And so it is, and the Formula 1 rule-makers will get their wish, with the outcome to the 2014 Drivers’ Championship guaranteed to go to the final race in the calendar.
Lewis Hamilton’s win at the US Grand Prix on Sunday extended his lead to 24 points over teammate and last remaining Championship contender, Nico Rosberg.
In normal circumstances, Hamilton would need only to add another point to his lead in order to seal a second World Championship. But normal circumstances were always likely to be thrown out of the window when the farcical “double points” rule was brought in – applying only to the season’s finale, in order to try and keep the championship alive for the duration of the season.
Even without the added incentive of a 50 point windfall for taking the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi, Rosberg would still hold hopes of becoming 2014 World Champion.
The German set the pace for much of the season and it has taken a remarkable run of wins by his Mercedes team-mate to overturn what was, at one stage, a 29 point lead in Rosberg’s favour. At some point, Hamilton’s winning streak will come to an end, and Rosberg remains the most likely man in each and every race to capitalise on any dropped points by Hamilton.
In other words, there would be every chance that Abu Dhabi would still get to see the race which would crown one of the two men as World Champion.
As it stands though, Hamilton could go into that race with a potential 49 point lead, and ten race victories from 16 Grands Prix – yet still miss out due to a driver securing twice as many points for a race win than Hamilton had earnt for any of his triumphs.
It would be a wholly unfair way for the title to be decided, and wouldn’t do the sport of Formula 1 any favours. Even with his team certain of achieving a double Championship win, having already secured the Constructors title, Mercedes team boss, Toto Wolff, yesterday raised his own concerns that if the Drivers’ title was won purely due to the extra points, it could overshadow his team’s achievements over the course of the season – such would be the controversy.
And at a time when safety concerns and huge financial issues are affecting the sport’s reputation, Formula 1 really doesn’t need any extra negative attention that could lead to further disillusionment.
The hope is that the eventual champion can be decided without relying on the bonus points on offer – and that the sport’s governing body will see sense, and bring the distribution of points for the season’s finale in line with each of the races that come before it.