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Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Dec 2013   |  12:34 am GMT  |  357 comments

The rule changes announced today by the FIA, following meetings of the new F1 Strategy Group and the F1 commission, range from the pragmatic to pure Hollywood.

At the pragmatic end of the scale, the cost cap is long overdue and vital to maintain the medium sized and smaller teams, which are close to the brink financially.

At the Hollywood end, the idea of awarding double points for the last race is breathtaking at first glance, so odd does it seem and so out of keeping with F1′s history. It will add another 100 points to the mix, meaning another $500,000 in entry fees to the FIA, but it is also intended to mean that it’s mathematically more difficult for the title to be decided several races before the end of the season.

But after the introduction of fast degrading tyres and DRS wings, we should not be too surprised. After all it’s eight years since the equally wacky idea of making one set of tyres last for qualifying and race. That was an idea which lasted a season – the 2005 season – which followed a dull year dominated by one driver Michael Schumacher.

This has all the hallmarks of a knee jerk idea which is likely to cause more problems than it solves.

Here are some background notes on the decisions taken today:

F1 Strategy Group decisions
This was the first set of decisions to come from the controversial new F1 Strategy Group, comprising just the top teams plus FIA and Bernie Ecclestone. They have made some bold statements here and want to demonstrate that they can get things done and not get bogged down in petty fighting and dysfunctionality as so many times in the past. They want to show forward thinking and boldness, but at the same time, the promise of a cost cap is a sop to the teams excluded from the Strategy Group forum. It also covers up for the unfair way the prize money is doled out under the new Concorde Agreement, with the top teams creaming off the lion’s share.

One wonders what form this cost cap will take as it has been vehemently opposed up to now by Red Bull and Ferrari.

But the real story is the process of rule making on the hoof, as waved though by the F1 Commission and given free passage by the World Motor Sport Council. A note in the FIA statement proudly says,

“These changes are immediately applicable, given the mandate assigned to the FIA President at the last World Motor Sport Council meeting, held on 4 December in Paris.” Now that is power! Where has that been for the last 20 years?

It will be interesting to see how long this “can do” mentality lasts.


Cost Cap for 2015
Former FIA president Max Mosley attempted to introduce a cost cap in 2009 and it led to civil war with Ferrari rejecting it outright, Mosley saying that F1 could “survive without Ferrari” and the FOTA teams threatening to quit F1 in summer 2009.

Now as some teams face financial meltdown, some pragmatism seems to have returned, with a newly elected President Todt at the helm and even the major roadblock to cost control – Red Bull – has signed on to this latest development. But Turkeys never vote for Christmas, so the devil will be in the detail, when the working group tries to draw up a plan and set the ceiling level for spending. Auditing what goes on in Stuttgart to help Mercedes F1 team’s effort and comparing that to what Red Bull does in Milton Keynes is nigh on impossible, as Red Bull has consistently pointed out.

There is also the question of whether some of the more vulnerable teams will even make it to 2015..

Driver’s individual numbers
A very sensible idea that will get little argument from anyone. It works in football, Moto GP and has been in NFL and NBA for decades. There will be a scramble for number 7, number 5 and especially number 27 (Senna and Gilles Villeneuve’s number) no doubt. But all the drivers still want Number 1..


Five second penalties
It’s a nightmare trying to evaluate penalties during a Grand Prix, drive through penalties for “minor infringements” sometimes seem too harsh, as in Massa’s penalty for cutting a while line in Brazil. So adding five seconds to a driver’s race time -an easy thing for a timing computer to do – will simplify life for everyone.

Changing the sporting regulations to allow an urgent tyre test
Pirelli have been insistent on getting a meaningful test done before Christmas on their 2014 tyres, as they are concerned about the effects of the massive torque. They have been calling for a mandatory two stops for races next year, which has met with resistance.

The idea of the December test in Bahrain was originally floated with 2011 cars, but Pirelli insisted on 2013 cars as they will be more representative (although nothing like the torque). With memories still fresh of the Mercedes test debacle in May, all sides wanted to get the governance right on this one, so the rules have been changed, the test has been opened to all teams and the freight will be on its way shortly.


Double points for the last race of the season
This is pure Hollywood. But is it really entertaining or does it cause more problems than it solves?

If this rule had been in place in recent years, Lewis Hamilton would have lost the title to Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso would have won in 2012, so two of the most exciting races of recent times would have been killed as spectacles by the weight of numbers.

I’m not sure it would have made this year any more interesting.

F1 was right to explore things like DRS, as overtaking was nigh on impossible. It perhaps went too far, as the tyres certainly did, but there is a line which the sport shouldn’t cross otherwise it gets like WWF wrestling. And this final race points idea is dangerously close to crossing it. 50 points for a race win is absurd.

What it also does is open the door for some races to be “more equal than others”. There is a financial premium for the final race of the season already, but this adds to it, putting more attention on the showdown.

With diminishing returns from TV rights, the sport has been aggressively pursuing race hosting fees as a revenue growth area and playing around with points is another way to add some value to the promoter.

I think it will play badly with fans and – like that nutty tyre idea in 2005 – will be shortlived.

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357 Comments
  1. Aussie Rod says:

    Thanks for making your thoughts on the double points finale clear James. We don’t need any sitting on the fence by F1 commentators with this one. The fans voice is certainly loud and clear on every F1-related website.

    This is ill-considered idea that erodes the essence of F1 and it should be ridiculed as such until someone laughs the decision out the rule book before the start of the new season.

    1. Keith says:

      Innovation needs money. Lots of it. F1 is better off without a cap because it can then allow itself to come up with brilliant ideas and make itself relevant to the consumer car world. Bad decision.

      1. Sebee says:

        If a champion is crowned by means of passing the pre-final race points leader via this double points gimmick, does it take away from the value of that WDC?

        Let’s say Alonso snatches the WDC this way from Vettel, which under normal circumstances would not happen had the points awared been standard…would you feel Alonso righfully is the WDC through the gimmick?

      2. Bruno says:

        I agree that’s THE one and only question to ask. This 50pts-tule will automatically bring “false” suspense for a “false” title, so => boring. Now my idea if they want a double points race, why not try something like a 3hr-race (way to recycle the old refuelling systems :)) ? But not in boring Yas Marina circuit of course…

      3. Sebee says:

        Der Champ has spoken!

        “Imagine at the last Bundesliga match there would suddenly be double points,” Vettel told Germany’s Sport Bild.

        “This is absurd and punishes those who have worked hard for a whole season. I treasure the old traditions in Formula 1 and don’t understand these new rules.”

        Is this just a “scandal” to keep F1 in the news during off season?

      4. Rob says:

        It reeks of ‘the pseudo-scandal’, a technique to fluff up F1 and bump up page views to keep it ‘in the news’. It’s so absurd that that _has_ to be the primary motivation.

    2. Richard Groves says:

      +2

    3. Jos says:

      I agree that this idea is ridiculous in its current form, but it could be made fun if you add some more rules to the mix.

      For one, this idea comes very close to mr. Ecclestones idea of a few years ago when he opted for a “Grand Slam” in racing where some races in the season have extra value. Giving lets say three races each year double points could result in some races getting extra status like for example the Indy 500 in IndyCar.

      However, in my opinion in order to get double points the drivers need to be challenged in a level beyond the ordinary race. My ideal would be starting in reversed championship standing, this gives small teams a chance for a nice result and will really push the championship contenders into achieving something special; overtaking the entire field to win.

      1. Quercus says:

        I like that idea: the last race of the season starting in reverse points order so the championship leader starts at the back of the grid; provided, of course, the last race is at a track where overtaking is possible. Would make a thrilling finale to any season.

        Alternatively how about an occasional wet race where sprinklers are arranged round a track?

        I agree the ‘last race double points’ idea is rubbish.

    4. Tim says:

      +1
      It’s not often James comes down off the fence – rightly so – but there is always an exception to the rule and this, IMHO, is it.

      1. JC says:

        Let’s make sure that they add this button to the steering wheel: the activation of banana peel throwing device BPTD. And probably add the random turtle track crossing should anybody pulls a gap over 3sec.

    5. Wayne says:

      I utterly despair of F1, it feels as though they are deliberately trying to drive motorsport fans away, it feels as though they are deliberately trying to drive ME away. It’s a bloody circus and they simply do not care one jot. Fans have been saying for a couple of years now that F1 is edging towards being like American Wrestling and their response is to carry on regardless.

      They desperately want the magpies, the casual viewer who sees one car breeze past another because of a combination of DRS and ridiculous tyres and calls it an ‘overtake’. But these people do not care about the rules enough to even know that there will be double points in the last race. They do not buy merchandise and they do not watch races outside of the Sunday lunch time window. They do not visit and support the circuits who are already really pressed for cash. They have no sense of history or respect for what goes into making those shiny cars go fast. Not because they are any less intelligent or people to be looked down on, but because it’s just not a priority for them.

      It’s such a shame, such a genuine shame to see a ‘sport’ go this way. The people in charge have totally lost touch with reality and with that they have lost contact with MOTORSPORT fans – the people that watch the sport consistently for their entire lives, race after race, weekend after weekend, month after month and year after year.

      I think I might take up football. For all the nonsense at least football is still a genuine sport, money rules in football but once they are on the pitch it’s a pure sporting event with nothing artificial – like most genuine sports.

      1. Youngslinger says:

        +1
        Kick it into touch.

      2. Michael says:

        F1 is, first and foremost, a business enterprise; perhaps even more today than it was in the past with the ENORMOUS sums of money involved to keep this monster breathing. Also, the people that “watch the sport consistently for their entire lives, race after race, weekend after weekend, month after month and year after year” don’t make up the bulk of tickets sales and other forms of revenue for the sport. So, it’s rather unsurprising (and unfortunate) that we’re seeing the kinds of things we do.

        Quite frankly, if we want to see exciting racing again, the sport needs to simplify a bit. Skyrocketing costs doesn’t lead to exciting racing for the rabid enthusiasts. What it leads to is old businessmen in meeting rooms crunching numbers and trying to find “tweaks” to keep the magpies showing up. F1 is supposed to be the best cars with the world’s best drivers. Currently, and even more so in the future, it’s the best cars and the best drivers who also happen to be independently wealthy or can bring the teams money.

      3. Andrew C says:

        I completely agree. It’s almost as if they are too proud to admit to mistakes and unwind them. Also, the decisions made by the FIA seem illogical. If they’re so concerned with costs why then introduce insanely expensive new engines which will spiral costs further. The FIA keep introducing new regs to compensate for the negative effects of previously introduced regs instead of just getting rid of regs that don’t work.
        2013 was the first season for me since ’92 that I intentionally missed races when I could easily have watched them. The artificial nature of it is just too much for me to digest. I know I can’t be the only one thinking like this and choosing to skip races.
        My last point is this – with F1 moving to endurance type racing rather than the sprint racing it always was, I fear for the fan base diminishing completely. It’s somewhat ironic that Le Mans which was originally endurance racing is becoming more sprint-like and therefore attracting more and more fans whereas F1 is becoming more endurance-like with a potential to lose fans to other motorsports like Le Mans.

      4. Moo says:

        Post of the year Wayne

      1. Stickymart says:

        + Lots. Wayne has summarised this very, very well. The double points rule is a thinly veiled attempt to stop armchair fans getting bored of Red Bull dominance. I’m not saying this as a fan of a particular team or driver either (I certainly don’t root for RB), i’m saying it as a realist, and as a dispairing fan of F1. They’re turning the sport into an artifical farce. I’ve never been to live race (manily due to costs) but my will to save up and do so decreases more and more each year as Bernie and Co do their utmost to transform F1 from the gladiatoral duel of the brave that it once was into an artifically rendered plastic sport. DRS and KERS worked okay (but they still tinker with teh layouts of tracks making some of them a joke) but the clown-car tyres and now this just make a mockery. If a driver goes into the final race of the season 25, 30 or even 40 points ahead of his rival and yet loses the championship because of finishing 5th or lower, he will have every right to feel utterly cheated.

    6. Mat says:

      Ok James, it’s time for one of your surveys. This excellent website is viewed by knowledgeable fans so let’s see what everyone thinks about this double points idea. I’d be amazed if more than 5% support this. As for me, well this has to rank as the most stupid idea I have heard of in my 30 years of following this sport.

    7. Spyros says:

      Yes… but it will mean that stopping the car’s development and focusing on next year’s car, will be a pretty hard decision to make, won’t it?

      Frankly, it wouldn’t bother me at all, provided the points for the rest of the season returned to the 10, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 format.

      Yes, that’s for the first six finishers only.

    8. Luke Clements says:

      I think I’ve got a better idea James…mandatory 5 days testing every December at Phillip Island! I really want to see an F1 car on that track :)

    9. MISTER says:

      I don’t understand why everybody is so upset about it. It’s the same for everyone, and it’s not like it was implemented mid season and could compromise one team or another?

      And this will assure the teams and drivers will push to the last lap of the lasp GP with that many points on the table.

      As of now, everybody has the same oportunity.
      Everybody know that if the guy in 1st place is more than 25 points ahead, the hype is not the same as if the championship could still be decided on the last race. Well, this will keep that hype burning.

      1. Bruno says:

        Because many European fans cherish the idea that a champion should be a “winner that deserves it”, not just be the guy with most points whatever the way they are awarded when the year is over.
        Moreover, if one race should award double points, it should not be one of the least relevant tracks of the calendar. I’d feel less wrong with this rule if the super finale took place in Suzuka, Interlagos or Spa.

      2. MISTER says:

        You missed the point! Double points have not been agreed to give one race more importance, or because that race track is more demanding or better than the others. Its given to the last race in the calendar, which could change in the years to come.

        Also, the champion is the one with more points at the end, not the one which european fans think it deserves. Wake up and face the reality!

    10. Ed says:

      Not only that, but it makes for a nice little windfall for the FIA given that teams pay £xx,000 per point scored as part of the changes to race fees last year.

    11. JimmiC says:

      I almost want Vettel/whoever to go into the final round 51 points ahead and with the championship already sown up, just to render the exercise useless.

      1. AuraF1 says:

        I see the BBC is reporting Vettels interview with Bild suggesting its a travesty. And he mentions the drivers aren’t happy. I’m sure Massa and Alonso might feel it could have been useful and there’s going to be a lot of pressure on Alonso particularly to come out for it but in reality nobody is happy. Drivers, fans, teams, journalists (notably excepting joe Saward I see). But if everyone thinks it’s daft surely it can be ditched in 2015.

