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by takagi_for_the_win 29 Nov 2017, 23:21
To anyone who either follows Latin American football, or dinizintheoven's excellent and much missed F1RMGP, the concept of the Clausura shouldn't be too hard to grasp. However, if you're unaware of it, allow me to briefly explain the concept of this alternate championship really badly.

Essentially with 4 rounds of the championship left, the top 16 in the standings enter a little sideshow competition. They're seeded 1-16, in order of championship standing, with seed 1 drawn against seed 16, seed 2 against seed 15 and so on. Then, in the next race, which ever driver finishes first in each of these head-to heads progresses to the next round. Again, from there the remaining drivers are placed in order of original seeds, with the top remaining seed facing the lowest remaining seed and so on. This continues and thus, at the final race of the season, even if the title is long since wrapped up, we still all have something to look forward to.

2017 Clausura
After round 16 of the 2017 Championship, the seeds, and head-to-heads for the opening round, were decided for the 2017 Formula 1 Clausura. They were, as follows:
(1) Lewis Hamilton vs. Fernando Alonso (16)
(2) Sebastian Vettel vs. Stoffel Vandoorne (15)
(3) Valterri Bottas vs. Kevin Magnussen (14)
(4) Daniel Ricciardo vs. Romain Grosjean (13)
(5) Kimi Raikkonen vs. Lance Stroll (12)
(6) Max Verstappen vs. Felipe Massa (11)
(7) Sergio Perez vs. Nico Hulkenberg (10)
(8) Esteban Ocon vs. Carlos Sainz (9)

Round 1 of the 2017 Clausura took place at the US Grand Prix. Race winner Hamilton obviously progressed at the expense of Alonso, Vettel comfortably beat Vandoorne, Bottas beat Magnussen, Ricciardo's engine failure allowed Grosjean through, Raikkonen beat Stroll, Verstappen beat Massa, Perez beat Hulkenberg, and Ocon pipped Sainz by barely 2 seconds. Thus, the draw for the second round was:

(1) Lewis Hamilton vs. Romain Grosjean (13)
(2) Sebastian Vettel vs. Esteban Ocon (8)
(3) Valterri Bottas vs. Sergio Perez (7)
(5) Kimi Raikkonen vs. Max Verstappen (6)

With Round 1 seeing all the major players bar Ricciardo get through, Hamilton would have been delighted to be drawn against Grosjean, especially as a higher seed may have punished him for his first lap woes. At the end of the day, Hamilton progressed to the semi final with the World Championship in his pocket. Vettel's searing run through the pack ended Ocon's hopes, and Bottas and Verstappen both progressed reasonably comfortably. This left just 4 men in the hunt:

(1) Lewis Hamilton vs. Max Verstappen (6)
(2) Sebastian Vettel vs. Valterri Bottas (3)

Despite securing pole on the grid, Bottas lost position to Vettel at the start and never recovered, allowing Vettel into the final of the 2017 Clausura. Hamilton, despite starting in the pits, was able to beat Verstappen comfortably, giving us a final of our top two seeds:

(1) Lewis Hamilton vs. Sebastian Vettel (2)

Following a rather anti-climatic final, Lewis Hamilton added the 2017 Clausura to his overall title. Hamilton didn't look unduly bothered all race, and Vettel just was never close enough to truly challenge him.

TORA! TORA! TORA!

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