Hamilton v Rosberg: Mercedes hope double points not decisive

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer in Sao Paulo
Toto Wolff
Wolff says Rosberg will be a worthy winner even if he secures the title thanks to double points
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Date: 21-23 NovemberCoverage: Live on BBC TV, Radio 5 live and onlineRace starts: Coverage begins at 12:10 GMT on 23 November. Race at 13:00 GMT.Qualifying starts: 13:00 GMT on 22 November

There will be "a big shadow" over the F1 World Championship if the award of double points at the final race of the season decides the title, according to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

Lewis Hamilton leads Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by 17 points before the last race in Abu Dhabi on 23 November.

If Rosberg wins, Hamilton needs to finish second to take the title. Under the old system, sixth would be enough.

"Hopefully double points will not make a difference," said Wolff.

Highlights: Rosberg wins after Hamilton spins

"It would put a big shadow over the championship if it was turned by a technical issue."

Hamilton has won 10 races this season to Rosberg's five, but Wolff said that did not mean the German would be an undeserving winner if he ended up triumphant because of double points.

"Whoever has most points at the end the season is the worthy champion," he said. "Even though if it really comes down to that situation, some of us might have a different feeling about it, it is what it is.

Double jeopardy: Hamilton v Rosberg for the title
Hamilton now has a 17-point lead over Rosberg with a maximum of 50 points remaining at the final race in Abu Dhabi. Hamilton can win the title by finishing second to Rosberg - third or lower for the Briton means Rosberg is champion if he wins the race.

"Whoever wins the championship is going to have his name in the record books and that's it."

Double points were introduced this season at F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone's behest but the issue has been controversial all year.

Most drivers and team bosses have expressed their objection to the scheme and it has met vociferous opposition from fans.

Wolff said he would push for it to be dropped next season.

"Nobody likes the double points," he said. "We are going to discuss it next time around.

"I don't think Bernie likes it, so it is probably something we should be getting rid of for next season."

Nico Rosberg (C) of Germany and second placed Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton (3rd R) of Britain pose for the official photo with staff after the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo November 9, 2014.
Mercedes have set a new record for single season one-two finishes (11) and also races led from start-to-finish in a single season (13)

Hamilton is opposed to double points. He said after finishing second to Rosberg in Brazil on Sunday: "It's never happened in F1 before. It just so happens to be this season."

And he added that he agreed with the view expressed by Rosberg, who said: "I find it artificial and I don't like it in general.

"Of course, it's great for me at the moment, but you know that's just because of the situation.

"But there are other sports which have tried the same sort of thing, like Nascar, and they've done this very successfully.

"We need to keep on reviewing it. It's good to try something and we'll see how it goes this year."

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