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What Hamilton needs to do to clinch the F1 title at Austin's U.S. Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton can seal the world championship at the U.S. Grand Prix. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of winning the championship and looks likely to clinch at the U.S. Grand Prix on Nov. 3.

Hamilton won in Mexico to open up a 72-point lead over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas with 78 points to play for from the final three races. While there was a fairly complicated set of permutations for him to clinch in Mexico last weekend, this week it is much easier to understand.

Hamilton needs just four points to clinch the title. The reason it is four, and not five, is because he would win any head-to-head tiebreaker with Bottas in terms of victories scored through the year.

The two things to keep in mind are as follows:

  • Valtteri Bottas must win the race to have a chance of taking the race to the next round. If he doesn't, Hamilton wins the title regardless of where he finishes the race.

  • If Bottas does win, Hamilton can clinch the championship by finishing eighth or higher.

A sixth championship would move Hamilton to second on the all-time list of champions, one ahead of Juan Manuel Fangio, who won five in the 1950s. It would mean he goes into 2020 with the chance of matching Michael Schumacher's all-time record of seven world titles.

If he continues on his current form, he should also surpass Schumacher's record of 91 career grand prix victories at some point in 2020 -- victory in Mexico moved Hamilton to 83.