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Winner takes all F1, do we like it?
Posted By:   |  17 Mar 2009   |  4:38 pm GMT  |  0 comments

The FIA World Council made some very significant decisions today and the one which is leading the news bulletins is the decision to ensure that the driver who wins the most races becomes world champion regardless of how many points he has scored.

The more significant move is the one to introduce a £30 million budget cap, which is a red rag to FOTA teams and which would effectively create a two class F1, but I’ll deal with that point in a later post.

I got the sense from responses to my blog when Bernie Ecclestone suggested medals as a way to decide the champion, that this was not a popular idea, but that the concept of rewarding the driver who wins most races was acceptable to many fans.

I have to say I agree with that.

The Teams’ association (FOTA) put forward a different suggestion, which stuck closer to the current system, but awarded the winner more points.

The FIA has adopted neither, but has essentially adopted the medals idea, just without the medals themselves! So Bernie has got what he wants, racers going for the lead come what may, even if the Melbourne winner will not be bowing his head on the podium to the premier of Victoria to get a big gold medal.

I think that using the existing points structure as the back up system in the event of a tied number of wins – which let’s face it is quite likely – is sensible. You may well end up with a championship table which shows the loser above the winner on points, but you had that in the old days when driver deducted scores from their tally and so on. There has never truly been one system since the start of the sport, so it’s not messing around with something sacrosanct.

I think this makes the role of the stewards even more acute, as Lewis Hamilton was docked a win in Spa last year and it went to Massa, which under this system would have given Massa the title. The stewarding process is to be more open and transparent this year, so that should help that situation a bit.

People will have many arguments against, I am sure, but this is quite a simple system which will have the desired effect of giving driver more incentive to make a pass for the lead of a race.

And it generates a LOT of publicity for the sport a week before the first race…

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  1. Johan Smithers says:

    Someone needs to go over previous years’ results and see whether championships would be decided much earlier in the season because of this rule. Schumacher in 2003 could possibly be one of those. With the current points system, we have had many championships going right down to the wire. I fear that this could change all that. And that’s before we get on to the business about teams with a clear number 1 driver having a definite advantage.

  2. LMW says:

    mmm… I can see a lot of interest in this.

    This idea is growing on me, I must admit. I don’t think it will hinder Lewis either, as he is an out-and-out racer and always goes for the win when he can.

    I am looking forward to a great season – keep up the good work James.

  3. Gary Davidson says:

    Do I like it? Not at all. FOTA did fan surveys which came to the conclusion that it needed amending very slightly, the FIA Council then take FOTA’s proposal, scrap it, and then come up with more or less what we didn’t want?

    IF IT AIN’T BROKE – DON’T FIX IT! But hey, what do I know…

  4. Alarustic says:

    It was seen briefly at Spa last year, when Kimi ‘had to win’ in order to keep his title hopes alive, that he took more risks than normal (ultimately crashing!) but was leading the race where normally I don’t think he’d have been so bold. If you look at the start he was more aggresive, for example.

    Therefore, creating situations like this in every race where drivers who want the championship ‘have to win’ will only make things more exciting. There’s no value in second place now!

  5. Jay says:

    No! Points for first through eighth – 12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1 – was a more sensible idea, but the FIA and WMSC insist on disagreeing with anything put forward by the teams and drivers.

  6. James says:

    I, for one, hate this idea passionately. A lot of moves from the FIA in the last few years have looked to try and increase it’s fan base which is, I’ll agree, a great idea.

    But it’s the way they’ve gone about it which annoys me and many others. They’re looking to make the sport more accessible for the so-so fans, but at the same time, they’ve cast a massive shadow over the hardcore fan base. The people that have been watching and following the sport passionately for large amounts of their lives.

    The FOTA had the best idea for the points system, but FIA seems reluctant to agree with them as they’re affraid of they’re growing influence in the sport. The FIA wants to be seen as top boss, which is ruining the sport.

    The idea of the title going to the person with the most wins is trying to make the sport more accessible to the general public, but how would you explain to them that Driver A is the winner of the title who has fewer points than Driver B?

    The system is very much flawed, the championship could be decided by race 9 or 10, and the following races after will see viewing figures plummet like a stone.

    James, let’s assuming that Jenson Button wins the first 5 races, but has a piss-poor season after that where as Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso each get 4 wins and are constantly in the points, but are not world champions because of fewer wins? Is that fair?

    The idea of the points system was to reward the winner and consistency, where as now it would seem, that it’s just the winner.

    This idea is very much flawed.

  7. Peter says:

    So, not finishig half of the races, but win the other half could mean the world championship? Interesting.

  8. Andy Fov says:

    I don’t like it at all. We’ll see team orders coming into play far earlier into the season.

    Let’s say Ferrari get a 1-2 in each of the first two races, and Massa wins both. ON the old system at 20 pts to 16pts Kimi still has every chance to be WDC, but at 2 wins to zero isn’t he effectively out of contention before even the third race?

  9. rpaco says:

    So Bernie has got what he wants, racers going for the lead come what may

    Racers? Yeah but only the leader and second place man need apply, or maybe the third as well if he is close enough. The rest who before had a chance, through good consistent performance now have no incentive. This will definitely lead to team tactics and “placement” of the second team car to slow down the opposition.

    A sad day for the sport.

    Yes as you say, the stewards will be important, but unless they attend the driver’s briefing we will get more blatant violations of the rules from them like last year. They are all supposed to have super licences as are the clark of the course, starter, race director et al. Did anyone check on last years debacle if the stewards responsible had super licences or were they just mates of Ferrari? If the same sort of bias is shown favouring ferrari again this year many of us will give up and content ourselves with the BTCC. (It was almost like Jean Marie Ballestre was in charge again, for the last couple of years only he was Italian instead of French)

  10. Michael Bickley says:

    Yes it may motivate someone to overtake for the lead of the race, but what about the other 18 drivers?? Can they just retire after a few laps if they’re not going to win?? This is a ridiculous rule especially this year as anyone who gets out of the gates quicker than the others could rack up 2/3 wins which is potentially enough to win this year as there may well be a multitude of race winners. The FIA obviously doesn’t give two hoots about what the real fans want!!!

  11. Chris says:

    It’s an outrageous idea, and it should have been no more than that, just a crackpot idea that would be cast aside as soon as the decision had to be made.

    But if ever there was evidence that the FIA, WMSC and FOM don’t want the teams to have a say on the sport, today’s rule changes show it.

    Disgusting. 59 seasons of great history chucked away in an instant.

  12. Ben G says:

    I preferred the FOTA plan, which would have made it much more likely that the driver with the most wins gets the championship, but without the arbitrary method of Bernie’s medals system.

    But clearly the FIA has felt the need to publicly slap down FOTA early in the season, and put the teams back in their place.

