Rosberg has a 90% chance of title victory

2016 Brazilian Grand Prix stats and facts

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For the 29th time in the 67-year history of the Formula One world championship, the title will be decided at the final race of the year.

That is remarkable given the 2016 season is the longest of all time. The weary field heads to Abu Dhabi to wrap up the title in two weeks’ time in the 21st round of the championship. It will be the third time the drivers’ title is decided there following Sebastian Vettel’s success in 2010 and Lewis Hamilton’s two years ago.

Hamilton went into the 2014 finale as the favourite to win the title. However this time the odds overwhelmingly favour his team mate Nico Rosberg.

With a 12-point lead heading into the final race a podium finish will guarantee Rosberg the title. In contrast, a podium finish is the only way Hamilton can retain his crown, and after that it depends where his team mate finishes.

In the 22-car field there are 507 different combinations of finishing positions plus non-finishes for the two title contenders. In 455 of those Rosberg would win the title and the remaining 52 would result in Hamilton clinching the title.

In simple mathematical terms Rosberg has an 89.7% chance of winning the championship. This table illustrates the outcomes in which Rosberg would win the title (in turquoise) and where Hamilton won retain his trophy (in yellow):

Rosberg’s points lead after Abu DhabiHamilton

Note also that if Yas Marina is a half-points race Hamilton can only take the title by winning with Rosberg no better than tenth.

Hamilton’s chances of winning the title look better if we take this year’s results into account. To take the title he must win in Abu Dhabi with Rosberg fourth or lower. That result has occurred four times in the 20 races so far this year, giving him a 20% shot. But of course, Hamilton may not be content to leave it up to chance.

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Mercedes break pole record

With his ninth victory this year, Hamilton reached a career total of 52 wins. He has now overtaken Alain Prost’s 51 victories, leaving Michael Schumacher as the only driver in F1 history who’s won more races than Hamilton.

At his tenth attempt, Hamilton finally crossed Brazil off the list of venues he hadn’t previously won at. Fittingly, the driver of car number 44 did so in the 44th edition of the Brazilian Grand Prix which counted towards the championship. That leaves only Baku, this year’s new addition to the calendar, as the one race on the schedule which Hamilton has never won.

Hamilton also took the 60th pole position of his career. It was his 11th pole position this year which means he retains the Pole Trophy he won last season.

Hamilton gave Mercedes their 19th pole position of the year. That broke Red Bull’s record of 18 in a season from 2011, when there were 19 races on the calendar instead of this year’s 21. Since 2014 Mercedes have only been beaten to pole position once per season, and by a different team each time.

The Safety Car notwithstanding, Hamilton led all 71 laps of the race and has now led more laps than Rosberg this year: 523 to 486.

Verstappen takes youngest-ever fastest lap

However the flying Red Bulls denied Hamilton a ‘grand slam’. Max Verstappen took the first fastest lap of his career, becoming the youngest driver ever to do so.

This record was previously held by Rosberg, who set it on his grand prix debut at Bahrain in 2006, aged 20 years and 263 days. Verstappen lowered the mark to 19 years and 49 days.

Verstappen is now the youngest driver to win a race, score a point, stand on the podium and set a fastest lap. Vettel remains the youngest driver to start from pole position, but Verstappen has two years and 30 days to break that record.

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Unusually, neither Mercedes driver made a pit stop in their pit box during the race. They only time they changed tyres was during the first stoppage when the whole field was instructed to fit a new set of full wet weather tyres. This was done in the fast lane of the pits, so Mercedes’ efforts to move their pit box to avoid a bump proved inconsequential.

Another curiosity from the eventful grand prix was Hamilton’s mid-race change of helmet designs. He began the race using a special yellow helmet in tribute to Ayrton Senna, but switched back to his regular model due to problems with water ingress.

Felipe Nasr’s first points of the season crucially moved Sauber ahead of Manor in the constructors’ championship. But he nearly did even better. With a dozen laps remaining he was in sixth place, which would have taken Sauber ahead of Renault as well.

However it was a joyless race for Romain Grosjean. He equalled the best qualifying performance for Haas with seventh on the grid he failed to start there after crashing on his way to the grid.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

Have you spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Brazilian Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.

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2016 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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227 comments on “Rosberg has a 90% chance of title victory”

  1. Trump had a 16% of winning the election!

    1. I suspect that calculation didn’t had all the facts.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        14th November 2016, 13:16

        Neither does this – the probability of a 12th and 14th (for example) is tiny compared to a 1st and 2nd.

        Nico will win the title unless something happens to him. In a normal race with no mistakes, crashes or technical problems, the Championship is over. This is F1 though and MUCH stranger things have happened!

        1. @petebaldwin Which is why I also referenced the likelihood of the various outcomes happening based on the results we’ve seen so far this year.

          1. @keithcoolantine
            I am curious as to why you listed DNF”s as a separate outcome from the finishing position. I look at Spain where they both DNF’d, but could also make the argument that they were 21st and 22nd unofficially. There were only 20 cars to complete more laps then them.

            To make my own question mute though, disregarding all the DNF outcomes just moves it .3% in Hamilton’s favor.

          2. @dragon86

            I look at Spain where they both DNF’d, but could also make the argument that they were 21st and 22nd unofficially.

            In Formula One you have to have completed at least 90% of the race distance to be classified and have a finishing position. So in that race Hamilton and Rosberg were not classified and therefore didn’t have a finishing position.

            This is different to IndyCar, for example. In that series drivers do not need to be classified in order to have a finishing position and score points. If you take a look at the result of recent IndyCar races you’ll see drivers credited with positions in the twenties despite having completed less than half the race distance because they retired.

            Of course in F1 you can still retire late in the race and be a classified finisher (and even score points if you finish high enough). A good example is the Renault drivers at Silverstone who both had gearbox problems. Palmer’s occurred on lap 37 of 52 and he wasn’t classified, Magnussen’s came 12 laps later and he was classified, in 17th place.

          3. Many people have pointed out that it makes little sense to give a total probability of 90% (or 89.7%) based in the assumption that all possible results are equally probable, when they are wildly unequal (anybody thinks that the probability of a Merc 1-2 the same than say, a 15-17?) So it doesn’t work even as a rough estimate. This is like saying, I can die tomorrow or I can stay alive, so I have a 50% probability of dying tomorrow.

            But I think there is another mistake, unless I’m missing something:

            Note also that if Yas Marina is a half-points race Hamilton can only take the title by winning with Rosberg not scoring.

            Let’s see, Nico is 12 points ahead; if Hamilton wins he gets 12.5 points, and if Nico gets P10 he gets 0.5 points, so they tie. At present they have 9 victories each, so on countback Lewis gets the WDC by one more win (or if you prefer by 1/2 more win). So Hamilton can take the title by winning even if Rosberg scores exactly 0.5 points (P10) at most. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

          4. Good point – I’ve tweaked that bit.

          5. @keithcollantine
            But the issue with including DNF’s separately is that your chart now contains two outcomes that are impossible. If one DNF’s, then the other cannot finish 22nd. By converting DNF’s as unofficial finishing positions, It will leave only the possible finishing position for the other driver.

        2. @petebaldwin and Martin:
          @keithcollantine has done a purely mathematical number crunching, of potential finishing positions and what it means to the championship to arrive at the 90% figure. As it is often said, “Dice have no memory” so the fact that P12 or P14 was very unlikely to have happened previously does not prevent it from happening at Abu Dhabi. In that respect, the 90% figure is valid.

          Of course, these are humans, and humans have exhibited streaks of successes and failures their various pursuits, which is where Keith picked a convenient metric of prior finishes in 2016 to arrive at the other 20% figure (or, 80% when placed alongside the 90%).

          Now I’m sure that there’ll be the usual bandwagon who might start splitting hairs over the individual races that made up that 80% and indulge in what-ifs to twiddle the percentages around. All of the outcomes of those models will also be equally valid, given they all have different starting conditions.

          1. has done a purely mathematical number crunching, of potential finishing positions and what it means to the championship to arrive at the 90% figure

            I know exactly what he has done, That’s why I am confused as to why he used an obviously incorrectly conclusion as his post title.

            As it is often said, “Dice have no memory” so the fact that P12 or P14 was very unlikely to have happened previously does not prevent it from happening at Abu Dhabi. In that respect, the 90% figure is valid.

