In what’s sure to be a gripping season finale, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are entering into the final race in Abu Dhabi tied in points. It’s the first time this has happened since 1974, and only the second time ever the scenario has occurred. Next weekend will either seal Hamilton’s record-breaking eighth win or disrupt his seven-win streak for Verstappen’s first championship.
As a data storage company, we couldn’t resist breaking an F1 win down by the numbers. Read on to learn how F1 wins are calculated so you know exactly what’s at stake on Sunday and what each team will need to win.
So, here’s where we’re at: Verstappen and Hamilton are tied with 369.5 points. Verstappen has the most Grand Prix wins this season with eight, but Hamilton only trails him by one, with seven wins. Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez are also at the top of the leaderboard, which will contribute to each team’s chances.
There are two cups to be won in F1: the Constructors’ Cup for the top team and the World Championship Cup for the top driver. Let’s dig into what it takes to win both and what will tip the scales for either Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 or Red Bull Racing.
The Drivers’ Championship by the Data
In F1, winning the championship boils down to points. However, it can be determined by both Grand Prix first-place wins and cumulative points earned throughout the season. (In the event of a points-based tie, a “countback” rule means the ultimate winner will default back to the driver with the most Grand Prix wins that season.)
Verstappen and Hamilton are tied in points, so this win will boil down to who wins more. Keep an eye out for how each driver places and who gets the fastest lap.
Sunday could also mean some more Drivers’ Championship records get broken. In 2020, Lewis broke Michael Schumacher’s record 91 Grand Prix wins and tied him for seven championship wins. This season, Hamilton became the first to break 100. However, Schumacher still holds the record for five consecutive title wins. If Hamilton wins this weekend, he could be joining Schumacher yet again.
The Constructors’ Cup by the Numbers
The Constructors’ Cup is awarded each year to the engine manufacturing team that accrues the most points over the season. In F1, team points are handed out at each race according to placements in the top 10.
Forty-four points are up for grabs. There’s one point for the fastest lap (but only if the driver finishes in the top 10), then the rest are divvied up by placements on the leaderboard, like this:
- First place: 25
- Second place: 18
- Third place: 15
- Fourth place: 12
- Fifth place: 10
- Sixth place: 8
- Seventh place: 6
- Eighth place: 4
- Ninth place: 2
- Tenth place: 1
While less of a close race than the drivers’, Mercedes-AMG Petronas and Red Bull are in the first and second spots in this battle, too.
Mercedes F1 started the 2021 season with the most consecutive titles: seven. And, the team is ahead by 28 points going into Sunday’s race at Abu Dhabi, so what needs to happen for them to win and break another record with eight consecutive titles? If you do the math, they’ll need to place in at least the fifth and seventh spots and win a fastest lap point to earn the 17 points they need to win.
Tune In to See The Finale!
The closeness of the point span will make Abu Dhabi a thrilling race for sure. Stay tuned for our postseason recap as we look at all the other records broken—and download the Mercedes-AMG Petronas and Pure Storage Guide to Breakthroughs to start breaking a few of your own.
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