Lewis Hamilton now looks poised to become Britain’s first Formula One world champion since Damon Hill in 1996 – and the country’s ninth title holder since Mike Hawthorn first took the crown 50 years ago.
Mathematically, the 23-year old can’t clinch the Championship this coming weekend at Fuji, but if he wins in Japan without arch-rival Felipe Massa scoring then he will go into the following Sunday’s Chinese GP at Shanghai 17 points ahead with just 20 points remaining up for grabs over the final two races of the year.
As things stand today, eight British drivers have accumulated 12 World Championships, making the UK the most successful country in this regard.
Mighty Brazil has only managed to create three Champions: Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet and Senna – a tally equalled by tiny Finland (Keke Rosberg, Hakkinen and Raikkonen). Italy, the USA and Austria have two Champions apiece with Argentina, France, South Africa, New Zealand and Germany having one each.