    Let’s face it, what were seeing is the beginning of split between the teams on the one hand, and the old cabal of Max & Bernie on the other. I know who I want to win…

  13. Andrew Jarman says:

    Theoretically in a season where it looks like several teams /drivers could be quite equal, with the new system you could have a situation where someone wins say 4 races but has a lot of non finishes and a tally of perhaps only 70/75 points, winning the championship over another (rather like Kubica last year) who was very consistent and racked up a lot of 2nds and 3rds and perhaps the odd win and got something close to 100 points. If they were going to award the championship on wins it would have been much better to increase the point differences as was suggested to lessen the chance of this anomaly.
    And who comes 2nd in the championship – the one with the second largest number of wins?
    And where would someone come if they fluked a win and there were only 5 different race winners that year – would they be 5th even if they didn’t score any other points?

  14. PaulL says:

    I was in favour of medals, but the FIA’s wins-and-points system is even better! I am delighted it will be in place for 2009. It may hopefully culminate in both drivers having a greater incentive to win at each race whilst also having the incentive to keep racing hard if they for instance knock off a nosecone (a rather oversized one at that for 09!) on lap one or else receive a drive through.

    On a tangent also, but keeping roughly in context of great F1 changes for this year, the BBC will be offering a FTA onboard channel, one classic race half-hour highlights per weekend (big thank you BBC!) on BBCi and the internet, and have said that whilst they will offer a substantive Hamilton coverage in their productions to interest UK viewers, it won’t be the Lewis Hamilton show. I think that is a great adjustment, because UK’s commentary filters through to other countries like Australia which have interest in all the drivers. I personally don’t like aural romanticism for any one driver, even if it were for my top-dog Alonso.

    - Johan Smithers, the FIA published research into the championship durations under the medals system. I’ll copy and paste as below.

    The duration of the World Championship battle would have been altered in 22 of the 59 seasons. The medal system would have had no effect in 37 of the 59 World Championships.

    Fourteen World Championship battles would have been shorter (1955, 1970, 1978, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004).

    Eight World Championship battles would have lasted longer (1973, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1990, 1991, 2001 and 2005).

    In terms of World Championship final race showdowns, there would have been five lost (1955, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2000) but six gained (1977, 1979, 1980, 1990, 1991 and 2005).

  15. rpaco says:

    Once someone has won (Maybe Rubens) the first 10 races will the rest of the championship be cancelled?

    Could we see action by the teams in protest? Like say, all but the leader and second retiring after the first half?

  16. SiY says:

    Increasing the points difference between 1st, 2nd and 3rd would have been a far, far better way of dealing with any perceived problem. “Winner takes all” smacks of gimmickry and does not recognise the driver with the slightly inferior car who picks up a string of brilliant podiums.

    This is the first commentary I’ve read which has picked up on the point that the actions of the stewards at Spa would have made a far bigger difference to the 2008 championship under this new system. In that race, Massa was cruising around in third but was gifted the win by the decision to disqualify Hamilton. That said, Lewis seems to underperform when trying to play the percentages – he’s still young – so this may not harm him, especially as he’s starting the year with a weak car.

    I’ll save my (highly critical) thoughts on the creation of an artificially calibrated, two-class Formula 1 for your forthcoming post.

  17. VonSpeeX says:

    I do like the idea James. It must mean more overtaking… .But it dosn’t fit robert’s consistency strategy. Whereas the old rules would have gave him a good chance this year because of all the different expected race winners (maybe brawn toyota and fernando)

  18. SiY says:

    A further thought: with the difference between victory and second now effectively much greater, how will teams like Ferrari, Toyota and Brawn decide which of their drivers gets to qualify and start each race on the optimum (often lighter) fuel load? There could be a few more Alonso-style tantrums in the top teams this year!

  19. Al27 says:

    It wasn’t broken and it didn’t need fixing.

  20. Damo says:

    As well as all the concerns listed, I also have two other concerns

    The first is that I am a bit worried about the level of development that teams will do. If I were a team boss and my driver won four or five of the first seven or eight races, I would halt development of the car and start work on the following year’s one – that way the team could do the same again the following year.

    The second concern is that, as Ben G alluded to, the FIA has pretty much ignored all the proposals that the FOTA put forward; are we leading potentially to a FIA/FOTA war similar to the FISA/FOCA wars of the eighties? Ironic considering that Max (and to a lesser extent Bernie) are now on the other side!

  21. Sparhawk says:

    I am disappointed by that idea. I think that consistency should be as important as winning. This is a very sad day for the sport and I am not sure that I will care about the WDC anymore.

  22. Michael12 says:

    Poor idea. A racing driver has many attributes such as: speed, (Knowing when to apply it), intelligence (management), strategy, luck, reliability and ability to read a race and make decisions based on their take on the proceedings. A driver could use any one of these attributes interchangeably to win a world title provided they were sufficient amounts of these attributes the situation in which they are called.

    Now this rule has dumbed down the sport to simply wins. We saw in 2003 (Schumi vs Kimi, vs Montoya) 2005 (Alonso vs Kimi), 2006 (Alonso vs Schumi) 2007 (Lewis vs Alonso vs Kimi) and 2008 (Lewis vs Massa) all using a combination of the various attributes to win their world titles. Although Kimis 2007 triumph might not go down to his intellectual strength or lack thereof but rather to his luck and speed.

    In 2003 Schumi showed great management which is an important driver attribute something o which I think we will see less. Likewise Alonso in 2005 and 2006. As for Luck, it is something that strikes too few times a season to win anyone a title under this scheme.

    Also, considering how long engines are to last, drivers should be able to look at the season as a whole rather than a race by race basis.

    The better drivers are the ones that have a good mix of the above traits.

    If they wish to reward winners, then the suggestion of more points to the winners is the route they should have taken. Under the new scheme, teams might be force to seek pace and sacrifice reliability in the hope that the races they finish they win.

    It is a really poor idea and I think we are going to see drivers trying to in races in the first corner. [ This comment has been updated - Moderator ]

  23. Charlie W says:

    They should have adopted the “Bernie’s Golden Egg” system, you get 3 golden eggs for a win, 2 for 2nd and 1 for third, the twist is you have to carry your golden eggs in a specially designed “Golden Egg Glove Box” (maybe this could be a standardised piece of equipment to save on costs) then if you have lots of eggs and you go too fast they will break (reducing speeds of the egg winners) if you have no eggs you have nothing to loose and will therefore try harder, the driver with the most eggs at the end of the season wins “Bernie’s Golden Goose”

    Seriously They should have left it alone, like they should have left qualifying alone too.

  24. SeaDog says:

    I think last years points system (perhaps play with the amount per position) worked well enough. Athough it is too early for true performance indications, if a driver has a rock solid machine, leading the field from day one, the season will be over far too quickly, or at least preceived to be over by many, not good for the seasons backend viewing figures. At least the point based system rewards fighting to the bitter end.

    I know we can play with statistics of old and say this or that has happened, so and so would have been WDC and so and so would not be WDC, but so what? Drivers and teams race to whatever system is in place at the time, so the old stuff is interesting but hardly relevant.

    I find the new budget cap of £30mil interesting (and stupid) if it is to include drivers (and all team member) salaries. Surely some teams must be appraoching or even passing that figure
    on salaries now. (although I am aware not all drivers earn the mega mills)

    Will our fabled gladiators look elsewhere in motorsport for a drive if they face a multi million pound paycut to stay in F1? and surely the same may be said for all team staff.