        Yes tv viewership will be higher when a championship goes down to the wire but we’ve had quite a lot of those in the past decade naturally! 2007-2010 were all nail biting mathematical cliffhangers. 2011 and this year obviously became Vettel walk overs but even 2012 it had moments when it looked like it was about to fall apart and there was still a shot for Alonso. So effectively 5 out of the last 7 were exciting without this rubbish. This is a knee jerk reaction to this year effectively. There isn’t an ounce of strategic long term nous in the whole strategy group apparently.

      2. James Clayton says:

        Or perhaps have Vettel clinch the title in the last race next year, in a situation where he wouldn’t have been able to before, thanks to the double points system.

    12. Andrew M says:

      I’ve had a look into the stats for the last few seasons (from 2007 onwards, the post-Schumacher-not-including-his-comeback era) and looked at how it would have affected the final standings:

      2007 – No change to the champion, as Kimi won the final race anyway, but Fernando edges Lewis out for second place as opposed to the other way around. No other major changes.

      2008 – As widely reported, Massa edges Hamilton out for the title.

      2009 – No major changes, highest change in the table is Heidfeld jumping from 13th to 11th.

      2010 – Vettel is still the champion obviously as he won the final race, just with a bigger margin. Hamilton is the biggest gainer here, jumping Webber for 3rd with the same number of points as Alonso in 2nd (but remains 3rd on countback).

      2011 – A dull season can’t even be enlivened by this randomness, no classification changes whatsoever.

      2012 – Alonso beats out Vettel for the title, while Button is the other big winner – his final race bonanza of 50 points would have lifted him from 5th to 3rd ahead of both Raikkonen and Hamilton (the latter’s DNF causing him to fall as low as 6th behind Webber).

      2013 – The dullest F1 season in recent memory would have exploded into life in the final race, viewers would have been glued to the edge of their seats watching Vettel score an additional 25 points to take his total to 422. The only position change would have been Perez moving from 11th to 10th.

      So, the big winners are the erstwhile Ferrari pair of Massa and Fernando, claiming their maiden and 3rd world title respectively. The big losers are Vettel (no 4 or indeed 3 in a row for him) and notably Hamilton – no title in 2008, no second place in 2007, beaten by Button in 2012.

      It’s also worth noting as well that if the points system was different it’s likely the teams with a championship on the line would have done things differently – McLaren and Hamilton were very conservative throughout Brazil 2008 (and it almost caught them out when the rain came), and Vettel similarly stopped trying to push when he got into a position whereby he knew he would win the title in 2012. (And that’s before we get into anything like teams keeping a fresh engine/gearbox for the final race etc).

      1. Timmay says:

        All of which is moot & academic anyway WHEN THE FANS DON’T WANT A BAR OF THIS RUBBISH IDEA TO BEGIN WITH

      2. Tim says:

        It’s also worth noting as well that if the points system was different it’s likely the teams with a championship on the line would have done things differently – McLaren and Hamilton were very conservative throughout Brazil 2008 (and it almost caught them out when the rain came), and Vettel similarly stopped trying to push when he got into a position whereby he knew he would win the title in 2012….

        +1 on everything you say and +1000 on the final paragraph. As you say, it’s quite clear the teams would have adopted a different strategy if the scoring system was different.

    13. Nate says:

      Please tell the FIA how you feel – sign this petition and pledge to not watch the Abu Dhabi GP unless they revoke the rule. Spread the word!

      http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/f1revokedoublepoints

  2. Steve says:

    What was wrong with making the tyres last all race?

    2005 was a great season, breaking the Ferrari monopoly with cracking races at the Nurburgring, Suzuka and Imola. Didn’t necessarily work at Indianapolis, but this year’s tyres didn’t last at Silverstone.

    1. 2005 was a very enjoyable season indeed.

      From an automobilist point of view, you fill up far more often than change tyres and I thought it made more sense than change the tyres with no refuelling.

    2. Wayne says:

      Lewis Hamilton’s WDC year was a blast too. They did not have tyres that fell apart nor DRS and it went down to the last lap of the last race.

      This should be possibly the greaest era in the history of F1 with the current driver lineup and they have utterly squandered it. Now, rather than try to repair the damage they have done and row back from the brink, they’re going full steam ahead and damn the consequences.

      My God we have possibly the fastest driver ever in Hamilton, possibly the most intelligent in Alonso, possibly the most ruthless in VET, possibly the coolest in RAI and they are all on track at the same time! (I said possibly before poeple start arguing) It SHOULD be utterly compelling, dazzling, thunderous stuff instead it is artifical and superficial to the point where it really doesn’t matter who wins.

    3. Rich B says:

      +1
      2005 rule was far less nutty than double points idea

    4. Harshad says:

      I think James meant 2004 season. In 2005 Schumi wasn’t even in the battle for championship, leave alone dominate it.
      2004 was pretty dull though.

      1. James Allen says:

        2005 came after a season Schu dominated (ie 2004)

    5. justafan says:

      Indy ruined it.

    6. Tim says:

      The problem with making a single set of tyres last the whole race (as I recall) was the drivers became very conservative, eg they would be nervous of a late braking manoeuvre for fear of flat spotting their tyres and ruining the rest of their race.

  3. Rayz says:

    Not sure how many people are going to take kindly to the double points for the final race idea. They would be far better off working on flaws within the sport rather than gimmicky new ideas that add unnecessary complexities.

    For instance, the safety car period in recent years has become way too long, sometimes up to 5 laps to remove a car that was never in the way in the first place. Also, they could work on teaching Charlie Whiting that not all drizzle means an instant red flag or delayed quali session as has become the norm. Far bigger issues need addressing than some of those being addressed. Although, the cost cap is a positive. Caterham, Marussia, Sauber and Lotus may just now survive.

    1. Vivek says:

      I agree on the wet weather racing part.

      It seems that recently, the conditions deemed dangerous to start/continue racing in the wet have been far relaxed from even the 2000′s. For e.g. I am sure the Brazil 2003 race was far wetter than the conditions during 2013 qualifying, but yet the race went on. It was only an immature (then in 2003) Alonso’s reaction that put a stop to that race.

      These days at the slightest instant of wet weather, the powers that be get far too over cautious.

      1. AuraF1 says:

        Agreed – the wet tyres don’t get a show unless it’s to trundle around behind the safety car. Even a few years back it would have to be a monsoon before a race was red flagged now it’s effectively any sustained rainfall equals race called off.

        The drivers who adapt in the wet and show incredible car control are being ripped off. It’s a skill many developed in their early careers and now they might as well forget it.

      2. Simmo says:

        To be fair to the race in 2003, it was ridiculous, and the accident he had was very bad.

        But on the whole I agree with you strongly.

      3. Thomas says:

        But of course, as the pirellis are absolutely shite in the dry they are also deadly in the rain.

    2. Spyros says:

      Frankly, the biggest news story to me is the absence of ANY news regarding the raising of the minimum car weight to 700kg (i.e. from 2014 rather than 2015).

      That’s what we really want to see: parity between drivers. The lack of this, plus the ‘Hollywood’ stuff already mentioned, make F1 alarmingly irrelevant.

    3. Wayne says:

      Agreed!

      They also had the opportunity to actually do something useful. A proposal was tabled to increase the maximum weight allowance 10KG to help taller drivers and make F1 more accessible to a wider pool of talent. Three teams rejected it. Rejected it! Yet they approved this double points crap. Disgraceful, short-sighted bunch of juveniles.

  4. Adam says:

    A dark day for F1.

    Maybe Bernie just wants to cause a stir like his ‘Medals’ proposal a few years back. This is even more silly, akin to the controversial ’39th game’ idea which was much maligned.

    With the comedy tyres meaning drivers had to nurse the cars the entire weekend a large part of the thrill of the sport has gone.

    Give them tyres they can push on & less aero if you want to improve the show.

    500 points wouldn’t make Yas Marina interesting.

    1. Zzz says:

      The FIA decided on this, not Bernie. When will people realize Bernie is not the boss of the FIA?

      Bernie has a say over the commercial side of F1, not the rules, regulations. That is the FIA. Case in point: Bernie hates the new V6 engines and doesnt want them yet they are here within a few months thanks to the FIA.

      1. AuraF1 says:

        Actually Bernie effectively gets 6 votes in the new strategy group so it’s likely he DID introduce this new rule as James mentioned. Bernie, the FIA and the top teams decide the rules now – and Bernie has grabbed a lot more power in this area than he ever had previously.

      2. Tim says:

        According to reports I read it was a Bernie idea. Besides, even if it wasn’t Bernie, nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in F1 without his consent.

    2. JEZ Playense says:

      No point watching the races up to Yas marina, as everything changes on the last race. The last race then is a yawn as always.

      Marvelous idea Bernie!

      F1 will be turned into Nascar/ WWF if we are not careful.

      Vote no? http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/formula1

      1. AlexD says:

        Why Bernie?

    3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Spot on there, Yas Marina is a joke. I do hope the double points nonsense wasn’t something paid for by Abu-Dhabi to boost their event. Would it have been an option if Brazil was the final race?

      How about putting a decent non-DRS overtaking spot into the track, or make the final sector more interesting instead of looking at a daft glowing hotel roof.

      I’d rather Abu Dhabi just bought up San Marino and they hosted the race at Imola. ;)

    4. I guess the Commercial Rights Holder and FIA want to keep as many TV viewers for as long as possible. The purists will probably keep on watching anyway for the lack of an alternative I suppose.

      Abu Dhabi suffers from its reputation from 2010 and maybe 90 degree corners.
      I actually enjoyed the races there every other years. The surroundings look quite spectacular too!

  5. Matt says:

    The double points will be a major waste of time. Why not assign double points to 5 ‘grand’ races where higher points are on offer to signify the importance of those races and make them more difficult to obtain by lengthening those races?

    Last event of the season will either be too late, or push the most developed cars further ahead such as Seb this year.

    1. MISTER says:

      These double points have not been implemented because Abu Dhabi is an important race. It was implemented to keep the title race alive to the last lap. Plus, its the same oportunity for everybody.

      1. Bruno says:

        “These double points have not been implemented because Abu Dhabi is an important race. It was implemented to keep the title race alive to the last lap” Yes that’s what’s wrong we think

    2. ons says:

      Very good idea! I like that idea. 5 Big races:

    3. CJD says:

      lengthening the races is not possible.

      max 100kg fuel – no refueling, the cars will run out of fuel quite often in 2014 i’ll bet

      1. Tim says:

        No need for the cars to run out of fuel, they would just need to turn the ‘wick’ down a bit.
        In Moto GP, the bikes have an engine management system that won’t allow the bikes to run out of fuel – the system calculates the amount of fuel required to finish the race and rations the power accordingly.

    4. What about choosing the five most demanding tracks for those five races?
      My list:
      Monaco
      Gilles Villeneuve (Canada)
      Spa
      Suzuka
      Interlagos

      It makes, at least, some sense.

      1. Matt says:

        Yeah I agree. While I know about the refuelling limit thats a whole different discussion and just something I was tossing up. (bring back my damn refuelling!)

        The single race double points however is just not thought out right. Nice 5 races Sami agree they would be a great 5 to have.

    5. Yak says:

      How do they make the full race distance of an extended race though? Bring back refuelling for a few races each year? Formula E style car swapping? Stretching out the same fuel load over a longer distance by crawling around the track?

      And mechanical issues aside, let’s say Abu Dhabi 2013 had been a longer endurance race. Surely Vettel winning the race several laps ahead of P2 wouldn’t be particularly exciting.

    6. Thomas says:

      Bernie would charge extra to make a race “premier”.

  6. Jeff ware says:

    My comment on double points in the last race – “IT STINKS” This is motor racing over 19 GP, all are as important with regard to winning a world championship. F1 is on the downward slope to NASCAR. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  7. JCA says:

    James, if Max had suggested a €200 million budget cap, with an annual reduction of €10 million over 10 years in 2009, do you think he would have gotten his deal? Iirc, the main argument against his budget cap, was the reduction to something like 20% of the previous budgets of the big teams, with the resultant massive job losses.

    As for the double points, I can see them having 5 such races per year (sold to the highest bidders) within the next 3-5 years.

    1. JCA says:

      Just to ad, James, but if they made the double point race (s) a two race event, quali on Saterday at 11h, 1st race at 15h, 2nd race with reverse grid (at least for top 10) on Sunday, wouldn’t that be acceptable? I think it should spice up Monaco, if they basically use quali tyres for the whole race.

      1. MISTER says:

        In a world where we try to save fuel and engines and tyres and stuff like that, you want two races? Seriously, think about it twice.

      2. JCA says:

        It would at least make the points work, you still get 25, 18, 15, etc per race. But by having 2 races there will still be a better chance that the championship goes to the last weekend. It would legitimize the idea of double points at the last event.

      3. JCA says:

        Also, if you’re worried about the fuel, you’ll notice I’ve basically removed a free practice session and turned it into something more meaningful.

        You could even make the first race a sprint race, halve to three quarters of a normal race distance. On reflection, I would remove a Friday practice session and do both races on the Sunday, with an hour in between.

        In any case, races make up a very small percentage of the sports ‘carbon footprint’ (iirc, les than 4 percent). The vast majority of pollution is generated through air travel, so having, say, 25 races on 20 weekends, would be much more environmentally friendly than having 25 single race events.

      4. James Clayton says:

        There’s 3 less races on the calendar next year than originally proposed so…

      5. MISTER says:

        You want 2 races one after the other with 1 hour in between? You don’t really think about the drivers, do you? And what happens to those which get involved in a crash and their car requires major repairs? One hour would not do it.
        Is not as simple as you put it. Plus, having 2 races one after the other, it would be almost identical races unless something happens at the start. Who wants to see 120+ laps of the same circuit, by the same drivers, in the same cars, in the same weather conditions? No thanks, I’ll pass.

      6. JCA says:

        Did you not see the reverse grid part? This is not about logistics, as I have said, this is about the principle of having 50 points for WDC and 86 for WCC available on the last weekend.

        However you do it, be it 2 races on Sunday, or quali Saturday morning, Race 1 Saturday afternoon and race 2 Sunday, with reverse grid, or quali on both mornings and races both afternoons.

        My point was not how to do it, it was that the integrity of the points system demands 2 races, each worth 25 points, and not their idea of double points for 1 race. I’m not forcing it on you, I’m suggesting a way to make their plan work.

