ABU DHABI – The biggest fears of the F1 community were allayed in Abu Dhabi yesterday as the controversial double points rule for the final race of the year eventually had no say in the destination of the drivers’ championship.
Lewis Hamilton clinched his second world title in Abu Dhabi today by claiming a crushing win at the Yas Marina Circuit. His cause was aided by the demise of Nico Rosberg, who suffered an ERS failure that left him limping across the line in 14th place at the end of the race.
With 50 points on offer for the race winner, there was a very real possibility of Rosberg winning the championship by virtue of the double points rule, which is expected to be canned for the 2015 season.
However, thanks to his non-score, it had no say in the title fight. Instead, Hamilton’s eventual winning margin of 67 points is perhaps exaggerated, standing at 42 points under the normal conditions.
Double points did allow Williams to extend its lead over Ferrari for third place in the constructors’ championship, eventually finishing 104 points clear thanks to Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas’ podium finishes in Abu Dhabi.
Force India picked up its biggest points haul of the season because of double points, with Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez finishing sixth and seventh. However, it was not enough to lift the team back above McLaren in the constructors’ championship, finishing 16 points shy of the British team in the final standings.
In fact, the only drivers to benefit from double points were Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez. Finishing second, Massa picked up 36 points, allowing him to finish ahead of Jenson Button in the drivers’ championship in seventh place. Perez’s haul of 12 points was enough to lift him above both Kevin Magnussen and Kimi Raikkonen to finish the year in tenth place.
F1 may have got away with it when it comes to double points, but let’s avoid the risk next year: it’s a gimmick that, as proven by this year’s fantastic title race, simply is not needed.