He may not have been able to wrap up the title in Austin, but Lewis Hamilton is now a seventh-place finish away from winning his fifth Formula One drivers' title.
In an enthralling U.S. Grand Prix, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen took the chequered flag to secure his first F1 victory since 2013, finishing ahead of Max Verstappen. Hamilton could only manage third after Mercedes opted to pit him twice, rather than just the once as Ferrari did with Raikkonen and Red Bull with Verstappen.
Hamilton's main title rival Sebastian Vettel came home fourth after another clumsy collision. The result in the U.S. means Hamilton now sits 70 points clear with three races to go -- meaning there is a maximum of 75 points on the table.
The current state of play means Hamilton needs just five points in the final three races to secure the title. The Mercedes driver needs to leave the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, which hosts the Mexican Grand Prix, with at least a 50-point lead.
Regardless of what Vettel does in Mexico, a P7 -- which is worth six points -- will hand Hamilton the title.
Here are the results Hamilton needs to clinch the title in Mexico this weekend:
If Vettel wins in Mexico, Hamilton must finish at least seventh.
If Vettel finishes second or lower, Hamilton takes the title regardless of where he finishes.
Due to the disparity in performance between F1's top three teams and the rest, a bad weekend for Hamilton will see him finish sixth at worst. Only a bad run of reliability issues in the final three rounds would stop Hamilton from winning a deserved fifth title, and even then, Vettel would still have to win every race.
How can Mercedes win the title constructors' this weekend?
While all the attention has been on the drivers' title, Mercedes can wrap up a fifth straight constructors' title in Mexico. Mercedes holds a 66-point lead over Ferrari with three rounds of the season to go.
A maximum number of points a team can score in a grand prix weekend is 43 points. With three rounds remaining there is a maximum of 129 points on the table.
If Mercedes outscores Ferrari by 20 points in Mexico -- meaning it has an 86-point lead heading to Brazil -- it will win the constructors' crown. The German manufacturer has outscored its Italian rivals by 20 points or more on just three occasions in 2018 -- in Spain, Germany and Russia, where it scored one-two finishes.