A1GP Title to be won at Brands

While the news that A1GP Mexico City, Mexico has had to be cancelled due to the swine flu outbreak  is sad, the upshot is that there is now a mouth-watering title battle to be decided this weekend at Brands Hatch.

Three teams are covered by just six points in the standings and, with the situation being so tight, there is no possibility of it even being decided in the earlier Sprint race. It is guaranteed to go right to the wire in the Feature race in what will be a winner-takes-all showdown.

It means that the A1GP championship will be decided in the very final race of the season for the very first time.

Switzerland leads the title race with 88 points, while Ireland has 86 and Portugal 82. If nations are tied on points at the end of the season, the number of victories will determine the champion. If that is the same, it is number of second places, then third places.

The permutations are a little complicated as to every scenario this weekend (Switzerland has four points to drop from that score for example), but this is A1GP.com’s analysis of how it could play out.

A1 Team Switzerland (88 points – 4 to ‘drop’)Switzerland will win the title if the following cases ALL happen

 * Ireland scores less than 3 points or Switzerland outscores Ireland by at least 2 points + Portugal scores less than 7 points or Portugal doesn't outscore Switzerland by more than 2 points + if scores are tied Switzerland need to maintain its better tie-break results (presently Switzerland has four wins to Ireland’s three and Portugal's one)

A1 Team Switzerland leads the championship with 88 points, but it still has four points to drop as its worst event. It is the only title-contender with points to drop under A1GP’s new rules for 2008/09. If it were to win the title for the second year running, it would more than likely have to outscore Ireland by two points or more over the weekend and finish ahead of Portugal each time.

The only difference to that is if Switzerland had a bad weekend, scoring three points or less, it could still win the title by not actually outscoring Ireland. If that happened, Brands Hatch would become Switzerland’s worst event and those few points it did score would be dropped and it would still end the season on 88 points. Ireland would then have to have scored at least three points to overhaul it, or Portugal seven points to become champion. If they failed on this, Switzerland would still take the title.

A1 Team Ireland (86 points – 0 to ‘drop’)

Ireland will win the title if the following ALL happen

 * Ireland scores at least 3 points + Ireland doesn't lose more than 1 point to Switzerland + Ireland doesn't lose more than 4 points to Portugal+ if scores are tied Ireland needs to have better tie-break results (presently Switzerland has four wins to Ireland’s three, and Portugal's one)Ireland could win the title if it simply finished ahead of Switzerland and Portugal in both races, assuming this didn’t happen in the lower point scoring positions. If it scores three more points than Switzerland, and Portugal doesn’t come within four more points than Ireland, Ireland will become champion. However it will need to score a minimum of three points from the weekend to have a chance of becoming champion – despite having points to drop, Switzerland still has 88 points already on the board.

A1 Team Portugal (82 points – 0 to ‘drop’)

 Portugal will win the title if the following ALL happen * Portugal scores at least 7 points + Portugal outscores Switzerland by at least 3 points + Portugal outscores Ireland by at least 5 points

Portugal knows that it has the most to do, and must score at least seven points to win the title. It gets more than seven points on the board, it will then just need to outscore Ireland by five points, and Switzerland by three over the weekend to take the title. With only one victory this season, it cannot overhaul Switzerland (four wins) on any tie break and would need to win twice to have a chance against Ireland on a potential tie break (it would then go to amount of second places).

A1 Team Netherlands (66 points – 6 to ‘drop’)

With only one event to go, A1 Team Netherlands is unable to win the title. Even if it was to score the maximum 27 points available at Brands Hatch, it could only end the season on 87 points, having dropped six as its worst event. Switzerland has already scored 88.

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