How should an F1 points tie be decided?

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    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…

    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.


    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!


    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.


    Its gotta be rock-paper-scissors!


    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…


    a chess match :P


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


    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.


    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


    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).

    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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