Crunching the numbers: Double points gives Rosberg more shots to win in Abu Dhabi


Nico Rosberg has taken a vital win this Sunday in the Brazilian Grand Prix, and has closed to within 17 points in the World Championship of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Double points have given the German a greater shot at the title than was otherwise possible with single points.

Hamilton wins with first or second, regardless of what Rosberg does.

In simplest terms, the easiest way for Rosberg to overcome the gap and win the title in two weeks at Abu Dhabi is to win (50 points) and have Hamilton come third (30 points) or worse. That scenario would net Rosberg the title by three points.

Rosberg can also win the title with second and Hamilton sixth or worse, third with Hamilton seventh or worse, fourth with Hamilton ninth or worse, or fifth with Hamilton 10th or worse.

Under standard points, Rosberg could only win the title down 17 with first or second.

In either case, Hamilton holds a 10-5 win tiebreaker for the season finale.

Here are the points permutations, double points versus standard points, between the two teammates:

Double Points

Merc BRZ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
HAM 334 384 370 364 358 354 350 346 342 338 336
ROS 317 367 353 347 341 337 333 329 325 321 319
Dbl Pts 50 36 30 24 20 16 12 8 4 2


Single Points

Merc BRZ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
HAM 334 359 352 349 346 344 342 340 338 336 335
ROS 317 342 335 332 329 327 325 323 321 319 318
Sngl Pts 25 18 15 12 10 8 6 4 2 1

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans

LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.