            I think you misunderstand. The problem here isn’t some much that “dice have no memory” than “there are no dice”. The only way the 90% figure would be valid was if the race positions were chosen by a random number generator (like a lottery draw). That way each combination would have the same likelihood of happening.

            Because finishing position is based of a combination of decidedly non-random things (driver skill, affinity with track, car performance, qualifying position etc) then certain finishing positions are inherently less likely, therefore the 90% figure has no validity.

          2. Because finishing position is based of a combination of decidedly non-random things

            Martin – and that’s where Keith has looked at prior performance in the year, to arrive at a figure of 20% of the races where the finishing positions of HAM and ROS were favourable to HAM. Granted, it doesn’t take into consideration any track specific factors, but its a reasonable and convenient approach of getting another perspective.

          3. Martin – and that’s where Keith has looked at prior performance in the year

            Yes … I know this … I read the article too. I really have no idea what you are trying to achieve with your replies to me :/ None of this explains my original point.

            But then still used the less accurate 90% figure in the headline?

            90% of the possible combinations of finishing positions would give Rosberg the title. That does not in any way shape or form mean that Rosberg has a 90% change of winning. So why use it as the article title? Purely to mislead readers? Click bait?

          4. @phylyp
            Just a small correction – Keith did not do any mathematical number crunching when arriving at the 90% figure. It had nothing to do with mathematics, see my longer post below.

          5. Martin – a 90% headline is correct, given a certain set of criteria. An 80% headline is also correct, given another set of criteria.

            I alluded to this previously:

            All of the outcomes of those models will also be equally valid, given they all have different starting conditions.

          6. a 90% headline is correct, given a certain set of criteria. An 80% headline is also correct, given another set of criteria.

            Exactly. The difference is the basic calculation doesn’t involve any degree of interpretation. It’s a useful starting point, though: from there we could weight by past results this season, which as explained above gives Hamilton a 20% chance. Another might be to weight by past results at the same track.

          7. a 90% headline is correct

            It isn’t, plain and simple

            That 90% of the outcomes mean Rosberg wins the championship does not mean Rosberg has a 90% chance of winning the championship. This is basic statistics.

          8. Yeah Martin is right. The input events are not random, so the probabilities aren’t a function of a numerical distribution which assumes they are. It would be more relevant to do some calculations about the likely performance of the Red Bulls, perhaps, something like that. For example we are back to sea level, which should help. Hopefully.

          9. Here is another approach. We know that so far Nico finished:
            – on podium in 75% of the races,
            – from 4th to 6th in 15% of the races,
            – from 7th do 8th in 5% of the races,
            – 9th or lower in 5% of the races (one DNF).
            I think we can assume similar probabilities for the next race.

            Lewis finished 1st in 45% of the races so far, 2nd in 15% and 3rd in 20% of the races so far. But taking into account his bad luck and rising form I’d actually put his chances slightly higher:
            – 1st 50%,
            – 2nd 20%,
            – 3rd 15%.
            I think it’s more reasonable.

            So Lewis not finishing first would be 50%. Lewis not finishing first nor second – 30%. Lewis not on podium – 15%.

            If we do a bit of number crunching, assuming that these estimates are reasonable, we get:
            75% + 15% * 50% + 5% * 30% + 5% * 15% = 84,75% probability for Nico to win this championship. Shift these numbers either way and you get closer to 80% or 90%.

        3. As long as we are in fantasy mode of Hamilton winning:
          Maybe we can have a sandstorm. We can start behind the safety car, fit sand tires and on occasion take some dunes. Vettel can complain about red flags and being pushed into a ditch. Oh yeah and a guy called Max will drive around most of the field.

  2. I’m intrigued to know when was the last time before this that a team took a 1-2 with no pitstop for either driver?
    I guess the 80s?

    1. I believe officially they still took 2 pit stops each yesterday!

    2. Maybe 1992, Silverstone with Mansell-Patrese ? I watched and remember the race (very boring, by the way), and I think they didn’t stop.

      1. @eurobrun @bebilou No Mansell did make a pit stop in that race.

        However the 1992 Mexican Grand Prix saw the same result with neither driving pitting.

        With refuelling coming in two years later and, more recently, the rule requiring drivers to use two types of tyre during a race, I suspect that was the last occasion when a team had a one-two without either driver stopping in the pit box.

        1. Thanks @keithcollantine. I love random stats like that.

    3. also, is this the first race a driver started with one helmet and finished with another? (talking about LH here)

      and yes, I am curious about stupid things

      1. I noticed that to, @johnmilk! And I believe Massa also changed his overalls (I think he started with the special “brazilian flag” overalls and then finished with the regular ones)

        1. @gordess – ah, good point. I’d noticed the flag overalls during the earlier stoppage, but didn’t realize that when he crashed out, he was in a different one.

          Like one of the commentators said after Raikkonen’s crash – there were a lot of underpants changed amongst drivers and viewers :-)

        2. Nicely spottes @gordess

          Btw I am right in assuming that we share the same pain as Portuguese regarding that man that you have as profile picture?

          1. Oh yes… I’m sad to say we do share the same pain… Here’s to hoping he’ll have a good weekend in Macau!

      2. Rosberg also changed helmet and i wouldnt be surprised if even more drivers did, after all why not?

  3. Jonathan Parkin
    14th November 2016, 12:59

    The second Safety Car start at Interlagos after the first in 2003. This matches Spa Francorchamps whose two occurred in 1997 and 2000. This is also the second race to have five Safety Cars after Canada 2011

  4. I wonder if Rosberg will be able to deal with this “1 race for a title” pressure.
    Hamilton is 3 times champion, has nothing to lose and won the last 3 races in front of his teammate.
    On the contrary, it may be last chance for Rosberg to be world champion. He could have secured title (with a bit of luck) in the last 2 races, but instead of that it all comes down to the final event. Will he be mentally strong enough ?

    Nico has the title in his hand, but he must -even slightly- feel it slipping through his fingers. #MaximumPressure

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      14th November 2016, 13:12

      The pressure is all on him. I’d be surprised if Hamilton doesn’t win the race so it’s all down to Rosberg to do as he did in Brazil and make sure he’s on the podium. Of course, knowing what position you need to finish in creates a weird kind of pressure – see Button in Brazil 2009 or Hamilton in Brazil 2008…. It always seems like if you only need to finish 3rd, you’ll be 4th at some point!

      1. You must remember Rosberg’s father won his championship not on most wins but on concistancy. Look at the history. Maybe somethings happens and Hamilton will be champion for 5 seconds like Massa… who knows. will be a great race.

      2. This is just wrong the years you are comparing have no bearing on this, those cars were close in performance, but to think otherwise when we are going to a track where the Mercedes advantage is going to be at its most potent.

      3. Would be great to see Nico surprising everyone (at this point it would be a surprise) and beating Hamilton on the day.

    2. I understand your thinking but I don’t think it is Nico’s reality. He has been keeping an even keel, and has just been taking one race and a time. He has to approach this last race the same way…concentrate on the job at hand. He will certainly not be thinking of this as his last chance for a WDC. He’s been here before so knows the pressures already from recent seasons, not of course from leading going into the final race but from needing to win in some near end of season races. mentally strong enough? Yes, I’m sure of that.

    3. SevenFiftySeven
      14th November 2016, 15:25

      If there’s any driver who has had to deal with immense pressure on that Mercedes team is Nico Rosberg. Why? Let me explain.

