Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will put it all on the line in Abu Dhabi (Picture: Getty)
For the first time in 47 years, two drivers head into the final race of the F1 calendar level on points.
The Mercedes driver has won the last three races to set up a thrilling season finale but what exactly needs to happen for each driver in Abu Dhabi in order to be crowned champion?
At present, both drivers sit on 369.5 points but Verstappen tops the overall standings based on how many races he’s won this season – the Dutchman has won nine compared to his rival’s eight.
In short, it will be a winner takes all in Abu Dhabi.
But neither driver needs to win the race to take the title, it will purely be down to who finishes in the better position.
A top 10 finish and fastest lap
Max Verstappen has the advantage going into the final race of the season (Picture: Lars Baron/Getty Images)
If both drivers finish among the points in the top 10 as is expected, the champion will be whoever finishes higher.
Things get interesting if Hamilton and Verstappen finish in ninth and 10th place.
With two points up for grabs for finishing ninth and a single point on offer for 10th, this is when the fastest lap (a bonus point) comes into play.
If Verstappen comes 10th (with Hamilton in P9) and takes the fastest lap then they score the same amount of points but the Red Bull driver takes the crown because he has more race wins than Hamilton.
Equally, if Verstappen finishes ninth and Hamilton 10th with the fastest lap it results in the same outcome, the same as if Verstappen finishes 10th with the fastest lap and Hamilton comes ninth.
The seven-time world champion’s scenario is pretty simple… if he outscores Verstappen he will be lifting the trophy at the end of the Abu Dhabi weekend.
Lewis Hamilton is bidding for a record eighth world championship (Picture: Cristiano Barni ATPImages/Getty Images)
If Hamilton finishes ahead of Verstappen and achieves at least an eighth place finish the celebrations can begin.
Again, if the pair find themselves battling it out for ninth and 10th then the bonus point for the fastest lap could come into play.
What happens if both drivers crash out?
If both drivers fail to score points by finishing outside the top 10 or crashing out then the drivers’ standings will remain as they are.
Verstappen will be crowned champion because he has won more races than Hamilton this season.
This has led to fears among some sections of the F1 fanbase that Verstappen could bump his rival out of the race and ensure he takes the glory that way.
More: Lewis Hamilton
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