Considering his two drivers are likely the only ones with a shot at this year’s FIA Formula One World Championship, to hear Mercedes commercial boss Toto Wolff speak out against the double points season finale in Abu Dhabi is very interesting.
But his comments are now in the public sphere. Speaking to Autosport, Wolff called out Bernie Ecclestone and FOM without referring to them by name in terms of ramming the double points through.
“I don’t think it is fair and I don’t think we should have done it,” Wolff said. “But the commercial rights holder, who takes the sponsorship and cares about the TV audiences, said we need to keep the excitement until the last race, and it looks like he was right. I would be very surprised if it [the title battle] wouldn’t come down to double points.”
The ideal situation to avoid the double points playing a major role in deciding the title between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton is that the two come into the race with a seven-point gap between them or less, same as it would be for the normal gap from first place (25 points) to second (18).
With the double points, 50 are on offer for winning with 36 for second in Abu Dhabi. That essentially makes it winner take all anyway, but with a bigger gap available, either driver can be within 13 heading into Abu Dhabi for it to alter the order assuming they’d finish first or second.
Behind the Mercedes drivers, if say a Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull, Fernando Alonso of Ferrari or Valtteri Bottas of Williams is within the 50-point range and randomly won with the Mercedes both having issues (unlikely at best), such a case of “stealing” the 2014 title could well occur, as it would be mathematically possible.
Hearing Wolff speak out could be the first step towards an overturning of double points before it happens, or it could fall on deaf ears. Either way, interesting to note.
We’ve written a fair bit on MotorSportsTalk about the efforts Pippa Mann has done in working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. Susan G. Komen has supported Mann’s last two runs at the Indianapolis 500, when she’s driven the No. 63 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.
This being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the awareness hit a new level with Mann working alongside breast cancer survivors to paint the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s iconic Yard of Bricks pink for the day.
IMS president Doug Boles also joined in the opportunity.
View a selection of photos and social posts below. More is linked here, via IndyCar.com.
For the second year in a row, Mercedes is poised to wrap up the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Sochi at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.
Mercedes won its first F1 teams’ title in Russia last year, having returned to the sport as a works constructor in 2010. When it last enjoyed such status in the 1950s, there was no championship for the teams.
Just as it did in 2014, Mercedes has dominated proceedings in F1 this season, winning all but three races and sweeping to eight one-two finishes to leave drivers Lewis Hamilton (pictured) and Nico Rosberg battling for the drivers’ title for the second straight year.
Now, Mercedes seeks the knock-out blow in the constructors’ title race by officially wrapping it up in Sochi this weekend.
To do so, the team must simply outscore rivals Ferrari by three points this weekend. The lead currently stands at 169 points, with 215 still on offer. After Sochi, there will be 172 remaining.
“We return to Russia with positive memories from last season, when the team sealed the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish,” team boss Toto Wolff said.
“A repeat performance in Sochi would be fantastic and this is absolutely the target – but we are under no illusions that it will come easy. The job is not done yet.”
The tire allocation for this weekend’s race could pose problems to Mercedes just as it did in Singapore, potentially allowing Ferrari to spoil the party and delay the victory celebrations at Brackley.
However, if the form book is to be trusted, Sochi could be playing host to another Mercedes party on Sunday night with a second world title in the bag for the Silver Arrows.