      -He knows his weaknesses and his strengths, and knows how good Hamilton is.
      -Everything he does is judged – and more or less – reflected on to be very poor by the English speaking broadcasters of the sport and viewers. He is the default cheat, talentless guy, undeserving would-be champion, boo material and a nobody for most fans who follow the sport. Most of this attitude is media-created, rather than true.
      – He doesn’t enjoy the benefit of having almost the whole world getting behind him like his immediate competitor does. When Nico makes a mistake, it’s because he’s terrible and falls under pressure. If Lewis bins it (like in Baku), it’s because of the Sun.
      – He isn’t just fighting his teammate, he is fighting against popular public opinion.
      – The spearhead of F1’s promotional body openly denigrates him.
      – When things go bad, he takes it in the chin; doesn’t complain or lighten up the world of social media and/or the traditional F1 media.
      – Somehow, he keeps on coming back from setbacks without first encouraging a saga of conspiracy theories to do its rounds in the media to establish a plot.
      – He can’t even dream of walking off press conferences, for he would be chastised for doing so just like he gets booed for no reason by a traveling band of groupies allied to his competitor on the other side of the garage.
      – He dare not say he’s thinking of the championship, because he knows deep down inside that he’s not the popular choice. And, it is one race at a time. Because, you never know when rules get changed because Hamilton is having difficulty (reference the Baku-induced reversal of team radio rules and the Japan Verstappen-Hamilton incident that prompted revision of the rules, even though Max’s defensive driving had several complaints way before he happened to do something similar to Hamilton).
      – He has the benefit of having joined F1 as a rookie in a lowly team, going through several setbacks in his career – maybe he developed the sort of mindset one needs to have in F1.
      – He doesn’t believe he’s better than Hamilton. I’m sure he doesn’t. But, he is smart and realistic enough to know that when your opponent doesn’t strike, you reap the benefits to the fullest. And, he has the speed to do it.
      – If he does become F1’s new WC, he’ll surely earn it with flying colors. He will certainly have deserved it (given the odds that are against him, and that isn’t only his opponent).
      – He’s the underdog here (which means he has my support) that is placed against a driver who never had to race in lowly cars, and one who is hyped beyond proportion. Don’t get me wrong. I’m well aware of Hamilton’s talent and abilities. He has the potential to be one of the top greats of the sport. He’s not there yet. If he loses this year’s championship, it will be because he is still not fully emotionally mature to be a grand-stand champion like Senna, Schumacher and Prost (though, off late, he has shown remarkable humility and good temperament, along with a pleasant personality to take that forward – so he’s getting there).
      – Nico has improved in a few areas also. 1) Decisive decision making when it comes to passing drivers immediately (albeit, still rusty), 2) good race pace at times for which Hamilton has no answer, 3) not making mistakes at crunch times and 4) Letting Lewis know that he can go to the grass for a change. Some other areas where he stays the same – overly cautious in the rain.
      – He’s prone to getting penalties because the FIA’s (imagine an adjective that speaks lowly of someone’s intellectual, professional and evenhanded mindset) believes in giving out penalties to unpopular drivers, and in the case of British stewards – or in other words – the alumni of ex-British F1 drivers with grudges and/or jingoist attitudes are happy to give penalties to make viewers from the British Isles feel great about the homeland and themselves on a Sunday afternoon. Gotta give massive praises, if not knighthoods, to those stewards and TV viewers.

      I hope we won’t have to deal with nationwide protests in the UK if Rosberg is crowned champ. It’s not about who deserves to win. It is about those who deserve to win turning potential into rewards, and the over-hyped influence of reliability being pronounced highly is only a distraction that proves that Mr. Hamilton is nowhere near Senna or Schumacher.

      1. “I hope we won’t have to deal with nationwide protests in the UK if Rosberg is crowned champ.”

        Are you ill?

        1. SevenFiftySeven
          14th November 2016, 15:46

          Haha, no. That was a satire built on the recent example of what’s happened in the US after the presidential elections – where a non-popular candidate won. That was just it. The ridiculousness and comical parallels, if any, between the two stories can only be understood by one’s background, I suppose. I did say it was more satire than anything else, so I’m not sick; I just had something to say, like you did.

      2. Good comment, +1

      3. the over-hyped influence of reliability being pronounced highly is only a distraction that proves that Mr. Hamilton is nowhere near Senna or Schumacher.

        Wot @sevenfifttseven?
        Rosberg doesn’t have many fans, that’s true, and a lot of those who claim to be only even noticed him when he became Hamilton’s teammate. A lot of that is because even though it’s seldom spoken, most people understand he’s a serial cheat, and F1 is a sport, of sorts, where the essence of it is to perform better within a structure.

        If you cheat, like Rosberg or Schumacher (and to be fair Schumi’s Monaco was probably less premeditated than Nico’s) then the paper achievements don’t count, or count less.

        As to the stewards, they gave him a lifetime’s worth of a free ride in 2014. It’s only this year that they’ve finally tuned in to what Son-of-Keke is really like.

        And as to Lewis losing because ‘he’s not emotionally mature’ … spare us. Everybody can see he’s losing because of 2x MGUH fails, 1x ICE fail, a water leak and a PU grid drop. Neither Senna nor Schumacher ever had a season with as few errors in it.

        1. Amazing how people can ignore reliability like they do.

        2. Oh come on, Hamilton has been caught cheating multiple times too, right up to directly lying to the stewards.

          1. Hamilton has been caught cheating multiple times too

            Ok list them.

          2. omg liegate, 2009, goto deflection for the deceitful denigrators. It was LEWIS who innocently told a journalist the truth, then Ryan who insisted on the lie. Even FIA said Hamilton had been put in an impossible position by his sporting director.

            I suppose it’s no surprise to see it brought into play in defence of Nico Rosberg.

      4. @SevenFiftySeven –
        I have never read such simultaneous drivel and piffle in my entire life. You really shouldn’t have stopped taking the meds!

        1. Aren’t you the guy who said that Rosberg drive yesterday was shameful?

  5. Jonathan Parkin
    14th November 2016, 13:02

    Although having looked at StatsF1 for this race, it’s technically three since the race was still under stabilised conditions either side of the two red flags so scratch that last statistic

  6. When was the last time a race was red flagged twice?

    1. @fer-no65 Another great question. There were a few of these back when crashes at the start were regularly red-flagged: Austria 1987 and Belgium 1990 spring to mind.

      Japan 2014 was also red-flagged twice but, unlike these other examples, was not restarted a second time.

      And as a curiosity, how about Australia 1991? This was red-flagged after 14 sodden laps. There then followed a lengthy hiatus during which the ‘ten minutes to the start’ board was shown several time, but the start was never given. Eventually the race was abandoned by the red flag being waved for a second time, though there was no lapping in the intervening period.

    2. @fer-no65 Suzuka 2014, although that race only restarted once. The only other time is Austria 1977? (sometime in the 70s) when they had two lap 1 red flags and restarted the race twice.

    3. 1990 Belgian GP had two seperate red flag triggering first lap accidents.

  7. I believe that we had 30 SC laps yesterday and 56 so far this season!
    That’s so far the second most laps in a season (14 laps behind 2010, when we had more SC deployments than races in the season!).

    1. Was that the shortest period of time between safety cars yesterday @keithcollantine @coldfly?

      1. @3dom pretty sure kimi crashed at a restart and the safety car was immediately back out. Dont know the exact ammount of time, but i doubt the safety car even stopped, the safety cars first ever drive through penalty??

    2. @coldfly That’s not including Virtual Safety Car periods, I take it?

      1. correct @keithcollantine. source (my 2016 est. might be understated)

  8. If F1 has taught me anything over the years it’s that if your car is running you make the most of it. Rosberg played it safe in Brazil and that’s very disappointing. This was only the second race in his F1 Career where he knew a win would give him the Championship. He actually had nothing to lose as even with a DNF a win at the final race would still give him the Championship. It feels like he doesn’t trust himself to win so he’s just playing the points game. It could, of course, be a smart approach, but it’s a big risk to keep letting your rival chip into the lead rather than going and grabbing the Championship. A repeat of 2041 and he’ll be kicking himself for playing it safe.

    1. Obviously, that should be 2014…

      1. Indeed so. But just imagine Rosberg and Hamilton fighting over championships in dominant Mercs in 2041 when they’ll be in their fifties… 😯

    2. I know what you mean, he could have given it a bit more of a crack yesterday. But if you put yourself in his shoes you would probably do the same thing, I know I would. I would much rather play it safe and become world champion than be remembered as “that guy who came close to winning the title a few times”. World titles are won over the course of a season, not 2 or 3 races.

      1. @geemac Well said. I thinking is easy to say from an armchair that Nico should have pushed harder for the win, but I think given the circumstances of the race ie. very dicey, I don’t blame him for not risking a crash into a barrier at this point. After all, Toto and Niki have been calling for drivers to please not whack one of the two title contenders and thus deciding the season for them that way, so why would Nico take himself out.

      2. I understand your points @geemac and @robbie but the situation was he really had nothing to lose. So he smashes it into the wall, he can still go into the final race with the Championship in his own hands. Taking your point, if it all goes wrong in the last race he’ll be remembered as “the guy who lost the Championship playing it safe” and I think that’s worse. I just think he got to around 30 laps into the race and it was re-started so he was right with Hamilton. He’d completed 80% of the weekend and still didn’t really go for it. Now he’s got to hope for no issues in the next practice sessions,qualifying,start, pit stops etc. I honestly not sure what I’d do but you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take and he didn’t take a shot yesterday.

