So, it's a two-race shootout to decide who'll become a three-time world champion: Sebastian Vettel or Fernando Alonso.
Without outside influence - insufficient fuel for a sample, contact, something of that ilk - Vettel, with a 10-point advantage, is the overwhelming favourite. But over such a short period, anything can happen...
Despite an obvious upturn in form from Singapore onwards, Red Bull is not counting its chickens.
"Fernando has done a superb job throughout the season of always getting the Ferrari there or thereabouts and taking opportunistic victories," says Adrian Newey, "but I must admit we haven't spent a lot of time worrying about it - it's been pretty difficult to read form."
What has been a consistent theme is Ferrari's strong race pace relevant to its qualifying speed.
AUTOSPORT's technical consultant, Gary Anderson, has some interesting theories on that. He thinks that diffuser stall, exacerbated by an aggressive DRS, could be the problem.
As the car goes faster down the straight, the diffuser 'stalls' (the air is no longer attached), reducing downforce. No problem on the straight - in fact beneficial in reduced drag - but when the driver comes to the next corner, Anderson thinks that the diffuser and rear wing are taking longer than ideal to re-attach in the braking zones.
Alonso reduced the gap to Vettel in Abu Dhabi © LAT
On initial turn-in to the corner, therefore, the rear is unstable, a trait the Ferrari drivers have complained of.
To counter it, you can run less front wing, but that's not solving the issue, it's compensating, and when the diffuser and rear wing re-attach, the driver has understeer.
Anderson says that in qualifying trim it's a big issue because DRS is used all the time, whereas in the race, outside the DRS zones, although the diffuser will stall, the rear wing is still working and so the car is more consistent.
He points out that the Ferraris have one of the biggest top-speed gains through DRS, and suggests that a less aggressive DRS may help the team.
It's the most plausible explanation yet for the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the Ferrari. And would explain why at recent races on a Friday, the team has been throwing rear wings at the car like there's no tomorrow.
The ability to qualify at the front from Singapore onwards has been the decisive factor in Red Bull's hugely strong finish to the year.
Before mid-season, both Vettel and Webber were pointing out that qualifying was the problem. They felt that they could compete much more strongly in the race without having to run in the pack, which made tyre management more difficult.
The team always says that the end-of-season competitiveness of the RB8 is down to the total package, not one thing, but the double-DRS and the attendant bodywork modifications that took the most from it have made a significant difference.
"It took us a while to develop it," Newey admits. "All those things aren't overnight projects if you're going to get them right.
"We wanted to come up with something that when we fitted it on the car, would work, and not be troublesome at a race. Particularly at a time of the year when you can't afford that."
Ferrari has tested several different variations of front and rear wings © XPB
Lotus, by contrast, took a different route with its passive DDRS ('the device') in an attempt to achieve more qualifying speed, but struggled and put it on the back-burner until the team was able to collect more data at last week's Abu Dhabi young driver test.
"It's been way difficult," admits technical director James Allison. "We'll probably get it working eventually, but we haven't done so yet.
"The problem has been making it switch at the right place, with the right strength, and only at that point - having the repeatability so that it always does what you want it to."
The lack of opportunity to do empirical testing that has been a feature of the F1 landscape since the ban on in-season tests has made it hard to go down two avenues at the same time and collate data that you know you can trust.
Allison admits that the focus on the DDRS has detracted from conventional development and says that if he could turn the clock back, he'd place less emphasis on it.
Lotus started the year with a similar, if less extreme, conundrum to Ferrari. They had a quick race car that did not qualify so well. In general, the E20 has run its tyres on the cool side, which likely explains the characteristic.
The absence of the widespread Coanda-style exhausts that the team came to late on (Korea), could well have exacerbated those traits.
They give a decent boost of rear downforce, especially in low and medium-speed corners. But then in the race, suffer the downside of the rear tyre being bathed a bit more in the hot exhaust.
Lotus has focused on its DDRS development © XPB
Raikkonen, second through Turn 1 in Abu Dhabi, proved that when running at the front, the Lotus was a match for pretty much anything, raising his pace when needed as Alonso threatened to come within DRS range in the closing laps.
But, unlike Red Bull, the team hasn't solved the problem of how to qualify it at the front.
Looking at the year as a whole, Vettel's end-of-season pace has shown that Red Bull has made most progress in recouping losses from exhaust blowing and has a sound, workable DDRS to assist qualifying.
Nobody else has cracked both. Ferrari has its qualifying issues, McLaren has strong pace but no DDRS and, recently, some reliability issues, and Lotus has had to temporarily shelve its DDRS.
So, unless Ferrari dramatically finds the magic bullet for the last two races - unlikely - you'd have to say that Newey and Red Bull have done the best job once again.
But perhaps not quite quickly enough to absolutely guarantee Vettel that hat-trick of titles. A 10-point advantage is nice, but it's not comfortable.
There are a few things that you can't predict too well: a new circuit, the weather in Brazil, alternator failures, Romain Grosjean, Pastor Maldonado and, if you're being bitchy, Ferrari race strategy when the chips are down!
Only a fool would put the house on either of them!
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