How the titles can be won in Brazil

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Third place will make Jenson Button champion this weekend
Third place will make Jenson Button champion this weekend

For the second year the Interlagos crowd will watch a home driver try to stop a British rival from winning the championship.

Last year it was Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton – this time it’s between Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button.

Sebastian Vettel could also have a say, but his chances of stopping Button are even slimmer than Barrichello’s. Here’s how the drivers’ and constructors’ championships could be decided on Sunday.

Drivers’ championship

However well Barrichello and Vettel do this weekend, they need Button to have a bad race if they’re going to keep the championship alive until the last round.

Here’s the drivers’ championship situation ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix:

Jenson Button 85
Rubens Barrichello 71
Sebastian Vettel 69

Points remaining: 20
In the event of a tie, Jenson Button is the champion
Full championship points before Brazil

Whatever happens, Button will end the season with more race wins than anyone else – so he is guaranteed the title if he is tied for the championship lead with one of his rivals at the end of the year (which has never happened before).

Here’s how the championship can be decided this weekend at Interlagos:

  • Button is champion if he finishes third or higher, regardless of where his rivals finish
  • Button is champion if he finishes fourth or fifth and Barrichello doesn’t win
  • Button is champion if he finishes sixth or seventh and Barrichello finishes third or lower and Vettel doesn’t win
  • Button is champion if he finishes eighth and Barrichello finishes fourth or lower and Vettel finishes third or lower
  • Button is champion if he doesn’t score and Barrichello finishes fifth or lower and Vettel finishes third or lower

It’s worth remembering that Button is automatically champion if both his title rivals retire.

Constructors’ championship

Brawn 156
Red Bull 120.5

Points remaining: 36
This championship cannot end in a tie
Full championship points before Brazil

Brawn are going to have to work very hard to lose this one.

The only way Red Bull can stay in the championship at Abu Dhabi is if they finish one-two at Interlagos, with neither Brawn finishing.

Red Bull have had one-twos this year, but Brawn’s reliability has been second to none.

That said, reliability streaks have an irritating habit of ending when it’s most inconvenient – which is what Red Bull will be hoping happens to their rivals in Brazil.

Read more: Barrichello needs a big result on home ground (Brazilian Grand Prix preview)