        1. I hear you in a way. But GeeMac and Robbie are correct here except for Robbies insistent agreement about Wolfs whinging. One of them gets taken out by racing hard with another team, that’s life, period.
          So what, Max isn’t supposed to do what he did to the others yesterday, if it’s a Mercedes?

          Rosberg is playing it as a team game. Meaning, he’s relying on himself and the expertise of Mercedes to give him the car he needs to win the WDC. Yesterday was definitely not the time to go for it. Ros almost bit it being careful, remember? If he crashed out yesterday, he’d really be under pressure to win in Abu Dhabi. He’s really doing the right thing here, even he doesn’t win.

          1. @jabosha You are making the same mistake many others are as well. Wolff never did, nor ever would, try to have others not do their race, nor expect them to not race hard. All he asked for is that the world not see the WDC decided by someone not fighting for the WDC taking one of the the two that are out. That is hardly whining…it is what we all would prefer, no? I’ve no doubt Toto would have been just as impressed with Max’s performance as the rest of the world, including his pass outside Nico. I know I was.

          2. Wolf should have said nothing. It’s whinging plain and simple. I’ve made no mistake. When you race hard mistakes can happen Robbie, period. Tough luck, next race. That’s what I think. I don’t need the championship in F1, to be always contested to keep my interest. If Nico had locked it up six races ago, I’d still watch. If someone accidently hits Ham/Ros in Abu Dhabi, deal with it. I’m talking about reality here, not, please stay away from our drivers championship nonsense. It’s unsportive for Wolf to even mention such a thing.

        2. @Tom How would Nico crashing out and thus putting Lewis 6 points ahead, with one race to go, be him going into the last race with the WDC still in his own hands?

          Nico took a shot. He saw that he wasn’t as hooked up as LH, nor MV, and he nearly lost it at that, similar to Max. He ‘took a shot’ and after seeing the lay of the land decided his best shot was to first finish.

          ‘The guy who lost the Championship playing it safe?’ Oh you mean like The Professor Prost? Like all the comments we have heard throughout the years of winning as slowly as possible? To finish first you must first finish? Come on. If Nico wins the WDC the people that matter to him in life will be right there with him, thrilled for him that he is forever a WDC.

          1. @robbie well Rosberg would be 6 points behind, but a win would give him the Championship. That means it’s in his own hands, it doesn’t matter what anyone else does as long as he wins. Its just up to him to perform. Hamilton doesn’t have that luxury so I’d currently say “it’s not in his hands” as even if Hamilton wins he isn’t guaranteed Championship, he needs results from others. That’s what I meant.

            The playing it safe comment wasn’t a dig at Rosberg. I just think he’d be completely gutted to lose it on a mechanical failure or similar having played it safe at earlier races. Maybe that’s all the pace he had in Brazil but in a sport where anything can and does happen I think dragging it out over more races isn’t the best approach. Just my thoughts and he’ll probably win it anyway.

            @jabosha I think you mean you agree with the others rather than them being correct. No one knows the end result yet so everything is currently opinion and not wrong or right. you say he’s doing the right thing, but what if he has a DNF in the final race and he knows he didn’t push in Brazil ? I think he’d regret that, so it could turn out to be the wrong choice just like it could be the correct one. I just think it’ll feel worse for him if he knows in his heart he played it too safe.

          2. The only reason, I think he did the right thing is the conditions. He almost bought it, playing safe, remember? There is a huge difference between dry and wet racing as we all know. You can go off through no fault of your own at much higher percentages. In the dry, he’s got to basically make a mistake. If it was dry and he didn’t take a shot I’d totally agree with you and say, you’re right. You also have to keep in mind the points position he’s in. That’s why he didn’t take a shot.

            Are you really wanting him to take a shot in the conditions against a better wet driver?

          3. Especially with the points position and doesn’t need to?

          4. The other thing, if Ros has an engine failure it’s not his fault. Of course that wouldn’t be consolation to him but it’d be the truth, eventually he’d have to come to grips with that.

    3. SevenFiftySeven
      14th November 2016, 16:03

      He was doing okay and taking his chances before Bernie disrupted the airwaves by making a very controversial statement just 3 races to go before the end. Imagine it’s the final exam and minutes before it starts, your principal expects you to fail, or equates you to a failed case and wants your rival to be first.

      If I’m a parent, I’d want that hypothetical principal to be fired. In a professional environment, you wouldn’t say that if you had any respect for your position.

    4. @Tom, you clearly haven’t learned the right lessons from F1 history. The risk of Rosberg pushing for a win in such treacherous conditions and spinning off is much much greater than a risk of Abu Dhabi 2014 repeat. Did you forget Webber in Korea 2010. Had he played it safe, he’d be champion guaranteed. Instead he smashed into a wall in conditions very similar to Brazil 2016 and subsequently lost the title

      You keep saying there was nothing to lose. There was EVERYTHING to lose. Had he crashed, he would’ve needed to win at Abu Dhabi, a track where Lewis is faster than him

      Now, I’d agree with you, if the race was dry. But in such treacherous condition the risk/reward equation tilted toward “risk”

      1. That is how I see it too @montreal95, @robbie, @geemac. Had it been dry, we might have seen Rosberg challenge Hamilton at the start, maybe even win it. Or attack later. But in the wet, there was just too much to lose from doing so, and Hamilton had the advantage from the outset (for him the laps behind the SC were probably the worst, because those were the only ones where he struggled to see!) with a SC eliminating the risk of a bad getaway and fight in the first corner and being the only one without spray from a car ahead.

      2. This +1

      3. Didn’t ROS out qualify HAM in 14 and 15 at Yas Marina? Not sure HAM is necessarily faster there. I expect he will be this year given the pressure on ROS, but under normal or other circs, perhaps its closer.

        1. @WillyWonker Yes Rosberg outqualified Ham in 2014 and 2015 but there were special circumstances in both cases IIRC. In 2014 Hamilton led the whole weekend but then just made a mistake on his fastest qualy lap. Then LH had a great start and just drove away from NR even before Rosberg’s ERS troubles. 2015 after LH won the title, he just wasn’t as committed in the last 3 races

      4. @montreal95 something which really annoys me about this site is that people think their word is always correct and everyone else is wrong. I’ve been very open with my thoughts and explained them several times now. I understand both sides and why he played safe, what I’m saying is I think he’ll regret not pushing more if he loses the title. Those are my thoughts on a situation which is yet to happen so at this point no-one is right or wrong. To suggest I “clearly haven’t learned the right lessons from F1 history.” is just unnecessary. I’ve learned that anything can happen and as I’ve said when your car is running you make the most of it. Again, no one knows the result yet, but would you still say Rosberg did the right thing if he loses the Championship ? No one knows what’s going to happen or what would have happened if Rosberg put more pressure on Hamilton.

        I disagree that he had everything to lose. Even with a DNF if he wins the final race he wins the championship. I don’t know, it just seems a bit defeatist, like he doesn’t trust himself to win the final race. Playing it safe may turn out to be the best option, but this is only the 2nd time he’s ever gone into a race where if he wins/gets the needed result he’d be Champion.

        I understand your point about the weather, but there were several drivers who made no mistakes and were able to overtake. Verstappen got Kimi right at the start but Rosberg never really put himself in that position.

        1. @Tom I think it is just that you seem to be assuming Nico must have had more to give but chose not to. Which would have been fine if that is the case. I’m just not convinced he wasn’t trying hard, hence his half-spin, where as you seem to think if LH and MV were hooked up, then NR must have been dogging it. I think it is more likely that he gave everything he thought was prudent to give, and goes into the last race in a much better spot than had he tried to win it all under dicey circumstances. Kind of like the advice drivers know to heed that you don’t win the race in the first turn off the start. If NR loses the WDC I doubt it will be Brazil that he regrets.

          1. @robbie – taken from my earlier comment “Maybe that’s all the pace he had in Brazil” I’m not sure if he had more pace or not. My disagreement is with everyone saying he’s done the right thing playing it safe.

            In a way, it doesn’t really matter if he had more pace or not. I’m disagreeing with your (and others) point that if he had more pace he was wrong not to use it. Everyone is basically saying he’s done the right thing to play it safe, so they are assuming he had more pace too. All I’m saying is if he did play it safe he might live to regret it, that’s all.

