Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen: How the 2021 Formula 1 title could be clinched at Saudi Arabian GP

Hamilton has claimed back-to-back victories to boost his chances and will start on pole after Verstappen’s crash in qualifying. However, the Dutchman’s eight-point lead means that if results go his way on Sunday, the championship would not go down to the Abu Dhabi finale. Verstappen needs an advantage of 26 points after the first-ever race at Saudi Arabia’s high-speed Jeddah street track to seal an early crown, meaning he has to outscore Hamilton by 18 points.



Two to go: How it stands in the title chases
Drivers’                               Points
1) Max Verstappen             351.5
2) Lewis Hamilton              343.5
1) Mercedes                        546.5
2) Red Bull                          541.5





As there are a maximum of 26 points available for a win and a fastest lap bonus point, Hamilton could therefore stop Verstappen, no matter what his rival manages, by finishing fifth or higher. How Verstappen can win title at Saudi Arabian GP



-If he wins the race with the fastest lap (26 points) and Hamilton finishes sixth (8 points) or lower
-If he wins the race without the fastest lap (25 points) and Hamilton finishes seventh (6 points) or lower
-If he finishes second with the fastest lap (19 points) and Hamilton finishes 10th (1 point) or lower
-If he finishes second without the fastest lap (18 points) and Hamilton finishes outside the top-10

There has been an 18-point swing or more between the pair just twice this season: in Monaco when Verstappen won and Hamilton was seventh, and at Silverstone where Hamilton won after the Verstappen crash. The pair could also go into the Abu Dhabi GP in an appealing ‘winner takes all’ scenario, while there is the possibility that they are level heading to that last race if Hamilton wins Jeddah with a fastest lap, and Verstappen is second.

Verstappen only needs a 26-point lead going to the finale to clinch the title because he currently owns the title ‘tie break’ over Hamilton with nine wins to seven, giving him the advantage should they finish level on points. Hamilton can of course match Verstappen with nine victories by winning the next two, although if that happens he would seal the title regardless and there wouldn’t be a tie break.