With just a trio of races left on the 2017 Formula One schedule, Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton stands on the brink of a truly momentous achievement.

Following a blistering run of six wins in eight outings since the sport returned from its annual mid-season break in August, the 32-year-old is now tantalisingly close to moving clear of the great Sir Jackie Stewart and becoming the first British driver in history to claim four world titles.

Such a milestone would also see him surpass other illustrious figures including childhood idol Ayrton Senna, Niki Lauda and Sir Jack Brabham and draw level with arch-rival Sebastian Vettel and Alain Prost.

This comes in a memorable campaign where Mercedes' three-year stranglehold on F1 appeared under significant threat thanks to a renewed attempt from Ferrari to end their nine-year title drought.

So how exactly can Hamilton, who already claimed the all-time pole position record from Michael Schumacher in front of the passionate Tifosi on Ferrari territory at Monza last month, neutralise any remaining risk and wrap up the championship with two weekends to spare? IBTimes UK takes a quick look...

What is the current situation?

After his fourth successive triumph at the US GP in Austin that clinched a fourth straight constructors' title for the dominant Silver Arrows, Hamilton, whose coronation was delayed by a runner-up performance from Vettel, boasts a hefty 66-point advantage over his nearest challenger atop of the drivers' standings.

Drivers' standings

1. Lewis Hamilton - 331 points

2. Sebastian Vettel - 265 points

What are the permutations?

To put it simply, Vettel must score 17 points more than Hamilton at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in southeast Mexico City - a track said to be better suited to Ferrari - in order to take the championship race to Sao Paulo, Brazil in two weeks' time.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton looks set to become the first British driver ever to win four Formula One world titles this weekend Clive Rose/Getty Images

That seems an incredibly tall order barring any unforeseen mechanical meltdown, with even a first victory since Hungary on 30 July for Vettel meaning that Hamilton still has to finish outside of the top five.

If someone like Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo or Valtteri Bottas - the only other drivers to have won a race so far this term - springs another surprise and Vettel snatches second, then Hamilton would only need to cross the line in ninth position or higher.

If Vettel were to come third or below or indeed not finish at all, then Hamilton would win the title regardless of his own result.

What can Vettel do to keep the title race alive?

Aside from attempt to secure victory as usual, then obviously very little. The situation is now out of the German's hands after a forgettable streak that included retirements in Singapore and Japan and a fourth-place finish in Malaysia.

The most he can hope for is that Hamilton's reliable W08 suffers some sort of increasingly rare trouble that prevents him from winning the race or at least drops him substantially down the pecking order.

Sebastian Vettel
Even a victory for Sebastian Vettel in Mexico City is unlikely to be enough to keep his title hopes alive Mark Thompson/Getty Images

How has Hamilton previously fared in Mexico?

Mexico, after 23 years away, only officially returned to the F1 calendar in 2015 following a close shave in 2014, with Nico Rosberg beating Hamilton to victory that year following a pit-stop controversy that left the latter fuming.

2016 was a more memorable affair for Hamilton, who won comfortably to keep that season's title race alive. He later lost out to now-retired teammate Nico Rosberg on a dramatic final weekend Duel in the Desert in Abu Dhabi.