          2. @Tom Fair enough. For me playing it safe doesn’t mean he had more pace…it could mean he didn’t care to push any harder to find out if he had more pace or not as he quickly knew he wasn’t going to touch LH nor MV pace-wise anyway. I guess Nico is the one to ask and he always has level-headed answers for these types of things. I think a more consequential race for Nico, somewhat related to Brazil, would be Monaco where he was completely out of the tire temp window and helpless and found it a no-brainer to eventually let LH by. That is one he will be pondering moreso, if any, imho. No doubt he and his side held many discussions about tire temps in the wet after Monaco, and up to and including Brazil where they knew rain was a good possibility for Sunday. He certainly did way better in Brazil in much heavier rain than he did in Monaco, where he will vividly remember having to let his sole rival by, if indeed he loses the WDC and has to review it.

  9. I just want to call out the accuracy of the ‘90% chance’ table @keithcollantine – good of you to treat each non-scoring position as a distinct possibility, rather than (incorrectly) collapsing them all into a single row/column with zero, as I’ve seen some other sites do.

    1. @phylyp I’m not sure about counting DNF as a standalone position. If we did, we’d be saying that there are 23 places where a driver can finish, and there are 22. Classified or not, DNF is still one of the 22 positions possible.

      1. @fer-no65 – very good point, maybe something for Keith to consider changing.

      2. @fer-no65

        That is true. Once one of them DNF’s there are only 21 possible positions for the other driver, not 22 like the chart suggests.

    2. Except the table doesn’t represent the chance of anything as the chance of each position isn’t 1/22, it’s just a table showing the possible outcomes, and you can DNF and still be classified. The performance of the drivers/car massively skew the results in favour of the higher positions; you would have to multiply each possible outcome by the chance of it happening, and then add up the values which result in Rosberg winning.

  10. Nasr scoring Sauber’s first points of the season makes 2016 the first season since 2009 where every team entered in the championship has scored at least one point (and the first season under the current points system). It is also the first season since 2002 that more than 10 teams have scored at least one point (it would have been 2007 if not for the exclusion of McLaren that year).

    1. Good observation @rob91
      At first I thought that it was interesting that opening up the points to top 10 didn’t lead to more people scoring points, but then I remembered… Hispania and Caterham!

  11. I believe Rosberg will be under far more pressure, not just to finish 3rd but to beat Hamilton since if he doesn’t it will taint the credibility of his WC win.

    1. Your credibility as world championship doesn’t depend on one race, even if it is the last one. For example Hamilton won it last year but Rosberg had a much stronger finish to the season

    2. I respectfully disagree.
      His father Keke became World Championship winning “only” 1 race in his championship year, where others won more. He was however the most consistent. So, I can see Hamilton getting the most wins this season (10), and still finishing second in the World Championship.
      There are no asterisks by the side of World Champions denoting that a particular champion was “lucky”. Only Jochen Rindt would have a possible asterisk by his World Championship, due to him being killed before the Championship finishing, and therefore claiming the championship posthumously.

    3. @johnm It is only in the opinion of some fans that Nico’s WDC would be tainted if he doesn’t win in two weeks. Some already thought that of these last 4 races and he hasn’t won one of the last 3 so far. No matter what, many already think this of Nico, but it doesn’t matter. If Nico becomes WDC, he himself, the team, and his family and friends will consider him a worthy WDC.

      1. 3 and counting @robbie :)

        And yes I’m sure you’re right, his mum will consider him a worthy champion. Mums, eh, where would we be without them. I don’t know about the team though, under the surface; bearing in mind they have the tyre load data that showed he could have made the corner, and also they will have a clear memory of the various car failures.

        1. The team will be ecstatic if he wins the world championship and will consider him a worthy one.
          Put yourself in their position. You have worked with these guys for a couple of years and now after 3 years of domination, you have 2 world champions in your 2 cars, 4 titles between them. Before that, you had 1 with 1 title. If you work so hard as a team to achieve a world champion, you deem him worthy. A guarantee it.

          1. Well it’s hard to guess @gdewilde. I see your argument but in the other direction is the risk that 2016 will become known as the WDC that was won by Mercedes unreliability.

            Also the lesser driver winning devalues the championship, because the Champion is clearly not the best driver even within the best team. It raises the whole question of ‘is he worthy?’ and so it creates the spectre of the UNworthy wdc.

            Add to that having the Mercedes WDC hiding away in Monaco instead of A-listing around the world and I think there’s a good case for them wishing, privately, for a 4th championship for LH. That also brings Lewis up with Seb of course, with the extra bit of status.

            Not that I think they care TOO much. But will they, deep down, think NR is ‘worthy‘? What does that mean, exactly? The team is not going to think he’s driven the better season, are they? They’ll make the best of it, is all we can be sure of, barring some amazing indiscretion.

      2. I agree, it would be good for ROS to be WDC and beat HAM, but it would be even better if he can dominate Abu Dhabi to do it.

    4. I don’t think Rosberg cares about a ‘tainted’ title. He will take the most cowardly route possible if it lands him the title.

      1. @todfod Which every single driver would do, obviously. If you hear Hamilton talking about how he feared for his engine in Mexico when a race win is at stake how do you think they would when there is a world championship at stake?

        1. @xtwl

          I don’t know if that’s the approach every single driver would take. Rosberg could have wrapped up the title with a win in Interlagos, and if he went for a win in Mexico, he would have a points cushion just in case he had a mechanical failure at some point. I’m fairly certain that a few drivers on the grid in his situation would think it’s safer to go for pole and try and pull away in the lead, than start closer to the Red Bulls.

        2. Jack brabham didn’t.

      2. Do you consider Hamilton’s 2008 championship tainted? After all, he won only one of the last eight races even though he continued to hold the championship for the remainder of the year, had five wins to Massa’s six and was trailing in the final race until he was gifted fifth place by Timo Glock one corner from the end. Or is it only tainted in your mind if it’s a German doing the winning?

        1. German? Glock is a lot more German than Rosberg, we love Germans :)) Nationality is irrelevant anyway. In 2008 Massa had CHOSEN a team that had a faster car but with worse reliability and a gormless pit light system. Different teams, as well as falling off in Sepang.

          Anyway Rosberg’s made it abundantly clear he doesn’t care how he does it. As the races go by he’s making it harder for the F1 media machine to paint it as ‘worthy’, but they’ll manage somehow. Of course he’ll go as fast as he can, and not faster. He’s smart, and he’s been doing it a long time. If he could go as fast as his championship rival that would help with the ‘worthy’ thing, is all.

          1. Nico knows that even a WDC winner such as LH can be deemed by posters and surveys on sites such as this as the lesser driver on a grid that has FA on it. Nico knows that everyone has their opinion and he will not be wasting his energy trying to sway opinions that he could likely not sway anyway. It is what it is. If he wins the WDC he will be worthy because he will have used his equipment to the best of his ability and not squandered it. If his ability is less than some others, so be it. Nobody has ever called him the next Senna. Even LH and SV can win a WDC and not be ‘driver of the season.’

  12. The best think Rosberg can do in UAE is change his engine and get a grid penalty. He will start 11-12th with a brand new engine and 2 long straights with drs to pass everybody and claim second. That way he will silence those who say believe the conspiracy theories that Mercedes promotes him. Also with the recovery drive he will gain credibility and the best bit is that he won’t have to face a 4th consecutive defeat from Lewis.
    Of course there could be some carnage at the start and retire but I would take risk in order to finish an “honorable” second.

    1. …and then there are two Red Bulls spoiling the party…

      1. With 2 consecutive long straights with DRS they are going to be sitting ducks to the mighty Mercedes.

        1. Not sure of this @philby. It’s sea level, and there’s not much aero in play so RBR can take drag off. They have great traction and brakes, which are also key if you recall those Renaults in 2010. They’re good in the slow stuff, and Max probably is too and Danny, thinking of Monaco qualy.

    2. We can only hope that an engine failure during practice will force him to start from P11 or P12.

      1. I do not think that he will be using the race engine in the practice sessions.

        1. Sheridan Repton
          14th November 2016, 17:36

          Not P1 & P2 but in P3 they are the Qualy/Race units. There is only two hours between the end of P3 and the start of Qualy. This is not enough time to change two Power Units.

