To win the drivers' title, Vettel would need to win the three remaining races while hoping that Hamilton's Mercedes, one of the most reliable cars on the grid, delivers no more than four points in those same grands prix.
Lewis Hamilton won his fifth career Formula One championship with a fourth-place finish on Sunday at the Mexican Grand Prix, a race dominated by Red Bull's Max Verstappen. "We tried to make the best of it, I thought we had enough but it's still good to be second".
The likelihood of Ricciardo making good on his threat that he will step aside for his 2019 Red Bull replacement to step in two races early is very low.
"In my mind I have to work, go to the debrief and try to win in Brazil".
"Third place is a nice place to start here".
The Australian has suffered seven retirements in 18 races this year and his long and triumphant whoop over the team radio, and some typically colourful language afterwards, said it all.
"It was a terrible race", Hamilton said.
The Red Bulls came in expecting to be strong in the high altitude at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:18.738; 1 lap: 5. Engine failure has killed his auto in six of the last 11 races with two left on the season in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
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Bowers was discharged from the hospital on October 29, and was taken to a federal courthouse. He is facing 29 criminal charges and prosecutors are planning to pursue the death penalty.
Following his second win of the season at the Mexican Grand Prix, Max Verstappen has put his impressive form in the second half of the season down to following some advice from his father - Jos - used to give him during his karting days as a youngster.
"I don't think "frustration" is the word anymore", he said.
The Australian was forced to retire for the second consecutive race at Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix, causing his frustrations with his Red Bull vehicle to bubble to the surface.
"I've been with Mercedes since I was 13 so to complete this - Fangio had done it with Mercedes - it's an incredible feeling and very surreal at the moment".
"He deserves it. He did the best job this year".
Nico Hulkenberg was sixth for Renault ahead of Charles Leclerc of Sauber, Stoffel Vandoorne of McLaren, Marcus Ericsson in the second Sauber and Pierre Gasly of Toro Rosso.
It goes without saying that Hamilton's championship charge has been aided by Sebastian Vettel's implosion, and, at the last count, the Ferrari driver's nine significant mistakes this year.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, of Britain, drives his vehicle during the Formula One Mexico Grand Prix auto race at the Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack in Mexico City, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018.