Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014

How Hamilton could win 13 races but lose the title

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014Lewis Hamilton could win every race between now and the season finale at Abu Dhabi yet still lose the championship – due to the new double points rule.

With twice as many points being awarded at the final race of the year Hamilton could end the season with thirteen wins to Nico Rosberg’s five yet still be outscored by his team mate.

It would mean Hamilton winning all bar six of this year’s nineteen rounds, yet not being awarded the title.

The scenario it is not entirely far-fetched. Mercedes have had a significant performance advantage over their rivals in the first half of the season and have already scored six one-two finishes in the first ten races.

That included a run of four races where Hamilton won and Rosberg finished second. But even if that were to happen again twice over the coming rounds, victory for Rosberg in the double points finale would still secure him the championship, providing Hamilton finished lower than eighth or retired.

Here’s how the final points table would look in that scenario:

Driver Aus Mal Bah Chi Spa Mon Can Aut Gbr Ger Hun Bel Ita Sin Jap Rus USA Bra Abu Total
Nico Rosberg 25 18 18 18 18 25 18 25 0 25 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 50 384
Lewis Hamilton 0 25 25 25 25 18 0 18 25 15 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 4 380

This situation could only occur because of the double points rule. Without it, given these same finishing positions, Hamilton would head to Abu Dhabi already champion on 376 points to Rosberg’s 334. Instead he would be left worrying that a piece of ill-timed misfortune might deny him the title, as his team mate claims the only 50-point race win of the year.

As it stands Hamilton needs to do more than just win races to increase his chance of winning the championship – he badly needs Rosberg to finish further down the running order. That’s not likely to happen without some misfortune on his team mate’s part.

It also means the chances are rising that the hugely unpopular double points rules will end up deciding the outcome of the championship.

Bernie Ecclestone’s plan to award double points at the final race was strongly criticised by fans when it was announced last year. In a recent F1 Fanatic poll 96% of readers opposed it.

Work out how the championship could be decided using the F1 Fanatic Points Calculator:

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Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

182 comments on “How Hamilton could win 13 races but lose the title”

  1. It’s looking very unlikely that the drivers’ championship will be decided before Abu Dhabi – so, I’m actually hoping that Hamilton and Rosberg are tied on points going into that race – that way, the double-points rule cannot possibly affect the result

    1. Unless Bottas or Ricciardo overhauls them both in Abu Dhabi. Personally, I think that would be awesome.

  2. A great season… ruined by some guys at office.

  3. Thank you Keith for highlighting the point I made last week (http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2014/07/14/will-win-hamilton-rosberg-work-f1-points-calculator/#comment-2394983).

    I would add that I have done some Monte Carlo simulations (the statistical procedure not the race) and most of the unfair outcomes due to the points system are reasonably unlikely. In only 8% of simulations do we get a different champion with double points in the season finale (which doesn’t mean it’s not daft).

    As others have pointed out it’s Mercedes’ reliability that should be more of a concern to Lewis Hamilton. With their current failure rate, Rosberg wins the championship in 61% of simulations (if both drivers have an equal chance of winning a straight fight). If you rate Hamilton as a better driver (I think he’s won 4 of the 6 races unaffected by any car issues this year, a 67% success rate) then he still only wins the championship in 49% of simulations.

    It’s only if you give Hamilton a 90%+ probability of winning each glitch-free encounter with Rosberg that he gets a 2/3 chance of winning the championship.

    Obviously, if Mercedes reliability improves there is a greater probability of the championship going to the stronger rather than the luckier driver, whoever that may be.

    1. This should be COTD

  4. “How Hamilton could win 13 races but lose the title”

    Why always Hamilton? Personally getting a bit fed up with his name popping up in all the news, even if it’s not necessarily all about him. It feeds the critics saying english website = english baised.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      22nd July 2014, 16:45

      It’s because he’s second in the championship.

      1. This article is about double-points. You could say Rosberg could win X number of races and still loose the WDC. Or just debate double-points without specifying a driver. But as usual it’s about Hamilton. It’s like the article says “oh look how much injustice our dear Hamilton has to withstand”. I find Hamilton a very interesting driver, but sometimes enough is enough.

        1. Amen to that. Tried to suggest that Keith should do it with both scenarios in mind but doesn’t seem to be “compelling” enough for him.

          1. Yes, how dare he use logic to explain what he did.

        2. @me4me @lari Because replacing Lewis with Nico would mean replacing the number 13 with 11 .
          11<13, thus "How Nico could lose the championship having won 11 races" is a less compelling sentence than the headline.

          As for "Why not both?", if 1 example already does a good enough job of making readers understand @keithcollantine‘s point, thus fulfilling the purpose of the article, why another?

          1. The purpose of the article is defined as to show a bad, preferably worst-case, scenario of what double points could lead to.

      2. @lite992 It should be how Rosberg could lost the WDC because he’s leading atm, that would make alot more sense if that’s the criteria.

        1. @lari – Nico Rosberg can’t win 13 races and lose the title. The max races he could win and still lose the title is 11, and that isn’t a record equaling amount of wins in a season like Hamilton’s theoretical 13.

        2. The criteria is the most unfair situation. Either driver losing it unfairly is just as bad, but if Lewis loses it, it is 13 wins to 5 vs 11 wins to 7. Lewis’ example is a better showing of the broken system, and thus is the headline.

        3. The criteria is the most unfair situation. Either driver losing it unfairly is just as bad, but if Lewis loses it, it is 13 wins to 5 vs 11 wins to 7. Lewis’ example is a better showing of the broken system, and thus is the headline.

