Within an outside chance - Here's how Valtteri Bottas could win the 2020 F1 championship

Lewis Hamilton (right) and Valtteri Bottas (Albert Gea / Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton (right) and Valtteri Bottas (Albert Gea / Getty Images)
Albert Gea

• Valtteri Bottas trails Lewis Hamilton by 44 points in this year's championship.

• Bottas is within an outside chance of winning the 2020 F1 title.

• Winning the F1 championship would be Bottas' first in the sport.

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Valtteri Bottas took only his second victory of the 2020 Formula 1 season when he crossed the finish line for the Russian Grand Prix in first place.

With the win, the Finnish driver increased the gap between him and Red Bull's Max Verstappen but, more importantly, he closed the points gap to Mercedes team mate and championship leader, Lewis Hamilton.

With nine of the 17 races behind us, Bottas effectively has eight races in which he can close the 44-point gap to Hamilton, but it's not a foregone conclusion that things will go his way. Hamilton is a driver unlikely to buckle under pressure, which makes Bottas' chances of (finally) winning motorsport's top prize all the more challenging.

Still, crazier things have happened in F1 and Bottas is within an outside chance of winning his maiden championship.

Here's what must happen

Hamilton leads the drivers' standing on 205 points, followed by Bottas on 161. To close the 44-point deficit, Bottas would want Hamilton not to score points in, preferably, the next to races. With 25 points for the win, plus one if you set the fastest lap of the race, Bottas should have no trouble extracting the maximum from his utterly dominant Mercedes race car.

In this instance, and with seven races remaining, Bottas would have to finish every race ahead of Hamilton - or the majority thereof. And if we're frank, it might be too much of an ask for Bottas. Even if two DNFs befell his team mate, it is not likely that Bottas would be able to uphold his points advantage.

READ: Bottas exploits Hamilton troubles in Russia to reignite title chances

In the unrealistic event that neither Mercedes driver scores the bonus point for setting the fastest lap of a race, they'll receive the standard 25 points for a win and 18 for coming in second place. On the premise that Bottas wins every one of the seven remaining races with Hamilton in second, he'll snatch the championship from the defending champion at the last race of the season and win with a five-point lead.

It's unfathomable to imagine Hamilton going down without a fight. And though one does wish to see Bottas add this illustrious prize to his resume, he is just not up to the challenge of topping Hamilton throughout an entire season.

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