Lewis Hamilton will have his first opportunity to take match point in the 2020 Formula 1 title race and clinch a record-equalling championship at this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix.  

Hamilton sits on the brink of a seventh world title - and fourth championship triumph in succession - following his ninth win from the opening 13 races of the season last time out at Imola, where a 1-2 finish sealed a record seventh consecutive constructors’ crown for Mercedes. 

The 2020 title race is now an exclusive showdown between the two Mercedes drivers, with Hamilton heading to Turkey 85 points clear of teammate Valtteri Bottas

With a maximum of 104 points left up for grabs in the final four races of the campaign, Hamilton requires a 78-point buffer by the end of the Turkish Grand Prix weekend if he is to successfully claim the title at the first attempt and equal F1’s greatest record on the championship’s first visit to Istanbul since 2011. 

In order to postpone Hamilton’s coronation, Bottas must reduce his deficit to his teammate to 77 points in Turkey in order to stay in mathematical contention heading into the final three rounds. 

Hamilton will therefore be crowned champion for the seventh time in his career in Turkey as long as Bottas does not outscore him by more than seven points. 

A 10th victory of the season for Hamilton would close out the championship, regardless of where Bottas finishes, while a second-place finish would also be enough for Hamilton providing the Finn does not win and take the fastest lap bonus point. 

Bottas has only outscored Hamilton by the eight-point margin he requires on two occasions so far this season. This occurred when Bottas won the season-opener in Austria and took his second victory of 2020 in Russia, while Hamilton finished fourth and third respectively. 

Hamilton has one previous victory at Istanbul which came in 2010 when he drove for McLaren, while Bottas has never raced at the venue before. 

Sealing the drivers’ championship will mark a momentous achievement for Hamilton in matching a benchmark that has stood unrivalled since Michael Schumacher’s last title success in 2004. 

Equalling and beating Schumacher’s world record feats has long been considered an impossible achievement, but Hamilton now finds himself on the verge of doing exactly that, having already eclipsed the German’s all-time wins record at the Portuguese Grand Prix. 

“What’s really crazy – for me – is that I was brought in, ultimately, to replace Michael, which was such a strange position to be in,” Hamilton said after winning the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. 

“Obviously, I’d watched this man dominate the sport and achieve such great things and he was stopping and I was going to be taking his place. The guys that I worked with were his previous mechanics and engineers and what a privileged position to be in. 

“However, they had had quite a difficult time and the car hadn’t been good. I think what was really great was that, when I joined, I was personally able to put my stamp on the car and make a lot of alterations, particularly in 2013. 

“And then we just collectively worked together. I knew that we would have a great engine because they had already started developing the engine before I’d even made my decision to join the team, before I’d signed the contract. 

“Being that I was with Mercedes at McLaren, I was able to go to the factory, I knew what Mercedes was doing, I knew that McLaren was coming out of contract with Mercedes and I knew that I wanted to be with Mercedes-Benz because I think it’s such an iconic brand and I think they were so passionate about what they wanted to achieve. 

“They’ve got such a great history and I knew that they had the power to turn things around. But it took so many incredibly hard working people to collectively come together to really innovate and design the car. It’s obviously a big puzzle. To watch it all come together is a real joy and, at the end of the day, there’s only two of us that get to drive it.” 

Full title permutations for the Turkish GP:

- If Bottas wins and sets the fastest lap, Hamilton cannot be champion

- If Bottas wins without the fastest lap, Hamilton will be champion if he is second

- If Bottas is second and sets the fastest lap, Hamilton will be champion if he is at least fourth 

- If Bottas is second without the fastest lap, Hamilton will be champion if he is at least fourth and sets the fastest lap 

- If Bottas is third and sets the fastest lap, Hamilton will be champion if he is at least fifth 

- If Bottas is third without the fastest lap, Hamilton will be champion if he is at least sixth - irrespective of whether Hamilton sets the fastest lap or not 

- If Bottas is fourth and sets the fastest lap, Hamilton will be champion if he is at least seventh 

- If Bottas is fourth without the fastest lap, Hamilton will be champion if he is at least eighth and sets the fastest lap 

- If Bottas is fifth and sets the fastest lap, Hamilton will be champion if he is at least eighth 

- If Bottas is fifth without the fastest lap, Hamilton will be champion if he is at least ninth and sets the fastest lap 

- If Bottas is sixth and sets the fastest lap, Hamilton will be champion if he is at least ninth

- If Bottas is sixth without the fastest lap, Hamilton will be champion if he is at least 10th 

- If Bottas is seventh or lower, Hamilton will be champion 

 

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