Raikkonen receives grid penalty for blocking

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Kimi Raikkonen has received a three place grid penalty for blocking Nico Rosberg during qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Rosberg protested to his team about Raikkonen during the final qualifying session after his lap was compromised by the Lotus driver at turn 14.

Following a stewards’ enquiry, the decision was taken to relegate Raikkonen three places on the grid.

Raikkonen, who won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix last weekend, had qualified seventh during a close qualifying session that saw the Q3 runners tackle a drying circuit on intermediate tires. He struggled to repeat his practice form from Friday, and qualified seventh, although he did start P7 in Australia en route to the race win.

Following this penalty though, Raikkonen will start P10. Subsequently, Jenson Button, Adrian Sutil and Sergio Perez will all move up one place on the grid.

How Hamilton, Mercedes can clinch F1 titles at the United States GP

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Sunday’s United States Grand Prix could go down as a memorable race in Formula 1 history as both Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes bid to clinch their fourth world championships (live on NBC and NBC Sports app from 2pm ET).

Hamilton gave his chances of wrapping up the drivers’ title and re-claiming the crown he lost to Nico Rosberg in 2016 a world of good by charging to pole position on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas.

However, with chief rival Sebastian Vettel starting second for Ferrari and a 16-point swing required, it seems likely that the title race could continue to next weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.

Nevertheless, here are the permutations for Lewis Hamilton to win his fourth F1 world title on Sunday in Austin, Texas.

  • If Lewis Hamilton wins the race (25 points) and Sebastian Vettel finishes sixth or lower (maximum eight points), he is world champion.
  • If Hamilton finishes second (18 points), Sebastian Vettel finishes ninth or lower (maximum two points), and Valtteri Bottas does not win the race, he is world champion.

While Hamilton’s coronation seems likely to be postponed until the next race in Mexico, Mercedes looks nailed-on to wrap up its fourth consecutive constructors’ championship in Sunday’s USGP.

The German marque currently leads Ferrari by 145 points in the teams’ standings, and requires a lead of 129 after the race to clinch the crown.

As a result, a double top-four finish from Hamilton and Bottas would be enough for Mercedes to wrap up the title, regardless of how Ferrari fares.

The success would see Mercedes become just the fourth team in F1 history take four straight constructors’ titles, following Red Bull (2010 to 2013), Ferrari (1999 to 2004) and McLaren (1988 to 1991).

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBC and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.