How should an F1 points tie be decided?

This topic contains 11 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Malcolm Tucker Malcolm Tucker 1 week, 2 days ago.

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    Profile photo of Keith Collantine
    Keith Collantine


    As noted in Stats and Facts this week, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are currently tied on top of the points standings with equal points and identical finishing positions.

    It’s extremely unlikely we’d ever have two drivers tied at the top of the standings at the end of the season in this way. But if it did happen, the FIA would have to finally work out what comes after this clause:

    The FIA will nominate the winner according to such criteria as it thinks fit.

    So what would be a fair way of breaking this kind of tie? Your suggestions, please…


    Profile photo of Adam Blocker
    Adam Blocker


    The next criteria should be most pole positions, most times qualified second, most times qualified third, etc. After that I think the tie could be broken by fewest penalty points incurred over the season.


    Profile photo of Calum


    I don’t see the big issue in just sharing the title if we go through all the count backs and still have a tie!


    Profile photo of jsw11984


    I would think a tie for the title should be decided the same way that a tie for qualifying is decided, whoever set the time/win first wins it.

    So if the championship ended today, I would crown Vettel as the champion since he won the first race.


    Profile photo of Richard


    Its gotta be rock-paper-scissors!


    Profile photo of Scottie


    why not like they have in golf… A playoff between the two?
    Have a 10 lap sprint race to the title at the final round where both drivers can make changes to their cars over a 1.5hr or so gap from the end of the race.
    Abu Dhabi already has the lights on, and the 2/4 cars can have priority through post race scrutineering…


    Profile photo of David Not Coulthard
    David Not Coulthard


    a chess match :P


    Profile photo of Evil Homer
    Evil Homer


    Fist fight.
    No biting, no groin strikes.
    An F1 driver really out of his league 😉


    Profile photo of Hotbottoms


    I agree with @jarred-walmsley . The one who got the best result (most likely a win) first should win the championship. I think that would be the best way, because:
    a) it is simple;
    b) it would definitely decide the championship without other rules needed (for instance, the two drivers could have the same amount of pole positions); and
    c) it is fair: a win as soon as possible is what both of the drivers have tried to achieve (for instance, the amount of pole positions as a tie-breaker wouldn’t be as fair, since getting a pole position isn’t the ultimate goal. A driver could compromise his qualifying for better setups in race).

    In my opinion, this should also be the rule to decide a championship in case both drivers have equal points and identical finishing positions. I don’t see any reason why FIA should be able to nominate the champion in any situation.


    Profile photo of sam3110


    A 5 lap blast of the final circuit of the season, in identical machinery (manufacturer drawn out of a hat, the drivers’ manufacturers are not involved) whoever sets the quickest time wins.

    So you could have Hamilton vs Vettel in Saubers, lapping Abu Dhabi trying to set the quickest time


    Profile photo of JackySteeg


    I believe Super Formula settles tie-breaks simply by giving it to whoever finished ahead in the final race. I think it’s a decent way of adding a little more emphasis on the final event without horribly skewing the outcome (thinking of double points).


    Profile photo of Malcolm Tucker
    Malcolm Tucker


    The first BTCC season (then BSCC – 1958) was decided by a shootout. They drove identical cars for two races, swapping cars for the second race in case one was faster, and combined the winning margins of both races to determine the winner. Brilliant in a nostalgic sense but it wouldn’t and probably shouldn’t happen in this day and age!

    Giving it to the driver who set the time first/won the first race isn’t fair in my opinion but it’s the fairest solution I can think of, I’m shocked there isn’t anything in the current regs to oversee this situation.

    What would happen if two cars crossed the line with no time between them? I guess they’d give it to the driver who qualified ahead but surely the driver who qualified behind has performed better in the race? Or would they somehow share the position/points?

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