  25. George says:

    There’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said, if they felt the need to change it they should have used the FOTA plan, which was based on actual research, rather than the whims of two old coots.

  26. Albo says:

    I think this is a terrible idea.

    Negatives:
    1) Championship could be over by race 10
    2) If a top driver contending for the championship has a bad start and ends up down in 10th, he may choose to simply retire, and save the car/engine for the next race
    3) You could end up with someone winning 4 races, and only having 60 points, and someone else winning 3 races and ending up with 100, consistency must be rewarded as well

    Positive:
    1) More challenges for the lead – however, some will be ridiculous, “if i cant win then i’ll take the other guy out, especially if i’m already 3 wins up…”

    Conclusions – Giving the extra points for the win as an incentive was the way forward. Its a disgrace this has not been adopted. I wouldnt be surprised if the system is changed half way through the season!! But only if Hamilton is 5 races up of course!

  27. Lee Rigby says:

    Why have they made all these changes?

    Since Schumacher won his final championship in 2004 every year has (in my view) got better and better – I doubt there has been a closer four seasons back-to-back than the ones we’ve just had.

    Furthermore, I was looking back at some old footage (you gotta love You Tube) of interviews from the 70s, 80s & 90s – there is a common theme to these particular interviews. 1) Not enough overtaking; 2) Costs too high. Sound familiar?

    I don’t think F1 is broken – yes, it could be better, but generally we’re in a golden age of F1 and the FIA have mucked about far too much over the last few months.

    My prediction – This F1 season will be the most anticipated season in history and at the same time, the biggest disapointment – For once I hope I’m wrong…

  28. Francisco says:

    Bad bad bad idea.

    The post Michael seasons give us 3 champions, Alonso, Kimi and Hamilton. The last 3 seasons the title was decided on the last GP.
    FONA distribution is a much better idea (12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1) rewarding more the winners.

    What is the point? Why fix something if it is not broken?
    Honesly, I do not understand.

  29. yos says:

    I guess the time for choosing (officially) number one driver in every team with the WDC desire has come. This could possibly kill racing as we will no more be able to see team mates fighting out for victory.

  30. rpaco says:

    Well this will simplify the BBC’s coverage, they only need bother showing the first two cars!

    The second driver in all teams may as well give up now, unless he can accidentally nudge his team-mate off, his future is only as a mobile chicane. (That phase brings back memories of the first turbo Ferraris, the “Noige” era, Brands Hatch, that was a far more exciting era than this, but then I am very old)

    Anyway as I read the rules, they cannot change it for this year, it has to be done by the previous year’s October. But then the FIA can break the rules whenever it likes so it seems.

  31. Peter Williams says:

    This is an appalling decision. Last year we witnessed the most exciting conclusion to a Formula 1 championship in living memory. What was the need to tinker with it?

    Under the new system, the probability of the championship being settled before the last race of the season, robbing us of a dramatic showdown is dramatically increased. I am devastated by this.

    The fact that a driver wins most races in a season does not automatically make him the best out there. It is usually a reflection of the speed of the car. It is very rare that you will have a season where the cars are so equal that a driver’s ability can determine wins. The previous systems at least allowed for the possibility of errors/consistent performances/ fights from the back of the grid to the podium to be rewarded with a possibility of increasing the chance in the championship.

    I am amazed that you can support this, James.

  32. rpaco says:

    Lee: My prediction – This F1 season will be the most anticipated season in history and at the same time, the biggest disapointment – For once I hope I’m wrong …

    Yes I agree the FIA just killed it!

  33. Craig says:

    Why could they not wait to see if the new rules produced more over taking and “exciting” racing! Why do they have to change so many things at the same time This is just medals under a different guise and it seems the only person who wanted that was Bernie.

  34. Eric says:

    I do not think that this is a good move because it increases the relative importance of having a good car and team orders. For example, if one team starts the season with a dominant car, they can essentially wrap up the title by giving one of their drivers the first 5 wins or so which will probably become an unassailable lead. I like the fact that a canny driver can knock up points through finishing 2nd/3rd when he can, leaving options open for later in the season when the car improves. I can see this fix just wrapping up the title really early on. I think the FOTA proposal of 12-9-7-etc was better.

  35. Kalle says:

    I’m wondering, James, how you can call this a simple system that’s easy to follow. Someone leading the championship with four wins and 40 points could easily be trailed by someone with two wins and 23 points and another driver with no wins and 50 points. So which of these two challangers is closer and how does that make sense for the casual viewer?

    This is surely just FIA giving FOTA the finger.

    Also, what Peter Williams said above. I’m not sure the people supporting this have really addressed the likely pifalls of the propositions.

  36. Dermot Keelan says:

    The FIA appear to be doing their utmost to destroy the sport we all know and love.

    And if these ludicrous changes are not opposed by the teams before Melbourne they may just have succeeded.

  37. PaulL says:

    I don’t really understand the people here who are backing 12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1. What tangible difference do you think it will make to the racing? One point extra for a win?

    Two benefits, as I see for wins-and-points system:
    1. As I mentioned in my first post above, it encourages championship competing drivers to go for the win but also retains an incentive to race hard when the win is not there. Remember in 05 and 06 the champion and runner up both had 7 wins.
    2. Reliability and other team mistakes punish a driver less. I think Hamilton was a worthy and deserved world champion in 2008, but I felt for Massa who lost out heavily due to a couple of reliability issues in both 2007 and 2008 and silly team mistakes like the pitstop bungle in Singapore.

    I personally believe in a few things:
    - Senna deserved the 1988 championship despite having less points.
    - Mansell deserved the 1987 championship despite having less points.
    - Senna had a better season than Prost in 1989.
    - Three times world champion for Mansell reflects his true greatness more than one.
    - Nobody would have ever fluked a world championship under the wins-for-championship system.

  38. matt2745 says:

    Another nail in the coffin for me unfortunately, just don’t like what F1 is becoming :(

  39. rpaco says:

    Charlie W
    No not eggs, but Kilos of ballast!

    3 for a win
    2 for 2nd
    1 for 3rd.

    ie 10 wins = 30 Kg extra, so the field would get more even as the championship went on. It works very well in the BTCC 2nd races, but is only on a “per weekend” basis. In F1 it could be cumulative, gradually slowing the faster cars and allowing the field to catch up. This would make each race closer as the season developed. But it will never happen, its too logical!

    The teams had better watch out now as Bernie will try to get them to pay for his divorce, the $30m cap is the first step, as he intimated before, they won’t need so much money from him.

    Will the $30m include profit or just expenditure? will it allow depreciation and other write-offs to be taken into account ? There is a whole vista of fiddles to be seen here!

  40. Alan Dove says:

    This idea you can ‘create’ racing is complete bull. Take a look at MotoGP. On several occasions last year bother Stoner and Rossi went toe to toe a mere 10 point overall difference! You don’t see MotoGP making weird rule changes!!!!!!!

    I do feel the points didn’t award the winner accordingly. but all that was needed was a small tweak.

    A championship is about awarding the best OVERALL driver. not the best driver who had a good run at the start of the season but was no where in the latter stages.

