Wearing his hat as F1's commercial ringleader, Bernie Ecclestone's dream outcome to this year's title contest is a repeat of 2008, when the world championship was still undecided at the last corner of the season finale. But a mere third place...
Wearing his hat as F1's commercial ringleader, Bernie Ecclestone's dream outcome to this year's title contest is a repeat of 2008, when the world championship was still undecided at the last corner of the season finale.
But a mere third place will guarantee the title for Jenson Button this weekend in Brazil, with a full race to spare.
"I would like to see him do me a big favour and get the world championship clinched in Abu Dhabi, but if he can't wait, well, I understand that," said Ecclestone, the sport's 78-year-old chief executive.
Albeit a big supporter of Sebastian Vettel, billionaire Ecclestone believes Button, 29, is the worthy winner -- because according to his desired 'medals' scoring concept, the Briton would already have the 2009 drivers' title in his possession.
"I think he'll get the job done," Ecclestone agrees.
If Button doesn't leave Sao Paulo with the title, however, his task for the Abu Dhabi finale is likely to be a simple one.
For instance, even if his nearest challenger and teammate Rubens Barrichello wins on Sunday while Button sleeps in the hotel, the Briton will still head to Yas Island two weeks later with a four point advantage.
And if Button is just fourth in Brazil, he will need only a single point in Abu Dhabi to emerge as world champion.
Red Bull's Vettel is a further 2 points adrift the Button-Barrichello challenge, but on his website Michael Schumacher advised his German countryman that "it's not over until it's over".
Mercedes' Norbert Haug agrees that "the momentum is with Sebastian", describing Vettel's recent Suzuka victory as the "most impressive of the entire season".
Triple world champion Niki Lauda however believes that Button cannot lose the title now unless he ceases to be "intelligent".
Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton however very nearly stumbled at Interlagos a year ago, recalling the "most intense experience of my life" in front of the massed grandstands of Brazilian enemies at Interlagos.
"I had two per cent of the fans wanting me to win while the rest were for Felipe (Massa)," said the Briton.