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Report: Toto Wolff speaks out against F1’s double points finale

Jul 22, 2014, 10:08 AM EDT

Spanish F1 Grand Prix - Practice Getty Images

Considering his two drivers are likely the only ones with a shot at this year’s FIA Formula One World Championship, to hear Mercedes commercial boss Toto Wolff speak out against the double points season finale in Abu Dhabi is very interesting.

But his comments are now in the public sphere. Speaking to Autosport, Wolff called out Bernie Ecclestone and FOM without referring to them by name in terms of ramming the double points through.

“I don’t think it is fair and I don’t think we should have done it,” Wolff said. “But the commercial rights holder, who takes the sponsorship and cares about the TV audiences, said we need to keep the excitement until the last race, and it looks like he was right. I would be very surprised if it [the title battle] wouldn’t come down to double points.”

The ideal situation to avoid the double points playing a major role in deciding the title between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton is that the two come into the race with a seven-point gap between them or less, same as it would be for the normal gap from first place (25 points) to second (18).

With the double points, 50 are on offer for winning with 36 for second in Abu Dhabi. That essentially makes it winner take all anyway, but with a bigger gap available, either driver can be within 13 heading into Abu Dhabi for it to alter the order assuming they’d finish first or second.

Behind the Mercedes drivers, if say a Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull, Fernando Alonso of Ferrari or Valtteri Bottas of Williams is within the 50-point range and randomly won with the Mercedes both having issues (unlikely at best), such a case of “stealing” the 2014 title could well occur, as it would be mathematically possible.

Hearing Wolff speak out could be the first step towards an overturning of double points before it happens, or it could fall on deaf ears. Either way, interesting to note.

  1. kitnamania13 - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    I’d like to see Mercedes put two different drivers in the cars for Abu Dhabi. That way, the world championship can be decided at Interlagos. I know that will never happen, but I’d like to see Toto stick it to Bernie and this boring, soul-less racetrack.

    • testover6370 - Jul 22, 2014 at 11:35 PM

      I love that idea. A classic track like Interlagos should decide the championship.

  2. techmeister1 - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    I’m not sure dreamed up the double points deal but I’m not a supporter. Usually the team/driver who has worked the hardest and had some luck ends up the winner. Naturally there are times when the second place team steals one at the last race. I don’t think most fans want to see a second place team win the championship on luck in the final race. Most fans want to see a team/driver win on merit.

    In Mercedes’ situation it’s likely their two drivers will be the only ones fighting for the driver’s championship. Double points for the last race isn’t a good idea at all to me even if it were two drivers from different teams. I expect fans may be quite vocal after the season ending race and hopefully the rules will revert back where they belong.

    Double points is equally as dumb as more standing starts to result in a crashfest at turn one. If the fans want to see wrecking instead of racing they should watch CRASHCAR.

  3. Matthew - Jul 22, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    Reblogged this on Carolina Mountain Blue and commented:
    ‘Bout damn time someone publicly told the Troll (i.e. Bernie Ecclestone) where to put his asinine double points idea…

  4. stevieboy56 - Jul 23, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    its clear to me that the double points thing is a knee jerk reaction to vettel’s domination of the latter half of last season. Bernie Eccleston just isn’t able to sit back and enjoy the season without keeping his finger on the F1 trigger and his mega bucks paycheck!

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