in 2010 or 2012? You seem to have your own definition of that word so I can’t follow what you mean.

      4. I’m a big Hamilton fan but I also don’t agree. Schumi did moves on other drivers which made my draw drop, they were so good. (Yeah, yeah; no need to start mentioning the negative moves that made my draw drop!)

    6. All we need is for Max to start behind Lewis for the next 5 races if Seb is to have a chance at winning the title.

      1. You make it sound like Max is some dangerous kid who goes around crashing into people.

      2. mark jackson, I would be surprised if Verstappen can start behind Hamilton in the next five races given that there are only four races left until the end of the season.

        Asides from that, you’ve also not commented on where Vettel would be in those circumstances – it wouldn’t necessarily be good for him if he was starting behind Verstappen.

        1. Based on Singapore, it’s probably not a good ideas if Verstappen is just behind him either…

          1. It’s not good being anywhere near Vettel during the start. But if you start ahead of Vettel then usually the mess happens behind you since his starts tend to be rather poor.

            1. @patrickl Do you never get tired of your own comments? Because I really do, if there was one dude I could just filter out of the comments it’d be yours. You’re so simplistic in your ridiculous anti-Vettel hatred it just baffles me every time again.

            2. @flatsix, I guess it hurts because it’s true?

              If you get so tired then perhaps you should stop responding only to me about your Vettel fan nonsens every single time I write a line with the word Vettel in it? It’s really rather sad. But I get it. I say things that are true and then it hurts more then if people were just “hating”.

              Still, there are two people ridiculing Vettel’s crashing above me and of course you feel the need to whi ne on my head again.

    7. If Seb takes out Ham in Austin this will leave Ham with a 59 point lead over Seb going into Mexico, If during the incident Seb manages to pass his bad luck onto Ham like Max did to Seb in Singapore then the two following dnf’s for Ham should leave 9 points a difference come Abu Dhabi. Seb (like Ham last year) would then need a first place in the final round and would need to back up Ham enough to make sure he didn’t get second.

      1. Come on, there are plenty of divers Seb hasn’t hit yet. I fancy a collision with Alonso, after 20 laps being frustrated behind a blue flag.

        He’s the only WDC champion he hasn’t run into…unless Button makes a comeback.

        1. @tiya Are you forgetting about Spa ’10 when Seb started turning for the Bus Stop 100m too early and T-boned Jenson?

    8. Vettel will be under way too much pressure at the COTA. He handles pressure very poorly, and I predict a total Vettel implosion in the race – a DNF for Vettel, or shunting into someone and then somehow blaming the other guy.

      1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
        18th October 2017, 7:32

        If he does implode, it’d better be as good as Buemi’s “You hitta me, mon!”

      2. Horner said this year that Vettel thrives under pressure, and one might think he knows what he’s talking about…

      3. As I mention above, Vettel is under next to no pressure at all now – no one is realistically expecting him to catch Hamilton, so in a way the pressure is off – he has nothing to lose.

    9. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      17th October 2017, 20:36

      If there is a sign that Vettel isn’t much of a threat in the up coming races to Mercedes, I actually think it would be good of Hamilton to help Bottas get 2nd in the drivers championship. If the gap between Vettel and him is over 2 race wins, It can’t really hurt doing this. It may deduct his points a little, but surely the team want their drivers to be 1st and 2nd in the championship? But then we don’t know, If Bottas now gets on with the new setup, he could well be better than Hamilton in at leased one of the remaining races and possibly take another win if Ferrari and Red Bull are far enough back.

      1. @thegianthogweed with the 91 wins title now a realistic possibility for Hamilton he’s going to go harder once the championship is wrapped up I think.

    10. I wouldn’t mind the championship being settled this weekend. Mercedes has had difficulties with the car, but it has been extremely reliable and the team has been able to get on top of their troubles so far. Had this been a season with two competitive drivers in Mercedes pushing each other with tensions running on both sides of the garage, it would have been even more difficult.

    11. Vettel is my fave but IMO Ham is the better racer. Vettel had better watch out for Bottas coming up on the hilt for 2nd place.

      Put Ham in that red car and he would have done it for the Italians. He has kept his cool, no smashes into others, no swearing etc, whereas Vettel, after the midsummer break, it’s as badly as I’ve ever seen him behave, Baku, Singapore, slow down smash, steering wheel off, ride back, missed anthem. it’s as if he wants to be sacked or banned. Whatever happens, it won’t be his fault.

      he’s the one I’m cheering for but he’s letting fans down.

    12. You Go Shave-z
      18th October 2017, 18:51

      Just maybe it would be worthwhile Lewis wrapping up the WDc at Austin. That way he wouldn’t have to be so conservative with his driving and there might be a bit more racing between the RBs Fs and silver arrows ?

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