The victory in the Russian race helped Lewis Hamilton get closer to the 6th world championship, which could help him reach the goal of leveling the legendary record of Michael Schumacher 7 times.
Currently, the British driver is 73 points ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas and 130 points to run for the last 5 races of the season. Each stage win is worth 25 points and it also earns points for any driver in the top 10 and for the fastest lap run. The order of the scores for the first 10 finishers is in turn: 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1.
Hamilton will not be able to win the championship in the next race in Japan because the maximum distance he can reach with teammates is 99 points while there are still 104 points that Bottas can achieve in the following 4 races. But the opportunity is closer to Hamilton than in the two races immediately followed by the Mexican Grand Prix and the US Grand Prix.
Counting back the previous victories, Hamilton had the same score with Bottas even when the Finnish driver won every race, meaning that his teammates would always have to finish with more points if they wanted to enter the enemy world. Take a look back to the 2018 season.
At the Mexcio race, he needs to get a lead of 78 points or more. In the US leg, he only needs to lead 52 points or more. And so on, he will only need to lead 27 points after the penultimate race in Brazil ended. It is hard to imagine that until the last stage, the world champion is determined.
Hamilton has overtaken Bottas in 10 of the last 12 races so it is likely that he will also finish before the team in Suzuka. He will need a points gap greater than 6 in the next two races if he wants to win the championship in Mexico. He won the world title at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in 2017 and 2018 but this season there was a position swap with the track in Austin, USA. Austin promoters had hoped the change would increase Hamilton’s chances of winning the title in the United States – what he did in 2015 – but the change could have the opposite effect.
The Mercedes team driver is currently ranked second in the list of world champions of all time, ranking with the world champion Juan Manuel Fangio 5 times. A sixth title will help him take second place, meaning that only one more time, Hamilton will equal Schumacher’s record, and further than breaking the record of his predecessors. The Russian Grand Prix is the 82nd championship of Hamilton’s racing career.