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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 October 2018

Explainer - How Lewis Hamilton can will the F1 drivers' title in the United States

The Mercedes-GP driver is now in a position to clinch his fifth championship on October 21 in Austin. Here is how he can he do it

Lewis Hamilton celebrates his win at the Japanese Grand Prix, which has left him on the verge of his fifth world title. EPA
Lewis Hamilton celebrates his win at the Japanese Grand Prix, which has left him on the verge of his fifth world title. EPA

Lewis Hamilton has strengthened his hold on the 2018 Formula One drivers' title after dominating the Japanese Grand Prix.

He is now 67 points ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and the Mercedes-GP driver can now clinch his fifth world championship at the United States Grand Prix on October 21 in Austin, Texas.

Here is a look at how the Briton can achieve it, and what Vettel must do to prolong the fight.

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The scenarios for Hamilton to be champion

If Hamilton wins - he needs Vettel to be third or lower

If Hamilton is second - he needs Vettel to be third or lower

If Hamilton is third - he needs Vettel to be sixth or lower

If Hamilton is fourth - he needs Vettel to be eighth or lower

If Hamilton is fifth - he needs Vettel to be ninth or lower

If Hamilton is sixth - he needs Vettel to be outside the top 10

How Vettel keeps the fight alive

If he finishes in the top two he is guaranteed to still be in contention going to Mexico on October 28.

If Hamilton is outside the top six he cannot be world champion in the United States.

If Hamilton fails to out-score him by eight points in any finishing permutation the title fight goes on.

Remaining races of 2018

After the United States, the final races are in Mexico (October 28), Brazil (November 11) and then the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 25.