      7. MISTER says:

        Yes, I might’ve missed the part about reverse grid, but what about the drivers? Having to deal with 2 races in 2 days as you say. How about the teams in regards to parts in case of accidents? How about the TV coverage? Many companies doesn’t show the practices, but as you suggest, they need to put 2 races in 2 days. Even the hard fans will have troubles putting aside 2 days for these 2 races. Many have families, and the wife can put up with one race every 2-3 weekends, but a whole weekend spent in front of the TV instead of taking the kids in the park or somewhere? I don’t think so.

        I believe there are smart people behind these rule changes which take into account alot more than what we can think of. You just don’t like the idea because one driver can achieve so much more than others, but the oportunity is there for everybody to get it.

      8. JCA says:

        As I have said in all my all along is that I, and the vast majority of fans (89% of respondents on the Sky Sports website, I believe), dislike the idee, because it destroys the integrity of the points system, by devaluing all the other races. This idea is about television ratings, and nothing more, as there is no sporting justification (that I can think of) why 1 race, and 1 race only, should count twice as much as all the others.

        So please don’t dismiss my opinion, and that of the vast majority of the fans and the vast majority of experts (commentators, journalists, ex drivers, current and past WDCs (Seb, Mario Andretti, etc.)) because our ‘favourite’ might lose the WDC.

        It is also not just one driver/team who can lose out, all the midfield teams risk losing tens of millions of price money through no fault of their own, because of a marketing contrivance.

        As for the drivers, they and their mechanics can easily do two races distances per day, on back to back days, in testing. They also, as a rule, have enough spare parts to rebuild both cars at the circuit (ok, maybe not 2 extra chassis, but both chassis being damaged to the extent that they must be scrapped is almost unprecedented). I have also suggested a sprint race, if must be, both races could be 2/3 or 3/4 of a normal race. As for the logistics of the television broadcasters, I don’t particularly care, its to their and their advertisers benefit that we apparently need double points at the last race.

        I see you disagree, and I believe I have made my argument, so lets just agree to disagree, shall we?

      9. MISTER says:

        JCA, thank you for your reply to my other comment. I apologize if I seemed to dismiss your opinion and idea. That was not my intention. I now do understand what you say about destroying the points system, and agree with you. But I cannot agree with you when you say “It is also not just one driver/team who can lose out, all the midfield teams risk losing tens of millions of price money through no fault of their own..”. Like I also said all along, this rule has 2 way about it. Yes, you can lose alot of millions, but you can win also. You seem to forget that part. It’s not like the championship is over and then they introduced this bit, the championship goes to the last race of the season, and you cannot say someone lost something before all races are run. By doing that, you just say the last race doesn’t count.

        You also say you don’t care about the broadcasters, well, unless you are from Abu Dhabi, you won’t see those races. And neither will I, so I cannot accept that suggestion of yours just on the back of that. I rarely miss a race, but even I don’t feel like wasting 2 days just to watch same cars on same track on probably identical weather conditions. The build-up to the race counts alot in my opinion, so once the 1st race has taken place, there’s nothing new for the 2nd.

        Yes, drivers can do 2 races, but that’s not ideal for them. The safety for drivers is very good these days, but if one gets a small injury in 1st race and they need to be taken to hospital, they might not be cleared for the 2nd race. THAT will be a real disadvantage to a team and a driver, because it will only affect that driver and that team and not everybody else. On contrary, this altered scoring system affect everyone and give everyone the SAME opportunity.

  8. Ed says:

    Double points final race is stupid as you say.

    Not sure im overjoyed about the 5sec penalties. I just think they should raise the level at which they give them.

    There are too many penalties already, the thought of seeing cars cross the line first, and the winner second within 5 sec doesnt sit right.

    1. iceman says:

      Yes, I do wonder if the availability of a conveniently pocket-sized penalty is going to lead the stewards to start handing them out like candy.
      I don’t think there was anything wrong with the reprimand system that we had this year for minor infringements.

    2. Quercus says:

      I agree: the 5 second added to the race time messes up the drama in exactly the way you say. Instead, why not make a ‘sin bin’ by painting a white square in an area off the main track, say near to a chicane, then make a penalised car come to a stop in it before letting them go again with a light. If carefully worked out that should add about 5 seconds to their lap time and achieve the desired aim. Would also add to the spectacle.

      1. Yak says:

        I don’t think the FIA would consider a stopped car a bit off the track to be a safe option. And then there are places like Monaco. The only bit of run-off I can think of at Monaco where you could do something like that is down at the chicane after the tunnel. And I certainly wouldn’t think that’s a safe place to stop a car.

        If there are still pit stops to run, maybe a 5 second stop time on top of the pit work. Then it’s not a full drive-thru as they’re coming in anyway, but the five seconds is added to their actual on track progress. Plus it’s done in the pit lane where the cars are speed limited and stopping and going anyway.

      2. BM says:

        That’s the best idea on how to execute such a penalty I’ve heard so far. It would be crazy to hand out 5-second penalties that are just added to the race time as nobody will be able to keep track anymore. “And here comes Vettel with 2 penalties ahead of Alonso with 1 penalty, so he’s actually in the lead, oh, wait, no! It’s Raikkonen with no penalties that takes the checkered flag as the winner. In Third.”

        Some of those ideas sound like they just wanted to see how much nonsense they can get away with.

  9. Duncan Conway says:

    Hi James. Considering us ‘the fans’ had heard about the driver number proposal, which I think was met with good feeling but not the double points scenario, where the teams in the same position or had they heard of this in the pipeline.

    It would be interesting to hear their opinions on it. I’ve not seen anything team wise about it on twitter at least. May not get a direct response from teams, inside sources maybe better I guess.

  10. Perry Brown says:

    I think all but one of the changes will be positive for the future of Formuls 1. Double points for the final race however is not going to work. If introduced in 2008, we woild lose 2 of the best showdowns in Brazil, yet the runaway titles would be unaffected. Vettel would have been crowned at the very same race this year regardless.

    If they wanted to use a double points system, it should be the driver making the decision on the Thursday before a race. That way no circuit itself is singled out and it could be used strategically at a tipping point or a must win event to reduce a margin, and would gain the excitement the FIA are hoping for.

    1. Moog says:

      Good idea, I much prefer the idea of every driver having a ‘trump card’ that they can play once per season. Accidental bumps might be coincidentally higher though.

    2. Joost says:

      Your suggestion of letting drivers make that choice on thursday is really interesting. It’s like betting on yourself to become the triumphant of that weekend. That would make it really much more exciting than the last race double.

      Nice one.

      1. Quercus says:

        Yes, nice idea. Here’s another: how about double points whenever it rains and wets are fitted to the cars?

      2. James M says:

        You can’t be serious, that is even more contrived and convoluted.

      3. Timmay says:

        Open to rigging & manipulation the likes of which F1 has never seen. From basic team orders to outside sports betting. Ala cricket match and spot fixing. Noooooooooooooooooo thank you. Will the bad ideas never cease?!

      4. Perry Brown says:

        I didn’t write the double points rule, I’m suggesting the best solution to a problem no one was reporting… Of course the best solution is not to have a double points race at all, but if insisted on by the FIA then there is a better way of doing it.

    3. Webbo says:

      I really like this idea. Much more exciting and sensible. Bravo !

    4. Spectreman says:

      “…it should be the driver making the decision on the Thursday before a race”

      That’s the best idea I’ve ever heard regarding changes to the scoring system, and I’ve been following F1 for more than 30 years. Maybe you should work for FIA :)

  11. yellowbelly says:

    Monkey tennis, anyone?

    1. AndyG says:

      Brilliant!

  12. Pedro Chung says:

    As a British citizen, you would see it as Hamilton losing a title. As a Brazilian in heart I would see it as Massa winning a title 14 years after the death of Senna.

    1. Tim says:

      The snag with looking back at the race and allocating a different points allocation, in this manner, is that it takes no account of whether the teams would have approached the race differently. In the 2008 race, McLaren knew they only had to secure 5th place and whatever Massa did would not matter. In fairness I think McLaren got their tactics wrong – a bit like a football team trying to sit on a lead, it often fails – but had they known that 3rd or whatever was required they would have undoubtedly ran a different and more aggressive strategy.

  13. Alberto Martínez says:

    Fans against the artificial idea of double points should sign this petition to revoke it.
    http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/formula1

    1. MISTER says:

      1,100 signatures in 24 hours. Well, that’s not going to work. And as far as I read, these changes have been implemented already. And they are the same for everybody.

      I like the idea.

    2. Marcus in Canada says:

      done, it’s farcical

  14. Dizzy says:

    If this double points lunacy does go ahead then im afraid to say this will be the final nail in the F1 coffin for me.

    My love/enjoyment of F1 has already declined significantly thanks to gimmicks like DRS & the High-deg tyre nonsense & I simply stopped watching many races the past 2 years as a result of both.

    I get no enjoyment from seeing any of the DRS highway passes, There is nothing interesting or even remotely entertaining about the DRS, It add’s nothing to the racing as far as im concerned & has done nothing but erode my love of a sport I’ve loved for 40 years.

    Same with the tyres, It was an interesting idea at 1st but as each year has become more & more dominated by the tyres & the tyre management has become more & more obvious its just turned into a joke & its clear to see the drivers hate it (Something Martin Brundle has confirmed several times having spoke to them).

    This points idea is utterly ridiculous & as I said if it does remain in place it will be the gimmick that finally completely kills my love of F1 & will see me not watch F1 in 2014 for the 1st time in around 40 years.

    And believe me it kills me to say that because F1 has been a massive part of my life for those 40 years with a ton of cash spent attending races & buying merchandise.

    1. Alexis says:

      Remember how DRS was disabled after the safety car came in in Austin? Absolutely nothing happened for those 3 laps. Then DRS was activated and cars started overtaking.

      Imagine this year with no DRS. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

      1. Yak says:

        The problem with DRS is its effectiveness. When it works “properly”, and it can’t be an easy thing to decide the length of the zone given the different tracks and the different teams’ DRS effectiveness (and straight line speed in general), it can be great. Instead of a car being stuck behind lap after lap until maybe differing pit strategies lets them past (or when the stops have been run, puts them back in the same place), by the end of the straight the guy following is in a position to have a shot at an overtake.

        Where it goes overboard, you get the car behind flying past, pulling back over on to the racing line and it’s all over before the corner. And then you have Canada, where from memory they’d fly past, and then get a 2nd DRS boost off the same detection point so the other guy doesn’t even have a chance at taking the position back.

        The problem is that as long as the cars struggle to follow through corners, something needs to be in place to allow overtaking. Otherwise we just end up largely with cars following each other around for 1.5hrs.

      2. Alexis says:

        Yes, they admitted it would be retuned better for year 2 and I suppose it’s not an exact science. The main problem now of course is that nobody wants to push anyway because of the tyres.

      3. Bruno says:

        DRS-overtakes are no overtake. But I agree that overtaking has become too complicated. So if they can’t find a way of making overtakings easier by changing tracks and cars, then maybe a good compromise would be to limit the use of DRS to 3 times in a grand prix.

    2. Adelaide says:

      I completely share everything you wrote in your post, I feel the same. Something happened after the 2010 season, and it’s getting worse.

    3. Matt H says:

      I have to say I completely agree.

      James – a serious suggestion:

      As a website, can we work together on an open letter or petition to the FIA / FOM / F1 Strategy Group, which voices the fans’ opinion?

      I have been a die-hard F1 fan for 25 years, my Dad was an F1 engineer in the fifties/sixties and F1 is in my blood. When you have people that truly, deeply, love a sport that much for 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years and even they start to switch off, something needs to be done.

      I have lived through great seasons, average seasons, ones where one car has dominated, five years where only one person won, turbos, V12s, V10s, V10s with bits turned off, V8s, 12 laps for quali, 1 lap for quali and everything in between. At no point have I ever been anything but excited about F1.

      Until now.

      The guys steering F1 at the moment are completely out of touch with what the fans want. People are not stupid, we don’t need vacuous entertainment like WWF. Barriers to entry have never been higher for viewers of F1 (it’s not even free to air any more), so who are this casual viewing demographic, with tiny IQ’s and massive wallets that we are trying to attract? It’s a fallacy, they don’t exist.

      Look at the ratings, it’s clearly not working: http://f1broadcasting.wordpress.com/tag/ratings/

      The US Grand Prix achieved the lowest ratings for 6 years (since Bahrain 2007). The Brazilian, which was touted as a wet race, shown at peak viewing time and should’ve been relatively high (albeit WDC & WCC had already been decided) achieved the lowest viewer ratings for a decade!

      The Message:

      We do not need DRS, we lived without it for years just fine. We do not need tyres that fall apart and make drivers circle at 70%. Yes, we had a few boring races in the past but what sport is always exciting? There are plenty of boring Football matches but FIFA have learnt to stop any whacky suggestions because that devalues the sport. And what greater insult to a governing body than to hold FIFA up as an example of how to manage a sport?

      F1’s problem is that now 99% of the race(s) is(are) boring. The first lap is usually fantastic, perhaps it’s an unrelated but poignant coincidence that DRS isn’t enabled at that point and everyone has tyres that are working. Some might even go as far as to suggest that it was fair, equal… a sport even. I’m being flippant now but you get my point.

      My suggestion, James, is that you ask your readers to vote on certain points and if they achieve a certain %age agreement then you include them in a petition or letter. What do you think?

      In my view, these should include questions such as:

      Should every race in the F1 calendar be worth equal points?

      Should fast degrading tyres be replaced with tyres that can be driven flat-out?

      Should use of DRS be dropped altogether?

      Should use of DRS be dropped at Spa, Montreal, Silverstone, Monza, Interlagos, Suzuka and other pre-determined tracks where overtaking has always been possible without it?

      Should refuelling be reintroduced?

      Should we return to a 12-lap each qualifying format?

      You could ask the readers to suggest closed questions (yes/no answers) and make a choice on the most sensible.

      What do you think?

    4. Stephen Morgan says:

      I fully agree with this and I too, after 50 years of following F1, have finally given up. I have not bothered to watch F1 for over a year now and, frankly, don’t miss it. I read the results on the Internet.

      1. James Allen says:

        And yet you come to this site?

      2. Basil says:

        Don’t be surprised, James, he is not alone in this regard and it is a testament for the quality of this site.

