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Who needs to do what to win the F1 drivers' title

By Tom McGowan, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The 2010 Formula One season comes to a close at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this Sunday
  • Fernando Alonso can win a third world championship with first or second-placed finish
  • Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton can all still win the championship
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(CNN) -- A Formula One season full of dramatic twists and turns will reach its climax this Sunday, as four drivers battle it out for the sport's biggest prize.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is currently leading the way in the race for the drivers' championship, sitting eight points clear of his nearest rival -- Red Bull driver Mark Webber -- with 25 points available for a win

Sebastian Vettel, Webber's teammate, is seven points further back with Lewis Hamilton, McLaren's British driver, 24 points behind Alonso.

With a number of ways each driver could emerge as champion, we explain what each one needs to do to take the crown.

Standings after the Brazilian Grand Prix

Points for finishing positions

1st: 25 2nd: 18 3rd:15 4th:12 5th:10 6th: 8 7th: 6 8th: 4 9th: 2 10th: 1

4th: Lewis Hamilton -- McLaren (222 points)

Hamilton must win Sunday's grand prix to stand any chance of claiming his second world title. The 2008 champion would also need Alonso to finish outside of the points, Webber to finish no higher than sixth and Vettel third or lower.

3rd: Sebastian Vettel -- Red Bull (231 points)

If the German can win this weekend's race he will become champion as long as his Ferrari-rival finishes no higher than fifth.

Vettel does not necessarily need to win the race, but if he finishes second he will need Alonso to score two points or less. He will also need Webber to place outside of the top four.

2nd: Mark Webber -- Red Bull (238 points)

Webber will claim his first world championship if he wins in Abu Dhabi and Alonso gains 15 points or fewer. If he fails to finish in first place, the 34-year-old needs his teammate Vettel not to win to stand any chance of ending the season in pole position.

If he finishes second at the Yas Marina circuit, he will need Alonso to place sixth or lower. Third place could also be enough for the Australian, providing Alonso is no higher than seventh.

If Webber finishes fourth, he will be relying on Alonso to score two points or less. The long-time leader of this season's championship could take home the title from as low as fifth, but only if the current leader scores no more than one point.

1st: Fernando Alonso -- Ferrari (246 points)

The Spaniard has his fate in his own hands, knowing a top-two finish on Sunday will guarantee him a third world title.

In fact, third, fourth or fifth place will be enough for the two-time champion, providing neither Webber nor Vettel win the race. Sixth could also seal the deal for the 29-year-old, with Webber lower than third and Vettel failing to claim maximum points.

The outcome will be the same if Alonso comes home seventh or eighth, as long as Webber is no higher than fourth and Vettel does not win.

A one or two point return could be enough for Ferrari's first-choice driver, with Webber no higher than fifth and Vettel claiming 15 points or less.

Alonso can win the world championship without scoring a point, as long as Webber is sixth or lower, Vettel finishes lower than second and Lewis Hamilton fails to win the race.

A tie?

If Vettel takes the checkered flag with Webber second and Alonso fifth, all three men would be level on 256 points. In that instance, the championship would be decided by the number of races each driver has won. Vettel and Alonso have five wins, two second places and three third places apiece, meaning the Red Bull driver would win the title as he has three fourth places to Alonso's two.