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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Hamilton closes in on F1 world title: Maths favour him, but Abu Dhabi threat remains
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Lewis Hamilton
Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Nov 2014   |  1:34 pm GMT  |  271 comments

In winning the US Grand Prix on Sunday, Lewis Hamilton put himself in control of the 2014 world championship with two rounds to go; it is now out of Nico Rosberg’s hands as two wins for the German will not necessarily be enough.

Hamilton needs 51 points in the remaining races to be champion if Rosberg wins both races. Hamilton can afford to finish second in Brazil and at the double points finale in Abu Dhabi and still be champion. Mathematically he could also finish third in Brazil and second in the finale and take it on win countback, as Rosberg would have just six wins to Hamilton’s ten.

If Hamilton leads Rosberg home again in a 1-2 in Brazil, then he will go to Abu Dhabi needing to finish fifth or higher to be champion (echoes of Brazil 2008!!). If Rosberg does not finish in Brazil and Hamilton wins the race, then Rosberg would need to win Abu Dhabi with Hamilton not finishing; no other scenario would give Rosberg the title.

What marked Sunday’s race out was that it was very much a “racer’s” victory; Hamilton shadowed Rosberg, as he did with Sebastian Vettel on the same circuit two years ago and after 23 laps of cat and mouse, pounced when Rosberg was not expecting it. Hamilton had twice closed up on Rosberg, at similar phases of the first stint on soft tyres and then on the second stint on mediums. It was a clear signal that he felt confident, while Rosberg, who had surprised with his pace in qualifying, was clearly not able to get into a rhythm early enough in the first phase of the race. But the move, when it came, was from far back and caught the German by surprise. Hamilton used the effect of the headwind to assist his lunge under braking.

It was a risk, of course, at this stage of the season with what’s at stake. After the collision in Spa, the pair have had to recalibrate their racing attitude to each other, but have gone wheel to wheel and Hamilton has come out best each time. This was another example.

Hamilton and Rosberg

“It’s obviously a very good circuit to be able to follow but it’s not easy and it was very hard through the middle sector to try to stay as close to him as possible and get as close as I could to the DRS zone. And I was quite a bit back, I would say, but I felt very confident, there was a big headwind into 12, and I just felt like I was waiting for the moment really, to just be just close enough to throw it up the inside. And that’s what I did. There’s a kind of… you have to decide how much of a risk you’re willing to take. Nico wasn’t defending there really so almost caught him unaware.

Engineers who have worked with Hamilton speak of a driver with an instinctive feel for where to place the car in racing situations; this is one of the reasons why he was surprised in Germany when Button cut across him, as he read it that the McLaren was yielding and also why he was upset in Spa, because he wanted it to be clear that his car positioning had not played a part in that collision.

“Before the race there’s a lot you can do to really understand what opportunities could come up and in different scenarios, how you approach it and I felt very much on top of that as I have done for quite some time,” said Hamilton of his latest move. “I just went into the race with the belief that I could win it. I went into the race thinking I need another race just like 2012 and it was just like that. I was catching him through exactly the same points at which I was catching Sebastian. There wasn’t a moment in the race when I didn’t think that I would get him.

Weighing up the risk is a key part of the picture. Here there was a lot to gain and he had confidence that Rosberg would not read it in time to react and that a collision was unlikely, “During the year you have to be balanced in the risks you take and I think that so far I’ve not been taking too many risks. I’ve done what I’ve needed to do to get by in the safest way, in the cleanest way, which has worked all year, so I should just continue to do the same.

Rosberg and Hamilton

He may have one hand on the championship trophy, but the nightmare scenario for Hamilton now is that he has a technical failure in Abu Dhabi and Rosberg collects the double points (50) and the world title. Speaking in Austin at the weekend he admitted,
“Do I really agree with it? I don’t know if any of us agree with it or do not agree with it, but it is the way it is and you just have to deal with it and just hope for the best really. It would suck if that was the case – big time – but I’m not even going to put that negative energy out there. I’m just going to try and do the best job I can with the car that I have and what will be will be, I guess.”

Meanwhile Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has also expressed regret that the championship story could be overshadowed by the gimmick of double points at the last race.

“I think the last race with the double points has the potential to overshadow the season,” Wolff said. “We know why we have double points, which made sense to make it spectacular for the audience, the fans and the viewers.

“But now we are in a situation where it could change the outcome.”

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271 comments

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1

With current score of 10 wins to HAM, 4 to ROS, its really a bit odd that ROS can still win the WDC with only 2 races to go.

Especially when so many of ROS's points came from the "mistake" in quail at Monaco and from the "accident" at Spa...

Not really a huge HAM fan but he clearly deserves the WDC.

2

@ Tolstoy very odd indeed!

3

Keke Rosberg won his WDC with just 1 win in that season!

4

That season is probably the poorest comparison. There were 11 winners that year. The most anyone else won was 2 races. Gille Villenuve lost his life, while his Ferrari teammate Didier Pironi was injured and couldn't finish the season. Thus, Keke Rosberg's single win and 6 podiums were sufficient to take the WDC. Don't get me wrong. The problem is not at all with Nico. He's a fast, talented and would make a worthy champion. The problem is arbitrarily awarding double points, when Abu Dhabi is no more valuable to F1 than any other race!

5

Yeah, can't really compare them. Keke only won one time, but 11 drivers won a race that year, and no one won more than 2 races. Plus Ferrari, which won the WCC that year, lost both of their race drivers during the year, to death (G.Villeneuve) and injury (D.Pironi).

When Pironi was injured just before the German GP (after having taken pole in qualifying), he was leading the standings with 39 pts, with John Watson on 30 and Rosberg on 27. Pironi had already sat out the Belgian GP, in the wake of Villeneuve's death, and then missed the last 5 races of the season. Seeing as Patrick Tambay won that German GP from 5th in the other Ferrari, and scored 18 pts in those last 5 races, it should be clear that w/o his accident, Pironi would've been WDC in 1982. A case could also be made that Villeneuve would've taken the title, had he lived.

Fact is, Rosberg was the most consistent (6 podiums) of those remaining, aided in no small part by his reliable Williams (88.8% of race laps completed, compared to Pironi 57.1%, Watson 77.5%, and Prost 73.5%). I'm sure he'd be the first to agree that factors beyond on-track racing contributed to his title win, but those were all out of his (and anybody's) control.

6

@Hello. No, Nico hasn't really overtaken Lewis at all

Australia - Lewis' car failed, Nico won

Next 4 Lewis won : Bahrain and Spain Nico had an advantage at the end and Lewis fended him off to take the win.

Monaco - Nico had pole (thanks to his quali incident) and led the whole race.

Canada - Nico out qualified Lewis, Lewis was catching when both hit car problems, Lewis dropped out, Nico hung on to tenth.

Austria - Lewis made a qualifying mistake, and got back up second but never challenged

Britain Lewis won after Nico's car failed.

Germany Lewis had a car problem in quali, and never caught up with Nico

Hungary again a car problem in practice, but got ahead of Nico who couldn't pass him

Belgium - Accident blamed on Nico.

Next 5 Lewis won, hunting down Nico in Italy (A car problem meant Lewis started on pole but lost out badly going to turn 1 Nico went off while being chased), Japan (great pass in the wet) and US.

7

Nico has only overtaken Hamilton once or twice this year. They both came in the fight at Bahrain and Hamilton was back in front within a corner or two. Nico deserves nothing but the guy with the most points at the end of the season deserves the title.

8

That was a bizarre season which really has no relevance to this one.

9

No one else had more than 2 that year unless I'm mistaken. Keke was lucky in that neither ferrari driver completed the season. The other turbos were generally unreliable.

10

Yes and as such Keke is a very poorly regarded world champ.

If Nico does win on Double points due to a Hamilton DNF then I expect the boos will probably be deafening. Nice will be regarded as a paper champion and the sport will become a bit of a laughing stock. Not that Nico will care too much of course as his name will be in the record books forever but it will be quite an injtustice since Nico hasnt beaten Lewis fairly on track once this season. The only races Nico has been ahead have been on weekends where Lewis had some sort of problem, yes Lewis has also taken full advantage of the weekends when Nico had a problem, but on weekends when neither of them has had any sort of problem Lewis has won everytime.

11

"Keke Rosberg won his WDC with just 1 win in that season!"

yes, but in that season, the driver with the most wins won twice if i remember correctly. that season was a bit like the first half of 2012.

"Consistency is king. Look at Prost’s and Senna’s results in 1989. Being fast is only one part of the equation."

winning ten out of 17 races sounds pretty consistent to me, especially if you consider that out of those 17 races, hamilton had three dnfs, two of them because his car broke down.

12

Consistency is king. Look at Prost's and Senna's results in 1989. Being fast is only one part of the equation.

13

Hi Bella,

I think readers are confused between consistency in performance and consistency in points scored. Whilst related, these are two different items.

In this very case, it is a point sytem that awards the world title, not the number of wins, decisive overtakes or what-have-yous.

Consistently finishing 2nd is better than winning twice and retiring once. (54 vs. 50 points or an 8% advantage).

To illustrate this, take Alonso's title challenge in 2005. He didn't have the fastest car (the McLaren was faster than the Renault) but he consistently finished in 2nd position behind Kimi or Montoya when he couldn't win. Reliability played a big part in that championship.

Rosberg is doing what Webber couldn't in the fastest car (2011 and 2013). He's not as instinctive as Hamilton but by insuring he finishes right behind his team mate, he puts himself in a position where he could benefit from an unfortunate retirement.

Yes it wouldn't be fair for Hamilton, but it would be the points system that is to blame - not Rosberg.

Unfortunately, it can't be adjusted year on year depending on the level of relative performance of the title contenders. You'd need a different way of awarding the champion e.g. Bernie's medal system that would have given Massa the title in 2008!

14

Hi Bella,

I think readers are confused between consistency in performance and consistency in points scored. Whilst related, these are two different items.

In this very case, it is a point sytem that awards the world title. Consistently finishing 2nd is better than winning twice and retiring once. (54 vs. 50 points)

To illustrate this, take Alonso's title challenge in 2005. He didn't have the fastest car (the McLaren was faster than the Renault) but he consistently finished in 2nd position behind Kimi or Montoya when he couldn't win.

Rosberg is doing what Webber couldn't in the fastest car. He's not as instinctive as Hamilton

15

Some people will always pretend not to knopw the real circumstances just as long as it suits their prefered view. For instance, they will insist on labelling a lack of relaibiliy "inconsistency". Typical, really.

16

@Purple Helmet Spot on!

17

Yeah, so that's why Bernie wanted to award medals instead. Because he thinks "consistency is king". Yep.

18

Wow... Chill people.

I'm not attacking your hero, just stating a fact as to why Rosberg could still clinch it.

19

Making consistancely mistakes may count for Rosberg that way but nothing else

20

But is being consistently second fastest in the fastest car really the kind consistency that deserves the title?

Hamilton has had more DNFs in races, none of which were his fault, he also had car failures in qualifying too putting him at the back of the grid from where he did pretty impressive recovery drives. Aside from a couple of qualifying sessions where he made bad decisions, I don't recall him really making any mistakes. He certainly hasn't taken out his team-mate, while making successful passes in several races.

If Rosberg wins now, it would surely be the most outrageously undeserved world title since his father's.

21

Yes it is and Hamilton has consistently out raced Rosberg. If the championship is decide by a technical failure for Hamilton then the WDC will not be the most consistent driver but the luckiest. That would be a poor way to end the season.

22

In that case Max Chilton should have been the 2013 World Champion.

23

Reliability and luck have nothing to do with consistency. Rosberg has beaten Lewis once...In austria. Other races luck has played a big role

24

With regards to 1989 results, I would add luck with car reliability is a major factor, then and now.

25

If there was no chance of it changing the outcome Toto, then it wouldn't have made it spectacular for the audience, fans and viewers.

I personally think its the second worse idea F1 has had in the last year after limiting what can be said to drivers over the radio, and hope that it doesn't come into play. It does however mean that the championship is going down to the last race so i suppose we can't grumble too much.

26

Just one thing on the radio rules, I'm pretty sure Nico hasn't won a race since the team were stopped telling him over the radio how to drive, Nico was always asking for help off the team, where to break etc.

27

My thoughts exactly

28

"If there was no chance of it changing the outcome Toto, then it wouldn’t have made it spectacular for the audience, fans and viewers."

Exactly. It was implemented specifically so that it WOULD change the outcome. If it's taken Wolf this long to realise such a simple premise then I worry about the future decision making of the team...

"I personally think its the second worse idea...It does however mean that the championship is going down to the last race so i suppose we can’t grumble too much."

Just because it means that the championship is going to the last race, doesn't make the idea any better! Your comments confuse me as much as Wolf's.... if it's a bad idea, it's a bad idea.

29

"which made sense to make it spectacular for the audience, the fans and the viewers"

I don't know a single person (other than Nico Rosberg and fans of his/haters of Lewis) that feels as though the double points rule is in any way a benefit to the sport. It's the worst rule addition that I can think of in my 15 or so years of watching Formula 1.

30
H.Guderian (ALO Fan)

NO!!!

The worst is engine freeze.

31

I dont hate Lewis. I dont hate anyone but I ask, would it be a stupid / contrived rule if Lewis was going to Abu Dhabi 49 points behind Nico?

The rule was introduced to stop Seb winning championships too early in the season. By the last race he (and RBR) would be like 200 points ahead anyway.

For the record I dont like the rule either, just wondering.

32

Yes, it would still be stupid. I've hated the rule since it was introduced, and can't wait to see the back of it. The powers-that-be should've reversed themselves earlier this season, but there's no going back on it now.

33

I did it at the beginning of the season, and I'll say it again now. If the winner of the F1 championship only wins because of the stupid double points rule, i will regard him as the fake world champion.

If Lewis wins the next race, I won't be watching Abu Double, as it will only have the potential to annoy me.

F1 is completely losing the plot this year, and unless they figure out how not to abuse the fans and the small teams more each and every year, they're going to find themselves with no fans and no series.

I've been watching since the time of James Hunt and Niki Lauda, and this is the worst I've ever seen it

34

yes. If you have been good enough to be 49 points ahead by the last race, then you pretty much deserve the championship. If you have won over half of the races in the season, you deserve the championship. This rule is pathetic for fans of ANY driver if they are being totally honest with themselves.

35

In this fight I tend to favor Lewis, but had the roles been reversed, It still, and forever will be, a stupid idea to have double points at the end. There are so many reasons I could go into why it doesn't make sense, but the fact that it likely won't be on the rule books for next year is enough to tell you that this was a not well though out knee jerk reaction to Red Bulls dominance.

36

I think "contrived" is the key word.................

37

Reference Gaz Boy & Lambert: Both of you hit the nail on the head. The architects whom comprise the F1 rule making body all too often appear to be out of sync with the true desires and aspirations of the die hard fan. On top of that, their unexplainable decisions often adversely impact the sport we love. For instance, the double points being awarded at the last race is such an afront to the principles of fairness and ethics, it's hard to imagine anyone of the rule make body wanting to take credit for their decision. We all know this was done to derail the Red Bull freight train from taking a fifth WCC and WDC. While we all favor one team or driver, we want their success to be the result of hard work and consistent excellence. Nothing else! Another example of poorly thought out rule making is the fuel rate limitation, which has resulted in an almost endurance racing atmosphere! Can you imagine how glorious these technolgical marvels would sound without such needless restrictions? Plus, they'd easily be making 1000 HP!!! I'm sure that would go a long way to addressing many of the deserved criticisms of this years racing! Anyhow, let us pray that common sense, pragmatism, and respect for the fans that truly support F1 return to the rule making body.

38

I can think of better ones, but they'd all be modded...

39

so Toto thinks that the double points rule could overshadow the outcome, I fully agree, and just can't shake the thought that it may actually happen. Not only would it be a farcical result, but it would be damaging to the integrity of this years title. Would Rosberg want to win it with the double point gimmick? Anyone who has watched this year knows that Hamilton is now fully deservIng of this years title, the stats do not lie.

I propose Toto sits his boys down and says that if Lewis is 25points or more ahead into the final race then he can impose that Rosberg does not win the title. I would, but I'm a Hamilton fan.

40

Rosberg would take it I fancy! It is a ridiculous state of affairs and I hope it does not come to it, and I sincerely hope Rosberg does not do anything desperate. If he did knocking Hamilton out of the race, then they should retire Rosberg with a car issue.

41

I bet you would love it if it were HAM trailing ROS 😉

42

No I wouldnt! If Nico owned Lewis the way Hamilton has owned Rosberg, it would still be a ridiculous rule!!! Why should Abu Dhabi be worth twice as many points as any other race venue? Is it twice as prestigious? Does it command the points differential due it being twice the size of the next largest economy? No!!! This is the equivalence of Viagra. Manufactured excitement! I rest my case.

43

This reply is more for TG. Because the reality that an 11 race winner could lose to a 5 race winner kind of goes against what the driver championship is about. And are people tuning out because of Merc/RB dominance or the fact that over a number of years there has been a lack of real racing up and down the field, and that passing now days is only done due to gimmicky tires and gimmicky rear wings? And for me, that's the biggest problem with the double points, it's another gimmick. The pinnacle of motor racing shouldn't have to be so contrived.

44

@TG no, people aren't. This is the best racing I've seen since I started watching Formula 1. If people could sit through the years of redbull dominance and not this season, then I call them fools. Yeah, Mercedes are dominating, but there are fights both between them, and all the way down the track, there is no "oh, gonna be X winning" like it was last year because both merc drivers are quality, rather than just being a single driver.

45

If Rosberg had beaten Hamilton fairly and squarely this year and was in Hamilton's position I would be happy for Rosberg to take it and for Hamilton to concede. The best driver MUST win and if Hamilton took Brazil I don't think a single fan in the World would be happy with a Rosberg win with a DNF in Abu Dhabi.

Personally if it happens I won't watch F1 again. I am not interested in gimmicks anymore.

46

Don't really get why ppl are moaning and groaning about the double points rule. It was meant to make the championship go down to the final race and keep the non die hard fans interested till the last race of the season. You have to agree that more ppl are going to tune in to see what happens as opposed to the championship being decided 3 to 4 races before the end. As it is ppl are tuning off due to mercedes dominance.

47

A minor correction James;

"If Hamilton leads Rosberg home again in a 1-2 in Brazil, then he will go to Abu Dhabi needing to finish fourth or higher to be champion." - a 5th place would be sufficient (10 points * 2), as Rosberg with a win would only cover 30 points over a difference of 31 points (24+7).

Phil

49

Double points or not Ham is the world champion for many. How can you win more races, beat him wheel to wheel every time and not be the champion.

50

The way the Merc is this year, is that if you have a trouble-free qualifying, and a trouble-free race, then they should finish 1-2 in each and every race. As such, the one that finishes 2nd has lost in the battle between the two title combatants.

Hamilton has 10 wins; Rosberg has 10 second's. In their 12 two-car finishes, Lewis leads 9-3, with Monaco ("Remember the Mirabeau!!") and Germany (Lewis' brake failure in quali, started P20) being two of those.

The most wins by a driver not crowned DWC in a year is 7. Prost lost to Lauda in 1984 (Lauda 5 wins), and again to Senna in 1988 (Senna 8 wins), while Kimi and Schumi lost out to Alonso in successive years (2005 & 2006, with Alonso winning 7x as well both years).

That that record could go to 10 or 11 (the 3rd most wins ever in a season, of course), and the title be won by someone winning 6-7 less races, is frankly ridiculous.

51

Exactly...Sport should be fair !! The only way Nico can win IMO is if ham has a reliability failure at abu double. A sport which does not champion the best is not a sport, its a farce!!! I hope for the sport Nico does not win he does not deserve it....if Nico wins I recon it will finally be curtains for Bernie

52

Hi James - a little off topic, but do you have any updates on the ongoing silly season driver market? Last I heard/read from a credible source was that Mercedes, McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull had agreed to run three cars next season to replace the loss of Caterham & Marussia, and that their driver line-ups are:

Ferrari: Vettel, Raikonnen, Alonso

McLaren: Button, Magnussen, Alonso

Mercedes: Hamilton, Rosberg, Alonso

Red Bull: Ricciardo, Kvyat, Verstappen (at his current rate of promotion, he'll be 2015 champion before he arrives in Melbourne!)

(*tongue-firmly-in-cheek*)

53

I have it from an excellent source that Nando has convinced Haas to chuck his original plans and enter F1 next year. Therefore,

Haas: Alonso, Alonso, (maybe) Alonso

54

I heard from a credible source that Alonso is planning to buy the Lotus team, so you should also add:

Lotus: Alonso, Grojean, Alonso

55

No Olivier, Alonso wouldn't want Webber for a team-mate.

Team Samurai would be Alonso, Massa, Barrichello with race results in that order 100% guaranteed every time 🙂

56

No really? I thought 'the obvious' thing was to buy Marussia?

As Alonso said to numerous journos: "It's the best for Ferrari."

>> Team Samurai: Alonso, Webber, Di Monte

57

I heard that Verstappen already has the 2015 title and is going for his second....watch out Seb,the title tike is coming

(Tongue truely in cheek)

58

Nice 🙂

59

I heard that too except RBR was:

Ricciardo

Kyvat

Alonso

Fred certainly is going to be busy next year...

60

I'm curious why do you always confuse the name of Fernando Alonso? In English, 'Fred' can be short name for Alfred and Frederick, is not so? Not for Ferdinand, that's for sure. In Spanish, short names for Fernando are 'Fer', 'Fernan' or 'Nando'.

It seems to me your saying 'Fred' for Fernando (Alonso) is or whim or fun. Do you know him so much as to rename him? You call him 'Fred' in his face?

I must say, I'm old fashioned. I don't like the play on words with names of people nor I am confident in the people who make it.

61

LOOOOOOOOOL

awesome comment. Thank you! 🙂

62

It is ridiculous that Lewis can win next week and then potentially get robbed of the championship by a DNF in Abu Dhabi. Still yet to find one person who thinks double points is a good idea.

Question is, would Rosberg really want to win it that way? Would he be able to stand there as World Champion knowing that he has effectively won by default.

The sportsman in me would love Toto to step in and ensure it doesn't happen - assuming Lewis wins in Brazil. Or am I just being uber patriotic?

63

*shrug* I still don't think the double points thing is all that outrageous really. I don't see how it is all that different from something like playoffs in other sports. The original plan from Beccle was to have double points in the last three races even.

64

What about Lewis screwing up and hitting the wall in Abu Dhabi with a 49 point lead and losing the WDC? Still the same?

65

Rosberg has stated publically that if he won the championship because of the double points rule, he would be happy to collect the trophy. But then this is the guy who parked at Monza and deliberately failed to avoid a crash at Spa.

The biggest worry is that Rosberg may well try to pull some other stroke to gain an advantage in the last two races.

Almost nobody with the slightest sense of sportsmanship could have any doubt as to who the champion should be this year. The difference in performance on track on race days is very clear and, given that Lewis has only to finish second in both races, it's hard to see how Rosberg could take the title without mechanical failure, gamesmanship or an accident intervening.

If Rosberg were to win somehow, the boos on the podium will be like nothing we have seen up to now and his Champonship year will be forever tainted.

66

"If Rosberg were to win somehow, the boos on the podium will be like nothing we have seen up to now and his Champonship year will be forever tainted."

Might be true if the last race was in Brazil, or one of the European venues. Most of the crowd at Abu Dhabi probably won't even be aware of the double points rule!

67

@tobyc

Question is, would Rosberg really want to win it that way?....

Sadly, the answer is yes. Rosberg was asked if he would be uneasy winning the WDC due to the double points rule and he replied 'not really, no'. Ironically, earlier in the season Rosberg was an outspoken critic of the double points - presumably as he was leading at the time he was concerned it would be to his disadvantage.

68

I don't think there are many humans on Earth who would turn it down, if it were offered.

The rules, as crazy as they are, have been consistent all along, this was always going to happen in Abu Dhabi. So if Rosberg were to win in such a way you couldn't really argue with it.

It's easy to justify railing against it (because it's clearly a stupid idea) when it hurts you or going along with it (because the rules have been consistent for everyone) if it helps, and I think most people probably would.

69

Funny how that works 😉

70

Who cannot imagine the howling if another German driver were to knock Hamilton out of the race in Abu D?

71

Well that was always the reasoning behind double points to keep the championship alive until the last race, but I don't like, and frankly I don't know anyone that does except of course Nico Rosberg. I will be surprised if Hamilton does not win both races, but there is always the unexpected.

72

The double points idea (for want of a better word) would be perhaps more palatable if the last race of the season was held at classic Interlagos, a wild and wooly track with even more wild and wooly unpredictable weather. Instead the powers that be decided in their (cough) infinite wisdom to hold the last race at the dreary, dry as a bone desert Abu Dhabi circuit where the race is more often that not a procession.

It's the decision to have the last race at Abu Dhabi that is just as bad as double points in my view.

73

+1

x 2

😉

74

Yes I agree Abu Dhabi has good facilities, but a boring race circuit with poor overtaking opportunites although they have tried to improve it with a change to the circuit. The Austin Texas circuit shows what can be done with a little imagination, but I suspect Tilke was not left to his own devices there. If a criticism can be made of Interlagos it is that the track is too short, but I particularly like the Senna esses at the end of the straight where drivers have to have balls overtaking into that off the straight.

75

I don't get how you can justify the rule at one track, but not another.

It's a daft idea, *regardless* of where it's implemented.

76

@GazBoy

It’s the decision to have the last race at Abu Dhabi that is just as bad as double points in my view.....

And the reason for that, as we all know is $$$$$$$$$$$$$ - and lots of it.

77

Alonso would agree with you. Who can forget that farce.

78

Agree with that.

79

Any idea if the new rule on driver coaching meant that Nico's engineer could not warn him of Lewis' coming move?

And let's remind Toto that rules must not be unfrozen, even if it means a silly outcome for the season at Double Dhabi. Rules are rules, except when they're not; viz Nico not being coached.

James, why do they call this series a 'Formula' anyway?

80

Because Shamozzle One just doesn't have the same ring to it 🙂

81

Right - rules are rules?

Except when they change them mid season all of the year?

Come on this is by far the most deeply unpopular gimmick ever implemented yet suddenly its in stone thus allowing the possibility of a complete travesty (and that's without reducing the Brazil race to an almost nothing blip!)

Put the potential bias to one side and then explain why this cannot be unfrozen but of course, all the others can?

82

James, might not make real world sense, but from an idealistic point of view, considering Merc already have the WCC in hand, what if for the remaining two races they decide to retire the other car too if one of them have a mechanical failure? To nullify the effect of a double whammy from a mechanical DNF in Abu Dhabi. Rosberg would stand a chance to win if Lewis doesn't score points due to a non-mechanical reason. But that looks fair enough. Wolff has been speaking of not wanting reliability to affect the championship outcome. This is a possible way of doing that. Would it be legal by FIA rules? Is there any real possibility of such a thinking going on in Mercedes?

83

Mercedes brand image would be damaged in the event of a Rosberg steal!

I imagine they are talking about it right now. Particularly with a dominant win by Hamilton in Brazil

84

@John Smith

Mercedes brand image would be damaged in the event of a Rosberg steal.....

Very true. I have posted along these lines before - the bottom line is that Mercedes AMG go racing in order to sell more cars. If Rosberg was to win the championship in this sort of scenario it would do the Mercedes public image no good whatsoever. And that won't go down well at Stuttgart. They don't spend hundreds of millions each season for their driver to be booed, which would undoubtedly be the consequence of a steal.

85

Toto and Paddy would have to lay a roll of traffic spikes across the pit straight in order to get Nico to "retire".

86

loooool, very true

87
alexander supertramp

Hahahaha, very funny!

88

+1 🙂

89
My Dad's Harder Than Yours

If I was Lewis, I would qualify in second place for both remaining races and then cruise around behind Nico, pick up the required points and thus significantly reduce the risk of another "Spa-esque" overtake attempt from Rosberg and also the mechanical stress to mitigate the chance of another technical failure.

90

Its the sensible play, but the racer in lewis I dont think could resist sending one up the inside, its in his racers dna..

91

He learnt that can fail spectacularly in his first year...

92

It doesn't work like that. The safest thing is to get out in front and stay there.

93

Agreed. Mentally, that's a very dangerous game to play. I used to play squash with a colleague and relative to each other, we were quite close in ability and therefore had close games. On the few occasions I was well ahead and gave myself the old "I'll take it easy for the next few points, catch my breath, etc. and then pick up the pace again ", inevitably, not only would I proceed to lose the set, I ended up losing the game too.

Hamilton needs to continue doing exactly what he's been doing for the past few races. Changing style and attitude towards the races now would be a sure fire way of letting the WDC slip though his fingers.

94

That's what Prost would have done

95

Then Nico will back Lewis into the pack. It makes perfect sense to. A guy who deliberately crashed into a team mate to prove a point, cut a chicane in Canada to avoid being overtaken and parked it at Monaco (if we are to believe all of that is true) would have zero problem backing Lewis into a Red Bull or Williams. Max boost down the straight, incredibly slow through corners.

96

Up the Clarets!!! (not much help this season tho)

Yeah, but that's why he was called the Professor, after all. JA, is there anyway you could find out which engines (i.e. where they've been run prior, etc.) will be used by Lewis and Nico, in both Brazil and Abu Dhabi? Will they have to use Lewis' burnt engine from Hungary qualifying, in ABU quali and race?

97

No one will hit the barriers at Abu Dhabi because they are a million miles away from the track!

98

Who can forget 1986... I'm having nightmares already.

99

True. Hamilton won't do that and that's why fans of Hamilton love him. He wants to race, and fans love a racer!

100

@Burnley: fortunately Lewis is not Prost; Lewis will be his usual self and win the remaining 2 races with a DNF for Rosberg in Abu Dhabi...!

For LH fans out there, be careful what you wish for; positive vibes folks and if anything because Rosberg needs to win, he will push harder, strain his PU and DNF!

101

And not a stupid idea either. He's done the hard bit and has more wins so why not exploit the rules as they are. Bernie has created a problem for himself in that respect as Hamilton just needs to slot into the gap between the Rosberg and the rest of the field. No risk of a collision as he can just exploit the Merc's pace to keep out of the clutches of the Williams.

But he won't do that because he is Hamilton and he'll stuff it into the barriers in Abu Dhabi when trying too hard to get his 34th win!

102

From the moment the double points farce was put in place this was always the nightmare scenario.

F1 should be about the best driver in the best car scoring the most points and winning the championship. This year Lewis has clearly been that man although Nico has run him far closer than many people expected.

If Lewis DNFs in the final race and Nico wins it to take the championship it will be a huge blow to the credibility of the sport and will tarnish what has been a great season.

103

Here's an idea to get around the double points situation..

Given Mercedes are guaranteed to with the driver's title and Toto and Lewis are now publicly against it double points, this could be an opportunity for Nico to regain some credibility...i.e. if Lewis does retire in Abu Dhabi then of his own volition Nico could elect to drop out of the points. Yes I guess you'd ask why on earth he'd do that when there a WDC for the taking, but here are two reasons. First, if Nico won this way it would be the hollowest of victories, 'farcical' is not too strong a word, and everybody including he would know it. Second, if he did elect to drop out of the points and give Lewis the WDC on his performances throughout the season, that would be such an honorable thing to do and he would be respected for it, Lewis would get the title he deserved, Nico would be liked more, and most importantly, we wouldn't allow this ridiculous rule to determine the outcome of the championship.

Yes it's a bit radical, but not as radical as the double points rule.

104

That would never happen.

105

Why would Rosberg do such a thing? Did Hamilton move over when instructed to by the team in Hungary? Nope and the reason given was that he was fighting for the championship which was accepted by most people..

If double points helps Rosberg win the WDC then good for him, rules were made at the beginning of the season and apply to everyone regardless of its merit ...I don't think any of the Hamilton fans would have made such a suggestion if the positions had been reversed...

106

Absolutely agreed, but let's hope it doesn't come to that.

107

On the other side of the token, if Nico did that then Lewis would win his second championship by way of drivers moving over for him. I cant imagine he wants that scenario again. Nico could walk around all smug for handing Lewis a championship and Lewis' fans would still hate Nico 🙂

Lose/Lose for Nico & Lewis I'm afraid.

108

Nobody "moved" out of the way for his title in 2008, only unsporting types with an agenda perpetuate such nonsense, some people call such people Hamilton haters,although maybe they are just over enthusiastic supporters who cannot see beyond the driver who they favour and feel the need to discredit other drivers and anything that they achieve. I personally would not like to see Rosberg or any other driver lose the title as a result of the ridiculous double points rule, the fact that Hamilton is in the position to lose as a result of this makes no difference to my feelings about it.

Maybe you are getting mixed up with Massa moving over to allow Raikonnen to win the title?

109

It's the lesser of two evils, I think he'd take that scenario any day over Nico winning on double points after a Lewis DNF.

110

Its unlikely to happen but my goodness it would do NR credibility much more benefit in the eyes of the public than winning under double points I have to say...

111

Credibility for handing Lewis a title? Please. No one handed Mansell a thing when his tire blew and he lost a title. Titles have always been decided on reliability. Let's give Kimi a second title for his amazing season in the McLaren when by all rights he should have been champ. Let's delete one of Alonso's titles because of poor Schumi in Japan when his car went wrong. Hell why we are at it let's just delete Alonso from record for Schumi having a punctured tire in Brazil.

This sport is man and machine. Not just man. The best driver has not always won the title. Vettel won four in a row and I think we can safely say a lot of that was down to the car. Button won his due to the car being so strong. Neither have ever been called the best on the grid.

112

"it would do NR credibility much more benefit in the eyes of the public"

For public read Hamilton fanatics...

113

Wow, how times have changed. It used to be 11 points back in the last race and you're mathematically out of the championship. Now it's 51 points. More than 2 race wins!

So when do the sprinklers come on?

114

If Hamilton leads a 1-2 in Brazil, he would have a 31 point lead. If Nico wins in Abu Dhabi, Lewis requires 19 points to win on count back. 5th place would grant 20 points, so he does not need 4th place as stated. Note that Lewis required 5th place in Brazil to guarantee the title in 07 and 08. Also, this means Lewis can have all the problems he likes in qualifying and most probably drive from the pit lane to at least 5th and take the title.

115

In Abu Dhabi with double DRS, Lewis could start from the pitlane and get onto the podium with no problem. His car is that much better than any non-Merc car. Nico who isn't as prolific overtaking was last in Sochi and still came second. Lewis is mighty in the final sector of Abu Dhabi. Even the Williams is not fast enough in a straight line to resist not one but two DRS zones on consecutive straights.

116

That misses the point that the most likely outcomes are a win or a DNF for Hamilton. It's the possibility of a DNF that is scary and the reason the double points is/was a stupid idea.

If HAM has a DNF, the best we can hope for is that ROS also suffers a DNF.

117

If Lewis wins in Brazil, giving him a 31 point advantage over Nico, should Mercedes introduce some sort of team order for Abu Dhabi and tell their drivers the season is over, either give Nico a face saving win knowing he will not be WDC or put Lewis on the optimum strategy and manage the race from lap one to prevent a mechanical failure? Can Mercedes in its current form survive if a driver 31 points down wins the WDC? I hate to say it BUT if Lewis does not win this WDC after this season (remember the ONLY way can Nico WIN is if the other W05 suffers a catastrophic failure on Sunday) I think F1 will suffer a bigger loss of credibility than all the small teams going bankrupt at the same time!

AGAIN remember there is no way Nico can logically/realistically win this WDC as long as Lewis is on the track on Sunday.

118

Picking up on Wolff's comments about the double points, I still fail to see when it ever made any sense to anyone outside of the people that passed the measure.

Saying that we are now in a situation where it could change the outcome of the championship seems foolish. What other point could this rule have other than to change the outcome of any championship that wasn't already settled?

119

Well said. It's been silly from the start and has already damaged the credibility of the sport. Maybe Bernie and Charlie need to spend more time on their other hobbies.

120

Lewis only needed 5th in his rookie year for the title. He's alot calmer driver now compared to then. Good luck mate.

121

> “I think the last race with the double points has the potential

> to overshadow the season,” Wolff said. “We know why we

> have double points, which made sense to make it spectacular

> for the audience, the fans and the viewers.

>

> “But now we are in a situation where it could change the

> outcome.”

For Wolff's sake, I hope there is some context lost in the above, as it does read a bit foolishly, as if he signed-up for the whizz-bang and the smoke'n'mirrors but not for the hard arithmetic of what was always a very plausible outcome -- I mean, that "it could change the outcome" is and always was the whole reason given for it.

And we have been in that position, that "it could change the outcome", for the whole season, not just now, even if it's only now that it's dawning on some.

Just maybe we can escape it though: if Rosberg were to score 25 for a win in Brazil, and Hamilton scored 1 or 0, then at least the championship would no longer be affected by whether Abu Dhabi was worth single or double points (though so many minor championship placings would still be), as they'd be less than a point apart. (i.e. 0pts plus countback or 1pt minus countback)

122

Hahaha I thought the exact same thing. It's almost as comical as Horne saying "3 races of double points means the otherwise only single race of double points is less of a lottery" pre-season. I'd be embarrassed to say something like that when anyone with half a brain knows it's just because it could potentially help a late developing Red Bull steal the crown. At least Christian's was intentional though

123

I can't believe you just gave Toto an idea. If Lewis gets a DNF in Brazil, I know who to blame. 🙂

124

Are we about to witness the repeat of the 2007 season? Back then, Lewis Hamilton, who had held a four point advantage over Fernando Alonso, and a seven point lead over Räikkönen, prior to the final race was slowed by a gearbox problem early in the race. He recovered to finish seventh, losing the championship to Räikkönen by a single point Now, if Lewis wins in Sao Paulo, with DNF for Rosberg, he will go with a 49 points advantage to Abu Dhabi. On the other hand, if Rosberg wins the finals with another DNF for Lewis, he wins the championship by a single point. But, if Lewis wins the next two races, with Rosberg twice behind, then, Lewis snatches the title 12 to 4, and by a huge margin – 63 points.

By the way, Rosberg goes seven straight races without a win, and he's still a title contender! Woow!

125

What strikes me is that Rosberg only has 1 win more than Ricciardo.

126

Double points. Oh dear. The worst decision in grand prix racing since Michelin decided to take a crate of soft tyres to Indy in 2005 and not have a back up of hard tyres ready just in case the softs wern't suitable.............

128

According to the experts, drivers learn different things from one another as teammates.

So recalling how Lewis used to be rash and sometimes impatient when racing, I think the new Lewis that is calm and cautious when in the heat of battle may have something to do with Jenson.

Yes when Jenson became the first teammate to beat Lewis in 2011, Lewis went on holiday in the US and reflected on his season then came back and tried to tackle races the Jenson way i.e. If the risk is too great, live to fight another day.

Furthermore, before partnering Jenson, Lewis used to be pretty hard on the Pirellis but not any more possibly after looking at Jenson's data.

Regards the double points in Abu-Dhabi, I think Lewis just has to keep away from pole because the two times he has been on pole, has also had a DNF.

Anyway, the championship is looking good for Lewis for when there are two drivers fighting for the title, whoever is ahead in the standings by the last race tends to win the title

On the other hand, whenever there are 3 or more drivers still in it, whoever is ahead in the standings, doesn't win the title.

129

Before partnering Button, there were no Pirellis

130

Not sure how relevant history is since we've never had double points at the last race before, and may we never have it again!

131

@ charles

Well in my view, history is relevant because it tends to repeat itself.

132

That's an interesting theory regarding Jenson. I thought they made an excellent pairing, they both pushed each other in different ways and their strengths and weaknesses complimented each other. I think you may have a point about Lewis learning a lot from the year Button beat him but I also think the calmer more composed Lewis we see today has a lot to do with him growing up (being the same age as Lewis I am also experiencing something similar!). I also got the impression that they genuinely got on really well working together at McLaren, it may have been for show but hearing Jensons comments regarding Lewis this year I don't think it was.

133

Jenson NEVER beat Lewis. Lewis beat himself in 2011. Why do people keep trotting out this"Jenson beat Lewis" nonsense? Of the races BOTH cats finished, please check the results for a more balanced view.

134

@ Ben

That's basically it in a nutshell, it's true that Lewis himself has grown up since his early seasons.

Jenson & Lewis were a point scoring machine and given reliable cars would have kept Mclaren at least 2nd in the constructors title for the complimented each other.

135
alexander supertramp

3rd time's the charm- regarding pole position?

136

@ alexander supertramp

That would be a perfect hollywood script.

137

James or anyone? You guys know the PU situation of the two Mercs? Who has the fresher engine or who still has a brand new one left?

138
alexander supertramp

Does it really matter? Lewis' engine ib Australia was fresh out the box!

139

I heard that Lewis is using a 6th engine in Brazil. Nico still is still on #4.

140

Source please? It'd be much easier to take the penalty in Abu Dhabi than Brazil.

141

@Glennb

Lewis and Nico are evens stevens in PU component usage as at the US GP :-).

They have both used 5 x ICE, TC, MGU-K, MGU-H and 4 x ES and CE.

142

I dont believe that is correct cos 6th would mean a penalty!?

143

I said this at the beginning of the season and I'll say it again now. Although it may be a silly rule, it was put in place before the season began and is and has been the same for everyone. Whatever results from it is a legitimate outcome. It could very well have been Hamilton in the position to benefit from it. However, I hope for Rosberg's sake he doesn't become champion as a result. NOT because he wouldn't be deserving but because there is clearly a whole lot of people (probably within F1 as well) who would see it as hollow and disrespectfully fail to acknowledge his achievement.

If one wins in accordance with the rules, they are the legitimate winner. Simple. For example, James Hunt is an official legitimate champion although he only won it in 76 by a single point and it is way more than reasonable to assume that Niki Lauda would have scored at least a couple of points in the two races which he had to miss due to injury.

The double points rule should not have been put in place however it is what it is and that's it. Raikonnen could win in Abu Dhabi and leap frog in the points a whole heap of drivers who have driven a far better overall season than him. Competitors compete within the rules and their achievements within those rules should be honoured and respected.

144

@Wade Parmino

For example, James Hunt is an official legitimate champion although he only won it in 76 by a single point ....

I didn't really follow F1 back then (I was only a lad) but I remember it well. I remember thinking that Hunt didn't deserve the title as he had clearly only won it due to Laudas misfortune - not as a result of his own skill and following a fair fight. I still remember my disappointment when I heard that Hunt had won - and I am British!

145

on reflection, perhaps it's time to let it go 🙂

146

That makes a lot of sense Wade. Also consider the 'champions' who have won under team orders or who have intentionally taken out rivals to ensure WDC victory. 2 or 3 spring to mind. All of them huge names / icons of the sport.

147

I think the double points rule HAS overshadowed the season from the moment it was announced. Why Toto and others are only realising it now is beyond me when all fans could see it from the start. I've been hoping all year that the championship would be settled before the last race (yes even if it was Rosberg ahead) but now the nightmare scenario is looking quite possible. Toto has it in his power to make sure it doesn't happen for the good of all F1, including Rosberg himself.

148

If Lewis does have a DNF of any nature on Sunday and Nico wins, followed by another Nico victory on merit in Abu Dhabi and Lewis 2nd, history will record Nico as winning the title by 15 points. Hardly reflective of the season.

A farcical synthetic rule ok for the causal viewer, but one that takes more credibility away from a sport already struggling for such.

149

Not relevant. Keke Rosberg took the 1982 title with just a single win. If it were just about wins then there would be no purpose in having a points system at all.

150

There's not much chance of Nico winning "on merit" as you put it though. Hamilton has won every race where he's qualified second to Nico and they've both finished (except Monaco).

151

Toto must have agreed to have the rule otherwise it would not have been implemented.

I am not a fan of Hamilton....nor I am supporting Mercedes. I used to be a Ferrari fan for 16 year and right now I am just watching races because I used to....

I just can't think what would it mean for F1 if this championship is not taken by Hamilton who has 10 wins to Nico's 4. On the other hand, maybe it would be better for Rosberg to win it.....as it would show how deep is the crisis in F1 and how ridiculous it has become.

152

Hopefully, the double points has no effect on the outcome of the championship and it quietly disappears and is never heard of again.

As for Hamilton, I truly believe he has earned the WDC this year. Obviously it's not his yet, but it's his to lose at this point. His driving has been excellent this year. If it weren't for a couple DNFs that weren't his fault, I think he'd probably have it locked up already.

153

I am sure it’s my skewed thinking but if the Abu Dhabi GP attracts double points, then after attending this year’s British GP and SPA am I entitled up to a 50% reduction on the respective ticket prices?

If so does anybody have CVC's address that I can request a refund?

154

+1. Snap ...i have the stubs somewhere..but saying that,there was a great bakery just outside spa,think i might have used them for crumbs

155

It's in the phonebook. Good luck!

156

“We know why we have double points, which made sense to make it spectacular for the audience, the fans and the viewers.

“But now we are in a situation where it could change the outcome.”

If it couldn't change the outcome how could it make it spectacular for the audience, the fans and the viewers? I normally like Toto's straight talking but this rule never made any sense and should never have been accepted.

157

+1

It is a very strange comment by Toto. As if he prefers Lewis to be the 2014 Champion?

Personally I do think Lewis is the more deserving World Champion. However, isn't a Team Principal supposed to be neutral? And what if Rosberg wins the title? Is he going to be upset?

158

You can also read it like he is preparing us for what is to come because he is sort of saying it with an air of inevitability.

159

I bet if it were the other way round, Toto would support the double points as would all the HAM fans on here!

160

I think toto is just being honest...come on everyone is thinking it, if ham loses due to a DNF no one is going to remember Nico's amazing triumph in the merc,

161

I think both Wolf and Lauda do favour Lewis wining because they know the inside stories of Monaco qually and Spa, and also because their car let him down more often.

162

James - lets assume its a Lewis-Nico 1-2 at the next race, and Nico can only win the WDC in Abu Dhabi if Lewis suffers mechanicial failure OR there's another Spa-style incident, it seems that everyone will feel Nico will not be a worthy champion. in such a scenario is there any likelihood that mercedes will get involved so as to avoid any negative PR. eg, retiring Nico's car if he takes Lewis out?

163

Do you mean by talking to him, and telling Nico that any contact means he's out?

Or are you talkin' about Mercedes giving him Petronas' ball bearing fuel blend?

164

After the flak he copped post Spa Nico would know well enough that if he even accidentally took Lewis out of the race and then went on to take the WDC his reputation would be tarnished beyond repair, not to mention that given Toto's comments I don't think he would stand for it either - Nico's career at Mercedes would be finished.

165

...and you'd be his number one *cough* I mean only fan aveli 😉

166

if rosberg took hamilton out in abu dhabi to win the championship, he would be my number one hero.

167

Doesn't sound likely. It's very risky to take another car out without damaging your own and anyway Rosberg isn't that kind of guy, is he?

168

An instructional video, essential viewing at Mercedes, esp 1:55

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJJZBgNK7FA

169

Monaco & Spa raise doubts about Nico, I would think he would

170
Darrin from Canada

Haha... great comment James.

I have to say, in Canada we get to hear your P2 commentary, and I was struck by how unfiltered a lot of the recent discussions have been. Particularly when it came to opinions about the smaller teams' funding picture. Fantastic job to the whole commentary team all year, I look forward to P2 almost as much as to race day. Obviously your team is filled with passionate fans of the sport, not just announcers showing up for a paycheque.

172

I doubt Nico could cause damage knowing what he was doing.

I also bet Hamilton would agree with Nico's position on winning the championship with Double points be it any driver, winning the championship is the final result, if the rules say so, then they were for everyone. Would it be unfair in current circumstances sure, but that happens every few years, just like how Lewis won, when Massa had more wins, and of course the Crashgate.

173

I'm fairly sure Rosberg would do anything to win but he's not going to risk taking out Hamilton and himself unless a DNF for both would result in Rosberg winning the WDC. If the situation was reversed and it was Hamilton needing victory in the final race with Nico out front then, given his actions in Monaco, i'd say it's more than likely Rosberg would take Hamilton out if Hamilton was getting passed him. I wonder where he would have gotten the idea from!

174

He did take him out in Spa. 🙂

175

what i mean is, if Nico puts a puncture in Lewis's left rear tyre, and then canters off into the sunset as lewis hobbles back to the pits with a ruined floor are we likely to hear "retire the car please Nico, we don't win world championships like that".

And from a drivers perspective, there is little risk if there is nothing to lose.

176

You've got a great sense of humour james..

177

Well played James. You're starting to master the tongue in cheek comment 🙂

178

"If Hamilton leads Rosberg home again in a 1-2 in Brazil, then he will go to Abu Dhabi needing to finish fifth or higher to be champion (echoes of Brazil 2008!!)."

This scenario probably wont play out as favorably as 2008. No Timo Glock here. I recommend against this scenario 😉

179

glock gambled on staying out on slicks and managed to gain a place in the finishing order ...well done him

no driver in the field in any car could have held off hamilton with new wets ! why would anyone accuse him of letting hamilton past ?

180

Seb seemed to hold him off fairly easily. Kubica was doing pretty well too.

I only drag up the Glock thing for fun. Blind Freddie could see that both Glock and Trulli were in deep ummm trouble on slicks, especially the last sector or two. If you remember the commentary both MB and James were saying Glocks sector time was OK. This was 2 laps from home though. 2 sectors later he was skating. Quite a cliff.

(apologies to blind Freddie).

181

I thought in the Thursday's drivers press conference Hamilton was revising history when he talked about that pass on Vettel and subsequent win at Austin 2012. Saying how it was a satisfying win because Red Bull was such a dominant car.

That's simply untrue. McLaren was faster than Red Bull in 2012 and especially at the tail end of 2012. Hamilton had the faster car that day in Austin.

What killed Hamilton's title chances in 2012 was the bad reliability of his car and numerous pit blunders by McLaren.

It's a bit disingenuous of Hamilton to pretend he didn't have the fastest car in 2012 and that the Red Bull was dominant that season.

Red Bull didn't have a single 1-2 finish in 2012, both Red Bull and McLaren each scored the same amount of wins despite McLaren having much poorer reliability.

As for Abu Dhabi 2014, Hamilton's not particularly good when the pressure is on. Look at how he's failed in qualifying this year getting beat 10-7 by Rosberg despite often carrying better "form" into Q3. Recall how often he's been on the radio panicking throughout the season, questioning his team as though there was some kind of conspiracy to sabotage his race.

Rosberg should just go for broke this weekend. He needs to put his car in positions that will put the onus on Hamilton as to whether he backs out.

182

it has just got to the point where I now see the name German Samurai and I skip the comment altogether.

183

Generally I skip his comments too. However, every so often its amusing to converse with him 🙂 I enjoy how he wriggles and squirms in an attempt to keep finding fault or alternatively praise for whichever driver.

184

@German Samurai

At first I thought you were joking around and going for a wind up of the Hamilton fans- but having read several of your replies, I actually think you are being serious!

Answer me this question - if Hamilton is as hopeless as you suggest, then why has he always driven for a top team?

Vettel was just that good......

If he is truly such a great driver, then what happened this season?

185

@C63, crickets! Y'know when it's dead silent at night, and all you can hear are crickets? I just expected no response fro GS to your question about Vettel's season. But I see his response ... RBR designed the car around RIC instead of their 4x champ!!! Ho hoh, just gotta shake the head! Cognitive dissonance makes some go nutty.

Sad in a way b/c he had some good posts before.

186

@KRB

(crickets) ? 🙂

187

Vettel's getting beaten by an even better driver in Ricciardo. I think the car has been built around Ricciardo given that it's long been rumoured that Vettel was off to Ferrari, but Ricciardo's performance is stunning either way. Just look at his amazing race craft against far more experienced drivers. Red Bull were saying long ago that Ricciardo was two-tenths a lap quick in the simulator than Vettel, and it seems this has carried over to on the track too.

If Ricciardo is this good, then I'm shocked no-one wants to give Vergne a top drive.

If Ricciardo didn't have such a dog of a car he would have romped to the 2014 championship.

188

Your wasting your time C63, I asked the guy to explain why all the experts rate Hamilton so highly and he said "clearly there wrong"!

190

Red Bull Racing won the constructors championship in 2012, while Mclaren were 3rd behind Ferrari.

RBR were the dominant team.

191

Hamilton has had brake glazing problems in at least two other quali's and if you want to be picky he hit a bump in Austria.

As for dispatching Rosberg like Alonso is doing to Raikonen or Vettell versus Webber you are forgetting that Rosberg is a much better driver than you realise.

It has been pointed out to you that Rosberg out qualified the legendary Schumacher over 3 years!!!!!

And don't say he was old because the time of his return everyone was saying he would wipe the floor with Rosberg and all the other drivers.

Rather than him being old perhaps the truth is Rosberg is alot quicker than you give him credit for being and a worthy opponent for Hamilton.

Your dislike of Hamilton is blinding you to the truth.

Hamilton is a great driver, Sterling Moss says so, Alonso says so, Mansell says so, Lauda says so.

Look at the stats in wikipedia link you don't achieve those stats without being a great driver.

Only in one year has he had an outstanding car, this year.

All the drivers ahead of him have had outstanding cars in several seasons.

Schumacher Ferrari

Prost Mclaren Williams

Senna Mclaren

Vettell Red Bull

Alonso has said Hamilton is the only other driver on the grid who can win in a car thats not the best.

So you know better than the Spanish Samurai.....I think not!!!!

192

@GS, well the continuum doesn't go from "elite" and then right to "journeyman", does it?

I do recall Button pwning Vettel in 2009 though, on more than one occasion. The start at Turkey 2009 was quite glaring. Then of course when he made that mistake on the last lap at Canada 2011, to hand Button the win.

Obviously Button and Rosberg are not in the very top-tier of drivers. At the moment, that includes Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel. Raikkonen was in there, but I don't think he is after this season. Big questions have been raised b/c of Vettel's season this year, but there's no arguing that he's able to do the business when he has the top car (and an older fading teammate!).

All of those three (BUT, ROS, RAI) are in the second-tier though, along with RIC and BOT. BUT and RAI are post-peak, ROS is at peak, with RIC and BOT pre-peak. All very simple, really.

Rosberg is in his prime years, unlike Webber who was 34 in 2010 when he had his last real "go" at the title.

193

Button also gets a high wage at McLaren. Webber got a high wage at Red Bull. Raikkonen gets a high wage at Ferrari. None of those guys are elite.

Rosberg gets paid highly because he's in a top team. Management want to keep him in line.

194

Again @GS, journeymen don't get paid salaries in the top 25% of their sport. Merc knew what they were doing when they hired Rosberg in 2010, and they knew it when they inked a new contract with him earlier this year.

Take Hamilton out the team, and replace him with an aging driver whose abilities might be fading somewhat. Say Kimi. Now say Kimi still can't get to grips with the brake-by-wire, the harder tires, etc., in the Merc. So Rosberg in 2014 wins 10 plus races, and has shattered the most-poles-in-one-season record, scoring his 16th pole in Austin. Rosberg would be talked about as a phenom, who was finally given the car to showcase the abilities that we always knew were there.

Now, fast forward and have 4 years of that, and that might be a familiar sounding story. 😉

195

"As for dispatching Rosberg like Alonso is doing to Raikonen or Vettell versus Webber you are forgetting that Rosberg is a much better driver than you realise.

It has been pointed out to you that Rosberg out qualified the legendary Schumacher over 3 years!!!!!"

Rosberg's a journeyman. Not an elite driver at F1 level.

Schumacher in his 40's who had sat out of racing for 3 years when he was already a decade past his peak and had nothing left to achieve isn't much of a benchmark for determining whether a teammate is an elite driver.

Still, in 2012 a 43-year-old Schumacher and Rosberg were 10-10 in qualifying (Hamilton's 7-10 this year and he's at the peak of his career). In races where both drivers finished Schumacher once again had the edge.

196

@German Samurai

Rosberg should just go for broke this weekend. He needs to put his car in positions that will put the onus on Hamilton as to whether he backs out....

Apologies for the double dip - I only skimmed your post and missed this 'gem' of advice from you for Rosberg. How on earth could Rosberg gain an advantage from playing hardball? You can only do that with impunity when you have the lead in the championship; hence his laissez faire attitude to not avoiding a collision at Spa. I imagine Hamilton would be more than happy to oblige Rosberg if he was daft enough to stick his wheel in the wrong place - if they both go out, very much advantage Ham. Wouldn't you say?

197

"Apologies for the double dip – I only skimmed your post and missed this ‘gem’ of advice from you for Rosberg. How on earth could Rosberg gain an advantage from playing hardball?"

The Mercedes is the most dominant car of all time, so Hamilton's basically guaranteed at least second place in Brazil unless he makes a mistake or the car breaks down. In that case, whether your're 17, 31 or 49 points behind going into the final race doesn't make a huge difference. Winning both races won't be enough for Rosberg.

So if Rosberg races hard and Hamilton gets stubborn then maybe Hamilton wing gets clipped, his suspension gets damaged, something that puts him out of the race or compromises his race.

Then you go into the final race basically level and just having to beat Hamilton.

2007 and 08 suggest Hamilton performs poorly when the pressure. He still doesn't handle pressure well. Look at this season where he was threatening to "do a Senna", how he gets panicky on the radio despite being in a car 2-3 seconds a lap better than the opposition.

It's a bit of shame that Rosberg isn't much good either when the pressure is on. Ricciardo in the same car as Hamilton would have won this championship already.

198

@German Samurai

That’s simply untrue..

Maybe 4 sugars will do the trick 😉

199

Oh come off it ... the Red Bull was the best car to be in, in 2012. The McLaren and Red Bull were very well matched at the 2012 race, but if anything the Red Bull was slightly better. That was a car with which Vettel had recently led 205 consecutive laps, from Singapore to India. That run was only broken by Vettel being under-fuelled at Abu Dhabi.

Anyways, in Austin 2012 the Red Bulls had dominated all the free practice sessions, and Vettel led every qualifying session. It was only a stonkin' lap from Hamilton in Q3 that allowed him to split the Red Bulls, though P2 in Austin that first year was no reward at all, and it told at the start of the race, as Webber got by him.

The easiest thing to do is to swap the drivers and the cars ... if Hamilton was in the Red Bull that day, then Vettel in the McLaren would've been nowhere close. That win in Austin was very much down to Hamilton. Much like his win last season in Hungary, which by all rights should've seen Vettel on pole, and then have him drive away in the race.

Your attempts at historical revisionism are at Tealeaf's level.

200

@GS, here is what was said in the post-qualifying press conference:

TV UNILATERAL

Q: Congratulations Lewis, a phenomenal pole position, a phenomenal time on what

is a very challenging circuit I think.

Lewis HAMILTON: Thank you. Yeah, it is. Especially with the temperatures and

everything. That makes it pretty tough but I was really surprised when I came across the

line and they said I got pole. I was expecting Sebastian to get it because he had shown

some serious pace before. And it didn’t even feel that great a lap so that’s why I was quite

surprised.

Q: When we saw Sebastian’s time we thought surely it’s not possible to beat him –

yet you did so.

LH: As I said, I’m really surprised. I felt maybe he made a mistake or something. But I

think as always it’s down to the… we bought some upgrades this weekend. The guys have been working incredibly hard to try to catch everyone and they’re just doing a phenomenal job. It’s a result of all the hard work they’ve put in.

Q: A tough circuit here. Surely pole position is very, very important because it’s so

difficult to overtake?

LH: It definitely helps. It’s very difficult to follow here. If you can get off the… it’s a long way down to Turn One from the start but if you can get into Turn One first, try and hold your position then it’s definitely advantageous. But looking after the tyres in these conditions is going to be, as always, trouble. These guys are going to be ridiculously fast so trying to keep ahead of them or hold onto them is going to be the challenge tomorrow.

Q: Sebastian. I have to say we thought you surely had it in the bag with that time.

Did you feel the same?

Sebastian VETTEL: Well there wasn’t much missing so I think Lewis did a good job. I put

a strong lap in, I had two sets of new tyres and I was pretty happy with both laps. Maybe

on the second try I was losing out a little bit in the middle sector. It’s very twisty and a lot of corners in a short amount of time. Maybe I wasn’t aggressive enough there. But it’s stupid to sit here now and say “we should have done this, we should have done that.” At the end of the day I was pretty happy with my lap but it was just not quick enough. Obviously Mercedes have a very strong pace in qualifying. I think Lewis did an exceptional job today if you look also at the gap to Nico, so you have to be fair and respect that. I’m not arguing with that. Surely I would have loved to be a little bit faster and to be on pole but still I think it puts us in a great place for tomorrow. I think we have a good car and good pace also for the race. Shame that in the other car Mark had an issue. He didn’t have KERS and had a problem with the gearbox so had slow upshifts so he was basically not having an attempt for the front and the first couple of positions but still I think we should have a good race tomorrow because the car feels fine. I’m quite confident.

...

Q: Lewis, how much of a worry is the long-run pace for the race tomorrow? Particularly given the heat?

LH: It is what it is, y’know? It’s been the same for a long time. We don’t come into the race and it’s a surprise to us. That’s what it is. It’s great to have the pole position but it doesn’t really mean a lot throughout the weekend. Obviously the race is where we score the points. It’s going to be tough tomorrow. It didn’t feel like a disaster through our long runs but it definitely wasn’t as good as the guys next to me. So, that’s the way it is.

Q: (Kate Walker – GP Week) Lewis, your pole has demonstrated that your qualifying

pace has not been affected by the new Pirelli constructions. What kind of feelings

do you have about your long run pace, about the race tomorrow and especially the

fifty degree plus track temperatures we are anticipating?

LH: I’m not really looking forward to it. I was just saying to Sebastian, it’s just a shame that we obviously have good pace... we’ve got a good car so I think if we didn’t have the tyre issues we would be able to compete with the guys in the race. It sucks in the way that I’m not able to have a race with these guys but we will do the best we can tomorrow. The tyre degradation is an issue and no matter what rules change or whatever solutions we find, so far, generally it seems very difficult for us to improve. But we’re just working away at it and hopefully we will get there before the rules change again for next year, different tyres come in. Otherwise it’s just trying to get as many points as we can and trying to hold on to Sebastian for as long as I can.

Hungary post-quali press conference transcript (PDF)

http://tinyurl.com/HUN14-quali-press-conf

You do realize that that race was just last year, and that people haven't forgotten the context of that season, and that race in particular?

Lastly, that's hilarious you commenting on my Hamilton bias! Kettle, meet pot! I'm obviously a supporter of Hamilton, but I aim to always call it like I see it. In my experience that's the best way at maintaining one's credibility through the up's and down's or any particular situation. I recall your early posts were very good, but of course that was when everything F1-related was going swimmingly from your point of view. It's easy to be reasonable and rational when it's all going the way you like. In this season the level of your posts has dropped considerably (all IMHO of course), as the F1 hierarchy has been turned upside-down. No one forced you to get all silly and petty ... you did that all on your own.

201

Practice times are generally irrelevant. You never know what a team is trying to achieve.

I think a Ferrari has been at the top of the times at certain points this season...

I think you're letting your Hamilton bias shine through. The Mercedes was without a doubt the quickest car at Hungary 2013. The Mercedes was a pretty good car in the middle of the season after Ross Brawn's illegal test.

2012 the McLaren was the quickest car, it just had poor reliability.

202

@GS, take a look at the FP2 times from Hungary:

http://tinyurl.com/HUN13-FP2 (FP2 times from Hungary 2013)

Whereas the Merc's were doing 1:28's and 1:29's on their long runs, the Red Bulls were a second faster, doing 1:26's and 1:27's.

Vettel should've had that RB9 on pole, and then it would've been clear sailing. In the race, he tried to get by at the start, but made a hash of it. Then of course he got stuck behind Button after his pit stop, which allowed Hamilton to build a sizeable lead.

Where was Rosberg in that race, in the quickest car? He was circulating down in 9th, until his engine caught on fire a few laps from the end. Where was Webber? Only 6 seconds behind Vettel.

Hmm, if Vettel was that good, why did that run of 4 wins coincide with Newey bringing the DDRS to the RB8? In the first half of the year, he was behind Webber in the points. Then RBR developed the car, in Vettel's direction, and fortunately for them it all came good. The car was a very good car even before then, it had very good race pace. Both Vettel and Webber were able to snag consistent top-5 results with it, in the first half of 2012.

Hamilton, Button and Alonso would've bit off Vettel's hand if a swap was ever offered. That says it all right there.

Also, I'd be interested to hear your explanation of what has happened with Vettel in 2014.

Lastly, the whole "best car of all time" thing. So silly. Seeing as the MP4/4 won 15 of the 16 races it participated in, and seeing as the clean sweep was only lost b/c of contact with a backmarker, I don't see how you can compare the W05 to it. If the W05 had the reliability of the MP4/4, it very well might've been a clean sweep this year. But it didn't, so it can't be as good as the MP4/4. Logic 101.

203

Midpoint of 2013 the Mercedes was very quick. After Hungary Mercedes gave up and committed resources to 2014, which was a smart move because they have the best car of all time now. In 2013 Mercedes was quickest at Silverstone but Hamilton had a tyre failure. In Hungary it was without a doubt the quickest car. Rosberg quickest in Q1, Q2 and Hamilton quickest in Q3.

As for 2012, Hamilton was leading in Singapore when his car broke down, in Japan Hamilton blew qualifying, Hamilton was leading at Abu Dhabi when his car broke down, had the best car in Austin and Brazil too.

Vettel won 4 straight because he was that good.

In the championship standings:

Vettel 281 points - 1st

Webber 179 points - 6th

Vettel was just that good.

204

No offence but you don't get points for qualifying the points get handed out after the race and I'm pretty sure Hamilton leads 10-4.

205

I like it Adam

206

True. Hamilton 2012 was the biggest fail at a world championship I think I ever saw. He had a good advantage that year and had like 3 DNFs in a row for no good reason.

207

Gearbox!

208

Samurai

Give it a rest.

Hamilton has had serious problems in qualifying from engine fires, brakes breaking and brakes glazing.

Also Rosberg parking at Monaco!

Stop being so biased you have no credibility!

209

Hamilton's had TWO mechanical problems in qualifying.

So that's 8-7 in favour of Rosberg.

Hamilton should be beating Rosberg in qualifying like Vettel beat Webber or Alonso beats Raikkonen.

210

+1 absolutely spot on.

211

You guys seem to forget we still have a race in Brazil?

What if we have a DNF for Lewis there?

It would render the Abu Double debate useless as Lewis will need to finish in front of Rosberg no matter what position they are fighting for.

Remember, it ain't over until the fat Lady sings ... just ask Massa (2008).

212

clarification:

I am implying the scenario where Rosberg wins in Brazil with a DNF for Lewis.

213

“We know why we have double points, which made sense to make it spectacular for the audience, the fans and the viewers.""

Nope, It's what Bernie thought it was. That's exactly what the audience, fans and viewers find NOT spectacular.

214
Anil Parmar (FormulaEDiary)

Given the position Lewis is in, why doesn't he use a fresh PU for Brazil? Yes, there's a short term pain (i.e. starting from the back) but:

1. It's easy to overtake at Brazil, especially with DRS and the high number of laps.

2. It means he gets a fresher engine at Abu Dhabi.

3. He can afford to lose some points Nico.

Risky but potentially worth it?

215

Have you looked at the weather it's going to be raining fri/sat/sun so all bets off

216

I like it. Thumbs up sir.

Add to that the chance of rain in Brazil. I'd pay money to see Lewis starting from pitlane in the wet, driving that jet. No I wouldn't, I'd still watch it on TV but you get my drift 😉

217

Depends how many people he smashes into or who smash into him as he passes them. A panicking Lewis will not be patient. It is a smart move considering though how many others may well do the same thing. If half the grid starts in the pits, that is half the grid not needing to be passed. Lewis could start anywhere though and still finish second. Merc is that quick. When they both are allowed to unleash full power, they destroy the rest of the field.

218

I am with you!

219

I mean new engine

220

What about austrailia, hams race was new

221

If Rosberg becomes WDC due solely to the double points at at the last race, it may virtually end his F1 career as he will have to put up with being described as the most undeserved champion in history of F1 by the media, public and fans. He may even be despised by the F1 fraternity, not entirely his fault, but would have to live with that tag into old age. I think senior Mercedes personal should give sound advice to Rosberg on this matter as it could affect him mentally. He should consider conceding the WDC under those circumstances and he would gain huge respect from everybody and I hope his employers. He would also get huge support from the public next season and beyond.

If Alonso goes to McLaren next season, then my advice to Button and Magnesson would be to leave McLaren as their F1 carreers would be virtually over, as McLaren would really become a one car team unfortunately.

223

I think it maybe the end of bernie if lewis has a abu double dnf

224

the double points is not that significant a factor. it is possible for hamilton to dnf in brazil, gifting rosberg victory and rosberg would be back ahead with single point difference going into abu dhabi. it's not the double points which has kept the championship close, it's the whole scoring system and dnfs.

225

True. But points system was a major factor in deciding some championships. If not, for some of the questionable point systems, Prost would have had 6 Championships and Senna and Lauda 2 each.

226

Its true that we have brazil first

I think the point is more that lewis could have a dnf at abu double, meaning nico would win having won many less races...its a massive deal, u cant possibly argue nico is more deserving, sport needs to be fair,

My preference for the sport in general is as u suggest (lewis has a DNF in brazil nulifying double pts) rather than the abu double ham DNF

227

Whoever has the most points at the end wins the WDC.

And that's not always the fastest driver, F1 has a long history of reliability taking precedence.

Take the very first year even, 1950:

Silverstone: Farina wins, Fangio's car breaks.

Monaco: Fangio wins ahead of Farina.

Bremgarten: Farina wins, Fangio's car breaks.

Spa: Fangio wins, and was ahead of Farina when he developed car issues to finish 4th.

Reims: Fangio wins, Farina's car breaks.

Monza: Farina wins, Fangio's car breaks twice.

Whenever they were both racing a car in good condition that year, Fangio was ahead. Farina got the title because Fangio had 3 DNFs and Farina had 1 DNF and 1 4th with car issues. It happens. Mechanical sport and all that.

228

i see what you mean but looking at the posts here, many seem to complain about the double points as though that the reason they are so close in points.

as far as am concerned, the double points work because all the teams are working hard to earn those double points rather than give up and work on their 2015 cars. it has also kept the fans interested because they are all talking about it as if it has already influenced the results.

229

Yeah, how fair would that be?

I can see Lewis winning Brazil and retiring in Abu Dhabi; wonder if Nico would be man enough to retire his car rather than becoming the least respected champion in F1's history.

230

Simon Mawdsely

Lets hope Rosberg is taken out by Maldo the Mad or anyone else down the line.

Would not want another Keke , that would be bad for F1 & Mercedes.

Just hope Rosberg falls flat at Brazil as its another wet race & he hasn't got the bottle or the talent to race Lewis in the wet or in the dry!

The only thing one can expect from Rosberg is to park his car in the middle of the road in Quali or take Lewis out & blame it on glazed brakes

Need the imaginary "Lord Flasheart" from 'Blackadder Goes Forth' to deal with him 😉

nothing like the 20 minuters 😀

231

Best scenario is for Lewis to take Nico out in both remaining races;

only joking

232

Considering the alternative of losing the title to this imbecilic ruling, I would NOT think you're joking. Actually, it sounds like a great idea to me.

233

You can't have been watching in 1997 then when the FIA disqualified Schumacher from the entire season after attempting the same on Villeneuve.

234

Given the gap between standard 7 point gap between 1st and 2nd, the "Double Dhabi" situation means Hamilton could lead Rosberg home 7 times on the spin and still have it all undone within one race. That's simply ludicrous.

If double points is such a good idea, why not Triple points, Bernie?

235

Fans are not being heard, Van. And that's good, as if Bernie read what you said, he may think it's a good idea.

236

Just putting this out there Bernie !!!

If lewis has a dnf at abu double and nico wins I wont watch F1 anymore

237

Me too, if Lewis loses to this ruling, no more F1 for moi!

That will be the ultimate travesty, and a sad and pathetic result, for both Lewis but also Nico. No doubt about it.

238

So many points raised but the one thing in common is the disapproval of the double points. What on earth were the powers to be thinking of? Should Nico win because of the new ruling I fear he will be the most unpopular champ ever! With that in mind do Merc actually want him to win

239
Bertrum Puttocks

Toto should ensure that Lewis becomes the champion as he deserves it. Mercedes have had a great season they don't want to tarnish it with Rosberg becoming the paper champion, it would be terrible for the sport and Mercedes.

240
Mr A (Melbourne)

No one 'deserves' a championship, they earn a championship.

From the start, I have had a strange feeling about this year's championship. That strange feeling became somewhat stronger when 'a foreign substance was found in the steering column' of Nico Rosberg's Mercedes.

In addition, I was also surprised that, during the broadcast of the US GP, that there was no mention of Nico maybe having a problem when Lewis breezed past him with such apparent ease, from neither Martin Brundle nor David Croft.

Just my inner feelings, but . . .

241

While I agree that HAM has been a better driver than ROS, you're supporting team orders in directing ROS not to take the WDC, albeit due to a quirk in the 2014 rules (the same quirk that almost everyone has panned but, nevertheless, they're the rules).

242

Nobody should ensure Lewis becomes champion. He should be champion if he gets the most points. Unfortunately, with Abu Dhabi's threat looming, your wish sounds almost right.... that's how screwed up F1 is.

243
Mike from Medellin

James, given the movement in the driver market do you think Mercedes are regretting signing Rosberg's extension earlier in the year?

What are the possibilities for Hamilton to join Vettel at Ferrari? I think that Ferrari bought the wrong guy...Vettel will not reverse their fortunes.

244

No, they have two excellent drivers who push each other. Why would they regret that?

245
Mike from Medellin

They could have maybe had Vettel or Alonso...

246

Hamilton is the world champion. Barring serious bad luck which renders him unable to drive for a couple of races, the title is his. All this "Rosberg could win in a double points scenario" is just psychology.

If Rosberg is WDC, pat on the back, you said the words, what you said is right. If Hamilton is WDC, pat on the back, the driver you want to win has won.

I bet serious money that Lewis Hamilton will be champion at the end of the Abu Dhabi finale. That's borrowed money, 10,000% interest. Then again, Rosberg could win if Hamilton suffers a DNF....

247

Scenario.

Rosberg retires in Interlagos and Hamilton wins. 49 points gap going into Abu Dhabi.

Lewis dominates the weekend. Qualifies on pole and builds up a huge lead... then breaks down and retires. F1 collectively groans as Rosberg leads... however Red Bull play a master stroke on tyre strategy and Ricciardo overtakes Rosberg in the last few laps to win, saving the blushes of F1 and sending fans (except Nico's probably) into delirium... hey, it'd be a climax and a half, wouldn't it? Imagine the headlines! A guy can dream...

248

I can't see Red Bull being anywhere near the pace of a Merc running at 100% power. Not in any of the races left. I can dream like you but any Merc DNF hands the win to the other Merc.

249

Technically speaking, the statement "If Rosberg does not finish in Brazil and Hamilton wins the race, then Rosberg would need to win Abu Dhabi with Hamilton NOT FINISHING; no other scenario would give Rosberg the title" is wrong.

Hamilton can finish the race in 11th or lower; Rosberg will win. It should read " ... NOT SCORING POINTS".

250

If Lewis loses his title to Bernie's bird-brain idea I don't think I will be interested in following F1 anymore. I think I've had enough already (and probably I should, as I've been following F1 for 47 years), but this will definitively be the last straw.

I can't fathom what anyone could say that would make such a thing an acceptable result. I would find it 100% unacceptable. In fact, this championship was already ruined for me when this idiotic idea came about.

251

Hopefully Lewis will win and Nico DNF both the remaining races for the biggest anti-climatic poke in the eye to Bernie for coming up with such a stupid and cynical rule.

252

If Hamilton comes with a 25 or more points advantage to AbuDahabi, Mercedes should retire both cars early oin the race, to make the silly rule negligible, and ensures a "worthy " champoins for them. The last thing they & F1 needs is a wdc wich gets booded every race 2015!

253

I think Toto and the Merc execs are canny enough to know that they absolutely cannot afford for Nico to steal the WDC after a HAM mechanical failure in Abu Dhabi. The brand damage would be far too great. It would be farcical, particularly given the dubious nature of Nico's Monaco and Spa victories.

To be honest, if Lewis takes the win in Brazil I wouldn't be surprised if Tota sat NIco down and told him to start thinking about next year. He has been thoroughly out-driven this year and does not deserve to be WDC. Incredible that he has only won one more race than Ricciardo!

254

I have thought from the start that double points at the last race is a mistake.

I do understand and appreciate the idea was to encourage teams to develop until the end, however, there are so many different and better ways they could have gone about this.

Here area few different ideas:

1. They should gradually have increased the points the points during the last quarter of the season (last 5 races) until it peak at double points at the last race. This would somewhat negate the huge and possibly farcical impact that ONE race could have on the total outcome. Example,

Races 1-15 ~ 1st = 25pts,

Race 16 ~ 1st = 30pts,

Race 17 ~ 1st = 35pts,

Race 18 ~ 1st = 40pts,

Race 19 ~ 1st = 45pts,

Race 20 ~ 1st = 50pts;

2. Divide the season into 3 or 4 parts where the points are are raised each 'mini' season. Example, Part 1 (5 races) 1st = 25pts,

Part 2 (5 races) 1st = 35pts,

Part 3 (5 races) 1st = 40pts,

Part 4 (4 races) 1st = 45pts, and

the final race 1st = 50pts.

3. This is a minor point but if they want to make to toy around with the point system they should consider the example of tennis and golf where certain tournaments have considerable more weight and give certain historic races (at least 25 years or more) double points (Spa and Silverstone certainly comes to mind. Although this would make the other circuits ponder why they have to pony up while others have more 'value'.

4. Allow drivers' to remove 2 to 3 results from the year as was done at certain times in the past.

5. Do away with any special deals where teams get favorable treatment. Yes, Ferrari is deemed part of F1's fabric but one could argue the 'original' Lotus used to be the same and where are they now? If Ferrari cannot cut it by playing according to the same rules as the other teams, then so be it, the path of Lotus they go. F1 would survive without the 'mighty' Ferrari. F1 is clearly not a charity, yet Ferrari has gotten unfair special treatment.

So much for calling it a 'sport'.

What are your thoughts James? What can be done to encourage racing towards the end of a season without bastardizing the system like it is now?

255

Lots of comments about Ros not deserving the WDC (if he wins it).So did Ham deserve 2008 where he won by only one point? - and only by default when Glock let him through. Massa also won more races than Ham that year and in my mind was the more deserving champion - Just using Ham Fan logic here.................

256

Massa was in a better car and had not 2,5 x as much wins as Lewis , who beat in every battle on track so far

257

Are you serioiusly suggesting that anyone who wins by only one point doesn't deserve it?

Another way to think about it is perhaps to switch brazil with china 2008. If the races had been in that order with Lewis winning the last one (china) would people still be talking about HAM scraping the extra point in a previous race? Every race and every scraped point throughout the season counts equally towards the total.

258

Massa only won one more race than Hamilton that year and there was little between them all year. I think most fans would have seen either as a worthy champion. But the gap in wins at the moment is 6! Add to that Hamiltons worse reliability and the fact that Rosberg has not beaten Hamilton in a strait fight all year it's pretty obvious that this is a different situation altogether.

(And for goodness sake Glock had taken a gamble to stay on slicks when all the others had changed to wets))

Hamilton fan or not please explain how Rosberg can be said to be a worthy champion this year...

259

There is one other scenerio that does not seem to have been thought of. If one car develops a PU problem in practice necessitating a change to a sixth PU either in part or whole penalites will apply although Mercedes have shown they can work through the grid, but Abu Dhabi has been known for its restrictive overtaking opportunites in the past. I do however hope it does not come to that and that we have two clean races.

260

People need to calm down about the double points. Firstly rosberg could win this weekend in which case he would legitimately be in contention if there were not double points- and that is fair game whatever your views on spa and monaco.

2ndly I seriously believe if hamilton is over 25 points ahead post Sunday merc will call the fight off and put rosberg under orders. Neither they or f1 need the type of publicity that will come from a winner under such circumstances.

In any case lets see what happens in Brazil. F1 is a funny business. Rosberg could win. We could have a wet race- lewis hasn't won there before....and tenner in 07 when lewis was 17 points ahead in china and 10 seconds ahead of Komi he was left out on a tyre with a hole on it. Things can happen in f1 and that's what makes it exciting. Personally I think hamilton has been excellent and would thoroughly deserve title no 2- his fight back drives, his overcoming of the merc politics and rosberg dirty tricks will live long on the memory. I hope we can see more competition next year as would be great to see him and alonso and red bull hard at it.

261

James these explanation are quite clear thanks !!! good job

262

Wishful thinking I know....

But what I would like to see come AbuDouble is for Merc to replace both cars full power units necessitating a start from the pit lane. Let both cars take part in Quali with the winner being the one to lead them out of the pits at the start of the race.

Then let them both obliterate the field come Sunday. This will not only be an awesome race to watch but will provide the best opportunity for both to finish the race without a mechanical failure and will help Mercedes marketing with a defiant display of domination from the back of the grid with the real prospect of bagging the first race with a pit-lane start to victory.

263

I am rather concerned about the possibility of extreme jeering and anger should Rosberg sneak it with the double points. I suspect it will get very ugly. He's already had a hard time on the podium.

264

That'd be some way to end the season, wouldn't it? F1 would get airplay on highlights in N.America, but for the wrong reasons. Though Bernie might still like it.

265

Yes very pertinent post James. The anxiety its now creating is not what F1 needs or needed even 8months ago, given the improvement in on track racing over the last few rounds. The possibility of Nico winning a very real scenario given that all cars are now on their last PU!! this is the critical thing and the heat & dust of Abu Dhabi circuit will test the cars & teams.

I will always remember this season as the one that Mercedes had planned Nico to win and settled for neutrality after Hungary because of Lewis's incredible tenacity and fight from the back (both (Hockenheim & Budapest) exposed their plans AND exposed the Radio Coaching that clearly benefited Nico in the eyes of the world--this my friends is what changed Totos mind and now we see the dilemma they face ( nice one to have). Will the double points come back to bite them..I truly hope not...But given the opposition it faced it could be a savage blow for Bernie and the commercial owners & a powerful lesson not to mess with the sport. Best wishes for a clean pair of heels to Lewis over both races..

266

I . for one , will feel a little sorry for rosberg if events conspire to make him WDC this season

the world and his wife will be well aware that he has stolen the cup by a combination of luck and his actions

frankly he should do a stirling moss and accept second place rather than see his opponent unfairly penalised by events

267

This is one of the best threads yet James. Congratulations mate!!!

I've never seen so many Lewis fans ABSOLUTELY bricking it with 2 races left to play out 🙂

Its a feeding frenzy and they are feeding off one another. Seriously James, have you ever heard such (got to be careful here not to get mod'd) 'nonsense' 😉 in all your life? Nico should give the championship to Lewis, Toto should intervene and tell Nico not to race Lewis, Nico would be undeserving, do Merc regret extending Nico's contract. Are you guys serious? Lighten up and have a little fun sometimes. You might actually enjoy the sport a little more without the hatred and loathing. At the end of the day, how much will your lives change if either Lewis or Nico win the WDC? Talk about zealots.

268

I agree that it's a lot of nonsense, except for the "Nico would be undeserving" bit. He would be, simply put. It's been a two horse race all season, and one horse has been flogged a lot more than the other.

Points scoring systems are put in place to take the subjectivity out of the outcome. But in this case, it's not having the desired effect of determining the best driver (rather best driver/car combo) for the season. Seriously, this championship should've been decided already in Hamilton's favour. A "Best 13 Results" system (or "Best 14", or "Best 15"), as F1 always had prior to 1991, would make sure that unequal reliability didn't skew the standings.

269

Glenb......lol

Don't be like that, this is sport.

While the double points situation is madness, boy it's served its purposes.

BE must be lovin it, the viewing figures for these last few races will go through the roof.

Superb.

270

If Hamilton's continuous back to back victorious are not called as consistency then my question is what is consistency?

Hamilton has shown consistency. Given a situation were no DNF's to him, i am not saying he would have won all the races but at least he would scored consistently.

So those who say that in the name of consistency if Nico wins it is right. Sorry to be rude but you all got the fundamentals wrong.

271

Lol..... What a season,

Thank goodness we got some fresh Hamilton threads the forum was struggling.

Any chance we can get some perspective from the Rosberg side James?

Whats going on in his head right now?

What a season.

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