With just four races left to go this season, Lewis Hamilton opened up a ten point lead over Nico Rosberg in the 2014 Formula One World Championship with a win in Japan at the weekend.
Our writers assess whether Hamilton will be able to hold this lead or whether it will be Rosberg celebrating in Abu Dhabi at the end of November.
Adam Tomlinson (Deputy Sports Editor)
Hamilton has a great chance to win his second championship but it will be very close especially when it gets down to the last race in Abu Dhabi when it’s double points.
The rivalry between the two teammates has been a great spectacle for the sport but Hamilton is definitely in the pole position.
He has been in good form winning his last three races and showed his experience over taking Rosberg in Japan.
It will come down to the last race and all it takes is one DNF from Hamilton to let Rosberg in, but I think his experience of winning the championship in 2008 will shine through and he will again be crowned champion this year.
With four races to go, the championship is there for Hamilton to win. The passing of Rosberg in turn one at the Japanese GP in such an emphatic style has definitely left Rosberg wondering, “What do I have to do to beat this guy?”
If Hamilton can safely finish ahead of his team-mate in the inaugural Russian GP, it’s difficult to see Hamilton losing out to Rosberg.
However, last year, Hamilton finished 7th in the Brazilian GP compared to Rosberg’s 5th, and the German also finished 3rd in Abu Dhabi in contrast to Hamilton, who finished 7th.
Hamilton should have this in the bag. He’s had the experience of winning a title and seems to keep a cool head when it gets to the end.
However he’s not had the most reliable of cars this year. It only takes one DNF to wreck his chances of winning. It’s going go to the wire; especially with the final day double points rule.
Most of the attention this season has been on the rivalry between teammates Hamilton and Rosberg, and with just four races to go I think Hamilton just has the edge.
He has won the last three races in a row and this kind of momentum will stand him in good stead to win his second drivers’ championship.
Of course a ten point lead over his German teammate isn’t much, but Hamilton has been here before and is now a much better all-round driver than the one who made history by becoming the youngest ever championship winner in 2008 – shown in the way he coolly over took Rosberg in Japan on Sunday in treacherous conditions.
Hamilton is the man in the ascendancy at the moment after his third win in a row in Japan at the weekend.
All the momentum seemed to be with Rosberg over the summer but Hamilton has stolen some initiative back after a series of great wins.
However, expect some more twists and turns in the final four races of the season, especially with points being doubled in the final race in Abu Dhabi.
It’s in Hamilton’s hands and the momentum has shifted his way since the Belgian Grand Prix when the two Mercedes drivers had a “coming together”.
Of the two drivers, Hamilton has seemingly responded better than Rosberg to the incident and has produced some of his finest race-winning performances and when Hamilton has been at his best this season, Rosberg hasn’t had an answer for it.
If Hamilton continues to perform this well in the remaining races, he will win his second title.
However, with double points being on offer at the last race, one mistake or one poor qualifying session or one unexpected puncture could be a huge game changer.
- Who do you think will come up trumps in the World Championship? Let us know on Twitter at @LincSport or by using the hashtag #LincSportTalks