sport news F1 title permutations: Why Max Verstappen still holds an advantage over Lewis ...

sport news F1 title permutations: Why Max Verstappen still holds an advantage over Lewis ...
sport news F1 title permutations: Why Max Verstappen still holds an advantage over Lewis ...

An enthralling Formula One campaign is set for a enticing conclusion as title-leaders Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton head into the final race of the season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, level on points. 

History is on the line for both of the season's two protagonists, with Hamilton, 36, seeking an outright-record eighth title, while a 24-year-old Verstappen - who has repeatedly shown composure beyond his years - aims for a maiden championship victory. 

The title will be decided by a one-race shootout at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend, though the momentum is now firmly with Hamilton after successive wins in Brazil, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.  

The pendulum has shifted on numerous occasions throughout the campaign, however, with Hamilton previously overturning a 32-point deficit, only for Verstappen to regain control with wins in the US and Mexico. 

As they have done on numerous occasions in recent weeks and months, Hamilton and Verstappen once again collided over the weekend, with fireworks very much expected as the season comes to a close.  

With the season-finale now under a week away, Sportsmail takes you through the title permutations, as well as the lay of the land in the Constructors' Championship.  

Lewis Hamilton moved level with Max Verstappen with a crucial victory in Saudi Arabia

Lewis Hamilton moved level with Max Verstappen with a crucial victory in Saudi Arabia

The pair collided once again during a frantic race, setting up a thrilling showdown on Sunday

The pair collided once again during a frantic race, setting up a thrilling showdown on Sunday 

What are the current standings?  

Hamilton drew level with Verstappen on 369.5 points with his thrilling win at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Sunday. 

Verstappen entered the race with an eight-point lead and with the possibility of wrapping up his first-ever championship title if results fell in his favour, an admittedly unlikely outcome with the Dutchman starting third, while Hamilton was ahead on pole.  

It was eventually Hamilton who took a dramatic victory, in a race where he and Verstappen collided, with the Dutchman eventually handed two penalties amounting to 15 seconds.  

Verstappen remained second regardless of his time penalties but, despite struggling on his aged medium set of tires, was unable to make a late change to snatch the point for the fastest lap, which went to Hamilton. 

Aside from the two title-leaders, Valtteri Bottas confirmed a third-placed finish in this season's standings after overtaking Estaban Ocon with just seconds remaining, while Sergio Perez failed to finish the race.  

The battle for fifth place remains fierce, however, with Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz all still in with a shot. It's Leclerc who currently sits in fifth, four points ahead of Britain's Norris. 

Hamilton and Verstappen are level on points, while Valtteri Bottas has sealed third-place

Hamilton and Verstappen are level on points, while Valtteri Bottas has sealed third-place

Why is Max Verstappen still in first place? 

While Hamilton drew level on points with his great rival, it's still Verstappen who leads the driver standings going into the final race. 

That's because the speedy Dutchman has won more races (9) than Hamilton, who has just the eight victories this season to date.  

Verstappen remains in first place despite Hamilton drawing level

Verstappen remains in first place despite Hamilton drawing level

It remains a pertinent factor in the title race, as it's Verstappen who would take the title if neither driver scores a point in Abu Dhabi. 

Though the title will likely be awarded

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