How Lewis Hamilton can get back into F1 Drivers’ Championship race
Sam Barnard | 8 October 2016
Are Lewis Hamilton title odds worth taking?
Lewis Hamilton title odds of 6/4 with Coral could be exploitable as he gears himself up for the final straight of the 2016 Formula 1 campaign.
Just five races of the longest ever season remain, so here’s how the Briton can defend his Drivers’ Championship title.
After a number of car issues, including his most recent engine blow-out at the Malaysia Grand Prix, Hamilton has seen a 19-point lead going into the summer break swing back in favour Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg to 23.
Such a see-saw season may be one of the most thrilling in years for fans. Hamilton’s frustration is certainly understandable, though, especially having already served a 55-grid penalty at the Belgian GP.
The 31-year-old even had suspensions of his own following the last race, where he was comfortably leading and a victory would’ve seen him leapfrog the German.
“I just can’t believe that there’s eight Mercedes cars and only my engines are the ones that have gone this way,” Hamilton said.
“Something just doesn’t feel right. There’s been 43 engines from Mercedes (who provide engines for Williams, Force India and Manor too) and only mine have gone – it’s odd.”
However, he has since retracted those words and all is not lost yet, with 125 points still up for grabs.
Hamilton hoping for his biggest achievement yet
Simply put, if Hamilton wins all five remaining races this season, he’ll become a four-time world champion and hold off Rosberg yet again.
That would mean doing something he’s only achieved once before in his career. Hamilton won five-in-a-row towards the end of the 2014 season – from the Italian GP until the United States GP.
Two of those (Japan and US) were at tracks he needs to triumph at this campaign, while he also crucially claimed the Abu Dhabi finale after coming second in Brazil.
This would arguably be an even greater achievement, even more so than his four-in-a-row earlier this season. That came just before the summer break to complete a 43-points deficit comeback on Rosberg.
Japan GP is a must-win for Hamilton
The Japanese Grand Prix (October 9th) is first up, and this is a track Hamilton happens to love while Rosberg has never won there before.
Englishman Hamilton has triumphed at the Suzuka Circuit the past two seasons. He was also victorious in Fuji in 2007, making him the 6/5 favourite this time out.
Following that, it’s the US GP in Austin. Another place Rosberg has never won at and where Hamilton is the current successive champion.
Mexico and Brazil represent potential tougher tests, with Hamilton having never triumphed at either. He does has two wins to his name in Abu Dhabi, though; most recently in 2014.
Hamilton’s record at remaining Grands Prix
In date order from 2007-2015
- Japan (Oct 9) – 1, 12, 3, 5, 5, 5, ret, 1, 1
- United States (Oct 23) – 1, not held 2008-2011, 1, 4, 1, 1
- Mexico (Oct 30) – not held before 2014, 2
- Brazil (Nov 13) – 7, 5, 3, 4, ret, ret, 9, 2, 2
- Abu Dhabi (Nov 27) – not held before 2008, ret, 2, 1, ret, 7, 1, 2
Rosberg needs just one win from the five remaining races and makes sure he finishes in the top two in the rest to lift his maiden Drivers’ Championship trophy.
But we are saying all this assuming that Rosberg does not crash out. With the same engine as Hamilton, the German could experience similar technical faults.
Hamilton still in positive mood
Hamilton is certainly still not giving up, but has given the outcome in Malaysia some more thought. “Of course, last weekend was a massive disappointment,” he said. “But there’s no use dwelling on these things. That’s just negative energy.
“All we can do is focus on the next race, taking things one step at a time and doing the best job we can.
“It’s not the lowest point I’ve had,” Hamilton added. “There have been lower moments for sure. Regardless, I will find strength from within to fight back over these next five race weekends.
“If I can perform like I did last weekend and the car holds together, then good things can still come my way.
“I love the Suzuka circuit and I’ve been quick there for the past two years, so hopefully that trend will continue.”
So, the odds, momentum and luck may be against Hamilton, but anything can happen in five races. The British superstar will certainly do anything he can to claim a fourth world title to equal Sebastian Vettel and Alain Prost.
If his whole weekend in Malaysia up until the engine failure with 15 laps to go when 20 second ahead is anything to go by, he certainly stands a great chance.
Do you fancy Hamilton to overturn the 23-point deficit and beat Rosberg, despite everything seemingly going against him this season? Let us know in the comments section below.