Hamilton set for title but specter of double points haunts F1

Mon Nov 3, 2014 6:09am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton's U.S. Grand Prix victory means the Briton can now secure his second Formula One title without having to win again but there could still be a sting in the tail.

The specter of double points, a novelty introduced for the first time for the final race in Abu Dhabi, hangs over the championship and is causing some trepidation at Mercedes.

Whatever happens in Brazil next weekend, Sunday's result means the championship cannot now be decided until the race at Yas Marina on Nov. 23.

"I don't have a fear, but I think the last race with the double points has the potential to overshadow the season," said Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff after Hamilton chalked up his 10th win of the season and fifth in succession.

Mercedes are sure of both titles now with Hamilton and team mate Nico Rosberg the only drivers still in championship contention with two races remaining, but a controversial finish could take the gloss off the team's achievements.

It would be a travesty if Hamilton did not prevail, with Rosberg only winning four of the 17 races so far, but the two are only 24 points apart.

That means Hamilton could triumph in Brazil next weekend and still ultimately lose out, even if Rosberg draws a blank at Interlagos, if he suffers a retirement in Abu Dhabi and the German wins.

On a more positive note for the Briton, two second places would be ample to secure the title even with double points.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain holds up his trophy and a bottle of champagne after winning the F1 United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas November 2, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Stone