      3. Davexxx says:

        It’s interesting! Good for Stephen that he doesn’t watch races, but still comes here for results. For me, for economic reasons (cable TV too expensive for us) I get the races off the internet for free a few days later, so I have to avoid coming to this site – so as not to spoil the result – until after seeing the race, when I love to come here to see the truthful news and stories! Without that net access I could give up watching F1 (and so wouldn’t care about results either) but it’s great to have it while I can.
        As for these ‘new rules’ I’m on the fence; I hate the artificiality of it all (eg DRS) and yet can understand why they bring them in; it’s all a victim of ‘progress’. We like the aero development, yet it causes the difficulty to overtake; we like teams to fight each other and some come out on top, yet it becomes ‘boring’ (for some) when a team does so well and wins ahead of the others!
        For me I enjoy each race individually and don’t concentrate much on the ‘points aggregation’ through the season, yet you have to accept that’s what the teams aim for, for the $$$$ reward!

      4. AuraF1 says:

        I won’t stop watching but I think some fans are looking for good news to bring them back! Yes F1 could win fans back as well as alienate them.

      5. Fred France says:

        I’m not quite so bored with F1 as Stephen but not far off. I no longer go to my local race, Melbourne, despite being within walking distance of the track. I still watch each GP on tv but I put that down to some close friends who share the F1 ‘addiction’. I too always read your site so Thanks and keep up the good work.

      6. Timmay says:

        I haven’t watched a race since Silverstone either, just read it here & haven’t missed a thing by the looks. Fan who watched every race since 1995….

      7. Martin P says:

        It’s a serious point James and one I suspect many don’t realise. I’ve enjoyed Formula 1 for over 20 years for 2 reasons;

        1. The fundamental foundation of the best drivers in the best machines by the best designers

        2. The politics – Balestere, Mosley, Ecclestone, Ferrari/McClaren, Benetton, etc. etc. it’s pure theatre and drama equal to the racing in its attraction

        This today is the politics. I heard you on 5Live yesterday and I’ve come to the site to fuel my interest in it.

        But the racing is a different prospect. I’ve watched four races this year, which is the first year in 20 I’ve not seen almost all live (excepting holidays only which I recorded). But I haven’t missed it. The deciding factor was the move to Sky (forget all the arguments, I live in a listed building so a dish is a none-starter). Once you can’t watch them all you lose the “flow”. And then when you do watch your sense that it’s contrived is heightened. In short, it’s no longer the best driver, in the best machines by the best designers – or if it is it’s skewed by the bizarre tweaking of rules, tyres, inconsistent penalties, pay drivers, etc etc etc.

        In short the racing doesn’t do it for me anymore so I rarely bother to watch. The politics still does so, which is why I’m here reading this!

      8. Justin says:

        sad but true james,i know many people who were “die hard” fans in the 80s and 90′s who have lost interest as F1 has gradually become more and more about the next big pay packet rather than the next incredible circuit or driver, like many i also now just have a quick read on the internet, if quali, weather or some penalties from previosu races suggest there might be a bit of interest i’ll tune in, otherwise i’ll catch up later and not lose two hours of my life to a procession fuelled by stupid ideas rather then petrol fumes, guts and determination

      9. Anand R says:

        Yes same here, from 2000 to 2012 I made it a point to watch every race, every qualifying and sometimes practice sessions. But 2013 I could just sense it going backwards. Started with the shambolic decision by McLaren to run with Perez. Started with the artificial racing beginning of last year with Maldonado winning a race! Well, 2013 I havent watched more than 20 laps combined. But as old habits die hard I would check in to various websites including this in a hope that things would return back to the old days.

        My (joking) solution, bring back Tobacco sponsorship. Bring back the so called ‘dirty’ money and see the quality rise again. Marlboro Scuderia Ferrari vs West McLaren Mercedes! Nostalgia!

      10. Mike says:

        Since F1 went to sky I watch less and less, but I still follow f1 though your site and your podcast.

        Thank you, and keep up the good work.

      11. Vlad says:

        This site is the only site that keeps F1 interesting… the real fans are on here.
        I wish they would bring back different tyre manufacturers into the sport, delete DRS (how does that help with roadcar technology??), and also forget engine equalisation… just let them battle with the best they can make.
        Also bring back in season testing! The whole green image is a stupid flop – real petrol heads know that F1 will be loud and wild :)

      12. James Allen says:

        Thanks! Tell your friends!

    5. Quercus says:

      I agree. Kill DRS and instead reduce rear wing and diffuser size to reduce drag, make cars less glued to the road and thus make overtaking easier.

      Making the tyres harder would also mean less marbles and a track which allows more overtaking lines.

  15. John S says:

    I think it’s perfect Brazil isn’t the last race of the season with how crazy it can get given these new rules.

  16. goober says:

    Checks the calendar. No, it’s not early April. Shakes head.

  17. Johnny Canuck says:

    “I think it will play badly with fans and – like that nutty tyre idea in 2005 – will be shortlived.” – James Allen

    James, I hope this idea is so short-lived that it gets pulled asap and doesn’t make it to the final race of 2014. It smacks of desperation and is an embarassment to the sport.

    1. Ryan Eckford says:

      I hope so Johnny. It is totally idiotic, and is definitely an embarrassment to the sport that it was thought of, let alone being implemented into the regulations.

  18. Peter Miles says:

    Some varied ideas here. The cost cap? Well, frankly that’s long overdue. I never liked the situation where sheer depth of pocket could overcome good innovative engineering.

    Drivers keeping their numbers for the duration of their career? Couldn’t care less really. You can hardly read the numbers these days anyway.

    BUT, double points for a win in the last race? On a dull track (next year) as well? What the hell is that about? You might as well let Flavio back in to organise when the safety car comes out! They’ve dropped whatever pretence remained of this being a sport, in fact anything other than a business venture. I can see Martin Whitmarsh now “Winning is in our DNA, especially at the last race….”

    For what it’s worth I’m not bothering going to Silverstone this year. Oh, I’ll watch it (free!) on the BBC and when they stop so will I. A bit of a shame because the campsite is fun, but you can’t get in there without a race ticket.

    1. Hendo says:

      I guess Martin saying that ….”winning is in our DND – especially the last race” is the whole point of the double points.
      In reality only RBR & Merc kept developing their car right to the end of the season. Even Ferrari made next years car a priority from Sept. Onwards.
      Macca obviously gave up on 2013 months ago.

      The trouble is that teams will have to keep pouring good money after bad right to the bitter end – and even then, where they finish up (& the $$ that goes with it) becomes a lottery.

      It would be better to divvy up the cash equally with bonuses for top 3 teams each year.

  19. Mark R says:

    Double points in the last race is probably the worst idea in my 25 years of watching F1. It’s also worrying that the top people in F1 could come up with this. These people are supposed to be forward thinking, bright and knowledgable. What next blindfolded drivers ?

    1. ferggsa says:

      No, Williams already tried it at Brazil

  20. Don says:

    Double points for the last race is just daft… F1 is already getting dumbed down enough with DRS, steward investigations of the most whimsical racing incidences, drivers with the biggest bag of money getting to choose who which team they race for… c’mon F1/ Bernie settle down… get back to basics before we all loose interest.

  21. Andrew M says:

    I don’t think 2005 tyres and the “double-down” on the final race are even in the same ball park.

    (BTW Are we sure that Red Bull/Ferrari voted for the cap? Couldn’t the Strategy Group have voted it through without the teams’ consent?)

    1. Red Bull and Ferrari only have 1 vote each out of a total of 18. The FIA has 6 and the CRH (Bernie) also has 6. Williams would have probably approved of the idea too!

  22. I know says:

    Cost cap will be a paper tiger. Will we be seeing STR develop and test parts for RBR when the latter hit the budget cap mideason? And, how will we know?

    Who pays for the development of an engine when multiple teams share the same supplier? With the budget cap effective from 2015, will McLaren-Toyota get an extra allowance to catch up?

    The “double points for last race” idea adds to the excitement, but only the excitement derived from postponing the WDC title decision until as late as possible. It does nothing to make races more exciting, if one car or driver turns out to be dominant.

    Perhaps in 2016, score points only in the final race? Or, after the final chequered flag, reveal the individual point multiplier for each race of the season?

    1. Olivenoire says:

      Better, random points at each race. Maybe Vettel won’t win this time.

  23. chris green says:

    i don’t understand why the ‘powers that be’ insist on mickey mouse ideas like double points for the last race.

    for crying out loud – get the tyres sorted.
    the new power-trains will have more torque than the previous engines. those pirelli’s won’t last 5 minutes.

  24. theGrinch says:

    My idea would be to have a points system for qualifying.Then have a top ten reverse order on the grid for the race.
    So perhaps 5 points for pole, 4.5 points for second etc.
    Poleman then starts tenth for the race, second fastest starts ninth etc.
    You would have to make the qualifying points worth the loss of starting lower on the grid.

    Always seems daft to me putting the fastest guy at the front and then wonder why races quickly become boring.

    1. A while back, I read (maybe on this site) that teams didn’t want a title won on a Saturday – points for qualifying as very unlikely as such.

  25. Keith Reardon says:

    I don’t like the idea of double points for any race, but what about points for pole positions or fastest laps? Sure Vettel and Red Bull would have taken most of these in 2013, but it does give some of the lesser teams something to am at.

  26. shuaige says:

    I can’t believe they actually made the last race worth 50 points … James is right, the line for acceptable gimmicks has been crossed here. I guess the idea here is supposed to be that drivers should put it all on the line for a win, but it’s equally likely to make a deserving champion lose out after getting hit by someone else, for example Vettel at Brazil last year. Going into the final race with a 25 or 20 point lead is likely, going in with a 50 point lead much less so… I would really hate to see somebody perform well all year just to lose at the last race because Maldonaldo crashed into them.

  27. _Nick_ says:

    James, firstly is it possible that the race organisers have paid to have double points? Having Dubai as the season ending race instead of Brazil is already a slap in the face to fans, now they have to endure double points making F1 feel more like Nascar.

    Won’t double points be overly harsh on any driver that comes into the weekend with a grid penalty for gearbox change or carry over penalty from the previous race?

    What about the midfield teams who rely so much on their WCC position for the monetary prize? What if they have an off weekend at Dubai their cars are taken out by another car?

    Theoretically a driver who is 49 points behind in the WDC could win it in the last race. That doesn’t sit right. Why should Dubai be twice as worth as a win at Spa or Monaco?

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      It’s not Dubai it is Abu Dhabi.

  28. Nick says:

    Should’ve given points out for Top Ten Qualifying instead.

    Would give teams like Sauber, FI and Williams a reason to run when they make it to Q3 instead of just sitting in the garage and make it a real fight between 10 drivers. Every race would still be the same then and would add a bit more spice to the championship with the extra points on offer.

    Or perhaps Codemasters 2012 game “F1 Race Stars” was really a Prototype FIA Test program that mistakenly got released….

  29. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    The 5 second penalty can still impact the race results. Think of a situation whereby someone was coming through the field and would otherwise not be held up if the penalised driver took a drive through. Sure they might take the position of the penalised driver after the race, but it might prevent them from moving further forward. Webber, Alonso and Kimi got caught up in this multiple times in the season.

  30. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    James – do you think Ferrari’s potential change of heart over the cost cap could be due to a realisation that they can’t beat Red Bull in a spending arms race? Or that Fiat (Ferrari’s parent) is in financial difficulty and therefore needs more of Ferrari profits for other things than the F1 team?

    1. Gogomobil says:

      Do you follow Financial happening around the
      World ?,surely you shoild it effects your
      daily life. Fiat does not need Ferrari money
      Chrysler a subsidury of Fiat, best performing
      car manufacturer in US makes an heap of money
      is the very reason yesterday the 9th 12/2013
      Bloomberg TV, stated Fiat to invest US $ 12 billion in Luxury Vehicles ” Made in Italy ”
      brand,as for Ferrari not being able to match
      the Red Bull in expenditure ? give me a break
      and go back to sleep,and please sleep all the
      night long.

  31. brandon says:

    Double points is a joke on the fans. Just bring out the track sprinklers, or tweet to pass and get it over with. Maybe we’ll see either of those in 2015?

    F1 is so behind on how they display the races. Let me pay to watch them online in a proper stream and with multiple views. That’s right Bernie, we’ll PAY for it.

  32. Hugy says:

    Double points is a terrible idea, however I think a similar rule might work better. In my opinion, winning in a classic track such as Spa such count more than winning at, say, Abu dahbi. So at historical tracks (Monaco, Spa and Silverstone?) the drivers are awarded 1.5x more points (double points is too much), and having 3 of those special races, it would leave room for a retirement without losing the championship.

  33. the kiLLing JoKe says:

    The double points will not see the light of day. Stupid idea.

  34. Neil Barr says:

    Somebody tell me when this rule is rescinded. Until then I’ll be a fool for F1 no more. It’s been a great 50 years. Taxi!

  35. Random 79 says:

    Most of the time you manage to remain more or less impartial but this is easily the most strongly worded and one-sided article I’ve read from you James.

    It’s probably terrible journalism, but it’s bloody good to see :D

    Let’s hope they listen to what you, me, and the rest of the fans are saying.

  36. Mark Fulford says:

    It would seem that no one has a good word to say for the double points idea. How could the strategy group get it so wrong. They would look stupid if they were to retract the idea now so I agree with James. Short lived.

  37. David Morton says:

    I think double points for the last race of the season is a bit like when they split the season into two separate points systems.
    You ended up throwing out your lower points to use the higher ones from other races…… a horrible system that didn’t last long. I can see a situation when a team mate might knock somebody out of the race for their team mate to get the bonus points etc. Or it becoming a crazy banzai race to get those precious points. Why not award points for the best helmet design, or the best looking girlfriend……dumb stuff.
    It might be better to award a point for pole position, or even fastest lap.

    1. Sasidharan says:

      All your suggestions are giving points to VET. Except the girl friend thing. ;)

  38. James Clayton says:

    *sigh* Is there any hope -at all- that this idea will be shelved before the start of the season?

    Also, with drivers being able to choose their numbers, I guess we’ll never see the number 0 car again?

    1. James Clayton says:

      As for the idea being ‘Hollywood’… I think Benny Hill is more apt.

  39. Lol says:

    The cars will look like clowns, the engines will sound like mules, so why not make a total circus out of it and hand out double points for the last race, eh?

