Lewis Hamilton can confirm his place in sporting history this weekend by claiming his sixth World title at the Mexico Grand Prix.
If and when Hamilton takes the title, he will become the second most successful driver of all time, just one world crown behind German legend Michael Schumacher.
If Hamilton finishes fourth or lower, then he will have to wait until the United States Grand Prix a week later, but he will be hoping to get the job done in Mexico City.
So what does Hamilton need to do to win the title? There are many permutations but basically he needs to finish 14 points ahead of team-mate Valterri Bottas – who is the only driver who can stop him winning.
As he closes in on the next title – Hamilton insists he has some way to go before he gets near Schumacher.
“I’m not even anywhere near it, I’m really so far away from his records,” said Hamilton.
“Michael’s records are the summit of a huge mountain, and I’m still in base camp.
“The closer you get, the bigger your footsteps get, but of course I’m unbelievably honoured to be placed in that category and I’ve made it so far,” he added.
“I grew up watching Michael, and what he did is unbelievable.”
— Aston Martin Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) October 23, 2019
One man delighted to be back in Mexico is Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who is looking for a third successive win Hermanos Rodriguez circuit.
Verstappen said: “I’m looking forward to going back to Mexico as the last two years have been pretty special there with the two wins.
“The Mexican Grand Prix is a great event and the fans are very passionate about Formula One.
“There are massive crowds at the race and the atmosphere at the track with the mariachi bands, the DJ’s on the podium and everything else the organisers put on is pretty cool.
“I really enjoy driving there as well as the track is very different as it’s at high altitude which makes it low grip.
“The corners are also very technical so you have to work hard to make sure you get the best out of it but it’s a good track for us normally.
“I expect it to be a little bit more difficult this year because of the Ferrari pace but I think we can still have a very good race.”
MEXICAN GRAND PRIX – ROUND 17
Location: Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Track size: 2.6 miles with 18 turns
Number of laps: 71
2018 winner: Max Verstappen – Red Bull
Lap record holder: 1:18.741 Valtteri Bottas (2018)
Australian Grand Prix – Valterri Bottas (Mercedes)
Bahrain Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
China Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Valterri Bottas (Mercedes)
Spain Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Monaco Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Canada Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
France Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Austria Grand Prix – Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
British Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
German Grand Prix – Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
Hungary Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Belgium Grand Prix – Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
Italy Grand Prix – Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
Singapore Grand Prix – Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
Russia Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Japan Grand Prix – Valterri Bottas (Mercedes)
Mexico Grand Prix –
USA Grand Prix –
Brazil Grand Prix –
Abu Dhabu Grand Prix –
2019 Driver and Constructor Standings
1 Lewis Hamilton GBR MERCEDES 338
2 Valtteri Bottas FIN MERCEDES 274
3 Charles Leclerc MON FERRARI 223
4 Max Verstappen NED RED BULL RACING HONDA 212
5 Sebastian Vettel GER FERRARI 212
6 Carlos Sainz ESP MCLAREN RENAULT 76
7 Pierre Gasly FRA SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 75
8 Alexander Albon THA RED BULL RACING HONDA 64
9 Sergio Perez MEX RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES 37
10 Lando Norris GBR MCLAREN RENAULT 35
11 Daniil Kvyat RUS SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 34
12 Daniel Ricciardo AUS RENAULT 34
13 Nico Hulkenberg GER RENAULT 34
14 Kimi Räikkönen FIN ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 31
15 Lance Stroll CAN RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES 21
16 Kevin Magnussen DEN HAAS FERRARI 20
17 Romain Grosjean FRA HAAS FERRARI 8
18 Antonio Giovinazzi ITA ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 4
19 Robert Kubica POL WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1
20 George Russell GBR WILLIAMS MERCEDES 0
1 MERCEDES 612
2 FERRARI 433
3 RED BULL RACING HONDA 323
4 MCLAREN RENAULT 111
5 RENAULT 77
6 SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 59
7 RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES 54
8 ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 35
9 HAAS FERRARI 28
10 WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1
We also spoke with Alistair Gill of Unibet to get their views on the Grand Prix
At a track where Mercedes have struggled the last 2 years, Lewis Hamilton finds himself looking up the odds ladder, rather than just down. At 9/4, he’s second favourite behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who is installed as a 2/1 shot favourite.
Red Bull, and more specifically Max Verstappen, has won the last 2 Mexican GPs and the Dutchman can be backed here at 13/4 with Unibet.
However, it may be that Ferrari’s superior straight line speed makes them tough to beat. Sebastian Vettel can be backed at 13/4 as well and it may be that the technical nature of the corners will bring out the best of Vettel against his less experienced team mate. If so then 13/4 could certainly look a good price, if you accept the car has the best chance and the focus is on the driver.
But either way it looks likely to be between the 2 Ferrari’s before a straight has been sped down this weekend.