    You also have to consider James we have just HALFED the amount of drivers who can fight for the WDC. With wins now more valuable than Gold a team will have to nominate a number 1 driver from the first race. This is NOT good for the SPORT at all!

    Take Hamilton in Spa. He just went balls out to win, same in Germany! For only 2 extra points! So this concept drivers don’t want to go for it is bull also!

  41. Alan Dove says:

    Anyone remember Kubica DESERVEDLY leading the 08 championship for a brief period through hard work and consistency! Well not under this plan he wouldn’t have! :(

  42. JP says:

    Blimey this is going to cause all sorts of problems. The team orders issue, and pecking order between drivers, being just one. But what an opportunity for those teams that are quick straight out of the box. It could indeed be all over by mid-season. Having said that it will mean that strategies, both team’s and driver’s, are going to have to be aggressive from the get-go. And that should make for better racing.

  43. Mike Ellison says:

    I’m not in favour of this change – the last few seasons have been very close and exciting and that is thanks in no small part to the points system. We have to remember that a lot of changes were brought about because Schumacher was “winning too much” and F1 was “becoming boring”.

    Having said that, this system has one HUGE thing in its favour – it’s NOT Bernie’s Barmy Medals System! So, given the choice, I’ll take what they’re offering and see how it works out.

    I do agree with the criticism that we’ll see definite #1 and #2 status between the drivers. However, I don’t think it’ll always come about by team orders; it will often come down to which driver in a team gets the first win! After that, the team will have to go with that driver for the championship unless they can afford to “lose” that win because the competition are so far behind. Can you imagine the fuss if Alonso gets beaten to that first Renault win? The whining would start immediately “Boo hoo – Flav gave Nelson the car with the new ING stickers and it’s NOT FAIR :-((” He’s by far the biggest whinger since Nige!

    Anyway, I really hope the stewards have their act together now because the stakes for fundamentaly WRONG decisions like the Bourdais penalty are so much higher. Even though I very much wanted Massa to win the championship last year, there were too many stewards decisions (and non-decisions) that incorrectly went in his favour. I would not want to see such disreputable stewarding repeated.

  44. John H says:

    The FOTA points system was the logical move:

    the one that the majority of the fans wanted (evidence I have taken from many many forums), the one the teams wanted, and the one that kept with tradition in F1.

    James, this is a sad day for F1. With even Ferrari left frustrated (albeit for the other rulings), let’s hope this can get the breakaway going for real.

  45. Andrew Halliday says:

    Absolute rubbish!
    So now a driver simply has to choose which races he’ll really push at, maybe use an extra engine, and once he’s won enough he can sit back for the rest of the season. The championship is not just about winning, it’s about consistency. I work in sales so using that as an example, let’s say you have a £10,000 target per week for ten weeks. Under this new system you make £10,000 per week six times then do £5 per week every week after that. This would be a total of £60,020 but the majority of weeks you would be over target and in the F1 scenario, the championship winner. Another more consistent person comes along and does £7,000 per week. They never actually hit their target but over a ten week period they’ve made £70,000 for the business. If I owned that business I would much prefer the person who not only made the most money but who I could rely on to be consistent from one week to the next. F1 will suffer for this.

  46. Kalle says:

    I don’t really understand the people here who are backing 12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1. What tangible difference do you think it will make to the racing? One point extra for a win?

    It rewards the winner a tad more than now without introducing a complicated and unnecessary second scheme of allocation. A third’s worth more points to the winner than the number two sounds about right to me.

    There’s a reason why no other class of motor sports awards championships by the number of wins. Points systems give good overall representation of a driver’s level during the season-long campaign. They can be tweaked, sure, but there is no need for a radical shake-up that can be expected to have many ill consequences.

    We just had the most exciting season finales of all time. I really don’t see any need to alter the system so fundamentally.

  47. Jeff Pappone says:

    The big shame here is that it all but takes away the chance that a driver will put together a fantastic season in a less capable and still win the championship.

    Think Prost in 1986. Remember Williams won nine times (Mansell five, Piquet four) to McLaren’s four wins (all by Prost).

    But some cool thinking and fantastic driving by Prost allowed him to get the maximum from the car and deliver the title. That’s what racing should be about and making it all about wins eliminates all intangibles.

    Seriously, did anyone really care that Prost had one less win than Mansell after the season finale in OZ?

    I predict this will be as bad for the sport as refueling.

  48. lower-case david says:

    a joke, a clueless stupid joke.

    a nice new interesting, exciting season, warming up nicely, full of potential, flushed right down the crapper at the last minute with more petty and corrupt interference.

    first things first : where exactly did this meme of drivers not trying for the win come from? do you think they have all been in position or capable of winning all this time but just didn’t fancy it, just didn’t bother … they’ve been racing their balls off just trying to get close for years (FIA regulation designed turbulence, cheers) … anyone that thinks drivers that had a sniff, didn’t already hard-race for victories or podiums or points is deluded

    so now what have we got …

    team orders – any team that allows drivers to split victories is cutting their own throat, fairly-fought 1-2 finishes are now useless, they need to make sure one driver takes all.

    if brawn put their head down, use their early advantage, pick a winner, they could have the driver’s championship sealed in 6 races before any team can update their cars.

    front-runner race through the field – bad qualifying, why bother, you aint gonna get the victory, so just use it as a test session and save the engine for next race. wanna see someone coming through the pack at a wet monza, forget it, park it.

    race for positions – alonso and massa fighting for fourth, tight ding-dong battle … go at it hammer and tongs, why should they bother? the time they lose duelling means kimi’s too far away … any hard fought, entertaining, minor placings are useless, empty, and pointless.

    we get (OWG, not FIA) cars that finally might be capable of an occasional overtake, testing indicates tight racing up and down the field … and bang! we get a new imbecilic, backwards-arsed championship format that makes it all void. get a win or don’t bother. clueless.

    (alright then, go for the worthless overtake … and collect your penalties, all last year we saw the joke decisions from Donnelly and his 3 stooges, making it up as they went along, anyone trying anything a bit couragous gets a house dropped on them).

    sickening display of authoritarian bullshit from the FIA and the WMSC cronies. pure politicking. FOM, CVC, FIA versus the expressed intentions of the teams, drivers and fans.

    anyone that swallows this bullshit deserves all they get … FOTA should issue their own standings, with their own trophy based on 12-8-6, screw Mosley.

    i’ve had enough. [ don't be gone too long, lcd ... we all enjoy your writing - moderator ]

  49. Peter says:

    Why the hell did they change the points scoring system in the first place in 2003?! The points system from 91-2002 was a hell of a lot more fair, as it rewarded the winning driver much more. Why didn’t they just return to this system, particularly since we have less cars than in the 90′s.

    P.S: **** Ecclestone, Mosely and the god-awful FIA. For once I wouldn’t mind a breakaway series, to get away from those deluded old men.

  50. steve says:

    Do they not listen to the fans? This is stupid.

  51. the_mink says:

    With one of the most exciting finishes to a season last year I don’t see why the FIA feels it has to tinker with everything again.

    Maybe it’s a power thing to show that the FOM is more powerful than FOTA by going with their suggestion.

