Lewis Hamilton passed title rival Sebastian Vettel to take a dominant victory in the United States Grand Prix but will have to wait at least one more race to win his fourth world championship.
The Mercedes driver is 66 points clear of Vettel, who finished second, with only 75 still available in the remaining three races.
It means Hamilton is almost certain to clinch the title at the Mexican Grand Prix next weekend.
Vettel has to make up 17 points on Hamilton in Mexico City to take the fight to the next race in Brazil – which is the equivalent of the German winning the race with Hamilton finishing sixth or lower.
Given Hamilton's rich run of form of five wins and a second place in the last six races, that seems very unlikely, unless the Mercedes has a technical failure, which the Briton's car has not had all season in a race.
Hamilton's drivers' title will make a fourth consecutive championship double for Mercedes, who clinched the constructors' title on Sunday in Austin.
Battler Hamilton not prepared to play percentage game
Hamilton had to fight for his win – at least at the beginning, after losing the lead to Vettel at the start.
He did not have to chase Vettel down to maintain a strong lead in the championship, but he tracked the Ferrari closely for the next five laps and then passed him for the lead at Turn 12 on lap six.
After taking the lead, Hamilton did not look back, clearly with a pace advantage, controlling his pace and doing just enough to manage the race to the end.
He questioned his team's decision in leaving him out for another three laps after Vettel made his first pit stop on lap 16, meaning the German had closed a 4.5-second deficit to nothing by the time Hamilton emerged from the pits.
But he soon pulled away again and drove off to his 10th victory in 17 races this season.
More to follow