    3. @philby Yeah because placating hateful conspiracy nutters is at the top of his agenda..

    4. That wouldn’t be a good idea as the Mercedes is terrible in the dirty air of the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari. Yes, there’s 2 long straights at Abu Dhabi but there’s a lot of corners which are practically designed to be difficult to follow through between the end of the second straight and the start of the first, which would be difficult to navigate in the wake of a Red Bull and leave you a second back every lap, not to mention potentially dealing with the likes of Vestappen would make things harder and pit stratergy can’t always be relied upon.

  13. It was his 11th pole position this year which means he retains the Pole Trophy he won last season.

    Wow, I forgot the Pole Position Trophy was still a thing.

    1. It’s almost as big as the DHL Fastest Lap Award, @geemac ;-)

      (PS Rosberg officially won the 2016 DHLFLA in Brazil; he has an insurmountable 6 FLAPs vs RIC 4, and HAM 3)

      1. I thought verstappen got the fastest lap @coldfly ?

        1. He did, and consequently RIC could no longer achieve 6 FLAPs in 2016 to equal ROS.

  14. Nice stats. However I was wondering – when was the last time a driver won (or even finished) a race without changing tyres? Thanks.

    1. The obvious Choice would be brazil 2005

      1. @mrboerns or rather, China 2005 which was the last race in that season.

        1. Dann your right. Montoya winning the Finale was 04

    2. Mexico 1986 Gerhard Berger, tyres Pirelli

  15. This is interesting but the likelihood of Lewis and Rosberg being under P5 is very low – it’s more likely that they’ll have a retirement than end up below P5.

    Lewis’ odds of being P1 at Abu Dhabi are probably 55-60%, maybe 65% tops.

    The odds of Nico being P4 or lower (without rain) though are very slim. Nico’s due for a retirement this season since he’s had no retirements at all but unfortunately the odds are the same per race.

    The only hope is that Red Bull is competitive and can take the fight to Nico.

    1. @freelittlebirds The odds of rain are probably as high as Lewis his title chances.

  16. Slightly OT, but looking ahead to next season and a new formula…

    Hypothetically, should Hamilton take the 2017 WDC (a tad early for predictions I know!), he’d have won under 3 different formula.

    Question: which driver has been crowned WDC under the most amount of different formulae?

    1. @bad_whippet – out of curiosity (and not challenging you), but what would you define as a new formula? In this instance, we had the new engine formula in 2014, and what is viewed as a new aero/tyre formula in 2017.

      Would the arrival of KERS in 2009 make it a different formula, (given it changed the abilities of drivers to defend and attack)? Or would the ban on refuelling in 2010 make that a new formula (due to cars designed to hold a race’s worth of fuel, and revised strategies)? How about Pirelli’s arrival in 2011 with designed-to-degrade tyres, and the introduction of DRS?

      I’ve personally thought the different formulae tended to be centred on engine formulae changes, so V10 -> V8 -> V6 for drivers who are on the grid at present.

    2. Where do do you Draw the line towards a new Formula?

      1. Damn you, @mrboerns ! You’ve reduced my 3 paragraph comment to a succinct one-line question! 😃

        1. Ah, good question @phylp and @mrboerns

          Without going back too far, there was 2006-2013 with the V8’s, 2014-2016 and V6 Hybrid Turbo’s and then 2017 onward with new aero, tryes etc, so I think from my POV it’s like your first paragraph.

          Now that you’ve got me looking, it’s difficult to say exactly what defines a new/different formula, for me at least anyway!

          I personally wouldn’t have considered the intro of KERS or the dumping of refueling as a new formula, but I can see why some would…

          1. sorry @phylyp, messed your name up

          2. @bad_whippet – Off the top of my head, looking purely at engines, of the current grid Alonso and Hamilton have both won under different engine formulae – Alonso under V10 and V8, and Hamilton under V8 and V6.

            Then of course we’ve got Schumacher whose decade-long first stint spanned a varieties of formulae (and some muddled years which had different types of engines allowed at the same time).

          3. @bad_whippet well ignore KERS and refuelling all you want but if for example 17 Counts as new Formula then surely so does the big downforce Crisis of 09?
            What about the Change in loading pressure and fuel Load for turbos in the 80ies? What about the 90ies going from v8-v10-v12 to 3.0 Liter v10 all around? It’s not that easy

          4. I would have said the 2009 regulation changes were definitely a new formula. Slicks reintroduced, a raft of areo changes, to name just a couple.

  17. What is the significance of considering Abu Dhabi a half-points race? Seems like that sentence was just thrown in there as a cheeky reference to double points.

    1. It is the same reason that the NFL factors in ties when looking at tiebreakers. While its a rare occurrence (which was actually possible in Brazil), they have come up in the past, and therefore possible.

      1. Absolutely, as the two ties in the NFL this year indicate.

    2. @pastaman – I think it was just in reference to the fact that not many predictions in the last few weeks gave much thought to half point races (the permutations were slightly complex even with full points), but at Brazil there was a real possibility of the race being called off before 54 laps.

      But yes, unless there’s a sandstorm or a plague of locusts (or a serious accident), there doesn’t seem to be much likelihood of the race being called off before full distance/time.

      1. @dragon86 @phylyp thank you, makes sense. Maybe we’ll see a sandstorm!?

        1. It would be more fun to see a plague of locusts. Might actually make Abu Dhabi interesting for once.

          1. Aren’t they already in the stands?

    3. @pastaman No, just noting that it could happen.

      1. Yeah, thanks Keith. dragon86 and phylyp cleared it up for me

  18. Lewis has been imperious this year. He should have been up there with Vettel 2013 and Mansell 1992 with 12 (minimum) wins this year and possibly 15.

    He has 11 poles and 9 victories and he has lost the following victories or not been able to win:

    1. Malaysia
    2. Spain
    3. China (no quali- engine – back of grid)
    4. Russia (P10 in quali – hybrid)
    5. Spa (Pit Lane?)

    These don’t even include clutch issues which have plagued him in 4-5 races affecting his results in 4 or mistakes he’s been forced to make to catch up like Baku…

    If Nico deserves the WDC for his career, you can say 2016 is the year he doesn’t deserve it at all. The fact that Lewis can do this with a driver as fast as Nico is pretty incredible – this would be akin to Mark Webber challenging Seb in 2013 and setting records with all the issues he had.

    We are witnessing history and hopefully the next race will be as fair as 2008 was.

    1. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. Reliability is always a factor in F1. Nobody deserves the championship, you either win it or you don’t.

    2. @freelittlebirds
      Australia, Baku, Monza, Singapore, Japan

      Lewis got beat fair and square in the five races mentioned above. Vettel was never beaten by Webber at any point in 2013.

      Lewis’ season hasn’t been anywhere near as good as his fans suggest, and to compare it with Vettel’s 2013 is laughable.

      1. Webber was more of a Kovalainen than a Rosberg, apart from that spell in 2012 when they lost some diffuser blowing.

        It’s a bit of a tightrope for the detractors, whether WDC-elect Rosberg is worthy or not.

        1. @lockup – I didn’t quite get the reference to, could you please explain:

          Webber was more of a Kovalainen than a Rosberg

          1. @phylyp Heikki Kovalainen was Lewis’ teammate at McLaren 2008-9. He’d looked good at Renault, but was consistently slower than Lewis.
            Of course it’s hard to compare Kovy/Webbo/Rosberg; the trick for the dedicated LH detractor is to equate Rosberg with Webber – sometimes ;) In reality Rosberg is pretty quick, of course, but at Williams he was in his first year vs a more experienced Webber.

      2. @kingshark I never said that Nico hasn’t won any races this year – I think we all agree he’s won a few. But when you compare it to 14-15, it’s almost a travesty that Nico is in contention this year.

  19. The only way Lewis will win the title is obvious. A crash in turn 1 or a mechanical failure for Nico. Nico can have a bad start and still come back to 2nd with that car. Either way I don’t care who wins the title. I’m just hoping this is Mercedes last dominant year for a while. Thank god the game will change next year.

  20. Hamilton has now led a total of 2,947 laps, which means that the 55th lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix marked him taking second spot in the all time list replacing non other than his idol Ayrton Senna who led a total 2,931 laps. The driver sitting on the top of that list is Michael Schumacher who led a total of 5,111 laps.

