With just two races to go – seriously, where did the time go – there’s a very genuine possibility we could go into the season finale with both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton equal on championship points. Hamilton would have to win the race in Jeddah, with Verstappen in second and picking up the fastest lap point, which would mean they’d both be on 369.5 points as we reached the final round.
With this being a situation F1 fans haven’t encountered in a while, quite a lot of you have been asking what would happen if both Hamilton and Verstappen were tied on points once the chequered flag had flown in Abu Dhabi.
Now, I’m sure you could think of a million ways that the championship could be settled. Perhaps a coin toss, an arm wrestle or a game of rock, paper, scissors? All would be very entertaining, we’re sure, but the FIA actually has a process in place for situations just like this.
In Article Seven of the FIA Sporting Regulations, there are clear instructions on what happens if there is a dead heat:
7.1 Prizes and points awarded for all the positions of Competitors who tie, will be added together and shared equally.
7.2 If two or more constructors or drivers finish the championship with the same number of points, the higher place in the championship (in either case) shall be awarded to:
a) The holder of the greatest number of first places.
b) If the number of first places is the same, the holder of the greatest number of second places.
c) If the number of second places is the same, the holder of the greatest number of third places and so on until a winner emerges.
However, if “this procedure fails to produce a result, the FIA will nominate the winner according to such criteria as it thinks fit”.
With two races to go, Verstappen is ahead on nine wins compared to Hamilton’s seven. They both have seven second-place finishes, respectively, and Hamilton has one third-place finish.