As Lewis Hamilton took the checkered flag first at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday everyone could turn their attention to the final race of the Formula One year knowing that there were still two drivers in with a chance of winning. Nico Rosberg got as close as he could, in second place, to keep an advantage.
Rain interrupted challenge
Abu Dhabi in a fortnight will be the scene for the title showdown between the Mercedes team-mates after reigning champion Hamilton survived a race that was repeatedly disrupted by heavy rain and crashes. Rosberg now needs a podium finish in the final event on November 27 to seal his first title triumph.
"I was just chilling up front. When it rains it is usually a good day for me. Today was tricky for everyone," said the Briton Hamilton, after denying Rosberg the race win the German needed to lift the title. "We are creating history in this team," added Hamilton, who said he was 'hunting' his team-mate.
The three-time world champion showed all his tenacity and skill with a near-flawless drive in treacherous conditions. Dutch teenager Max Verstappen though produced arguably the most stunning performance of the day - if not the season - when he recovered from falling back to 16th after a late tyre change to claim third place with a series of daring passes in the final laps.
Momentum building but will it be enough?
It was Hamilton's first win in Brazil at the 10th attempt and completed a hat-trick of recent wins, following his triumphs in the United States and Mexico last month. In the process, the Brit also ended Rosberg's hopes of a hat-trick of Brazilian wins after the 31-year-old German had won from pole in 2014 and 2015.
The three-hour race featured two red-flag stoppages, three major high-speed crashes and much high emotion.