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Why Hamilton is very likely to clinch his record-equalling seventh F1 title on Sunday · RaceFans

Lewis Hamilton will almost certainly put a lock on a record-equalling seventh world drivers championship title at the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend.

The six-times champion heads into the 14th race of the year with a commanding, 85-point lead over team mate Valtteri Bottas, the only driver left who can stop him from taking the silverware. But at this stage it would take one of the greatest upsets in the history of the championship for Hamilton to be denied the crown.

If Hamilton’s lead when the chequered flag drops on Sunday is 78 points or more, he will take the title. Therefore the only way Bottas can be sure the championship isn’t settled on Sunday is by winning the race and scoring the bonus point for fastest lap. He’s only done that once this year, in the Russian Grand Prix.

As Hamilton holds the whip hand, he is guaranteed to win the title on Sunday if he finishes ahead of Bottas or if his team mate retires from the race.

If Hamilton retires or fails to finish in a points-scoring position (both of which would also mean he cannot score the bonus point for fastest lap), Bottas still needs to bag a decent haul of points to keep his championship hopes alive. Nothing less than sixth place would do.

Top 10: Biggest championship leads overturned

Of the 14 races so far this year, only two have produced results which, if replicated on Sunday, would keep Bottas in the championship hunt. Those were his two wins, in the Austrian and Russian grands prix, where Hamilton finished fourth and third respectively, both as a result of penalties.

Barring that kind of development, Hamilton looks set take his seventh title, equalling Michael Schumacher’s all-time record for most championships won by a Formula 1 driver.

The full championship permutations are covered below, including what would happen in the unlikely event that the race was cut short and half-points awarded, as last happened at the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix.

How Hamilton can win the championship: Full points awarded

Results highlighted blue indicate scenarios under which Hamilton will win the championship. Some of these depend upon whether he or Bottas score the bonus point for fastest lap:

Hamilton’s finishing position
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11+/DNF
Bottas 1 78* 75 72 70 68 66 64 62 61 60
2 92 82 79 77** 75 73 71 69 68 67
3 95 88 82 80 78* 76 74 72 71 70
4 98 91 88 83 81 79 77** 75 74 73
5 100 93 90 87 83 81 79 77** 76 75
6 102 95 92 89 87 83 81 79 78* 77
7 104 97 94 91 89 87 83 81 80 79
8 106 99 96 93 91 89 87 83 82 81
9 108 101 98 95 93 91 89 87 84 83
10 109 102 99 96 94 92 90 88 86 84
11+/DNF 110 103 100 97 95 93 91 89 87 86

*Hamilton wins the championship unless Bottas scores the bonus point for fastest lap
**Hamilton wins the championship if he scores the bonus point for fastest lap

How Hamilton can win the championship: Half-points awarded

Half points are awarded if the race is stopped with less than 75% of the race distance completed.

Hamilton’s finishing position
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11+/DNF
Bottas 1 81.5 80 78.5* 77.5** 76.5 75.5 74.5 73.5 73 72.5
2 88.5 83.5 82 81 80 79 78* 77** 76.5 76
3 90 86.5 83.5 82.5 81.5 80.5 79.5 78.5* 78* 77.5
4 91.5 88 86.5 84 83 82 81 80 79.5 79
5 92.5 89 87.5 86 84 83 82 81 80.5 80
6 93.5 90 88.5 87 86 84 83 82 81.5 81
7 94.5 91 89.5 88 87 86 84 83 82.5 82
8 95.5 92 90.5 89 88 87 86 84 83.5 83
9 96.5 93 91.5 90 89 88 87 86 84.5 84
10 97 93.5 92 90.5 89.5 88.5 87.5 86.5 85.5 84.5
11+/DNF 97.5 94 92.5 91 90 89 88 87 86 85.5

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2004
Hamilton is set to equal Schumacher’s record

*Hamilton wins the championship unless Bottas scores the bonus point for fastest lap
**Hamilton wins the championship if he scores the bonus point for fastest lap

Key points and notes

  • If Bottas retires from the race, Hamilton wins the title
  • If Hamilton finishes ahead of Bottas, Hamilton wins the title
  • A win plus fastest lap for Bottas is the only result which ensures the championship battle continues regardless of where Hamilton finishes
  • In any scenario where the pair end the year tied on points Hamilton will win because Bottas cannot beat him on count-back by winning more races

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