Hakkinen still in contention

Mika Hakkinen will still be World Champion if he can win the Japanese Grand Prix

Hakkinen still in contention

The Finn believed he had clinched the title after Ferrari's Eddie Irvine and Michael Schumacher were thrown out of the Malaysian Grand Prix, but with the news that the Italian team have won their appeal against the exclusion, Hakkinen finds himself four-points behind his Irish rival once more.

Only the Japanese event at Suzuka remains, and Hakkinen has to score four more points than Irvine to make it two championships in a row. If the two are tied on 76 points, which would be the outcome if Hakkinen wins and Irvine is second, then the Finn will take the title because he will have won five races to Irvine's four.

If Hakkinen is second, Irvine will be champion if he can finish fourth or better. If he is fifth, then they will be level on points but Hakkinen will take the title because he will have finished second three times to Irvine's two.

If Hakkinen is third, Irvine simply has to score a point to take the title. Again, if they are tied, Irvine will lose because he will have one less third position than the Finn.

The situation is complicated by the rivals perfectly matching results. Both have won four races, finished second twice, and third twice.

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Irvine to lead title chase into Japan
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