    Let’s hope the E-formula thing, or whatever its called, will be interesting to follow.

    1. Joe B says:

      I’m getting increasingly interested in Formula E, at least to see how it gets off the ground. I was never too taken by A1 GP, but with F1 in a state of decline there’s never been a better moment for a rival series to start.

      RE: The rule changes – the double points is a bad idea for all the reasons outlined here. I personally think there’s too many points on offer per race as it is, but that’s subjective – I think the general gist though is that if a driver goes into the last race with more than a race winning amount of points to his lead, he is the champion, fair and square. Perhaps the FIA could make it an 18-race championship with a non-championship finale if they want to spice proceedings up, but even that’s still a gimmick for the sake of it.

      On the numbering, as much as the idea appeals of drivers having certain identifiers (career-long until the next rule change), it doesn’t actually make much sense to assign the miniscule digits that way, and IMO has only been implemented to appeal to nostalgic older fans. As much as I’d like to see a car 0 or 27 back on the track, it’s hard to argue for something that doesn’t make sense on one hand, and against something else that doesn’t make sense on the other.

      It all just leaves me a bit sad that the ‘sport’ side is vanishing, because without that it’s nothing more than a bunch of exposed, clueless rich folk trading horses. The answer to F1′s woes seems so simple from the armchair – reduce aero, get ride of DRS and comedy tyres, and let them race. I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but it’d be a start, right?

  40. Charan says:

    Forget about MS’s return. I can’t wait for Hulk Hogan to join F1. Also, has anyone told Don King about F1 – he might be interested now.

  41. stevenh says:

    Pretty stupid in my opinion. You could have someone leading by 49 points and in the final race they have a mechanical and lose the championship no fault of their own. Also now they put Abu Dhabi as the final race instead of Brazil which is a snoozefest as the best of times. Maybe they should bring out sprinklers as the whole thing is getting crazy

    A nice change I think would be points should be awarded for pole position and fastest lap and bonus points for the hat-trick/ perfect score: win, fastest and pole

    1. James Clayton says:

      They’d have to red flag the race as soon as the sprinklers came on, anyway!

  42. Dr T says:

    The double points is just going to make the last race a farce. What do you do if one driver “accidentally” takes someone else out of the race as in years gone by (thinking of Schumacher collision in Adelaide if memory serves me correctly).

    5 second penalties sound like a great move, even if practically may be a bit annoying to have people shuffling around the time sheets at the end of the race

  43. Darren says:

    You would also think having a race with double points will make it a priority for teams to make special developments especially for the race – much like Monza. This seems in direct competition with the new supposed budget cap.

    Add the sporting issues and this seems like a ridiculous idea.

    1. Nick says:

      +1 on the sporting issue. It’s concerning. Was there free booze at the meeting? That could explain a lot

  44. jason eade says:

    double points is a bad idea.
    mayb extra points for pole and fastest lap?

    1. ManOnWheels says:

      Is also a bad idea. Who will get these? Right: usually the guy in the fastest car. Who will get the most championship points? Uhmm.. usually the guy in the fastest car.
      Runaway title galore.

  45. Nil says:

    Why not have a random number generator that pulls out a car number whose engine goes pop at the push of a button in the last five laps? Is this Mario Kart?

  46. Steve says:

    Definitely not keen on the double points idea…pretty silly…

  47. Ali Haji Babaei says:

    What was the nutty tyre idea in 2005?

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      No tyre changes during race.

    2. KRB says:

      No tire changes thru the whole race, unless they were damaged.

  48. I agree, purists will be screaming at the double points rule change for the last race!

    Personally, I really like the idea of a every race being worth the same amount of points so that bad luck evens out over the course of the season.

    With new engines and new rules, we may go back to a bit less reliability and it would be unfair for a retirement or a non-scoring position to count twice.

    1. BW says:

      I wonder why purists are not screaming to bring back the 9-6-4-3-2-1 scoring system…

      1. That’s the point system from the eighties. The original one was 8, 6, 4, 3 and 2 points for the top five finishers with 1 point for the fastest lap.

        The point system has changed many times over the last 64 years but remained comparable-ish until the switch to the current point system.

      2. BW says:

        The 9-6-4-3-2-1 system was in use since 1962, so it had the longest period. However, it might be better to say that the most traditional system was to give points to top 6 finishers (with 8 points for winner in 1960-61 and 10 points in 1991-2002, the rest all the same).
        The system you’ve described was used until 1959, in fact. I agree it changed many times, as not all results were counted each season.

      3. Goggomobil. says:

        Hey Man a good point, better still the 1950
        8 6 4 3 2,and above all,rain, shine or snow
        the race must go on,one must say the drivers
        of that time were a true grit man.
        Now days if the country is in debt and can’t
        compete in open market they divalue their
        currency,a refliction can be attributed of
        that to F1 today.
        With the amendments introduced by the FIA
        recently can one say its a fair playing field
        one would think not.
        A great US President named Roosevelt said if
        you can’t stand heat in the kitchen get out.
        Sadly, lately the mighty ship the SS FIA can
        only be described as the SHIP OF FOOLS!

  49. IanC says:

    “At the pragmatic end of the scale, the cost cap is long overdue and vital to maintain the medium sized and smaller teams, which are close to the brink financially.”

    Maybe if the money going to CVC was going to the small and medium sized teams we wouldn’t need a cost cap. How long before F1 becomes IndyCar?

  50. RodgerT says:

    Since the teams entry fee is partially determined by how many points they score in the previous season this final race points doubling works well for FOM/CVC.

  51. John Marshall says:

    Very diplomatic.

    Double points is very close to a NASCAR moment for me. It could be enough to make me lose interest in a contrived show. I want to watch races, not a show.

    1. ManOnWheels says:

      Spot on.

  52. Sebee says:

    How interesting James!

    Even I forgot that 2008 season finale damaged my sofa and 2012 killed it. In deed, this new rule would take away two of the most exciting and amazing season finales in recent memory. Shame, we may never know what we will miss.

    1. stoic says:

      If the double point system was implemented in the previous years, it won’t have an effect only in the last race as strategy and planning will be vastly affected. For example, some middle or lower teams who have a long shot at huge points haul might decide to go all out on developing a special package for the last race for glory and sacrifice early season development. This would have also an effect on the top teams.

      1. Sebee says:

        And as James reminded us, it would likely ruin two of the most exciting edge of your seat season endings in recent memory.

  53. Sebee says:

    Oh…and just lime the Chase in NASCAR, this double points is here to stay I’m afraid.

    Only one way will kill it off quickly…no one watch 2014 Abu Dhabi GP in protest.

  54. Byron Lamarque says:

    If you had to have a silly gimmic to try to keep things close you might introduce something like awarding points for qualifying based on row? Therefore first and second qualifiers would receive equal points a few more then third and fourth all the way down to the back of the grid. Again only if you needed something silly which you don’t IMHO.

  55. mark says:

    Wierdly, I am not so against the idea….the ramifications of the circuit/race becoming more important than others is a concern but ultimately…I dont think I am as against it as I would/(should?) be….

    Adding a touch of drama to the last race …seems pretty positive to me.

  56. Timmay says:

    Was 2005 really that “nutty”?

    I remember it as one of the best seasons – if a tad unfair on Ferrari.

    Included if I am not mistaken – the best GP of all time?

    1. Timmay says:

      Mandatory pit stops are far more nutty in my opinion – you must use both tyres specs…. F1 slowly deteriorated from that rule onwards.

      1. Timmay says:

        Japan is often cited as the greatest ever race (at least in the modern age)

    2. Rich B says:

      agree. I enjoyed that year

  57. AJ says:

    I’m not sure why the idea of double points for the final race is nutty, or that it would have spoiled any great races – to the contrary it would up the stakes and add to the excitement.

  58. AL says:

    Great comment James, really agree with you on the double points fact. Just silly.

  59. tank says:

    James, in general you’re quite reserved in your opinions when writing here. That makes for more clout when you express your dislike so vehemently as in this post.

    What are they doing to my beloved sport?

  60. Nedder says:

    Cost cap? Yes (but don’t hold your breath). And given the new “powertrains” for next year (along with the attendant expense)I suspect there’s a strong possibility that one or two (maybe more) teams won’t be around to reap the benefit.
    Permanent driver numbers? Er, ok, if you think it’ll help. But when was the last time you could actually read the numbers on the cars amongst all the advertising anyway?
    Five second penalties? Good luck with that, I can see that getting a bit confusing for the fans, depending on how it’s implemented, but at least it’s a step in the right direction…
    Tyre test? Absolutely! How else can Pirelli get their product right? They have been asked to do the impossible for a while now, resulting in very public and embarrassing (not to mention potentially lethal) failures – but lets not forget that up until Silverstone, many teams were using the tyres the wrong way round, and/or outside Pirelli’s recommended operating pressures.
    And now… DOUBLE POINTS AT THE LAST RACE???? Just ridiculous! That, I imagine, could cause a great deal of fuss when someone with a 49 point lead gets a puncture or something.
    Still, I guess this is what happens when the FIA “listens” to the “fans” who constantly moan about how they’re going to stop watching because Der Seb keeps on winning. I wonder if they will listen so attentively when the fans complain that the sport is turning into a farce, as they did when it went all DRS and KERS?
    I read somewhere that these changes were voted for “unanimously”. But no, they were voted for, in part, by the F1 Strategy Group, largely made up of the most monied teams in the sport, with most of the teams having no input at all. Wonder how it’ll go down with the remaining smaller teams when the costs get “capped” at $400 million?
    So then, what next? Three car teams? Customer cars? Oh, go on, let’s have water sprinklers too. And what about that idea of a shortcut for faster cars that Bernie suggested a few years ago?
    This time of year, I’m always on the lookout for a bit of F1 news as it gets a bit thin on the ground, but I was SO not expecting this! I hope (I REALLY hope) this is just Jean and Bernie’s way of keeping F1 in the public eye through the winter. Or maybe one of Bernie’s “jokes”… Or maybe I just slept all the way through to April 1st! If so, who won the first couple of races?

    1. Nedder says:

      Might I also add that, if the double points plan goes ahead, I hope someone manages to wrap the title up by September. Never thought I’d say that, but I just did.

    2. James M says:

      Australia was won by Vettel, as was Malaysia. :P

    3. Wade Parmino says:

      Not a huge fan of this double points finale either but that’s an over reaction. It really won’t make any difference. Besides, F1 has had stupid points systems before but the racing is still the same (example: 1988 should really and truly be Prost’s championship not Senna’s).

      1. Darrin from Canada says:

        The tactic of running into other Drivers intentionally (to win the championship) wouldn’t be fully refined until the next year (and used the year after), so I guess getting all weepy about the unfairness shown Prost is completely rational. :)

        Perhaps we should ask the FIA to bring back the “good ole days”… ;)

      2. Nedder says:

        Whether or not it makes a difference to the actual result is not really the point. The point is about the fact that, yet again, another artificial contrivance has been thrown into the mix in order to spice up ‘the show’. Formula 1 was once a sport about brave men racing extreme cars, but now (and I’ll admit I’m a bit out of touch with modern political correctness here) it has to be ‘green’ (can’t believe I kept a straight face while typing that), ‘road-car relevant’ and ‘entertaining’ enough to attract TV viewers who don’t know their arse from their airbox. Of course, none of this will stop me watching it, because I’m one of those die-hard purists who Bernie doesn’t give a stuff about because he KNOWS I’ll watch it anyway. I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that the sport has been dumbed-down to an almost unacceptable level over the last few years, and the ‘double points’ (at Abu Dhabi of all places, for God’s sake!)thing is the final proof that this is the way it’s going. It’s becoming ALL about showbiz now, it seems, and it will eventually become an ‘entertaining’ spec/customer car series for people who like to see overtaking (or should that be ‘passing’?), crashes and celebrities, big glitz and glamour finals but little or no knowledge of actual RACING. Personally, I’ve enjoyed just about every F1 race I’ve seen in 30-odd years of watching them (yes, even the ‘boring’ ones!), but then I am one of those sad old anoraks that knows enough about the sport to be able to do this. I watch the whole race, not just my fave driver/team/the guy who’s winning. There’s a lot of great racing going on all through the field if you’re paying attention. I know I’m in the minority of the potential TV audience here, and I am a VERY dull man…
        But hey, this is the modern world, I guess. If it’s what the masses want, that must be ok, right? It’s the same as the music industry – time was, you had to at least learn to play an instrument or to sing before you could even have a shot at success (and there was still quite a lot of work to do after that), but now all you need to do is stand in a queue for the X-Factor auditions. Because that’s what the public wants, judging by the TV viewing figures..
        Maybe that should be the next big thing – gradually erode the extreme performance of an F1 car to the point that almost any reasonably fit person could drive one, have some X-Factor style auditions,then after the race (sure to be filled with spectacular crashes) have a public vote (only £1 per text, folks) to decide who stands on the top step. And think of the money to be saved on driver salaries! Who needs ‘em when ANYONE can drive the cars? Cost cutting in action, yeah! You could call it Formula X (you heard it here first, Mr Cowell). You could get local celebrities to do the podium interviews… Oh, wait, hang on…
        I accept your point that my comments may be an over-reaction, but make no mistake – this is the thin end of an extremely large wedge.
        On a final note I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your attention that, had the new points system been in place this year, Seb would still have taken the title with a couple of races to go, so it begs the question – what’s the point (no pun intended)? Maybe it’s so Bernie can get an enhanced premium hosting fee from cash-rich Abu Dhabi, in preference to Brazil, which always has a MUCH more entertaining race but may not be willing or able to stump up the money?

    4. monsterFG says:

      +1 million, all the comments were here and there but yours takes the cake. Everything is said short and simple and yet nailed it on the head. I’ll just add that reason why is all this happening is as in tennis big corporations have taken rein and this is byproduct of their will to milk as much as they can and Bernie is only devil’s face as he only now does what his masters are telling him to do. If they swap aero grip for mechanical grip it would bring more exciting races no matter what was the point system and they should let michelin in with their idea of an 18 inch rim as that would lead to tyres on the road being much better (I’m talking about performance cars here,). My condolences to all F1 fans as of next year it truly is not about best team and best driver combo….rant over.

  61. Ken says:

    The double point rule is terrible. Hate it. Can’t believe people in charge of such a prestigious sport as F1 came up with this garbage.

