Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: What’s up for grabs, points-wise

Getty Images
1 Comment

With just one round remaining in 2016, the 21st and final race in Formula 1’s longest season ever, there’s still plenty up for grabs in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix beyond just the World Championship.

Here’s a look at the respective Driver and Constructor Championships and what could change on Sunday:


  • The World Championship: Nico Rosberg will win his maiden World Championship for Mercedes AMG Petronas with a podium finish. Even if he fails to make the podium, he can still win it provided teammate Lewis Hamilton doesn’t outscore him by 12 or 13 more points (right now they’re tied with nine wins apiece; at the moment, Rosberg holds a 4-3 edge in runner-up finishes). Rosberg leads 367-355 going in.
  • Fourth place: Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) leads Max Verstappen (Red Bull) by five points, 197-192. If Verstappen overtakes him – which he could do with third place and Vettel fifth or worse – it would solidify the teenager in fourth behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who is guaranteed third place. Kimi Raikkonen has an outside shot, 19 back in sixth, but would need a win and some help to leapfrog this high.
  • Tenth place: With Sergio Perez (Force India, 97), Valtteri Bottas (Williams, 85) and Nico Hulkenberg (Force India, 66) likely to stay in seventh through ninth, barring a shock result, the battle for 10th place sees three drivers separated by only seven points. Fernando Alonso (McLaren, 53), Felipe Massa (Williams, 51) and Carlos Sainz Jr. (Toro Rosso, 46) will be scrapping over the minor points in Abu Dhabi and provided one of them can finish in the sixth or seventh range, they’ll likely end P10. Alonso and Sainz have outperformed their machinery this year while Massa has underperformed, although Williams has regressed. The Brazilian will be looking to go out on a high in his final Grand Prix.
  • P13-15: Romain Grosjean (Haas, 29), Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso, 25) and Jenson Button (McLaren, 21) are only separated by eight points, but there’s a lesser likelihood of this changing with the three of them having struggled to crack the top-10 in recent races. Positions 16-20 are doubtful to change, again barring any shock result.


  • Fourth place: Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari are locked into the top three and thus the highest position that can change here is fourth. Courtesy of outscoring Williams 25-6 in the last two Grands Prix, Force India is poised to capture fourth place, the best in the team’s history since becoming Force India in 2008, after a long time spent in the midfield and back of pack. Down 163-136, it’d take Williams outscoring Force India by 27 to usurp them, which would require Williams finishing third and fourth with Force India outside the top 10 – and that seems a highly unlikely proposition.
  • Sixth place: Possible but doubtful. McLaren leads Toro Rosso here by 12 points – 75 to 63 – for P6. Unless Carlos Sainz Jr. has another heroic drive in him, which we can’t rule out, a fourth place still seems a bit difficult to fathom at this point. A combo drive of Sainz in sixth and Daniil Kvyat in seventh could also do the trick, but since both Toro Rossos have only scored in the same Grand Prix twice since May, that’s an even longer shot.
  • P9-11: With Haas more or less secure in eighth on 29 points, Renault, Sauber and Manor will likely finish in that order on 8, 2 and 1 point respectively. Sauber’s ninth place with Felipe Nasr at Brazil was huge for the team from a potential cash infusion standpoint, to get ahead of Manor for P10 in points. In a dry race, seeing either team score points again is a longshot. But, stranger things have happened.

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

More SuperMotocross coverage

How to Watch Seattle Supercross
Dylan Ferrandis may return before SX finale
SMX develops “Leader Lights”
Power Rankings after Detroit
Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan
Results and points after Detroit
Chase Sexton wins in Detroit, penalized seven points