• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Double points: How the title can be won and lost

ESPN Staff
November 23, 2014
© Sutton Images

At this weekend's season finale in Abu Dhabi, the much-derided double points rule means anyone finishing in the top ten will get twice as many points as usual. Much like NASCAR's Chase, it's an attempt by the sport's rule makers to inject extra tension into the final rounds of the season, but fans and competitors alike have criticised the system.

Under the regulation, points in Abu Dhabi shall be awarded in the following order for the top ten: 50-36-30-24-20-16-12-8-4-2. Although the title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg would have gone to the final round regardless of the one-off rule, Rosberg's 17-point gap to Hamilton looks far less substantial with double points on offer. Here's what the two title contenders need to happen in order to be crowned 2014 world champion this weekend.

© Getty Images

Hamilton needs to finish:

  • First or second
  • Fifth or better if Rosberg fails to win
  • Sixth if Rosberg finishes third or lower
  • Eighth if Rosberg does not reach the podium.
  • Ninth if Rosberg is not in the top four
  • Tenth if Rosberg cannot manage better than sixth

Rosberg needs to finish:

  • First if Hamilton is not second
  • Second if Hamilton is not in the top five
  • Fourth if Hamilton is no higher than ninth
  • Fifth if Hamilton is no higher than tenth
  • Rosberg cannot wins if he finishes sixth or lower

The double points rule has been far from popular among fans, and both those inside and outside the sport have poked fun at the idea.

F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone originally wanted the final three races to carry double points in order to bring the season to a more unpredictable climax, but even he has backed down from the idea in recent months. As a result, it is unlikely the rule will remain in place in future seasons, making 2014 an anomaly in the sport's record books.