F1 championship guaranteed to be decided in Abu Dhabi

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The 2014 Formula 1 world championship is guaranteed to be decided at the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg finished first and second in today’s United States Grand Prix.

Hamilton clinched his fifth consecutive victory at the Circuit of The Americas to move into a 24-point lead at the top of the drivers’ championship as Rosberg was forced to settle for second place.

MORE: Watch a full replay of the U.S. Grand Prix

However, even if he wins next weekend’s race in Brazil and Rosberg retires, Hamilton’s 49-point advantage would not be enough to secure him the title ahead of the final double points round in Abu Dhabi.

In a controversial new rule for the 2014 season, the last race of the year is worth double, meaning that the winner picks up 50 points for victory at Yas Marina.

This means that Hamilton could theoretically finish the season with 11 wins to Rosberg’s five and still lose the championship by a single point at the final round.

Without this ruling, Hamilton would have needed to outscore Rosberg by just a point to be crowed champion next weekend in Brazil. Instead, he will have to ensure that he maintains his excellent form right the way to the end of the season.

He did however break Nigel Mansell’s record for the most number of grand prix victories by a British driver today in Austin, and also joined an elite club comprising of Michael Schumacher, Jim Clark and Graham Hill that have won three times in the United States.

Today’s race did see Daniel Ricciardo get ruled out of contention for the drivers’ championship, though. Although he finished an excellent third behind the two Mercedes drivers, the Australian now trails Hamilton by 102 points at the top of the standings with 75 left on offer.

INDYCAR: How to watch the Bommarito 500

Chris Jones / IndyCar
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The NTT IndyCar Series is racing just outside of St. Louis this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway Gateway.

The last oval race of the season, tonight’s  Bommarito Auto Motive Group promises to bring plenty of high-speed, high-stakes racing action under the lights.

Series point leader Josef Newgarden will start tonight’s race from the pole position, with Sebastian Bourdais starting alongside him in row one.

By winning the pole, Newgarden gained an additional championship point, which extends his lead over Alexander Rossi to 36 points.

Rossi start’s tonight’s race from the 11th position after an uncharacteristically poor qualifying run for the No. 27 team, while Simon Pagenaud (third in the standings, 41 points behind) will start from the fourth position and Scott Dixon (fourth in the standings, 53 points behind) will start from eighth.

Here is today’s schedule:

(All times are Eastern)

Saturday 8/24, 4:20 p.m. ET, Indy Lights race, NBC Sports Gold 

Saturday 8/24, 8 p.m. ET, Bommarito Automotive Group 500, NBCSN and streaming live 

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