Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton can all still win the F1 title in Abu Dhabi, but what permutations do they need?
And then there were four …
As we reach the final grand prix of the season, the Formula One drivers’ championship is now down to just four contenders. Jenson Button can no longer retain his title, leaving these contenders:
1) Fernando Alonso 246
2) Mark Webber 238
3) Sebastian Vettel 231
4) Lewis Hamilton 222
How many points are available in the final race at Abu Dhabi:
From first to 10th: 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1
(If drivers are tied on points, positions are decided on results countback, first comparing wins and then, if wins are equal, second places and so on.)
Who could win and how
Webber cannot win championship if P6 or lower.
Vettel cannot win championship if P3 or lower.
Hamilton cannot win championship if P2 or lower.
Alonso v Webber
If: Alonso P1 or P2: Alonso takes the title on points
Alonso P3, P4 or P5: Webber needs to win
Alonso P6, Webber needs P2
Alonso P7 or P8: Webber needs P3
Alonso P9: Webber P4
Alonso P10 or no points: Webber P5
Alonso v Vettel
If: Alonso P1, P2, P3 or P4, beats Vettel on points
Alonso P5, P6, P7, P8 : Vettel needs to win
Alonso P9, P10: Vettel needs P2
Webber v Vettel
If: Vettel P1: Webber cannot win
Vettel P2: Webber P4 or better
Must win, Alonso P11 or worse, Webber P6 or worse, and Vettel P3 or worse.
There’s even a spreadsheet for these options.
Alonso the leader and favourite
After the Interlagos race, Alonso was asked if he was confident: “One hundred per cent. I just need to finish second. It doesn’t matter who wins in Abu Dhabi if I finish second. So the main goal for us is to be on pole on Saturday and then win the race on Sunday.”
Webber v Vettel
Although Team Red Bull won the constructor’s championship their two drivers are at loggerheads. The pair collided in Turkey, damaging their title hopes, after which Webber said: “We’ll probably have a difference of opinion until we go to our graves.”
In the run-up to the Brazilian grand prix Webber criticised his team, claiming that they gave more help to Vettel: “I think I wasn’t supposed to be in the hunt at all, so it’s been maybe quite inconvenient.” When asked if he thought his team gave the 23-year-old Vettel more support, Webber added: “It’s fucking obvious, isn’t it? Of course. When young, new charges come on to the block that’s where the emotion is. That’s the way it is.”
Red Bull were far from pleased, but when it comes to the crunch in Abu Dhabi, what will the team do?