Hamilton, Raikkonen, out of 2009 title race

(GMM) Lewis Hamilton's defense of his 2008 world championship ended mathematically on Sunday.

With his crash while chasing second place on the last lap of the Italian grand prix, the McLaren driver also dropped out of striking distance of Jenson Button's title lead with four races to go.

With a perfect run of wins, meanwhile, 2007 championship winner Kimi Raikkonen could mathematically match Button's tally if the Briton scores no more points this season, but the Finn would still not be world champion.

In a points tie, the driver with the most wins is declared the champion, and Raikkonen would lose out against Button by a factor of 5 wins to 6.

The results of the Monza race means just three drivers are still in the fight with Button: his teammate Rubens Barrichello and the two Red Bull drivers.

But Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber's poor outings on Sunday leaves them a distant 26 and 28.5 points behind respectively, moving many observers to surmise that the 2009 champion will definitely be a Brawn driver.

"Well, it's never over until it's over, but today's race has made it a big mountain to climb in the remaining races," Red Bull boss Christian Horner told F1's official website.

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