  21. Romain Grosjean recorded his second DNS of the season. He was the first to do so since Christian Klien in 2005 whose car failed on dummy grid in Bahrain and was one of 14 drivers entering the pit lane after the warm-up lap in Indianapolis.

  22. Also, for the third time, driver failed to clinch the title in third to last and penultimate race of the season.

    1976 – Lauda led by 17 points going to Canada, meaning that getting two more points than Hunt would give him a title. Hunt won with Lauda not scoring, which cut the lead to 8. In USA Hunt won again, this time Lauda was 3rd which meant 3-point-gap to the last race. And it is well known what happened.

    1996 – Hill led by 13 points going to Italy, meaning getting seven more points than Villeneuve would give him a title. Both failed to score and in the next round in Portugal, Villeneuve won with Hill 2nd, which kept the title race alive until the last race. Villeneuve retired in Japan so the championship was decided mid-race, Hill confirming the title with win.

    2016 – Rosberg led by 26 points going to Mexico, meaning winning the race with Hamilton not scoring would give him a title. Hamilton won with Rosberg 2nd, with the result replicated in the next race in Brazil.

    Odd thing that there is 20-year-gap between both two successive occasions.

    1. Just to add, this was done assuming drivers take part in every race of the season.

  23. You’ve got to laugh at Toto and his claims that Mercedes have given the pair the car for a fair fight in the finale at Abu Dhabi…..

    1. You mean the WCC winning car? Yeah I’m sure everyone who isn’t Nico or Lewis is laughing really hard at not being in the WDC chase.

      1. No good having the best car in a title fight if it keeps failing on you, of course you know this but like to pretend reliability has been the same for the pair……

        1. No, far from it. I have always understood that even with the necessary WCC winning car, 100% reliability is never guaranteed. Can you find any quotes from me where I have claimed reliability has been the same this year for both drivers? Can you explain to me what exactly Nico is to have done about Lewis’s unreliability? Other than be there for the team to keep the car on top and the competition away when the car has failed Lewis, I mean.

        2. So do you discount the many times Lewis has gotten lucky in past years as meaningless results? If not, why the double standard?

          1. In what years has Lewis got lucky to win a title??? Please don’t say 2008 because that is plain rubbish.

            Lewis has won every title on merit for Mercedes, reliability didn’t stop Rosberg from being champion in 2014 and 2015….

          2. petebaldwin (@)
            15th November 2016, 11:08

            Lewis has indeed won the previous 2 titles on merit by being faster than Nico Rosberg. There are quite a few other drivers out there who would have done the same if they had his car but he did what he had to so fair play to him. The title in 2008 was infinitely more special in my opinion.

  24. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Lewis will win the championship by 1 point: Nico will come home fourth behind either both Red Bulls or a Red Bull and a Ferrari. I can’t see Nico just cruising to another 2nd place and slotting into the championship. As Max said over the weekend, a driver who doesn’t fight for the win is not a worthy champion.

    1. Alain Prost comes to mind. What was his nickname again? The Doctor? I have no respect for Prost after watching the Senna documentary.

      1. You’re not serious right? I guess the respect for a driver goes down massively on the fourth title (Both Prost and Vettel suffer from it) but goes up again on the fifth?

        1. I know Senna isn’t with us but watch this. It helped me to get a more balanced perspective on their rivalry.

        2. @PorscheF1 sorry this wasn’t directed at you. My PS4 does weird things.

      2. @Josh, imo, this is not the correct attitude to have towards Prost. According to Ron Dennis, he had a hard time with both their behaviors while at McLaren. They both have “questionable incidents” where they crashed into one another, with Sennas being for sure, more deliberate in Suzuka 1990. Senna, iirc correctly had to see Max Mosely about the incident.

        Don’t get me wrong, Senna is my fav but he was far from safe and perfect on/off the race track. Prost played more politically to the FIA as Senna was ruthless politically within McLaren from my understanding. Contrasting Prost and Senna, both are fantastic champions and command respect, at least for their respective ability to win championships.

        Prosts words about Senna was, He was just different. Senna’s words about Prost? Alain, we all miss you Alain. They both respected one anothers ability at least. Maybe that’s the least a fan should do.

      3. It was also on Prost’s recommendation, McLaren take Senna. Most wanted Piquet.

      4. The Professor (/Professeur). I have a lot of respect for Prost and his driving style. Jenson seems to be closest to him in the modern era from the perspective of style, if sadly not results.

        Prost and Senna were fierce, often obsessive competitors, but they patched up their differences and were friendly after Prost retired. That’s just the hallmark of the individualistic, fierce F1 competitor, and the sort of Champion – both – that Max was implying Nico needs to be if he’s going to win it this year.

  25. Well, 90% chance? I would put his chances somewhat lower…

    Lewis is in some serius form.. And Red Bulls are close, all it takes is one false move…

    That being said, Nico is metronomic.

    1. Redbulls and Ferraris were over 1/2 a second behind in dry qualifying in Brazil. You call that close? lol

  26. Would a better % prediction not come from looking at this year’s results? For example, in 4 our of the 20 races this year Hamilton has won and Rosberg has finished 4th or lower (German, Canadian, Moncao and Austrian GP).

    That to me signals a 80% chance for Rosberg, and 20% chance for Hamilton.

    But then again, as we know it will be dry in Abu Dhabi (just one of the reasons why its a rubbish end of season race), I would probably say its more like 85%.

    1. @john-h Keith covered off the 4/20 chance below his table.

      1. Ah yes, must read articles properly! I got suckered by the headline. I think any method makes much sense tbh as you have to factor in the human element. Luckily (or unluckily if recent events are anything to go by) we’re quite an unpredictable bunch.

        1. @john-h
          Very true regarding:

          I think any method makes much sense tbh


          I’d made the same point as you in response to another comment, that these are all different estimation models based on different assumptions and starting conditions, and all are equally valid.

    2. By that, Kimi had 0% chance going to the last race in 2007. Only replication of the previous result which would have seen Kimi beating Hamilton was China – and in that case Alonso would have been champion.

  27. Another curiosity from the eventful grand prix was Hamilton’s mid-race change of helmet designs. He began the race using a special yellow helmet in tribute to Ayrton Senna, but switched back to his regular model due to problems with water ingress.

    Not sure if this was mentioned already, but in a similar manner I believe Massa started the race with his Brazilian overalls, but when he exited his car after binning it on the main straight I believe he was wearing the standard Williams overalls.

  28. As a professional mathematician [who, among other things, also taught probability at UofTexas] I can vouch that the 89.7% figure is plain wrong. The “simple trick” of taking the number of favourable outcomes and dividing by number of all possible outcomes makes any sense at all only on condition that all outcomes are equally likely. Needless to say, this is not the case, which means that the number is meaningless and cannot be used even as a rough guide. One may as well just pull the number 35 or 97 out of the thin air and it would have the same relevance. I think that rather than giving wrong numbers it is better to give no numbers.

    Do we actually need a number? Giving the reader an overview of what must happen for Rosberg to lose (essentially getting DNF or screwing up in a major way) should paint a pretty clear picture of the situation. If a reader feels the need to put some numbers on the situation, he/she can use his/her own feeling about likelihood of such scenarios to arrive at numbers. For such a reader the past may be a rough guide, so I see a point in showing the 20% figure, but – as investment companies say in the small print – past performance is no guarantee for the future :-).

    My gut feeling is that we will see an obviously weaker driver taking the crown. But this driver has been so close to one of all times greats that I would not find him unworthy (but please not more than once).

    1. Thank you, pH 👍

    2. On your last point. I’ve always respected dynasties or even say……multiple winners of championships. I usually don’t root for a new champion but once you become one, no problem here with them winning again.

    3. The numbers were clearly nonsense but needed for the clickbait headline.

    4. Yeah pretty much as I said above. Either Keith doesn’t really understand probability or he deliberately used a misleading figure in the article title.

  29. It was only the first race to be red flagged twice, and the first to continue after the second red flag?

    1. The third race to be red flagged twice*

    2. It’s the fourth race to be red flagged twice. The other three races red flagged twice were Austria in 1987 and Belgium in 1990 which were both re-started a third time and the other race was Japan 2014 which was not re-started after the accident of Jules Bianchi.

  30. @keithcollantine This is also another addition the the list of rounds at when the title was decided. It was previously decided in the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and now 21st round of the championship. Obviously many represent the last race of the season as you indicated, 30 out of 67.