    Having followed F1 for over 20 years, this is/was the most excited I’ve been for years (new tech. rules shaking up the grid for example). Now I’m reconsidering and personally I think this change is a waste of time.

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  52. Finn says:

    I really like the idea and think it deserves a try. Hamilton went to Brazil last year trying to finish 5th or higher … that’s not racing: that’s like pushing a trolley round a supermarket and buying the cheapest beans you can find … you worry about numbers not about quality or putting on a show.

    But for Hungary and Singy, Massa would have deservedly been WDC last year …. but because of the points system a driver who had had a pretty average season took the title thanks’ to Massa’s engine blowing up and some bloke hitting the go button at the wrong time.

    It has got to be better to reward the driver with the most wins. In the old system, it was possible to win the WDC without winning a single race … and that’s NOT racing.

    Some people seem to want to keep the processional play-it-for-points system that we used to have. That’s just crazy as it has given us years of indolent calculated and boring races.

    Does the system for the WDC extend to the WCC?

  53. Jasper says:

    Renault are the first team to confirm that they will definitely be running KERS in Australia according to Autosport! Assuming that the Brawn car proves to be fastest in qualifying there, (as the general feeling seems to be that it’s currently the fastest car). It’s going to make for a really exciting start, how will Button & Barrichello be able to fend off the likes of Alonso and any of the other cars who have KERS at the start? And then once any KERS cars get in front of Button & Barrichello, they will have to fight to keep them behind, but they will have the KERS at their disposal to prevent the Brawn’s from getting a run on them into any braking zones!

    Just thinking about it, assuming the reading of the cars relative pace is correct, Brawn fastest, followed by Ferrari, Toyota, BMW and Renault. The Australian GP could turn out to be a really fascinating tactical battle, but if anyone’s good at race strategy and tactics it’s Ross Brawn! Bring on Australia!

  54. Jake.. says:

    Look at this website. There is a petition you can sign if you don’t want the rules initiated.

    What on earth is wrong with the FIA.. why don’t they listen to the fans.. they always have to twist things unnecessarily.. it’s ridiculous!

  55. johnkell says:

    Rubbish idea, sadly. F1′s appeal lies in its intricacies and nuances, the long picture over the whole season and the big picture over all the teams. This will render much previously vital detail irrelevant – a loss to those of us who follow it closely. As for the casual viewer – the old system served them pretty well over the last few years!

    And this idea that drivers don’t go for the lead when they have the chance… give me one instance where that has ever happened? For pity’s sake, they’re racing drivers! Of course they’ll go for the lead if they have the chance! Far more common is two quick drivers out front, the second place man unable to make a pass because of the aerodynamics… which may well be sorted by the new regs anyway.

    At their very best, these changes will not make things worse.

  56. Michael C says:

    being an F1 fan is getting more and more like being someone who just can’t leave an abusive lover, everytime coming back for more. I suppose this is Max’s influence.

  57. Ralph says:

    I am frankly amazed and slightly dissapointed that you are not up in arms over this rubbish! I thought you were a fan of F1 and this system has so many downsides that I cannot believe you can support it.

    1700 signatures in 4 hours!

    And that’s with half the world unaware as yet!

    Check out how many on there agree with the system!

    I could go on but I’m sure you get the idea!

    James, you should take up the fight on this issue and work with the various forums (I have a small one of my own and all 50-odd members agree with me) let alone PF1, Atlas, Autosport, F1Technical and so on

    Prove you are in touch with the real F1 fans James and get involved.

  58. krad says:

    Please please please let the winner of this season have less points than someone else. This will make the FIA and WMSC look real silly.

    This is another case of Bernie doing outrages things just to create controversy to keep the sport in the headlines

  59. Growler says:

    The idea that Hamilton went to Brazil looking for 5th place is wrong.

    He went to Melbourne looking to amass more points than his rivals over a 9 month, globe trotting season. That is what F1 is about – its a long championship – not a series of sprints.

    How anyone can call the proposals simpler to understand for the casual fan when you could easily get the following scenario is beyond me:-

    1st Massa 6 wins
    2nd Button 3 wins 90 points
    3rd Hamilton 5 wins 70 points

    It is two systems in one – you can’t have first place decided by one set of rules and subsequent places decided by another……..It would be as mad as a Championship with competitors racing to 2 sets of technical regulations…..oh, wait…they want to do that to in 2010.

  60. JP says:

    The fundamental thing that has spoilt FI in recent years is refuelling. It has reduced a GP to 3 sprint races. Gone is the ability of a driver to manage all the elements of his car over a full race distance. The sooner that has gone the better. Then there will always be the expectation that a poorly managed fronrunning car will be caught by the guy who still has some tyres or brakes left. When Prost was racing he was often midfield halfway but was nearly always challenging when it mattered at the finish.
    Refuelling has taken the excitement out of F1. Fiddling with the scoring system to encourage better racing and reward winners is just trying to quick- fix the symptoms and not addressing the underlying problems.
    It will be extremely interesting even so.

  61. Paul_G says:

    Why has this decision to change the points system been made? I don’t believe it’s been done to increase overtaking and reduce the amount of processional races. If this was the case, Bernie would not be taking the F1 circus to so many new pedestrian circuits such as Valencia and Singapore. No, I believe this decision has been made to appease all those people who believed that Massa deserved to win the championship last year. It’s as if by implementing this new system that Massa can be posthumously awarded some kind of morel victory. The current system works fine, the last few seasons have been exceptionally entertaining, so why try to fix something that isn’t broken.

  62. Peter Freeman says:

    Considering that the ‘winner’ of any race is who ever the FIA stewards DECIDE is the winner according to the ‘interpretation’ of the rules that day, this system effectively cancels F1 as a competitor sport!

    Quite clearly the FIA do whatever Bernie wants and Bernie wants what is good for Bernie’s pocket and egotistical pride ALONE!

    So what we have now is purely a kiss-Bernie’s-bottom organisation in which the stewards will imagine or ignore ‘rule infringements’ penalising and promoting in favor of whoever has pleased king Bernie the most with cash or obedience.

  63. dulait says:

    It saddens me that it has come to this. I believe we may be on the cusp of a major division between the FIA and the constructor represent FOTA.

    So delusionary are the “Rules” that the thought had crossed my mind that perhaps this is solely a publicity stunt. I believe it still may be………

    The proposal is egregious on a whole raft of levels, it seems incomprehensible that the FIA are seriously considering the implementation of the calamitous wins system for determining the winner of the drivers.

    Many of the fundamental flaws have already been touched upon in this thread. They include but are not limited to those as follows:

    1. Theoretically a driver may only finish 5 races (winning all five) out of 17 and win the title. A competitor may win 4 races and finish 2nd in the other 13. He will have amassed 154 points compared to the 50 that title victor will have earned. Huge flaw

    2. Team orders will come to the fore now. A team will need to put its weight behind its number one driver very early on. For example if Kimi won the first 2 races with Massa having finished 2nd in both and Massa was leading the 3rd race, with Kimi running 2nd, the team have a choice of having Kimi on 3 wins or Kimi on 2 and Massa on 1. What do you think they’re going to do? Results will now be manufactured. De facto number 2 drivers, now effectively sacrifice their own interests from the off, instead of the back end of the championship.

