Formula 1 will head to Portugal’s Algarve Circuit this weekend for the first time and Mercedes can wrap up a record-breaking seventh straight Constructors’ Championship – though it will need all the cards to fall its way.
Mercedes already holds an advantage of 180 points over Red Bull Racing in the Constructors’ Championship after dominating the 2020 campaign.
It has taken all 11 pole positions and has only been beaten to victory on two occasions – by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen at Silverstone and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly at Monza.
Under Formula 1’s points system a team can accumulate a maximum of 44 points from a race by taking a 1-2 finish along with the fastest lap.
Mercedes would wrap up the Constructors’ crown at the finish of Formula 1’s return to Portugal if it is 220 points clear of sole opponent Red Bull Racing.
It has to gain 40 more points than its rival – effectively meaning the team needs a 1-2 finish, or a 1-3 result, with Red Bull failing to score.
A more realistic proposition is Mercedes clinching the crown at Imola, a week later, when a margin of 176 points would be sufficient.
Mercedes has not been beaten to a world title in Formula 1’s hybrid era and a seventh straight title – which is a formality given its advantage – will be a new record.
Ferrari won six titles in a row, achieving the feat between 1999 and 2004, which Mercedes matched last year.
Mercedes has never won a world title with five races left to run but during three of its six-title winning campaigns has done so with four rounds spare.
It has not been taken to a last-round decider with its closest battle coming in 2018, when it sealed the title in the penultimate event.
A seventh overall title for Mercedes will lift the manufacturer to equal fourth on the all-time list, alongside Lotus, and behind only Ferrari (16), Williams (nine) and McLaren (eight).