Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were both mathematically eliminated from 2023 Formula 1 world championship contention in the Japanese Grand Prix.
Other than two-time reigning Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen, just three drivers entered Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit still with a mathematical chance to win the 2023 world championship. Two of those three drivers were officially eliminated following that race.
Prior to the Japanese Grand Prix, there were 206 points left on the table throughout the rest of the season, including 26 in each of the seven Grands Prix (25 for winning, one for recording the fastest lap) and eight in each of the three sprint races.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton entered the 16th of 22 races on this year’s schedule trailing Verstappen by 194 points, while Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso entered it trailing him by 204 points.
Verstappen won the Japanese Grand Prix and recorded the fastest lap, while Hamilton finished in fifth place and Alonso finished in eighth.
There are now just 180 points left on the table throughout the rest of the season, and Hamilton and Alonso sit 210 and 226 points behind Verstappen, respectively.
Neither one of those two former world champions has scored more than half of Max Verstappen’s point total (400) throughout the 2023 Formula 1 season.
Their eliminations mean that the only driver who can still mathematically stop the 25-year-old Dutchman from winning a third consecutive world championship is Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.
But in reality, it’s all over but the formalities, as Perez sits 177 points behind his teammate with two wins compared to 13.
Perez entered the Japanese Grand Prix trailing his teammate by 151 points but was forced to retire his car (twice) after multiple instances of contact and damage. During Verstappen’s run of 11 wins in 12 races, Perez has only finished runner-up on three occasions.
Verstappen will likely clinch the title in the Saturday, October 7 sprint race ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix at Lusail International Circuit on Sunday, October 8, given how little he needs to go his way for Perez to no longer mathematically have any chance to catch him.