Red Bull were able to stave off elimination from 2020 Formula 1 world constructor championship contention in Portimao, but that is unlikely in Imola.
Red Bull entered the Portuguese Grand Prix at Algarve International Circuit as the only team other than Mercedes mathematically eligible to win the 2020 Formula 1 world constructor championship.
The key word here is, of course, “mathematically”, given the fact that it is effectively a foregone conclusion that the Silver Arrows will be crowned champions for the seventh consecutive season.
Nevertheless, the Milton Keynes-based team were able to stave off elimination with a third place finish by Max Verstappen.
They stayed alive despite the fact that the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finished in first and second, respectively, with the former securing a record-breaking 92nd career victory with his dominant effort.
Now, heading into the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Red Bull are again facing elimination. Entering this 63-lap race around the 21-turn, 3.05-mile (4.908-kilometer) road course in Imola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Mercedes have a whopping 209-point lead (435 to 226) in the constructor standings.
There are a maximum of 44 points on the table for each team in each race (25 for a race win, 18 for a second place finish and one for recording the fastest lap). With five races remaining, there are a maximum of 220 points available for each team.
So with four races remaining following this Sunday’s race, there will be a maximum of 176 points left on the table for each team.
Mercedes have already locked up the tiebreaker over Red Bull, having won 10 of the season’s first 12 races. Red Bull have won just one race so far this year, so with only five races remaining on the schedule, they can only secure a maximum of six victories.
As a result, Red Bull must outscore Mercedes by 210 points, not 209, over the course of the season’s final five races to win the championship, and they must be within 175 points, not 176, following the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to remain alive.
This means that they must outscore Mercedes by at least 34 points in this race in order to stay alive in the championship hunt.
In other words, game over.
Tune in to ESPN at 7:10 a.m. ET this Sunday, November 1 for the live broadcast of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix from Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari.