The idea to award double points for the final round of the 2014 Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi has received an incredible backlash from the media, teams and fans, but there is one group it will affect more than others: the drivers.
And for Lewis Hamilton, double points is a very concerning preposition given that he is embroiled in a title fight with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg. If he were to lose the title by virtue of double points, it would certainly be controversial.
In fact, even if Hamilton won the next eleven races with Rosberg in second place, if the German won the final round in Abu Dhabi with the Briton retiring, Lewis would only win the title by five points – despite winning fifteen races compared to Rosberg’s three. Therefore, if he won just fourteen races to Rosberg’s four, he would lose the championship by nine points.
For Lewis, losing the title in such fashion would be incredibly frustrating.
“I think we’ll see at the end of the year,” Hamilton said. “Can’t say it was the best idea, I don’t think it was the best idea, but it is what it is, I don’t think.
“We can’t all come up with good ideas. I’m not gonna slate it or anything, just… if that was the case, it would suck but, you know, I don’t really have an answer for you really.
“All I’m thinking is that I don’t want the car to stop that race as it has a couple of times. As long as it doesn’t stop that race, I think it will be cool.”
Hamilton was asked by NBCSN’s Will Buxton whether the drivers and teams could come together to try and force the sport to change its mind about the ruling.
“Potentially. Obviously we’ve got the GPDA, and of course the teams could be united,” he explained. “I’ve not seen any sign of people wanting to do that, but I’m sure that if everyone pulled together and made a fuss we could make our opinion known.
“Then again, there’s a lot of egos around, and some of those don’t want to be shaken, so we’ll accept it. You always have to take a step back and think that they’re doing things for the right reasons.
“Sometimes, things are done for the reasons that you don’t fully see. Maybe we’ll get there and think it was the best idea ever, so we’ll see. Probably not, but we’ll see.”
THE MATH BEHIND THE MADNESS
Currently, Nico Rosberg has 140 points to Lewis Hamilton’s 118. There are twelve races left this year; eleven ‘regular’ scoring rounds and Abu Dhabi, which is worth twice as much.
Therefore, it Rosberg were to finish second in the eleven normal races to Hamilton and win in Abu Dhabi with Lewis retiring, he would finish on 388 points. Hamilton, having won the eleven regular races, would finish on 393 and still be world champion.
However, should Rosberg win one of the eleven normal races, this would reduce Hamilton’s season win tally to fourteen. There would be a fourteen point swing, and Rosberg would finish on 395 points to Hamilton’s 386.
The driver with four wins could win the title over someone with fourteen; over three times as many. It wasn’t that long ago that the sport’s powers were talking about a ‘medal’ system whereby the driver with the most wins is champion.