How Hamilton could win 13 races but lose the title

2014 F1 season

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:

2014 F1 season


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

  1. teamorders said on 23rd July 2014, 0:51

    Double points has nothing to do with it. Reliability and the relative small amount of extra points for 1st vs. 2nd is what potentially causes this problem. Under the old 10-6-4-3-2-1 system this wouldn’t happen; double points or not.

  2. Maciek (@maciek) said on 23rd July 2014, 2:19

    I think we’re all agreed that double points is plain dumb, but, as a point of discussion, the projection seems awfully premature.

  3. David (@ringridder) said on 23rd July 2014, 6:11

    “providing Hamilton finished lower than eighth or retired.” – should be ninth, as he too will get double points ;-)

  4. Kanil (@kanil) said on 23rd July 2014, 8:19

    And if we didn’t have double points, Hamilton could still lose the championship with 12 victories to Rosberg’s 4. Not exactly a huge change in the numbers.

    This is more due to Mercedes dominance than it is due to double points — retirements take several race wins to make up for when your teammate/rival is never finishing worse than second.

    While I agree that double points are awful, this isn’t really a compelling argument why.

  5. F1Rollout (@f1rollout) said on 23rd July 2014, 11:23

    I am OK with double points as far as the driver performance is the deciding factor in the outcome of the race because its same for both Rosberg and Hamilton. O fcourse if it will be decided based on the reliability, then its a shame. We can just hope that double points don’t make a significant contribution in the outcome of the WDC and ditch this idea for the next season.

  6. DaveW (@dmw) said on 23rd July 2014, 15:18

    I’m sorry if this is covered but the most acute implication here is for smaller teams, not Mercedes, who will be celebrating two championships no matter what. It would supremely galling for, say FI to leap frog Ferrari at the last race or McLaren to jump two spots in their sorry season because Maldonado or Massa wreck 1/3 of the field at turn one. There is a lot of money at stake and that money matters for the traditional midfield teams. Money aside, it would be really horrible if a fair and square trouncing of McLaren and Lotus was snatched away like this. It would be a reverse-Cinderallla story.

  7. jack john said on 13th October 2014, 17:26

    Just came across this article doing a google search on something similar and it has made me smile reading all the comments saying there’s no way Hamilton will win e.g. the next few races in a row (it was 5-4 to Lewis in wins at the time , so this article is pointless etc etc.

    Interesting that Lewis has indeed dominated Rosberg since (not that surprising as he’s a much better and quicker driver) and now has 9 wins to Rosberg’s relatively poor 4.

    Double points in one race is clearly ridiculous and it will be an absolute sick joke if Lewis has won 11 races (including 6 in a row, and 4 in a row at various points in the season) by the time the last event comes, only for a DNF to hand the title to Rosberg for winning the final race and getting a mammoth 50pts bonus for it.

    In fact what could happen now is Lewis leads the title race by 49pts come the final race since he is currently 17pts head, so a DNF to Rosberg and a 2nd place in the next two races would make it a 49pt lead to Lewis if he won both of those races with the 50pt race to finish. Surely a Rosberg win in the last race is then Bernie’s worst case scenario and would cause absolute outrage.

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