    3. If a championship contender qualifies at the back of the grid, the likelihood is that he’ll pull in to retire after the first lap in order to preserve the end and gearbox for the next race. Not much point in charging through the field in order to finish 3rd or 4th, when it’s practically worthless now. For that matter, it’s likely that all championship contenders running outside the top 3 will retire before the end of the race. This approach of course ignores the constructors aspect. Teams may find it difficult to balance the prize money for the constructors title against the best interests of the driver in the pilot’s championship.

    4. The timing of this change; 12 days before the opening race of the season is quite frankly nothing short of appalling. If a change of this magnitude were to be introduced, it should have been ratified well in advance of the season opener.

    5. Will we now also see manufactured races? Will the de facto number 2 driver be fuelled extra light in order to snatch pole and control the race from the front to be benefit of his team mate, similar to a pace runner in a distance athletics race? The result is likely to be a convoluted mess with topsy turvy grids not reflective of actual

    6. The new system will entice far more speculative overtaking attempts. If a driver is 2nd, and within a shout of 1st place, expect to see an ambitious lunge for first place. If a collision ensues eliminating both, what matter? Second place was worthless to begin with and now they’re no worse off. Expect this to court a lot more 2008 SPA-esque controversy. How many races will be decided in the stewards offices after the fans have gone home as a result?

    If you wish to place greater importance on race wins in an attempt to conjure up overtaking excitement, why not simply alter the points attributable along the lines of:

    15, 10, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

    What seems to have escaped the grasp of those in authority is that it is a driver’s born instinct to overtake in the event of an opportunity arising. The aerodynamic sensitivity and loss of downforce when following a car in front closely culminated in little overtaking in recent years, not as suggested by Bernie, the fact that they were content taking a reasonable haul of points instead.

    As an aside, the bookmakers must find themselves in a bit of a quandary re: driver’s championship bets. The goal posts have moved. I imagine they’ll need to offer optional refunds on open bets.

    This one could run and run………

  64. OllieW says:

    I’m disgusted by this forced idea by Max/Bernie, and without wanting to sound like a Lewis zealot I can’t help but feel that it’s because they don’t want him to win like he did last year. But surely his podium streak in 2007 was what a Champion should have, rather than a few wins and then a few crashouts/penalties and a couple more wins?

  65. Daniel Hoyes says:

    I think just change points for 1st (so 12-8-6- etc). Very very simple. Knee jerk reaction, and further proof the FIA didn’t like Hamilton winning the title – so they decide to devalue it.

  66. patiserriy says:

    I have never made a comment here before, so I feel compelled at this point.

    This change is the only thing the FIA has done in recent years that is in line with the principle that first got me interested/passionate in this sport — it’s supposed purism. What the hell can be criticised about a system that gives the championship to the guy that has won the most races is beyond me. what exactly are we complaining about here? do we want champions that haven’t won lots of races? I don’t get it. why give a guy the biggest trophy, play his national anthem and repeat his name millions of times in media headlines if it doesn’t actually mean something. with the 10-8-6 (etc) points system for the drivers’ championship, the difference between 1st and 2nd was no different to the difference between 2nd and 3rd (ie 2 points). Now it’s going to be like a goal in football. bring it on, fantastic idea.

    I just thought I should mention that there ARE people who have been involved with this sport for decades that do support this idea. not everyone thinks the FIA and Ecclestone are evil. jeez, give the guys who have created the modern sport we love some credit. sit back and watch, shutup.

  67. Michael12 says:

    What may also be concerning is that drivers may be encouraged into dangerous overtaking moves. Lewis Hamilton “I am coming through if you close the door then we will crash” style of overtaking not doing so with skill but simply relying on the person who you are attempting to pass to jump out of the way.

    The Stewarts are going to be kept very busy and will have to make more controversial judgments as the season proceeds.

    I cannot help but feel that we are losing important driver attributes, the consistency, the luck which is all part of the sport.

    Another reader also pointed out that, if a fast driver, say Kimi, Massa or Hamilton falls behind to 10th place say in Monaco, why not just retire, save the engine and effort for the next round. Obviously pressure form Sponsors will logos on their cars but this may still happen.

    I understand they want to attract a new audience thus increasing it but surely in this attempt they risk losing the older audience.

    If you look at it, it has reduced the championship to a race for the most of 17 points

  68. nickogs20 says:

    Very surprised you’re in support of this James.

    At best it seems to me like completely unnecessary tinkering – we’ve had a succession of exciting, down-to-the-wire title races in recent seasons, so there is definitely no need to spice things up on that score (not that I would particularly agree with artificially doing so anyway).

    I appreciate the need to encourage overtaking and acknowledge that last season’s points system saw the odds stacked a little too much on the side of consistency, but we’ve got huge regulation changes coming into play this season designed to deal with the first point and a hugely simple and blindingly obvious proposal re: the points system from FOTA to deal with the second. There just seems to be absolute no need whatsoever for this new system to be introduced.

    That’s before you even get to worst-case scenarios and the potential pitfalls of the new system, of which there are undoubtedly many – they’ve been detailed here extensively already by the vast majority of commenters so I won’t go into that but not only does this idea seem unnecessary, I’m frankly not entirely sure it’s even been properly thought through.

    It all smacks of Bernie/the FIA both not giving a flying one about the thoughts of the fans (they must have been aware of the decidedly negative response to the medals idea, surely?) and deliberately looking to spite the teams, who are working together in a way we’ve never seen before and yet still find themselves ignored.

    All this leaves me feeling very much like those who commented previously comparing F1 fans these days to those in abusive dysfunctional relationships (not to make light of the latter subject, naturally). My faith in the FIA/Bernie was already at a low (non-existent?) ebb, and while we keep on watching and loving the sport despite all we have to put up with, sooner or later there will come a tipping point where I/we walk away.

    I’ve gone from being as excited about a new season as I can remember to wondering whether I’ll end up making the effort to sacrifice a Sunday lie-in and watch the first race (the decision to reschedule the race for 7am just another awful decision). I’m 26 and haven’t missed a season opener/Australian GP since 1993 – that tipping point might be rapidly approaching.

  69. JohnBt says:

    Bernie is like an old grandpa using his money to gain control over who will receive his will if one agrees with him. Shameful way to use power. No respect at all.

  70. Liquid says:

    It almost sounds like writing an exam.. you come give ur test and go home.. and then 2 weeks later.. your results are published! How bad can this get!! duh!

    1. Phil says:

      Exactly, so if teams are out of sight of the win they’ll just tell their drivers to hold back and conserve their engine. This will not see any “mad dashes from the back” and will make anything but P1 and P2 boring.

  71. Sasquatsch says:

    So with the new engine rule the driver that wins the first 8 races with a new engine every race can take the penalties for the next ten races and still become champion.

    Sounds weird to me.

    Even if a driver scores 5 wins and crashes every other race he can win the title to a driver that wins 4 races and finishes every other race second. Still sounds weird to me.

    Where is the consistency issue that made Kubica a contender until the last couple of races? It can be gone after half of the races.

