The numbers Hamilton needs to become champion in Austin


The Brit driver could take his fourth world title in Austin, but needs Vettel to fail again

Lewis Hamilton could become world champion, as he did in 2015, at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, in two weeks’ time. The British driver’s win in Suzuka, where Vettel was forced to retire early on, gives him the mathematical possibility of winning his fourth world title in the next race.

At the moment, the points difference betwen the leader and his immediate follower is of 59 points with four races to go, for which there are 100 points still in play. This means Hamilton has a two-race advantage over Vettel, and also means that he only needs to earn 17 points more than Vettel in the United States to become champion.

The calculations involved are relatively simple. The Mercedes driver will be champion in Austin if he finishes the race with a 75-point or more lead over his rival. Therefore:

– If Hamilton wins and Vettel is sixth (or worse), the British driver would be on 331 points and the German on 252 (at best), giving him an unassailable advantage of 79 points or more.

– If Hamilton is second and Vettel tenth, or not among the points, the leader would have 324 points and his follower 248. That would be a cushion of 76 points, enough to claim the title.

In the same way, Vettel still has some chances to, at least, put off Hamilton’s victory, however inevitable it may seem:

– If he comes in fifth, whatever Hamilton does.

– If he is sixth, and Hamilton does not win.

– If he is ninth, and Hamilton third or worse.