10 May 2009


A driver who is more than 2 points per remaining race behind has the championship "out of their hands" since, even if they win every race, if the leader comes second each time, they wouldn't win. The equivalent figure for constructors is 7 per race, since that's the difference between a 1-2 and a 3-4.

With 12 races left only 2 drivers are within 24 points of Button (Barrichello 14 behind, Vettel 18 behind). For the constructors it is still entirely open, since Brawn only have 68 points, and 84 would be the margin required to take it out of someone's hands. Logically, if Brawn take 9 points more than Force India in Monaco (as is likely) then we can start applying the metric to constructors, too.

However, for the drivers championship, when is it too early for teams to give a driver priority? The top 6 in the drivers standings go in pairs: the Brawns, the Red Bulls, the Toyotas. Toyota have shown how easy it is to slip back this year, so Brawn might be justified in promoting Button, but surely not until at least Silverstone, in mid-season.

However, if McLaren (Hamilton 9, Kovaleinen 4) or Renault (Alonso 9, Piquet 0) suddenly had a great car, then surely they'd feel it worthwhile.

For reference sake, as it stands, Barrichello has 40% of Brawn's points, as does Webber for Red Bull. Who gets pulled aside first?

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