All eyes are on Abu Dhabi for this season’s final fascinating duel for the F1 championship between team mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
The final grand prix of 2016 is also the showdown between the two Mercedes drivers.
Hamilton swept to victory in a wet and windy Brazil grand prix. Rosberg was second.
The result left the 2016 F1 drivers’ championship on a knife edge.
Hamilton and Rosberg have won 18 of the 20 races so far.
Rosberg leads the table with 367 points to Hamilton’s 355. The nearest contender is third placed Daniel Ricciardo on 246 points. Ricciardo cannot win the title as he cannot pick up enough points even if he wins the final race.
Rosberg will win regardless of where Hamilton finishes in Abu Dhabi if he finishes in third place or above.
The winning permutations
Hamilton is the man in form after winning the last three grand prix.
Rosberg wins if he:
- Takes a top three place
- Comes home in 4th to 6th place and Hamilton is second or lower
- Finishes in 7th to 9th place and Hamilton is third or lower
- Does not finish or comes in at 9th or lower and Hamilton comes 4th or lower
- If Hamilton does not finish
Another permutation is both finish on the same points. If this should happen, the championship is decided on who won the most races – but as both have won nine and if Rosberg wins again, he becomes champion.
The judges then look to who has the most second place finishes, but they could both have four runner-up places if Hamilton is second.
If the number of third places comes into play, Hamilton would win this with an unassailable four against Rosberg’s two.
Rosberg has the edge
The problem for Hamilton is the 12-point margin between him and Rosberg is probably a gap too far to bridge in a single race.
He has trailed Rosberg by a larger margin this season – Rosberg was 43 points ahead in the championship after only five races.
Whatever happens, the end to the season is a nail-biter with a wafer-thin advantage between the two drivers.