  62. Schmorbraten says:

    I’m already looking for contact forms on teams’ websites to let them know how much I hate that double points rubbish. In fact it’s not that easy to send them a message without twitter or facebook. For me, the season will end after the penultimate race, and I won’t give a toss for what happens after that.

  63. ozherb says:

    Whilst having a Strategy Group designed to get things done and make decisions more quickly isn’t a bad idea, it would be nice if they could make good decisions.

    How the top teams were persuaded to go along with this double points in the last race malarkey is beyond me. Surely this is just a (terrible)PR exercise to keep the sport in the news during the off-season?

    You are correct James. It is playing badly with the fans as per the comments on your previous story, and I truly hope it is scrapped before it gets off the ground.

  64. Soulnet says:

    Not fussed about drivers keeping the same number throughout their career but how about getting the drivers to keep the same helmet through a year! At least then on tv or at the race you have some chance of picking up which driver just drove by.

  65. Justin Brayshaw says:

    I agree with pretty much everyone else here. Double points is about the worst idea I have heard since the proposed medals system the other year.

    I just don’t know where they are going with Formula 1 nowadays. I think what sums it up for me is this is the first year I have not bought James’ book (since it came out) because I can’t think of a single interesting thing that happened this season that I would like to read about again.

  66. Vivek says:

    James,

    I hope this idea of double points, does not make even the first race of 2014, let alone the final race.

    Better to assign points by flipping a page number out of the book !!!!

    This is such a ridiculous idea.

    I hope the fans voice matter in this regard.

    Regards
    Vivek

  67. janis1207 says:

    Spot on!
    I very much hope your voice will carry some weight in this double points affair.

  68. BW says:

    Could someone try to explain why in fact double points is sooooo bad idea?
    It remains unchanged that the race is to drive as fast as you can from the start to the chequered flag, beat as many opponents as possible and get as many points as you can. And if you apply different scoring systems to different ‘classic’ seasons, you might see results differing from actual. For example, if you take 2008 final race being scored with classic system of 9 points per win (and 2 for 5th place), then Massa would beat Hamilton anyway (not checking how they would be on points before the race) and the race would still be amazing.
    It’s not the scoring system that makes racing great.

    1. BW says:

      Checked it:
      - with 9-6-4-3-2-1 scoring system, Massa would win the 2008 title by two points
      - with current scoring system Hamilton would win by three points,
      - with double points rule Massa would win by twelve points.
      And now please tell me which scoring system is killing F1, racing and motorsports…
      (while I can live and watch F1 either with double points rule or without it)

      1. yassin says:

        Kimi wins 2003 too.

        Vettle has commented on the new double points system as and labelled it as ‘absurd’.

        I the points system has changed a few times the last two decades.

        The shame is our old buddy Vettel has to complain rather than get on with it like Kimi, Shuey and Alonso have done in the past.

        Vettel is not a World Champ in my eyes.

  69. Fireman says:

    Double points can be good or bad. It depends how the championship sits before the final race.

    It surely makes teams to develop their cars the whole season. At least makes it more probable.

  70. Arnie S says:

    Honestly, I don’t like double points. However, on the other hand, all changes in the points system could have made someone else a different winner.

    In Sweden the STCC (small version of DTM) has used it for five-six years or so.

    As I said, it’s not my cup of tea, but every change of points will create comments like “Alonso would have won” etc.

    Honestly, is F1 a sport? Or is it entertainment. It will never be a part of the summer-olympics, that’s for sure

  71. Ollie says:

    James, we need you on this one. As someone whos close to the core of this sport we need you to voice our opinion in this matter.

    1. James Allen says:

      Don’t worry these comments will be read by teams, FIA, FOTA etc

      1. Thys Kotzé says:

        If they HAVE to do something like that I propose then it should be for the last 5 races, they should incrementally either raise the
        1. prize money,
        2. the points, or
        3. both (although money is tied to points anyway, correct?)

        Prize money will teams help for the following year.
        By incrementally increasing the points over the last 5 races, teams will be encouraged to stay competitive and keep developing their cars for longer without being too affected by one result.

  72. seifenkistler says:

    Are there forbidden numbers?

    Some years back the soccer club of my daughters had a sponsor who gave trikots numbered from 1 to 99 with individual names on them. A referee refused to allow the player with the number 88 to enter the field. The number had to be taped away.

    In germany there is a lot of discussion when the number 88 is allowed and when not. So most decide nowadays not to use it anymore.

    There is a law which forbids the use of nazi symbols in germany. The number 88 is used for two times the 8th character in the alphabet, the H. And HH stands for Heil Hitler. In unternet forums the 88 is used as a modern symbol/appreviation and some judges say that knowing the symbolic and still using it may be considered a crime.

    So i wonder do the drivers get a list with information which numbers are not liked in certain countries?

    1. yellowbelly says:

      And there was me thinking that 88 was Two Fat Ladies! Gosh, those bingo-playing OAPs are a sinister bunch.

  73. Jon Wilde says:

    I’m not so sure the double points proposal is a bad idea. Agreed it sounds ‘hollywood’ on paper and when applied to seasons gone by the impact at the top appears more excitiment diminishing than enhancing.

    However, if we consider the WCC fight, second -seventh in this years championship double points in Brazil could have made for an enthralling battle.

    The award of points will impact the way in which teams go racing in the future, its of no benefit to apply the thinking to championships in which these point allocations were not raced with.

    Permanent numbers, I’m amazed Bernie is prepared to let something that will sully the order and uniform nature of his pitlane pass. I expect this rule to be modified to fixed team numbers.

    Cost Cap. Red Bull must be working toward an exit plan regarding team ownership. A championship winning team in a cost controlled environment is far more attractive than the team they run today. Infiniti Racing awaits. Hopefully along with a future in which F1 teams turn a profit!

    James do you know if there was any talk of a more balanced allocation of revenue across the teams?

    Regarding the Bahrain tyre test next week, are there any restrictions in place regarding the usage of 2014 components? Not only engines, but aero. Do we know what engine Toro Rosso will run? Will Ferrari really want to supply them with more engines? How many 2013 engines are out there? Didn’t Renault blow the ones they had in Brazil on the evening after the race?

    1. James Allen says:

      That I really can’t imagine happening in the near future

      1. Jon Wilde says:

        Thanks James,but judging by tones of your podcast the right people are starting to think about it.

        I guess it comes down to why do teams go racing. Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda are in F1 to sell cars. They want to promote their product in the most cost effective way possible. a budget cap is a step toward that. If teams budgets are capped at 80M EUR a year (which I think would exceed many team budgets) The top 5 could pretty much run without sponsorship using prize fund alone. Sponsors for the big teams are not going to disappear, surely this will prompt a rethink in allocation of funds.

  74. Chris says:

    What number would you guys want? I’d nab 19 or 84, and the reasons, I was born in 84 and I’ve always been fond of 19. I was also fond of Damon’s Zero’s, but I think that was because I was a massive Damon fan.

    1. James Clayton says:

      I believe that the 0 is given to the person driving reigning world champion’s car if the champion is not racing that year (ie he has retired or deceased). With this new system we’ll never see a zero car again which is kind of a shame. I too was fond of Damon 0.

  75. Matt W says:

    Nice to see you use the WWF comparison James, although they are now called WWE with the E firmly representing Entertainment since they no longer claim to be a legitimate sport (which is perfectly fair enough).

    F1 is straying far too close to the entertainment catagory. DRS and the one race tyre ideas were at least concepts that remained equal throughout the entire season. To hot shot the final race is just a ridiculous idea, can you imagine Football having a double points weekend on the final day of the season? It is just farcical. If they really need to spice interest in the final race, stick a £1m bounty on it and promote it as the million dollar race. It works in Indycar.

    Having said that, I could probably accept double points weekends for some of the classic venues, or venues/nations which have been on the calendar for 20 or so years. At least that promotes long term commitment to the sport from nations and circuits, and helps prevent the failures we have seen recently in Indianapolis, Korea, Fuji and by all accounts India. F1 should recognise the long term commitment by circuits just as it does with Ferrari.

    It is incredibly sad as a long term fan to see F1 head down this route. F1 was always a sport that prided itself on being “pure” and clean racing, but in the last decade has resorted to gimmick after gimmick which has seen each one become a failure. Now the powers that be want to start hot shotting races to bump a viewer rating. If F1 wants to truly be a sport, the powers that be need to accept that sometimes you will get a dominant season, sometimes you will get a thriller. You can’t artificially create the sort of excitement you get on occassions like the 2008 Brazilian GP, or even the final day of the 2011/2012 Premier League season.

    If that was the case, WWE would be the number one sport world wide and their PPV numbers would be through the roof. As it is, WWE is currently experiencing a difficult era, a profitable company but considered as being far from their golden ages in the 80s and 90s. Ring any bells?

  76. marc b says:

    Don’t you love it they come out with a double points white elephant to get the fans to talk predominatly about that. But what we should be jumping up and down about is the unfair and dare i say corrupt? way that the money is dished out to the teams haves and have nots we won’t have a sport that we love soon and all we see are self motivated teams spending more and more. You can just imagine the self fulfilling strategy group laughing and rubbing their hands together and saying well that double points press realese rubbish worked well in taking the fans pressure off our avarice.

  77. Chris C says:

    Thanks for the clarification James on the decision made.

    I think overall this is a good job by the group and it improves on a good formula. The main point that we do not have visibility at this stage is the cost cap, what does it mean and how it is enforced. For me the area that needs to be put in control is the aerodynamics with all the supercomputers and simulations. The purpose of controlling this area would be to make aerodynamics just one part of the optimization process and not almost the only one. It would be nice to see optimization by the teams in areas like engine, tyres, transmissions etc. that deliver significant lap time reductions.

    As for the 50 points that everyone is grumbling about, I will not join in protest. For me aside of the entertainment value, there is a much forgotten aspect which is the incentive it will provide for the teams not to stop development of the car. Personally I am sick and tired of hearing each team saying that they now focus on the next years car. If I understood correctly it is double points for every position not just the first position, so there are 10 cars that will bring several points in the last race, forcing most of the teams to keep on development full year. Anyway whats the problem in trying for one year and if it does not work they can scrap it afterwards. Lets reduce a bit the change resistance… :)

  78. Thread the Needle says:

    If they think this will improve the show, they may think again

    Real F1 fans won’t fall for this rubbish

  79. Alexis says:

    A lot of grumps on here. Next year will be crazy so who cares if there is something else thrown in the mix. Let’s just go mad for one year and if an idea doesn’t work, get rid of it for 15. I’m up for anything after this year’s snooze fest!

  80. Tim Scarratt says:

    Let’s drop the pretense here and have the points total for each race be proportional to the amount of money the circuit paid Bernie to stage it.

  81. Estophile says:

    “So adding five seconds to a driver’s race time -an easy thing for a timing computer to do – will simplify life for everyone.”

    I’m not so sure about that. While smaller penalties are indeed necessary, in some races this could lead to a plethora of cars in the wrong position and will do anything but simplify life. If the penalty is applied before the driver’s last pit stop, would it not be an easier solution for the driver to stop for 5 seconds outside the FIA garage as part of their pit stop? Although I don’t know how you would do it for penalties later in the race.

    The double points proposal is awful. I have only read a few of the comments here but it seems pretty clear that the vast majority of fans are not in favour. FIA, take note.

    And as for driver numbers, having been introduced to F1 back in 1980, for me number 27 always means Alan Jones. Yes, I saw Villeneuve & Senna & Alesi & Tambay & Alboreto & probably a few others all drive with 27 on the car, but it’s Jonesy who “is” 27 for me.

  82. F1 dingo says:

    50 points for a win is a ridiculous idea. Let’s hope whoever is leading the championship going into the last race leads it by 51 points.

    Tyres wise, Pirelli should make 3 compounds. A soft, medium and hard and bring them to every race. After practise each team should nominate a compound to qualify on (all 3 sessions), this compound cannot then be used in the race. The two remaining compounds must be used at some point of the race. No secrecy, each driver (starting with pole sitter) should state which compound they are starting the race on once qualy has finished.

    Bingo, let the strategists at it – BANG!

    Wet qualy/race – wet and inters can be used as weather dictates. Teams also get one set of each dry weather compound.

  83. AndrewB94 says:

    So if this is supposed to increase the Tv ratings for the final race, then wont it devalue the other races. Why would a ‘casual’ fan be watching the 2nd or 3rd last race of the year when those races are only worth half of Abu Dhabi.
    If they wanted a gimmick then the last race should be made ‘Championship weekend’ where there is 2 races, on Saturday and Sunday. That way you get double points, more racing, and it will be something different to get attention.
    The double race weekend experiment looks like it worked pretty well in IndyCar.

  84. JimmiC says:

    I hope the double-points idea is short lived, but if it costs someone the title next season, where they would’ve won it with ‘normal’ points, then it will have already done its damage.

    As a commenter in the previous thread pointed out, what if (eg) Vettel went into the final race 48 points ahead, but then suffered an engine failure or was punted out of the race? It’s an utterly stupid idea that is only going to a) Push long-term fans further away and b) Alienate newcomers who have to get their heads around a ‘all races are equal but some are more equal than others’ mentality.

    Even when F1 was dull, when it was impossible to overtake, you got the sense that it was the best drivers in the world driving as hard as they can. Now (behind Vettel), it’s more like Mario Kart

  85. Jenks says:

    The double points could lead to some teams/drivers feeling very hard done by if they mess up the last race, due to a pitstop or mechanical problem.

  86. Paul Thompson says:

    Well double points for the final race, and the reason given is to keep the public’s interest in F1 until the final race. This only works if both championships aren’t decided mid season.

    Personally I feel this one rule change reeks of desperation that may have been pushed for by T.V channels ? F1 is dramatic and dangerous enough without this rule change, and to awake to read this news article has actually ruined my day.

    Fair enough I have only been interested in F1 since 1984, but really.. double points for the last race.

    Talk about given the bridesmaids one desperate last chance of glory. So although I will continue to watch F1 every weekend it’s on, if this rule change alters the outcome of a championship we will all know who the true champion is.

    So which channel is Nascar on ?

  87. Olivier says:

    I actually love the Double Point finish. Shame Brasil is no longer the final race, otherwise the racing drivers would feel their heart pumping in their throat.

