Report: Toto Wolff speaks out against F1’s double points finale


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.

Formula E: Vergne outlasts di Grassi for Punta del Este victory

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Saturday’s Punta del Este ePrix did not disappoint, with Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi engaging in a thrilling battle throughout the entire race.

Vergne led the way from the pole, having been promoted up the grid after original pole sitter di Grassi was ruled to have cut a chicane during his pole lap, but di Grassi was right on the back wing of Vergne the entire way and made several attempts to get by.

The intense battle between the two, which saw them nearly lock Vergne’s rear wing with di Grassi’s front nose, stayed remarkably clean for the most part, and Vergne was able to hold off all of di Grassi’s advances, a few of which can be viewed below, to take the win.

DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was also on the charge, the British driver coming from ninth on the grid to take third.

Full race results can be viewed here. The victory sees Vergne extend his points lead over Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist, who finished fifth, to 30 points, with Vergne on 109 markers and Rosenqvist on 79.

Bird sits third with 76 points, respectively.