    1. @xtwl – wow, so there were seasons with so few races that a title could be decided as early as the 6th round (presumably 11 races)?

      Nice stat too 👍

      1. @phylyp well in the mid Sixties ten Rounds were rather Common. I guess There were Potentially less in the early 50ies

          1. @mrboerns, @phylyp There has never been a championship of 6 races, 7 is the lowest. However in 1952, 1955 and 1957 the title was decided in the 6th round. In 1962 was the last season with less than 10 races although in 1958 had 11 and 1960 had 10 before.

            To add some spice to the devil number 13, only in 1970 there were 13 rounds, the year Rindt became champion posthumously.

          2. Thank you @xtwl 👍

  31. I have a question: The safety car driver clocked quite a few laps in the lead this weekend. Does anybody know where does it move him on the “laps in the lead” list of drivers?

  32. As a mathematician I will simply point out that not all of these outcomes have an equal probability, not even close, so the probability is not 89.7%

    As a fan I will simply say that I hope Nico wins the title because, contrary to Bernie’s view, I think it is healthy to have someone else win the WDC.

    1. I also hope that he wins the championship. It’s refreshing to have someone different, and to me he’s improved a lot this year.

      1. As DJT might say, Nico has improved Yuge!

  33. My prediction: Hamilton will win the race with Rosberg following in second until the last corner where his engine breaks leaving him short of the finish line by just a few meters. That would be the best finish in F1 history and natural balance will have been served.

    1. Rosberg will be kicking himself for his calculated and safe approach for the championship if that happens. If he had just gone for the win in Mexico or Brazil, he wouldn’t risk taking it to the last race of the season.

  34. Clinton had a 91% chance of victory and we all know what happened there

  35. Put very simply without any over-analysis – everyone runs out of luck sometime (and Rosberg has had a lot of it this year) ;-)

  36. How about countbacks? They both have 9 wins. Nico has 4 P2 and Lewis 3 P2. Nico has 2 P3 and Lewis 4 P3. No need to go on, there can be a tie in wins and P2 but Lewis has more P3 in any case
    There are 3 possible countback scenarios:
    -Lewis P2 Nico P7: same wins and P2, Lewis wins with two more P3
    -Lewis P4 Nico DNS, same wins, Nico wins with one more P2
    Half-points race, Lewis P1, Nico P10: Lewis wins with 1 more win (or 1/2 more win).

  37. I’m sure virtually all Lewis fans (myself included) will be wishing the double points finale was still a thing. Come on Bernie make it happen!! ;D

  38. Hamilton has 2222 career points.

    Under either the 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 or the 10-6-4-3-2-1 systems, Rosberg would be leading Hamilton by the equivalent of a 3rd-place finish.

    Ricciardo has raced 6086km this season, beating Raikkonen’s record from 2012.

    Mercedes have led over 5000km this season – first team ever to manage this.

    Mercedes have led 1008 laps, beating McLaren’s record from 1988.

    77th race for Hamilton & Rosberg as team-mates – equals both Alesi/Berger and Alonso/Massa (M Schumacher/Barrichello managed 104).

    39th time that Hamilton & Rosberg have shared the podium as team-mates, beating M Schumacher & Barrichello’s 38.

    4th consecutive Brazilian GP in which Massa has received a penalty or been disqualified.

    Prior to this weekend, Massa and Ricciardo were the only current drivers not to have received a penalty (excluding reprimands) in 2016 – both got penalties during the race.

    First time since 2009 that every team has scored points.

    Since Round 3, Grosjean is the only driver to have managed a DNS, and he has done it twice.

    Thanks to and for some of these.

  39. Jabosha, after reading your comments and watching your link I have a slightly better opinion on Prost. He could obviously wheel a car as good as anyone but the Senna documentary as I’m sure you’ve seen paints him as a villain who plays politics like a heinous. I shouldn’t have said no respect because I will always have respect for any driver who wins a World Championship.

  40. Statistics – remember that, statistically speaking, the overwhelming majority of people have more than the average number of legs.

  41. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    15th November 2016, 2:35

    Where is Petrov when you need him? :-) #Petrov #Alonso #2010AbuDhabi

  42. 9 to 1? damn, where can I find a bookie with those odds? That’d be worth a punt.

  43. Were there any investigations by the stewards during the race?
    I cannot recall any…
    If no, when was the last time, this happened?

    1. There were 5 second penalties dished out to Ricciardo (entering Pit Lane whilst said Pit Lane is closed) & Massa (overtaking under SC). So, Yes there were investigations done.

  44. The correct way to calculate the probability of Nico Rosberg winning the World Driver’s Championship is as follows, and equal to the probability of his Mercedes not having any sort of mechanical failure over an Abu Dhabi race distance, multiplied by the probability his Mercedes crew execute a sound strategy and competent pit stops over a race, multiplied by the probability that Max Verstappen does not crash into Nico Rosberg while attempting an overtake over a race distance.
    We need not include a term for the probability of Mercedes otherwise finishing first and second in the order HAM, ROS as this probability is close to unity for practical purposes.

  45. Lewis needs to take a leaf out of Rosberg’s book and give him a dose of his own medicine to try and win the title, run him off track and even sacrifice the lead for a while if need be.

    1. Lewis needs to take a leaf out of Rosberg’s book and give him a dose of his own medicine to try and win the title, run him off track and even sacrifice the lead for a while if need be

      Hamilton races hard but he doesn’t race dirty (I know I know haters inbound) and I doubt he’d want to start now. Hamilton just needs to do what hes been doing the last few races, stick it on pole and win the race. He probably wont walk away with a 4th WDC but he can still walk away from the season with his head held high. Looking at the races that weren’t affected by reliability Hamilton is currently 9-5 to Rosberg in pole positions and 9-6 in wins, that’s not a bad showing at all.

    2. Well LH has certainly done that before but the wise thing to do would be to not risk contact. LH, if he did it your way, could just as easily end up looking like MS at Jerez 97, and does anybody but you really want to see that happen? I don’t think so. Contact happens but it certainly isn’t encouraged as it can so easily hurt both cars chances as the one doing the hitting can just as easily find himself with a broken car. But I know drivers can tend to forget that with some of the risks they take sometimes.

      1. When has Lewis ever tried to take another driver out in a race like Rosberg has?

        1. Baited question or what? Nico has never tried to take a driver out…just awkwardly tried to run them wide in an unconvincing manner. LH has run Nico, particularly, off a few times like US GP 2015 and Canada 2016, claiming understeer, and I don’t think he was being malicious, but nor could you argue he was in control of his car. Not unlike Mexico T1 where he overcooked it and had to take the runoff or seriously damage his tires.

          Anyway I have no time nor desire to get into this debate of who hit or ran off who and what their intentions were. Suffice it to say your suggestion for LH would only make LH look the chump. Is that what you really want? You would have loved Schumacher if that is the case. I’d rather see LH take the high road and not get into running cars off intentionally as you suggest he should.

          1. “Nico has never tried to take a driver out”

            “I have no time nor desire to get into this debate of who hit or ran off who and what their intentions were.”

            …. well, at least you’re consistent. :)

          2. @grat Lol…good shot.

          3. He must have taken tips off Rosberg who did exactly the same thing in Canada 14, difference is Lewis had the sense to give up the ghost instead of trying the impossible.

            Lewis giving Nico a sniff around the outside and gently running him out wide is well within the rules and would be fully justified given the situation.

  46. The odds are 50/50. Either he will, or he won’t.

  47. @keithcollantine : Question – what will be the numbers if we apply last race double points?

  48. Rosberg WILL win the championship. Sure, he’s been excellent but he’s also been blessed with unimaginable luck during the second half of the season. I mean, come on, Verstappen was second and Red Bull pull a boner move by putting him on inters??????????? Max passed Nico on wets not inters. Who knows, he might have won the race! Then again we wouldn’t have had the pleasure of watching him tear through the grid!

    Is Verstappen an alien? :-) Where did he learn to drive like that?

  49. Hard to see how Lewis can win the title. Let him go there, enjoy the race and win it – at least he will then have more wins than Nico in the season. As for the title, it was decided in Malaysia.

  50. Malaysia Lewis lost 28 points v/s Nico.lewis would have been leading the championship by 16 points now.just needed a top 5 Finish to wrap the title.malaysia was a big blow to Lewis’s title is unbelievable bad luck for Lewis .

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