    Here’s two more suggestions:

    1. Let rookie, test and reserve drivers drive on Friday. Race drivers take over on Saturday.
    2. Have a Gold, Silver and Bronze medals ceremony at the final Grand Prix to celebrate the Driver’s Championship. The top three drivers could actually paint their personal numbers in Gold, Silver and Bronze on their car. This would make the number one number totally obsolete.

    1. yassin says:

      Vettle has commented on the new double points system as and labelled it as ‘absurd’.

      I say points system has changed a few times the last two decades.

      The shame is our old buddy Vettel has to complain rather than get on with it like Kimi, Shuey and Alonso have done in the past.

      Vettel is not a World Champ in my eyes.

      1. James Clayton says:

        Because Schumacher and Alonso have never complained about anything???

      2. yassin says:

        Vettels reaction of ‘Absurd’ says it all, if it is implemented he clearly is not going to moan about it all season.

  88. Turbo says:

    Did the FIA and Bernie get their calender dates mixed up? Today isn’t April 1.

    Double points is a great idea for an April 1 joke and nothing else.

  89. David Hope says:

    I’ve never minded DRS as a principle. People bang on about purity but frankly the aero turbulence in F1 now is like having a Mario Kart oil slick or banana skin weapon to take out the guy behind! DRS counters this (maybe really we just need further aero reduction). Plus everyone has when behind DRS in all races

    On the other hand the double points is absurd. There is absolutely no reason one race (especially Abu Dhabi) should carry more weight. Its unbalanced and there is no reason one is harder to win than others. The controversy would be huge if it decided a championship.

  90. Robert N says:

    James,

    I do hope that you are right, and the double points for the final race are short lived. The reaction shown by fans on your site here are a clear signal what we think about this.

    Is there any chance that we can prevent this happening for 2014?

    1. James Allen says:

      The reaction has been strong from committed fans.

      One suspects that this is aimed at casual fans, as the numbers are dwindling and they calculate that committed fans will watch anyway

      1. Robert N says:

        Someone needs to tell them that this idea is crazy. This is a knee-jerk reaction to a season in which one driver dominated the WDC. Surely the way to ensure that casual fans do not switch off is to provide the basis for a close championship, where almost all the teams can compete on an equal footing: we need cost limitation.

        The double points idea actually goes against the resource limitation idea: It will clearly favour the team(s) with the strongest in-season development, which almost by definition are the teams with the biggest budgets.

        A final thought: if the 2014 WDC gets decided with three races still to go, will we see triple points in 2015? Why not 20 times the points, so that the final race decides everything?!

      2. Ian Cade says:

        Seems that if they were trying to appeal to casual fans they are a couple of years too late in the UK.

        Increasing revenue by going to a premium subscription service such as Sky put the sport beyond the reach of many casual fans. Now this alienates the traditional fan-base.

        I guess this is only the UK’s perspective, but it seems they haven’t logically thought through the business model.

      3. Jon Wilde says:

        I’m a committed fan and I can see a logic to double point for the final round!

      4. db4tim says:

        That is spot on JA

      5. Wade Parmino says:

        Well, I suppose if this is what it takes to keep the sport going.

      6. Matt H says:

        James,

        This is where they are wrong.

        I have posted above in detail but short version: the committed fans are turning off too.

        I hear nothing but moaning from those, who I used to debate F1 with passionately.

        No-one can be bothered to watch. The message needs to go ‘up the tree’.

        Quick fix #1 – ditch the degrading tyres
        Quick fix #2 – ditch DRS
        Quick fix #3 – end all gimmicky ideas and get back to find out who is the quickest

        If you really want to sort it out:

        SILVER BULLET FIX: ban Adrian Newey “Ruin-er of championships for 20 years” :-)

        Perhaps the last one is a step too far but the others are serious.

      7. Davexxx says:

        Hmm, interesting. Brings up various thoughts. THIS fan, as I mentioned above, is on the fence and can understand the tweaks they bring in, despite their awkwardness. (For example, would ditching DRS really improve things? People would just go back to moaning “There’s NO Overtaking!”…). So then I wonder how many (%) really “can’t be bothered to watch”.
        So then I wonder if James should run another Poll?
        But then I wonder how truthful people would really be? I’m not sure but I had the impression from some past polls that the results can be distorted – some ‘indifferent’ people don’t bother to vote; the ‘extremists’ wade in too strongly; some simply claim ‘I’ll never watch again!’ yet are still watching a year later…

      8. Random 79 says:

        If I’m going to brutally honest I’ll be watching F1 in 2014 for two reasons and two reasons only:

        To see how the cars go with the new 2014 regs.
        To see how Ricciardo goes in the Red Bull.

        If the FIA wants F1 to be the motorsport worlds version of WWE with gimmicks aimed at the casual viewer then fine – good luck to them – but how many of those casual fans will be forking out for pay TV in the the countries where that is the only option?

        Foot. Bullet. Ouch. :)

      9. RobertS says:

        I mentioned this to my work mates who are casual fans who watch it now and then. Even they said it was a “circus”

      10. I have been a committed fan for 40+ years but this last couple of years I would say I am more casual. I will be attending the opener in Melbourne in 2014 (more for the atmosphere, partying and support race programme than the F1 race). However, with the way it has all gone the past couple of seasons, if the F1 race in Melbourne is a dull one then I doubt I will watch another F1 race – and putting double points on the table for the last round won’t be an enticement to turn on. Commited, to casual, to non-viewer in less than 3 years. Way to go F1.

        But just in support of some earlier comments – even though I haven’t watched most of the races this season I have still regularly visited your site James to get all the news I needed without wasting up to 3 hours (usually when I should be sleeping anyway) watching the races. The insights from you and your team are all a fan needs when the on-track action is less than exciting.

  91. I know says:

    I think time penalties should be the exception rather than the rule. With a time penalty, you cannot defend against an opponent who does not have to overtake you to beat you.

    To reduce the frequency of time penalties, perhaps mandate a minimum stationary time (say, 10 seconds) at the next pitstop for minor offences, and only use the time penalty if no further stops are made.

    A stop-and-go penalty outside the pit lane costing 5-10 seconds would be my preferred choice, but of course, depending on the circuit, that’s difficult to implement safely.

  92. Jehu says:

    Should we expect any more from an octogenarian who cannot manage a revolving door? Double points great idea. Introduce it for all races.

    1. Dave Aston says:

      I think they usually only award double points for races that run twice the scheduled distance.

    2. James Clayton says:

      You can just imagine the FIA doing that to try and save face. Rather than backtracking on double points they’d say something like “Yes, all races should be equal. We are therefore proud to announce that ALL races will now feature double points”

  93. I know says:

    Of course, there are precedents for double points at the final event, for example the IAAF Diamond League series, or the Triathlon World Series. However, that’s done mainly to ensure that all competitors take part in the final. It does not address the fact that races are processional, if that’s seen as a problem.

  94. James M says:

    My issue with it isn’t so much a premium for a specific race, it’s the scale of the premium on that particular race. 50 points is far too much, and Abu Dhabi is simply a track unworthy of that: it’s not as much of a trial to win as Interlagos, Monaco, Singapore or Spa. There is no additional challenge inherent in it to warrent such a high premium.

    I think a fairly decent idea might be to award 30 points (and extend down to 12th place) for a set of ‘blue riband’ events: first and last races, Monaco, Silverstone, Spa, Monza, Suzuka for example. That way, you have a variety of tracks, ensuring that the extra points don’t go to whoever happens to have lucked into a single good setup for one particular race track. It also gives the ‘classic’ events some added gravitas, particularly in light of the influx of uninteresting newer tracks.If you want to ‘spice things up’ a little, then that wouldn’t go over the top, enshrines the classics (which would help keep the purists and relative purists like myself happy) and rewards are proportional to their challenge.

  95. F1S says:

    So everyone is absolutely clear:

    COST CAP = MASS REDUNDANCIES.

    Voted in by a small group of very wealthy individuals, as a remedy to their own admission that they are unable to exercise any form of prudence or self restraint in the management of the companies for which they hold responsibility. And their solution is to lay off many of the highly committed, highly skilled workforce that they themselves encouraged into the industry.

    Football has shown us that clubs go bust NOT when they spend lots of money, but when they go heavily INTO DEBT. We should run a DEBT CAP. Because:
    1. It’s actually policeable.
    2. It forces teams to be uncompetitive, but to be prudent.
    3. It targets the actual problem (i.e. teams going bust).

    In no other industrial sector would a new entrant be allowed to insist that established players limit their spending in a competitive environment. But then in no other sector would an admission that a company is unable to manage it’s own affairs be seen as a political bargaining chip. You’d just let them go to the wall. And they would be replaced by a proper company, that could look after itself.

    I don’t want Marussia to be given a free pass to be as competitive as Ferrari (as RussianTime were in GP2). I want them to earn it. I want it to take time, and be difficult, and I want the struggle to be worth watching, and ultimately to be successful to some extent, if their efforts merit that success. It’s called “competition”. I just want them to manage their company properly while they do it. Which means not spending lots of cash that they don’t have.

    IndyCar has already been down this route of trying to rein in costs because the team owners couldn’t be trusted to act in a prudent way. And they reached its obvious conclusion: CUSTOMER CARS. And the subsequent knock on effect: NO FANS. Dallara can provide a very cost effective 1 make single seater car that will highlight driver skill over engineering ingenuity, and provide very close, competitive racing. It’s called GP2, or Renault World Series, or Formula 3, or GP3, or IRL. No-one watches it.

    The Strategy Group is in the process of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. If this appalling set of misguided proposals shows one things, it’s that light touch regulation of a non-democratic group riddled with self interest cannot yield sensible legislation for the good of the sport. The FIA now needs to step in and take control of this situation, and start acting like a grown up, internationally-mandated sporting regulator.

    F1 morphed from pure sport to business many years ago, but with The Strategy Group, the money men running it have completely forgotten that it was ever a sport in the first place.

    1. F1S says:

      Obviously that should have read: “2. It forces teams to be competitive, but to be prudent.”

    2. ManOnWheels says:

      “We should run a DEBT CAP. Because:
      1. It’s actually policeable.
      2. It forces teams to be uncompetitive, but to be prudent.
      3. It targets the actual problem (i.e. teams going bust).”

      It prohibits a team to risk something extra to gain an advantage and to attract sponsors or buysers. Think Brawn GP.

      It still doesn’t change the problem that the poor teams don’t stand any chance against the rich teams to get into a financially healthier position.

      Debt is a consequence of a vast spread in wealth, which is directly related to success, you simply can’t operate on reasonable budget and have a chance in Formula-1 against the top runners. Yo uwant to be competitive, like Lotus, you need to throw in tons of money up to a point where any sponsor deal that goes bust gets your team into trouble.
      So as soon as we manage to compress the spread in wealth-related performance, more teams have the chance of being successful. Since too many spec parts are not very “Formula-1″ and since customer cars don’t seem to be the best solution either, I think the budget cap can be a good solution, if controllable, which is (by the way) also desirable for well sponsored teams, as they can keep more of their sponsorship money, get rich, pay their workforce better, invest in other businesses, etc.

      1. F1S says:

        ManOnWheels , you make some interesting points. But I have to take issue with some of them. I can assure you that Lotus’s expenditure in 2012 & 2013 has been nothing compared to Renault’s on the same team in 2008 & 2009. Yet Lotus is heavily in debt. Why? Because no money has been put in. Yet they’ve been successful on a tight budget because the technical side of the company is (or at least has been) stable and well organised. Yet…even on that tight budget, the company may go under.

        Enforcing a £20M, £30M, £40M, £150M budget cap will NOT mean teams will not spend money they don’t have. It wouldn’t have helped HRT. Why? Because they didn’t have ANY money, and were entirely financed by debt.

        Your point about “the spread in wealth-related performance” is an absolutely critical one. It goes right to the heart of the issue, because it goes right to the heart of the question “what should F1 be”? I fundamentally disagree with the concept of limiting teams’ expenditure. If F1 is to retain an element of engineering competition and excellence, it should be a dog eat dog environment. I think that the very thing that makes F1 stand out (much like America’s Cup) is that it is a technological war, as well as a sporting competition. There are yachting competitions with identical boats. But everyone watches America’s Cup. And no-one watches GP2 or IRL either.

    3. Wade Parmino says:

      The cost cap need not be applied to every aspect of a team. ONLY to the research, development and production of every component on the car. Salaries, transport, accommodation, catering, PR, etc. should not be capped. It’s the design and building of the car that causes massive ballooning of a team’s expenditure. All those complex little pieces of aerodynamic carbon-fibre chew up the money.

    4. You’ll also end up with mass redundancies when Sauber or Lotus fold!

      The cost cap is about stopping the costs spiralling out of control.

      What will happen to Milton Keynes the day Red Bull pulls out of F1? They they still be able to afford spending upwards of $250m in today’s money?

    5. wdf2 says:

      Brilliant post.

      1. F1S says:

        Well, firstly, I’m very confident I have a good handle on the situations at the financially-challenged teams.

        As for “You’ll also end up with mass redundancies when Sauber or Lotus fold!”, why do you think that teams would fold if they were forced to run with a very low level of debt? It’s not the spending that kills teams, it’s spending money that they do not have that does it. That’s exactly why I’m proposing a debt cap, rather than a cost cap. Teams forced to maintain a prudent level of debt DON’T fold.

        If you try to limit spending, you force it undergraound. Teams have always spent whatever resources they have available to them. In the 00′s, Honda had a team of Russian engineers, formerly from the Soviet space programme, running strategic and video analysis remotely from Moscow. How do you propose policing THAT bit of expenditure? You’d do well to find it on the books of a team in Brackley lol

        It all comes down to the following questions:
        1) Is it wrong to spend money that you have in the bank, in a competitive industry?
        2) Do you want the engineering aspect of F1 to be competitive?

        For me, the answers are “if you have the money, it’s up to you whether you spend it” and “Yes, you’re damned right I want it to be competitive, I want it to be the very example of competitive, innovative design and engineering”.

  96. Witan says:

    Double points for wet races and triple points for the race nearest Bernie’s birthday and quadruple points for races with an ‘r’ in the circuit name.

    There, fixed it.

    1. Rayz says:

      haha. nice. point well made chap.

    2. Peter Freeman says:

      You forgot half points for races near Max Mosley’s birthday…

    3. Random 79 says:

      So only single points for Spa, Monza and Suzuka?

