What do Hamilton and Verstappen need to win the F1 2021 Championship in Abu Dhabi?
It’s going to be a fight to the finish at the Formula One championship in Abu Dhabi, with the top two contenders entering the final race with the exact number of points.
Max Verstappen of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton of Red Bull will go down the wire in only the second time in Formula 1 history that the top two contenders head into the finale with the same number of points.
Verstappen and Hamilton are deadlocked at 369.5 points with only one race to go. Since the first world championship was held in 1950, such a tie only happened once previously between Emerson Fittipaldi and Clay Regazzoni in 1974.
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In the face-off between the two, whoever clinches the most points will win. However, there are more scenarios where Verstappen can win. Despite their identical scores, he is currently at pole position because he has won nine races to Hamilton’s eight, earning a tie-breaking advantage.
Because of this, the 24-year-old stands to win as long as he finishes ahead of Hamilton.
Hamilton needs a bit more to win
It’s a little more complicated for the 36-year-old. If he finishes ahead of Verstappen in the top 8, he is the champion. But if he finishes ninth and the younger driver finishes 10th but clocks the fastest lap, the Red Bull driver will get one point for the achievement which will equalize their scores again.
If they both finish out of the top 10, in which racers need to be to get points, their final score would still be at a draw. If neither of them finish or crash out of the race, they would again end with the same score.
If the two drivers tie on points at the end of the race, Verstappen will be hailed the world champion.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tops off the 2021 Formula One World Champion on Sunday, December 12 at 8 a.m. ET / 5 a.m. ET.