Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2017

How Hamilton can clinch a fifth title this weekend

2018 United States Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton won the world championship with two races to spare last year and he could go one better at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.

What’s more, if Mercedes continue their recent run of form he’s likely to get it. A repeat of any of the last four race results – all won by Hamilton with Sebastian Vettel no higher than third – would seal the deal.

To clinch a fifth world championship on Sunday, Hamilton needs to take at least eight points off Vettel, something he’s already done eight times this year.

If Vettel fails to score in this weekend’s race Hamilton would only need sixth place to win the championship.

Hamilton won the world championship at the Circuit of the Americas in 2015, when there were also three rounds to spare. On that occasion he arrived at the track with a 76-point lead over rival Nico Rosberg, compared to the 67-point lead he has over Vettel.

Vettel’s finishing position
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th+/DNF
Hamilton’s finishing position 1st 74 77 80 82 84 86 88 90 91 92
2nd 60 70 73 75 77 79 81 83 84 85
3rd 57 64 70 72 74 76 78 80 81 82
4th 54 61 64 69 71 73 75 77 78 79
5th 52 59 62 65 69 71 73 75 76 77
6th 50 57 60 63 65 69 71 73 74 75
7th 48 55 58 61 63 65 69 71 72 73
8th 46 53 56 59 61 63 65 69 70 71
9th 44 51 54 57 59 61 63 65 68 69
10th 43 50 53 56 58 60 62 64 66 68
11th+/DNF 42 49 52 55 57 59 61 63 65 66 67

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If Hamilton and Vettel end the year tied on points Hamilton will be champion as there is no way Vettel can beat him on count-back of wins and second places.

If Sunday’s race is shortened and half points are awarded Hamilton can only become champion by finishing in the top two places: By winning with Vettel no higher than sixth or by finishing second with Vettel no higher than ninth.

The constructors championship

Mercedes’ 78-point lead over Ferrari in the constructors’ championship is not enough for them to be able to clinch the world championship this weekend.

F1 Points Calculator

Work out how all the drivers’ championship standings could change using the F1 Points Calculator:

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2018 F1 season

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Author information

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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33 comments on “How Hamilton can clinch a fifth title this weekend”

  1. This track does seem to suit Hamilton(like Marquez in MotoGP) so good chance Hamilton will take a win and Mercs would certainly try to keep Bottas behind him and hope Verstappen ruins some fun for Ferraris.

    1. But now I wonder, will the opposite ever happen, as in verstappen runing mercedes’ party? It didn’t happen yet, but not for lack of trying, in bahrain 2018 it could’ve gone worse for hamilton than it did.

      1. ruining*

      2. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
        16th October 2018, 10:13

        It hasn’t happened because Hamilton engages his brain before making a move.

  2. If I can count correctly, if Hamilton wins and Vettel finishes second, he’s got a 75 points margin against the German, while only 75 points would be possible to get at the rest of the season. At this situation, Lewis has 10 wins against Vettel’s five. With 3 races to go, Vettel can equal Hamilton’s point, but still loses de to lower number of victories.
    So…victory is enough to secure Lewis’ title?

    1. @terrion A race win alone wouldn’t automatically be enough. You got your count slightly incorrect. If Hamilton wins and Vettel finishes 2nd, then the lead would increase to 74, not 75 (the difference between a race win and 2nd-place is seven, not eight points). If Vettel finishes 3rd or lower, i.e., anything except 2nd-place then a race win would be enough for Hamilton to clinch the WDC at COTA already as is pointed out in the article. To be able to secure the title at COTA already Hamilton needs to leave the venue with a 75-points lead at a minimum. Then it’d be guaranteed that he’d finish the season as the WDC as then Vettel wouldn’t be able to catch him on the number of race wins anymore, which is the first thing that determines the order of two or more drivers in case of a tie-points situation.

    2. If I can count correctly


      1. You are a cruel, cruel person @dusty :-)

    3. That Will be 73 points difference, Not 75… meaning Vettel would be able to make overhaul Hamilton.

  3. Going by his recent performances, I’m sure Vettel will be doing his utmost to help Hamilton clinch the title.

    1. Don’t normally comment but just sprayed my coffee on my screen laughing at this comment. lol

      1. @saiesh – sorry about that :-)

    2. This Grand Prix would be the best to determine the championship. The US has a lot of untapped marketing potential, it’s where F1 would like to add another two Grand Prix – also Hamilton has a lot of his own connections there.

      I expect a fantastic weekend with redbull playing a greater part on the out come✌️

      1. Michael Brown
        16th October 2018, 21:14

        I’ll be there! I hope Hamilton wins the WDC there so I can witness it!

  4. For the sake of continued interest in the season I want Seb to dominate the entire race and for Lewis to implode with a pitiable performance that even Lance laughs at.

    I suspect I wont get that.
    So it’s fingers crossed for Valtteri to win at least.

    1. Personally I think the opposite way. I want Hamilton to wrap it up this weekend so we have 3 races where drivers don’t have to worry about Championship impact or team orders. Brazil could have changeable conditions so might allow a gamble on strategy if the Championship is already over too.

      1. Agreed.

        If it’s wrapped up here we’ll get to see the wingmen scrapping for the third position e.g. Bottas vs Raikkonen.

        Also the manufacturers championship is still far from decided.

  5. Hopefully the gods of racing will hit Hamilton wand Bottas with engine failures the rest of the year. Maybe then we get entertaining races.

    1. Why ? I’ve read so many comments wishing Hamilton engine problems and bad luck, which to be honest I just find pathetic. Sure, it makes no difference but you’re wishing bad luck on a driver who’s done a better job so a worse driver has a better chance of winning the Championship. As a sports fan I have my favourites but if a team or individual does better than another then they deserve to win. Simple as that. Wishing bad luck on someone is just poor form.

      I also think we will see more interesting races once the Championship is over too. No team orders and no drivers worried to get in the way or take a risky strategy.

      1. NO, I want entertaining races and watching races where the outcome is decided in Turn 1 of Lap 1 is boring. Plain and simple, we need more unpredictability in the sport and we need more teams and drivers with a chance to win.

        1. And you want to achieve this, as do we all… but not by wishing breakdowns on whoever is superior…
          Maybe you’re in the wrong sport… lol.

        2. Hey Jason. Play Ludo or snakes and ladders then. Adult competition appears to be beyond your understanding.

          1. Once more, anon-e moss manages to out-adult everyone else without really trying.

    2. Not the same when the championship is done and dusted

    3. Right, because what you really want in a test of skill, reliability and endurance is completely effin’ random failures to decide the outcome.

  6. It’s going to rain on Sunday. Expect an abysmal race for Ferrari. Max and Dan will be all up in their gearboxes… The Ferrari boys will be lucky to come top finish top 5.

    1. As long as it’s entertaining I’m fine with that.

    2. Too early to say it’s going to rain i leave it with a chance that it will rain…

  7. i hope that merc engine blows

    1. This sort of comment is so adolescent.

      1. Juvenile he may be, but he does make a point. Mercedes have been managing their engines all season.

        Which is why we see other drivers getting fastest laps, when in former years you see the winner ending the race with the fastest lap.

        I hope the FIA change the rules on engine limits so we see drivers driving to their max, and risking engine failures, without thoughts of further penalties.

        1. Well Ross Brawn seemed to indicate that they might increase back up to 4 (at least) because surprise surprise the teams were spending more money trying to achieve the required reliability than it would cost for a few more race engines.

  8. Ye immature at its best… I would prefer another ver vet coming together!

Comments are closed.