Barring disaster, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton is set to wrap up his fourth World Championship title in Mexico this Sunday – all he needs to do is finish fifth or higher.
Although in the opening half of this season the Drivers’ title appeared to be heading to Maranello for the first time in a decade, the pendulum swung firmly in Hamilton’s favour in the wake of the summer break.
The Mercedes driver has been in impeccable form, finishing inside the top-two in all six grands prix and, more importantly, winning five of those.
Instead of lagging a full race win behind Sebastian Vettel, as he did after Monaco when the tifosi were preparing the banners in preparation for a Ferrari triumph, Hamilton arrives on the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez grid 66 points to the good – and only a P5 away from winning a fourth World title.
The numbers are simple: if Hamilton is fifth or higher he wins the championship no matter what Vettel does on the day; if the German is second on Sunday, Hamilton needs to be ninth or better; and if Vettel doesn’t finish inside the top-two, Hamilton wins.