    And the impact of the stewards decisions can change the outcome dramatically, where as last year Hamilton became champion even though all the stewards decisions were against him (not only Spa because of Charlie Whiting, but also Valencia where Massa only got a money penalty for an unsafe pit exit where a drive through was the correct punishment as Singapore or Turkey (GP2) showed us).

    Do you think this will improve? I don’t. Both FIA (individuals) and FOM has Ferrari interests. SO while this is the case these discussable decisions will occur.

  72. Basspunk says:

    Great idea but I wanted the medals. We still needs more radicalisation. The race in general has been stale for time and needs shaking up.

    F1 is looking for new audiences and with riskier racing it will be more exciting throughout the whole race with much less of a procession which is a real turn off.

    So many people hate change but making it fresh invokes interest. This move broadens the appeal and I want to see attacking racing again.

  73. Tobias McKenzie says:

    I think that the new rule for deciding the champion contradicts the spirit of 8 engines/year rule. If a team, like Renault that has a single driver fighting for championship, decides to use 8 single race engines, with a power advantage, and wins most of these races then the title race will be over before half of the season is run. He can then take penalties in the remaining races and watch Hamilton/Massa/Raikkonen/Kubica fight between themselves for the rest of the season.

    Or consider that Ferrari knows they cannot win the Italian GP, but have a shot at victory at the next event. They can fit a new engine at Italy, receive grid penalty at Italian GP, retire their cars at lap 6 and use the relatively fresh engine at the next event.

    Even though the advantage for using a fresh engine may be smaller than it was 3 years ago, I think these examples still show a lack of thinking by FIA.

  74. F1 fan says:

    It’s a bad idea. Why?

    1. Like everyone else has said, If person A wins the first 5 races then go home or crashes in the rest but person B has won 4 and come 2nd in every other race, Person B will have nearly 3 times as many points as Person A but won’t be champion.

    2. The Fans agreed that there should be a bigger gap from second to first. Not no gap.

    3. Some championships will be ended very soon.

    4. There are 20 drivers, not 3. The other 17 might as well not be there (apart from constructors).

    First i’ll ask, If drivers are tied on wins, does it go to second places, then third or points? Will the lower teams drivers’ be ranked on number of 5th’s or something?

    5. Then if it does go to second places, then third Piquet would have beaten a lot of other driver’s who were consistantly 3rd. So what about a lucky race?

    6. Team orders, Each team will have to back a driver right from the begining or at least after 1 win.

    There are more, but not enough time.

    I would suggest 12-8-6-5-4-3-2-1. Or my made up version which you might not like:

    50-40-35-30-25-20-18-16-14-12-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

    Anyway, these point are better than medals.

    1. moderator says:

      And if you can handle it in Italian, here is the list compiled by the Gazzetta dello Sport – Il Moderatore

    2. Johan Smithers says:

      Ah of course, silly me. I did see the lists of who would have won under the medal system. Obviously with this new points system, the championship winner would still be the same. I am ill at home with man flu so my brain is not functioning. I have taken the last couple of days off work, perhaps this is a sign I should extend my absence!

    3. dulait says:

      The casual acceptance of the change from high level commentators such as Martin Brundle and James has greatly surprised me. I’m not convinced the full ramifications of this change have been thoroughly absorbed as yet. I believe we may be on the cusp of a major division between the FIA and the constructor representative, FOTA. [ See this correspondent's fuller post from 10:18 last night - Moderator ]

  75. Jay says:

    Unfortunately that idea has a major flaw, because the drivers in previous years raced according to what the points system was that season. If a different metric had been in place, teams and drivers would have qualified and raced differently (and maybe even tested and developed their cars differently). It is therefore pointless and misleading to do any comparison.

  76. James says:

    The Beeb already did that [ see here ] Interestingly much of the 80′s would’ve been completely different. But the 90s and 00s would’ve barely changed. Why? The Schumacher effect.

    If any driver has a dominative decade (Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Kubica – take your pick, could easily be any of those), then this system will look very silly. Perhaps I’m going to be a cynical sod when I say this, but part of me wants this to happen, just so the FIA can look like fools.

  77. Stuart Kent says:

    Good point.

  78. Johan Smithers says:

    I do understand that, although it would be interesting to see nonetheless. I have no doubt that someone is on the case as we speak, having seen this sort of thing done for the medal system and 12 points per win system.

    Whilst I accept that car design and the whole approach to racing would be changed (for the title contenders at least, and one can argue how much of a difference this change in approach would have made in each year), it would still make for an interesting comparison.

    I do feel that this new system may provide a reduced chance of championships going down to the wire. I could be wrong of course- maybe we will see teams having severe problems at the start of a season being able to challenge for the championship towards the end once they get up to speed (McLaren?), and teams who have an exceptional start to the season but who are unable to match the top teams’ development pace still being able to win the championship (Brawn perhaps?) seeing as they have enough wins “in the bag”.

  79. Lee Rigby says:

    I agree with your point about making it less accessible – My wife as watched F1 since 2002, she doesn’t read sites like this, she doesn’t follow the times in testing or practice sessions, she doesn’t feel any pain on the weekends when F1 isn’t on – Basically my wife is not a ‘hardcore fan’ like so many on this site. She does however watch the races and gets just as excited when the race is on – she was on the edge of her seat last year like the rest of us!

    I’ve just tried to explain the new points system to her and I felt stupid doing it, she also didn’t get it straight away (which was fair enough) and when she did get it she struggled to understand why! She also made a point that last years title decider was quite complicated with the different variations on how the title could be won or lost, if you then throw in this rule it only serves to make it more complicated!

    FOTA seemed to have it about right in my eyes – but hey what do I know I’ve just been a loyal fan for the last 20 years.

  80. Mike Ellison says:

    er… no. We’ve had plenty of seasons that had the championship decided well before the last few races. People didn’t back off then so why should they now? When the crowned champion can ease off, everyone else gets a crack at a win (especially the second driver). A win is a win after all.

  81. Mike Ellison says:

    2) That’s not a championship-winning mentality. There have been plenty of races won from the back after a bad start. That was a key strength of Michael Schumacher – if he had wheels on his car, he would keep going even if he was a lap down. Okay, most of the time the luck continues to run against you but don’t forget Hamilton in Monaco where an unscheduled stop worked heavily in his favour.

  82. Ben G says:

    I agree. It is almost impossible to see the championship going down to the last race now.

    This sounds really sad – but I am so annoyed by this! The FIA’s decision has cast a cloud over what was promising to be the most exciting season for years.

  83. VonSpeeX says:

    great system charlie !! :)

  84. Clinton says:

    I LOVE IT!!

  85. lower-case david says:

    hey, cheers Mod … but if this stands, enough is surely more than enough.

    we keep saying we love F1, but it keeps showing us the contempt it holds us in, how much it despises us … and every year we keep going back for more.

    i think maybe a little self-respect is called for, and time for us to see sense and get out of this dysfunctional relationship.

  86. Stephen Kellett says:

    FOTA should issue their own standings, with their own trophy based on 12-8-6,

    If they won’t, it should be easy enough to arrange a website with the appropriate data and commentary.

