Job (almost) done: How Hamilton can wrap up F1 title in Mexico
It would take something extraordinary to deny Lewis Hamilton a fourth world title. We take a look at the permutations.
A fourth Formula One world title appears certain to come the way of Lewis Hamilton after he pulled furtherÂ clear of Sebastian Vettel with victory in Sunday's United States Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver triumphed from pole in Austin and now leads Vettel by 66 points.
We take a look at the various ways Hamilton can wrap up the title in Mexico next weekend, with two races to spare.
--- A TOP-FIVE FINISH FOR LEWIS
If Hamilton finishes fifth or higher at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, he is guaranteed to be crowned world champion once again, regardless of Vettel's results.
Vettel can only reach a maximum of 340 points and Hamilton already has 331, so a 10-point haul for fifth would be enough for the Briton.
--- VETTEL OUTSIDE THE TOP TWO
Even if Hamilton fails to score a point in Mexico, Vettel needs to significantly reduce his arrears to retain any chance of pulling off a stunning championship heist.
Anything less than a second-place finish for Vettel next weekend will bring the title race to an end.
--- SECOND FOR SEB LEAVES HAMILTON NEEDING JUST TWO POINTS
If Vettel is the runner-up in Mexico, Hamilton would only need to finish ninth or better.
A ninth-placed finish for Hamilton allied to Vettel claiming second would leave the gap at 50 points with two races remaining.
However, even if Vettel went on to triumph in both Brazil and Abu Dhabi with Hamilton failing to pick up a single point, the latter would still take the titleÂ by virtue of earning more race wins in 2017. Hamilton has already secured nine victories this term toÂ Vettel'sÂ four.