It was all looking good for Lewis Hamilton at the Malaysian Grand Prix, that was, up until lap 43 where it all went horribly wrong. The camera switched to him on the TV and fire was erupting from the back of his W07. I held my head in my hands as did Hamilton once he got out of the car. The question that popped into everyone’s mind immediately was: can he still win this year’s Drivers’ World Championship?
The answer: I’m really not sure, let’s just see what happens in Japan. There are five races to go and the gap to Rosberg is 23 points, basically a race win (25 points). There are still 125 points up for grabs and that’s a lot of points. Below are some title permutations that could decide this year’s title.
- If Hamilton wins the remaining five races and Rosberg finishes 2nd in the remaining five races, Hamilton would win the title by 12 points. Hamilton – 390. Rosberg – 378.
- If Hamilton wins all but one of the remaining races (with Rosberg winning the race and Hamilton finishing 2nd) Hamilton would lose out by 2 points. Rosberg – 385. Hamilton – 383.
- If Hamilton came 2nd in the remaining five races (and Rosberg won four but had one DNF) Rosberg would still win the title by 26 points. Hamilton – 388. Rosberg – 362.
Rosberg has had one DNF this season and that was at the Spanish Grand Prix when he and Hamilton collided, it wasn’t even a mechanical failure. Mercedes provide engines to three other teams, Force India, Williams and Manor. That’s roughly (I haven’t counted) 40 engines and yet only Hamilton seems to be the only one to encounter engine problems. I’ll say this right now though, sabotage is ludicrous and I bet it’s entered your mind at one point. Do you really think Mercedes would pay Hamilton £20+ million a year only to sabotage his car? No, I didn’t think so. Also, the engine that blew up was fine during all three practice sessions, all three qualifying sessions and for over half of the race. It’s just really really bad luck.
If anyone one can do it though, it’s Hamilton. He’s the best driver on the grid and although he obviously doesn’t want to be in this position, he’s always said he prefers to be fighting from behind in the Championship as he thrives under pressure and it’s when he drives best. Japan is next where he has won there the past two years. Following Japan it’s the United States Grand Prix, where, again, he has won there the past two years. The remaining tracks certainly suit Hamilton’s driving style as opposed to Rosberg’s. If Rosberg has another DNF, the title is wide open again but he certainly has the edge at the moment. This year, it might go down to the last race, the last lap to decide who is crowned Champion.