Lewis Hamilton can officially be eliminated from 2023 Formula 1 world championship contention in this Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
For the first time since 2011, seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of being eliminated from championship contention for a third straight season.
That elimination can officially happen in this coming Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit, which Hamilton enters trailing two-time reigning world champion Max Verstappen by 194 points in the driver standings.
There are seven races remaining on the 22-race 2023 schedule. With 25 points going to the winner and one additional point going to the driver who records the fastest lap, provided he finishes inside the top 10, there are 182 points on offer throughout the rest of the season in Grands Prix themselves.
There are an additional 24 points available in the three sprint races, as sprint race wins pay eight points each. The three remaining sprint races on this year’s calendar are scheduled to take place ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix, the United States Grand Prix, and the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
As a result, there are 206 points on offer throughout the rest of the 2023 Formula 1 season.
Following Sunday’s 53-lap race around the 18-turn, 3.609-mile (5.808-kilometer) road course in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture, Japan, there will be just 180 points still available.
So if Hamilton cannot outscore Verstappen, who has already clinched the tiebreaker over everybody thanks to his win total, by 15 in this race to pull to within 179 points, he will officially be out.
Hamilton has only outscored Verstappen once in 15 races this season, and it was by just six points.
FanDuel Sportsbook, which is running a promotion giving fans an instant and guaranteed $200, lists Verstappen as the -350 favorite to win in Japan, with Hamilton listed as the fourth favorite at +1600.
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The Japanese Grand Prix is scheduled to be broadcast live on ESPN2 from Suzuka Circuit starting at 12:55 a.m. ET on Sunday, September 24. If you have not yet started a free trial of FuboTV, do so now!