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.