Nico Rosberg is poised to follow his father Keke, the 1982 world champion, by taking the crown. Graham and Damon Hill are the sport's only other father-and-son title winners.
But reigning champion Lewis Hamilton has doggedly clung to his hopes of taking a fourth crown, sweeping to victory in the last three races. Even so the odds are against him this weekend.
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Who will be crowned champion? Keith Collantine of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic assess the contenders.

Team to watch: Mercedes

The one thing Mercedes don't want this weekend is a reliability problem for one of their drivers. Two years ago Hamilton beat Rosberg to the title after Rosberg's car broke down in the final race, though the championship was already going Hamilton's way before then.
Without a retirement for his team-mate, Hamilton needs to win the race with at least two cars between them to take the title. His hopes rest on having a trouble-free weekend himself while Red Bull are at the top of their game.
It's a tricky situation for Rosberg, however. Every flick of the wheel and dab of the brake becomes a question of how much he dares to risk. If he fails to finish on Sunday, third place will make Hamilton champion. The expectation is the title is Rosberg's to lose, which will serve only to intensify the pressure on him to deliver it.

Also on the radar: Red Bull

Hamilton has led Rosberg home in the last three races, but on each occasion a Red Bull nearly separated them. Daniel Ricciardo came close in Austin, Max Verstappen in Mexico City and Sao Paulo.
Red Bull have already secured second in the constructors' championship so their chief interest this weekend is adding a third victory. That will make them a threat to the more conservatively-minded Mercedes drivers.
A significant question will be whether Ferrari are quick enough over a single lap in qualifying to keep Red Bull from starting as close as possible to the Mercedes. They did in Brazil but high track temperatures scuppered the red cars in Mexico, and Yas Marina will also be hot.

Unsigned drivers' last chance to impress

Pascal Wehrlein, Esteban Gutierrez and Felipe Nasr are yet to land places on the grid for 2017. There are three places yet to be filled, one at Sauber and two at Manor.

Sauber Formula One driver Esteban Gutierrez (Reuters)

Image credit: Reuters

Gutierrez has been ousted by Haas and a return to former employer Sauber appears unlikely. And Nasr's points score for Sauber in Brazil may not be enough to guarantee his place despite the financial windfall it brings. But Wehrlein's Mercedes connections make him a likely pick for Manor.
A strong run for one of these drivers this weekend could decide whether their F1 adventures continue.
Keith Collantine is the editor of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic
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