  87. MrMe says:

    Your wife had trouble understanding that the driver with most wins at the end of the season wins the title?

    Regardless of whether you agree with the rule or not, that doesn’t seem like a difficult concept to grasp..

  88. Johan Smithers says:

    Thanks for that mate!

  89. Dan says:

    What? If I was Kimi in that situation I know which rule set I would rather have. And it’s not the old points system. You have it the wrong way round my friend.

  90. Dan says:

    There is no particular reason to expect another last race showdown, with or without the old points system. The research of Johan Smithers shows that in the past we would have seen more last race showdowns, not less. To say we are going to get another last race showdown if and only if we stick with the points system amounts to little more than superstition.

  91. Dan says:

    Naming no names, but some of the posts that I have read in this thread leave me unsurprised that they don’t. Why would you listen to fans who say things like “changing from the points system to the wins system means that the championship will be decided by mid-season instead of by the last race”? Why?

  92. Dan says:

    Well I don’t think Hamilton in Brazil last year is a great example. It was thrilling. This year drivers will care about numbers still, but only about number one! I do like that idea. That is the concept of a race, is it not?

    Something noone has mentioned, there is still every chance that the championship could be decided on points at the last race. It’s a smaller chance, but still a chance.

  93. Jake.. says:

    I see your point, but it’s not just the WDC and 2nd that matters, there’s also 18 or so other drivers on the grid that need to be taken account of.

  94. Andy Fov says:

    Really? I just see the WDC being the first driver to notch up seven wins or so, and see the tipping point where a team decides to put all its resources behind just the one guy coming a lot earlier this year.

    Let’s say 6 races into the season then… Hamilton’s (or Kubica, Rubens, whoever – it’s hypothetical) won 4 and Massa’s won two. Even if Kimi’s come 2nd in every single race Massa will be given the driver who gets the optimal strategy from there on in.

  95. Stephen Kellett says:

    “changing from the points system to the wins system means that the championship will be decided by mid-season instead of by the last race”? Why?

    Why? Basic maths.
    You have N races. If you win N/2 races you’ve won. You can stop racing at that point. In fact, you can retire every race from that point and still win the championship (with less points, possibly, than some of your competitors).

    If you remember a few years back, Schumi won most of the races. He did continue racing, but it wasn’t mathematically certain till a long way through the season, so it isn’t the same thing. But if folks knew from race 8/9 that he was the WDC then what reason to follow F1, unless you are a die-hard?

  96. Dan says:

    To reply to Stephen Kellett, technically the number of wins required to guarantee the championship is floor((n+1)/2)+1-floor(n/2-floor(n/2)+1/2), amongst other things. But it’s not n/2. If n were odd (which it is at the moment, standing at 17), it would produce a nonsensical fraction, not a whole number. If n were even, it would produce a whole number which is not sufficient to win the championship, since you could still lose to another driver with the same number of wins and more points.

    For information on the so-called “floor” function, see wikipedia.

    Schumacher tied up the championship with 6 races left in 2002 and with 4 races left in 2004 I think. But those were not close championships. They were over for all intents and purposes, a foregone conclusion, long before they were over mathematically. Indeed, the new rules will shorten such championships. But who cares? They were never exciting from a “closeness” point of view anyway (though I loved it, as a Schumacher fan).

  97. Stephen Kellett says:

    For once I wouldn’t mind a breakaway series, to get away from those deluded old men.

    Absolutely. No messing about. Just when you’ve got a great season lined up, a new variation of the classic divide and conquer re-emerges. Lets hope FOTA stick together and tell them where to go.

  98. Lokksley says:

    I’m not interested in sport- it’s for school boys. I’m not interested in cars- they’re vulgar. But I truly love Formula One. I found my love for it during the 2000 season and it has become a major passion ever since despite never being a Ferrari or Michael fan. I love F1 because it is complex, subtle and requires knowing in detail to truly appreciate. As with most things in the modern world it seems the people in charge are concerned only with appealing to the lowest common denominator- never mind the people that genuinely love a thing, the people that will tune in year on year regardless of whether they happen to share their nationality with a driver in a top-end car- let’s concern ourselves only with those people that might casually turn on the television on a Sunday for want of anything better to do. Let’s put the perceived preferences of the casual viewer above the interests of life long fans- that’s ‘Bernie-Business-Sense’… why worry about the long term when you’ll soon be dead and you need to secure some extra inheritance for your daughter to afford all those luxury yachts. Selfish old men with unjustified power = short-term strategies for short-term gain. Today is a shit day.

  99. piotr says:

    Charlie W and rpaco

    It’s the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard. Hey, why not start to cut off athletes’ toes every time they win so the next time the others could have better chance? Just one toe each time you win…eh? No? Why not? It’s the most effective way to get rid of unwanted winner. If by the 11th heat this poor bloke will be still competitive, than well… he truly is the champion. Justice done!

    You can’t change the nature of the sport. There will always be winner and looser. And, what is more important, lets not forget about unique nature of formula one. There always will be brilliant drivers in not-so-brilliant cars and good drivers in great cars. And don’t look for a perfect, righteous scoring system. There is no such thing. Not in f1 anyway. All them drivers there are aware of disparity between performance of each team’s cars. All they can do having not enough luck to drive the quickest one is to finish as high as possible in every race in the car they were given to drive that day. And by finishing second or third, time and time again, they’re keeping them self in contention for the title, hoping that their teams will develop their cars even better for the next race. Now I just wonder if new scoring system won’t have bad influence on determination of these mid-field drivers, meaning we could see just two or three drivers doing everything possible to win and rest of them wanting the season to end. Thankfully there is WCC contention keeping the battle in the mid field alive which wasn’t affected by the new rules.

    All in all it is a difficult call. I am still of opinion that point scoring system was better though. And maybe only in case of same amount of scored points at the end of the season between leading drivers, the difference in number of wins scored should determine a champion (Raikonnen vs Kubica for third in WDC last year)?

  100. Snowy says:

    Let’s face it – in theory, under this ridiculous new system, the eventual winner of the Driver’s World Championship could have done enough to secure it after just the first two races!!!

  101. Pawel says:

    That decision is well welcomed by teams with clear leader like McLaren or Renault. However other teams, like Ferrari or BMW where drivers are broadly at equal level, will have to decide which one driver to support. For instance they cannot pit simultaneously thus one driver will have less fuel on board and better chance in Q3. I don’t like it.

  102. Brian says:

    Signing a petition? you really believe that will make a difference?
    Look these 2 stubborn old men will do what ever they please regardless of public opinion. FOTA did the market research and formulated a proposal from that. The FIA dismiss this in favour of our best mate bernies comic suggestion.
    The sooner the two elder statesmen of the sport either step down or go back to the Muppet show the better off the sport will be.
    I think that this along with the proposed budget cap will renew the teams looking at a breakaway from the Muppet show at the earliest possible time. (I Hope)

  103. Barny W says:

    But Michael did not have to carry his engine over. It would make perfect sense to cut your losses in one GP after a quaifying disaster, and have the the chance to run the engine harder at the next.
    Same thing happens in karting when tyres are limited.

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