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Hamilton Can Still Be Champion in US GP Even When He Finishes 6th

Date Posted: October 17, 2018

The Formula 1 (F1) United States Grand Prix (GP) will be happening on Sunday, October 21, at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The event is Lewis Hamilton’s chance to win his 5th Formula One World Championship title. The chances he will be champion are too high that he can still win the title even when he finishes sixth, though on certain conditions.

After his victory at the Japanese GP last October 6, Hamilton closes in on his goal of getting his 5th title after he gained 25 points for finishing first. Hamilton is now at 331 points at the Championship standings. He needs to outscore his rival, Sebastian Vettel, by 8 points to be the F1 Champion. Meanwhile, Vettel finished 6th in Japan and is currently at 264 points.

Formula 1 on October 7 tweeted an image of the drivers’ overall standings.

With already nine wins this year, Mercedes driver Hamilton has 67 points over Ferrari driver Vettel. This would mean that for Hamilton to clinch his world driver’s title, Vettel needs to finish in third place or lower.

Hamilton does not need to be the first finisher to secure his crown. F1 bases its standings by a point system, so what matters is that Hamilton remains 8 points ahead of Vettel.

The Mercedes racer will be the champion in any of the following conditions:

  • He finishes second, and Vettel finishes fifth or lower
  • He finishes third, and Vettel finishes seventh or lower
  • He finishes fourth, and Vettel finishes eighth or lower
  • He finishes fifth, and Vettel finishes ninth or lower
  • He finishes sixth, and Vettel finishes outside the top 10

If Hamilton finishes seventh or lower, he will carry over the title fight to the next GP which is in Mexico.

According to UK sportsbooks, Hamilton’s odds of winning the USA GP are high. Bethard gives him 10/19 odds while Ladbrokes sets him at 8/15 odds. Vettel, on the other hand, stands at 3/1 odds with Bethard and Ladbrokes. Next in line as predicted race winners are Valtteri Bottas, Kimi Räikkönen, and Max Verstappen.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has confidence that Hamilton can bring pride to the Mercedes name this Sunday. He said:

“With six race victories in the last seven races, Lewis has shown what a class act he is. Both on and off the track he is more complete than ever before, showing commanding performance in the car and challenging the entire team to perform to higher levels at the same time.”

Still, Wolff acknowledges that the Ferrari is a strong car to beat but says that their team will give everything that they can to deliver. He added:

“The battle is far from over, so we approach Austin the same way as every other race: take it one step at a time, focus on our job, and make sure we bring performance and reliability to the track… Everyone in the team knows that we cannot take anything for granted, so we will be as diligent as ever, keep our heads down and work hard to get a good result in Texas.”

Hamilton has won the US GP in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. The only F1 driver that has won the same Grand Prix for five years in a row is Brazilian racing driver Ayrton Senna. Senna set the record at the Monaco Grand Prix in which he won consecutively from 1989 to 1993. Twenty-five years later, will Hamilton get to stand beside Senna’s five-peat record?

Formula 1 tweeted about this possibility along with Senna’s and Hamilton’s picture stood side by side.

When the US GP wraps up, the next Grand Prix will be in Mexico at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez on October 28.

| Related: Sportsbooks Heavily Favor Hamilton for Austrian GP 2018