  5. The points system if flawed with our without Adu Double. Imagine a consistent driver who scores 5x 4th place and 5x 5th place during the first half of the season in a mediocre car. The team then finds something and he goes on to win 9 races in a row. He will still lose the championship to a guy who scored 19x 2nd places (without double points – with double points he’d actually win tied on points).

    What we really need is the 10-6-4-3-2-1 system. Or a 25-15-10 … system. And no doubles except for 600km races.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      22nd July 2014, 16:50

      Actually compared to the previous points system of 2009 (10-8-6) a second place is worth less now than it used to be. To match the value of 2009, a second place must be worth 20 points, which was included in the original 2010 points proposal.

  6. So what happens if one merc driver is leading the championship by 14 points or less at the start of the last race, but qualifies 2nd..? That could be interesting.

    1. Senna, Suzuka 1990 has been outlawed, I’m afraid.

  7. Hamilton got some stick earlier this year for saying he’d prefer if the field were closer, but he had a point even it it was poorly expressed. What makes the race between he and Rosberg so close is that their car is, for all practical purposes, the only one in the field. They could start dead last and second last in a GP this year, or first and last, and still finish first and second. It’s almost impossible for either of them to gain many points on his teammate, barring mechanical issues. If some other team – Williams, most likely – can start finishing between the Mercs then things will get a lot more interesting.

    1. Hamilton got some stick earlier this year for saying he’d prefer if the field were closer

      And followed that up with a comment about how he wanted to win races by 20s or more as soon as the races started. But then, Hamilton has always been a flip flop like that.

  8. 9 races left:

    Hamilton wins 8 races at 25 points plus last race in second place with double points (36) = 236
    Hamilton: 176 + 236 = 416

    Rosberg wins 8 races at 18 points plus one race in first place with double points (50) = 194
    Rosberg: 190 + 194 = 384

    Am I missing something?

    Anyway the point of the article is more to do with the double points rule which I disagree with. Each victory should be equal to every other.

    1. Yes you are missing something. The article even lists the conditions LH could lose the title with 13 wins.

  9. I think if it comes down to the Championship being decided by the double points rule, the Mercedes driver in the lead will not take the win! He will let the #2 car finish ahead.
    After all these guys are not stupid they know to win like that will upset the whole F1 community…

    1. I can’t imagine any driver doing that. The championship is not a charity.

  10. I don’t understand why the article suggests Hamilton could be the one to suffer; being as close as they are, they’re both as likely to win or lose out due to the double points rule.

  11. I think the only way we can take back formula 1 for the purists is to make the cars run round unsafe circuits so we have at least 3 serious injuries a season. Bring back Screaming loud engines that compulsory have to blow up at least 3 times season. Bring in teams who have a £100 budget who run 15 secs a lap slower than the leaders. Take away fuel moniters so cars run round for entire grand prix just to run out of fuel on the last lap. We can have an hours highlight package of the race only on a sunday tea time perhaps Mr Walker can come out of retirement to host it. Catch Fencing would also be a good thing to bring back wouldn’t it. I would be interested if there was anything else we can bring back to make the racing pure like good ol’ days.

    1. Was there a point to this?

  12. I think the Mercs will break down a few times and stop that happening. I predict another Red Bull win, and one for Bottas…

    And that many wins for one driver wouldn’t be allowed. It would be Bad For The Show. There’d be all kinds of rule-meddling like FRICs and worse to prevent it happening. Sorry to be cynical but the Vettelsome end of 2014 won’t be allowed to happen again because there must be a Country Bear Jamboree to finish the season and “Thanks Bernie!” written in lights on the side of the Abu Dhabi Fun Palace.

  13. I’m sorry to be a negative nancy here but what exactly is the point of this article?

    We all fully understand the effect Abu Double can have. I assume most of us know how to add and use other basic math equations.

    We are (almost) all fully against it as well so this can’t be a way to try and convince the masses that do support the rule.

    And Hamilton isn’t going to win every race from now on. Why? Because Rosberg has already managed to win 4 races himself. There’s absolutely no sign Hamilton will dominate Rosberg in the remainder of the season. So it isn’t be a ‘Hamilton deserves it the most’ kind of bull…. article. Is it?

  14. That this is a possibility was clear from the start, that is part of what I wrote in my letters to F1 teams.

  15. The championship is one thing but I looked on every season from 1992. On the quick look, only years where top 10 would have been intact were 1996, 2001, 2002 and 2011. Of those, 2002 would have had small change overall thanks to Sato.

  16. If hamilton wins the WDC due to double points, I will be happy as it’d make up for all the bad luck he’s had this year.

    1. @sato113 Someone better get on retroactively giving quadruple points for the 2005 Hungarian GP, then, since Hamilton’s bad luck is nothing on Raikkonen’s bad luck in 2005.

      1. ha yes very true. someone should write a forum topic detailing it.

  17. Hamilton wont beat Rosberg around Singapore.

  18. Guess future articles about double points should include every possible scenario for every driver just to not hurt some people’s feelings!

  19. So I take it that everyone will be outraged and distraught if Hamilton wins the WDC by winning the AD GP even after trailing into the last race by more than 8 points.

    Or is the feeling only if Nico wins that way? :)

  20. I have a question about the double point rule, since if two or more drivers are tied at the same point, their best result is deciding. And if their best result is the same the number of times they have achieved it will decide it. So say, if Hamilton and Rosberg will be tied on points and Rosberg has won 9 races and Hamilton has won 8 including Abu Dhabi, will Hamilton’s Abu Dhabi win count twice so that he’ll equal Rosberg’s number of wins or will it be counted like a normal win?

    1. Its one win with an award of double points. So No, Hamilton’s win will count once. And Rosberg will be a champion.

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