Toto Wolff admits Abu Dhabi double points finale could overshadow season
Mercedes team boss agrees that large points swing "could change the outcome"
By Mike Wise and James Galloway in Austin
Last Updated: 25/11/14 5:56pm
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits the season could be overshadowed if the title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg is settled by a large double points swing in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton moved 24 points clear of his team-mate in the World Championship after winning Sunday’s U.S. GP in Austin, with the Briton now having ten victories this season to Rosberg’s four.
Yet the double points rule leaves the German firmly in the hunt – to the extent that Rosberg could still become champion even if Hamilton won this weekend’s race Brazil and he retired.
Were that to happen, Hamilton would open up a 49-point lead. Yet if fortunes were reversed at Yas Marina on November 23 then Rosberg would take the title by a single point.
It’s a stark scenario and one that emphasises the argument that the rule, which was announced by the FIA last December ‘in order to maximise focus on the championship until the end of the campaign’, could skew the outcome.
“I don’t have a fear but I think the last race with the double points has the potential to overshadow a season,” Wolff said at the Circuit of The Americas.
“We know why the double points came and it made all the sense in the world – to make it spectacular for the audience, the fans and the viewers – but now we are in a situation that it could change the outcome.”
Hamilton, who has now beaten Nigel Mansell’s British records for most wins in a season and in total – the 29-year-old’s latest was the 32nd of his career - would be guaranteed a second world title if he finished second in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
However, Hamilton said he won’t change his approach as the season reaches its climax.
“It doesn’t really change, same as for Nico really, because we’re hunting for those points,” he said.
As far is Rosberg is concerned, the offer of 50 points in Abu Dhabi is “great to hear of course, because then there’s a definite shot at the championship this year, even with the points that I’m now behind and anyways, there’s still Brazil to come so in Brazil it’s even possible to completely turn it around.
“You never know what will happen there so I’m sure it will be an exciting end to the season.”