      Nah, still needs some work :)

  97. Bart says:

    It’ll play very badly with the fans as I’m not going to turn on my tv to watch the last race. I don’t like WWF

  98. Ian Cade says:

    Well it has saved me the cost of subscribing to Sky next year. What is the point in paying through the nose for a full season when I can just sit back turn on the BBC for free and see who wins the world championship after a few sets of Monkey Tennis in November.

    Cheers Bernie, I didn’t think you would be looking out for the little man.

  99. F1S says:

    James, what do you think of this idea? Rather than messing around with the current rules to spice up the show, you keep the main series as it is.

    But, to deal with some of the issues that The Strategy Group are trying to address, you have a support race, using current F1 machinery. It would work like this:

    1. It would initially support all short-haul Grand Prix events.
    2. It’s for anyone with a Superlicense who is NOT competing in the main F1 event that weekend.
    3. It wouldbe acceptable for a reserve driver to compete in the support race, but then swtich to the Grand Prix under circumstances of force majeur (i.e. reserves can do this race but still be on standby).
    4. It’s for current F1 chassis, but with detuned engine performance achieved via engine management code restrictions.
    5. Teams already take all the kit for a 3rd car to each race, but don’t get any value from it unless they have a shunt.
    6. Much of the shipping cost is for equipment, not for car parts, so the marginal cost of taking an extra running car each weekend is small.
    7. Much of the staffing cost is to have the team there, NOT “per running car”, so the marginal cost of staff would be relatively small (probably 1 engineer and 3 mechanics).
    8. 1 x 1 hours practice on Friday morning, 1 x 30 minutes qualifying on Saturday morning, race of half the GP distance on Saturday afternoon.
    9. Provides a high-quality support race for Bernie’s bill, with lots of opportunities to creat media interest and sponsor coverage.
    10. Each team enters a single car, so it’s an 11 car grid.
    11. It allows masses of track time for young drivers in a lower-pressure environment, and can be marketed as a training ground.
    12. It gets young drivers some sponsor visibility and some payback on the cash they pay out to be “reserve driver”, which means that teams can leverage more income from that role.
    13. It allows a training gruond for mechanics and engineers before they are let loose on the race team (as test team used to).
    14. It is much much cheaper than a test team, but allows additional opportunities for test work to be completed on a race weekend. Teams even get the opportunity for a competitive extra race distance run each weekend.
    15. Teams could run “Guest” or “Celebrity” drivers that they would not be willing to risk in the main event (Marquez, Rossi, Loeb, Lampkin).
    16. It would provide The Strategy Group with an opportunity to test out new rules ideas without screwing the main series.
    17. It would provide Pirelli with an opportunity to test out compounds in a lower-scrutiny environment, but on a full set of current cars, in representative running conditions.
    18. Pirelli get a set amount of information, in a format that they can predict, each weekend, rather than teams refusing to do long stints or quali run sims.
    19. This is the best bit: It provides something that is broadcastable, with genuine marketing appeal, which means that the marginal cost ACTUALLY OFFERS A RETURN to the teams, the FIA and FOM. This is unlike the current “race weekend test” idea.

    I’ve been trying to sell this to anyone who’d listen for a few years now, with no joy. the irony is that the teams/FIA have ended up drifting towards the idea, in the sense that the cost benefits of shipping your test kit with your race kit has been accepted for 2014, because it’s cheaper than hiring another circuit and runnign a Test Team.

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks for that! What do the readers think?

    2. Brett Williams says:

      I reckon this is a great idea. Makes a lot of sense, and as suggested could provide a financial return!

    3. A-P says:

      Love the idea in principle, though wonder how much the racing would be compromised by it being a very real testing opportunity in very slight disguise?

      Also, it sounds like more work in the same weekend for the already plenty busy race engineers?

      Your point 2. suggests a problem with (if not generally contradicts) point 15. — Superlicence versus guest/celebrity drivers. Teams wont want to be unduly risking damage to people or cars. IndyCar star drivers might be most capable of stepping in on a guest basis (and the top 4 in the championship every season qualify by right for an FIA Superlicence for the next two years) but their season is usually pretty busy already at the time F1 European leg. And would accomplished IndyCar stars be happy to come over on a one-off to risk being beaten by mere F1 reserve drivers?

      Sorry for more negatives than positives. But I would love it for 3rd drivers, or (variation on the theme) the respective weekend’s top-finishing GP2 drivers, to have a way of showing their potential speed in more-or-less the same cars as the regular F1 drivers.

  100. AndyFov says:

    I’ve mixed feelings on the douple points idea.

    I think the upside is it’ll ensure every pushes and no one coasts from the mid season onwards. This year it was apparent that several teams thought “well, this year’s lost, let’s focus on 2014.” I think the prospect of double points in the last race might not have changed much, but a few might have clung on to false hope for a race or two longer.

    And the downside, aside from it being contrived… All teams are surely going to have to adopt the ‘whole team behind one driver’ appraoch from now?

  101. UncleZen says:

    So Bernie gets the 20 races he wanted, just 2 of them are rolled into 1. The last one.

  102. Dave Aston says:

    I thought the points idea was a joke when I first read it; like Bernie’s shortcuts, sprinklers and medals. It’s sad news, and I hope there is sufficient fan backlash to overturn it. Hulkenberg not getting a top drive sums up what is wrong with F1, and this almost tops it.

  103. Guy Williams says:

    James, is it possible the double points finale idea is some sort of red herring? It just seems so absurd that it’s bound to cause a fuss. And then maybe we’re all looking the wrong way when the details of the cost cap emerge …?

  104. Yury says:

    IMHO, the double points race is very-very bad idea.
    I’m against it.

  105. Victor says:

    This double-points Finale disgraces the FIA. Who says Vettel/RB will be (so) dominant in 2014 and onwards? Would many a team sacrifice (e.g. in engine performance) a ‘minor’ single-point race and play it harder for this Finale? When sorting two rivals with equal points, what is worthier, two single-point results, or one double? I trust, as James says, this silly rule won’t last long…

  106. OffCourse says:

    So it continues…… F1 is driven more and more about maximizing revenue. No surprising as it is clearly more a business now than it ever was.

    I would suspect that CVC would have had a large influence in lobbying the members of the strategy group to approve changes like the double points.

    With little interest in the longevity of the sport, their goal as a business should be to maximize their returns.

    I assume that once F1 is floated they will move on to new investments.

    So the goal has to be to maximize revenues in the short term, and it appears that this will be done by focusing on a contrived entertainment model.

    What I fear for F1 (as someone earlier stated) is long term brand damage.

    I’m afraid that I can easily see a loss of identity and a loss of “premium status”.

    Once that starts, the rot will be hard to stop. Revenues will disappear and F1 will lose its relevance.

    F1 really only sells one product. If they corrupt it for too long I think the end becomes inevitable.

  107. Mack says:

    Double points for the last race? You can’t be serious!! After watching/following F1 for more than fifty years it is starting to lose a little gloss. I do however have tickets for Melbourne 2014. It will be hard to be give up the drug that F1 is to hardened enthusiasts.

  108. Wade Parmino says:

    I’m indifferent to the double points final race idea. It won’t change the racing. Instead of this though, the final race should not have qualifying. The grid line up for the final race should be determined by the current championship standings at the time in reverse order.

    No matter what track it is at, it will make for a spectacular finale full of overtaking. Imagine a Caterham and a Marussia fighting into the first turn while at the back the top teams will have drivers desperately battling each other all the way to the points positions. The middle teams will be trying to make the most of the opportunity to pass the slow leading cars while attempting to hold off the best cars storming from the rear. Such a situation would ensure that only the best drivers achieve good results.

    Time penalties are easier sure, but the problem with these is that Vettel will just commit all the infringements he wants and pull an enormous gap over the entire field. Drive-through penalties are real penalties because these often result in drivers losing position which means they must retake that position; this costs time and tires. Time penalties are hardly penalties at all; especially only 5 second ones and especially when applied to drivers at the pointy end of the field.

  109. Paul D says:

    I am disgusted with the ‘double points’ idea.

    Goes against the purity of the sport. You can’t manufacture championship deciders. Wrong.

  110. Matt H says:

    I wonder if the location of the last race had a factor in the decision for Double points in the last race.

    Think about it, if the last race of the season was still in Brazil would they have gone with it considering, as any F1 fan knows, Interlagos can at times be incredibly unpredictable with regards to the weather giving us at times very unpredictable races. Having the last race in Abu Dhabi is far less unpredictable being in the desert and harder to overtake, so far less risk invloved with the deciding the championship if it was to come down to the last race.

    Also it would be interesting to see a breakdown of what this will do to the entry costs. Correct me if I am wrong but it i remember rightly part of the entry cost is made up of points over the past few seasons results. I wonder how much of a % increase this equates to, and the how this is distributed between FOM, the FIA and the teams in prize money?

  111. Alistair Blevins says:

    Do you remember when Indycar had a bonanza final race in Las Vegas a couple of years ago? The world lost Dan Wheldon.

    It is extreme I know – the series and circumstance are very different – but placing the emphasis on a single race where the pay-off is significant must increase the risk by a similar order of magnitude.

    Aside from that, surely the performance of car and driver will be relative to previous races. Thus the primary impact of this ruling will be on the downside – harshly and unfairly penalising back luck.

    It smacks of decision-making for purely commercial gain.

    Disappointing.

  112. Andy C says:

    How about Double points for everyrace!

  113. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    I can’t believe Ferrari would approve of the double points final race!

    Consider just how bad they have been at in-season development in ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13 and how good Newey is by the final race!

    Aside from that, incase anyone is counting, it is a stupid idea. Some could even take it as an admission the sport isn’t entertaining enough in itself!

  114. Mark Ratcliffe says:

    If they don’t want a dull finish to the season then why have it in Abu Dhabi? Terrible race track, Brazil is always great.

  115. Mark Goulding says:

    Double points is ridiculous however if there was something like two shorter races (one saturday the other sunday) of 75% race distance i probably would have accepted and liked the idea (top 10 reversed for race 2). At least from a sporting aspect it would be a fairer comprimise if abu dhubi really wants extra attention.

  116. Grant H says:

    I think this double points thing is too stupid to be true

    Also do we assume bernie will charge the race circuits double the fee so they get the race which has most focus

    Its all about money dont forget the fans bernie!

  117. Grant H says:

    Ps its good to read a post where everyone is in agreement about this daft points rule, makes me wonder if 100 odd people posting think its bad why on earth have they gone this way

  118. Richard says:

    The only way to reduce costs is to make the cars simpler. Bring in restrictions on aero simpler powertrains, get rid of DRS, and ERS. Get back to basics with durable tyres, powerful engines, and significantly restricted aero, and hey presto most of the ills of F1 go away. The idea of cost cutting when the sport gets ever more complex is absurd.

  119. RogerD says:

    And so Mark Webber starts to laugh hysterically as he rides into the sunset. He did try and warn us…

  120. Dave says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is. Double points for ONE race? So what? Both titles will most likely be decided before Round 19 anyway! Red Bull Racing won’t stand still over the winter. They’re surely the big favourites for 2014. So this double points idea means little.

    If they want to change anything get rid of DRS!

  121. Miha Bevc says:

    Vettel’s childhood heroes were ‘the three Michael’: Jackson, Jordan & Schumacher. I bet he will take #23!

  122. Peter Freeman says:

    I would like to know more about how the 5 second penalty will be applied. If they are going to wait until the end of the race and then add 5 second its a terrible idea. We could see a close fought ending to a race with an overtake on the last lap, only to have the winner demoted afterwards with a 5 second penalty. Will this be good for ‘the show’?

    If however they announce the penalty and the next lap the driver concerned has to cross the finish line 5 second slower than his last timed lap then its a good idea. What we want to see is drivers finishing the race and being credited with their position. We don’t want to see a race and then later wait for the results as if they are two different events.

    1. Random 79 says:

      “We could see a close fought ending to a race with an overtake on the last lap, only to have the winner demoted afterwards”

      Nothing new in that, it’s just how they go about it that’s changed.

  123. JB says:

    Interesting to see that cost cap is coming in place. How will Montezemolo react this time?

    As for the double points on the last race. this means Abu Dhabi GP will yield twice the number of points. I would focus on making sure my car is design for that race more than any other race track.

    I think the fact that the double points finish can change the 2008 and 2012 world champion is really heresy to F1 history.

    Does that mean Red Bull will win again? In the past few years, Red Bull always dominates the new-gen tracks, Abu Dhabi is one track that suits Red Bull.

    This actually reminded me of an Aussie TV show called ‘talkin bout your generation’. Its a funny show where contestants earn points for answering questions. Then comes the finale challenge and on each show, the number of points scored is equal to the highest point scored minus the lowest point scored plus one point. That means anyone can win the competition by winning the final challenge. LOL! Its good fun…
    However, I’m not sure if I want F1 to be this wacky.

    Lets keep my mind open as much as possible but certainly it will put up a show with new possibilities that the tides can change in one race.

    1. James Clayton says:

      “As for the double points on the last race. this means Abu Dhabi GP will yield twice the number of points. I would focus on making sure my car is design for that race more than any other race track.”

      While I agree the double points system is absurd, it would be even more absurd to design your car around a track where 50 or 100 points are available (to team/driver), if it would mean compromising it on more than a couple of the preceding races which have a total of points 450 or 774 points available.

      1. JB says:

        I never said it is compromised for other tracks. Just because it is design to work well on Abu Dhabi does not mean it must be slow on other tracks.

        Even the championship winning red bulls are more focused on some tracks than others. It is actually very logical to design your car to be superb on many tracks and just on par on the rest.

      2. James Clayton says:

        “more than any other race track” must mean something to you than it does to me then.

  124. Garry J. says:

    If they really want double points for the last event, how about this.

    Still use the same points scoring per race as now (25, 20, 18, etc.) but forget the Saturday qualifying all together but race on Saturday with the drivers starting on the grid in reverse championship standing positions (last in the championship at the start of the weekend in pole position on the grid & the championship leader at the back).

    Then add the points from the Saturday race to give a new driver championship points standing. On the Sunday, do the same again (a second race with the last in championship points after the Saturday race starting in pole on the grid & the championship leader after the Saturday race at the back of the grid).

    A possible 50 points on offer for 2 wins over 2-days of racing plus amazing sport with the fastest car/driver combinations resulting from the first 18 or so races having to fight through from the back of the grid to take a truly well-deserved world championship. What a racing festival weekend that would be!

    How many others would watch this?

    1. F1S says:

      This would be exciting, but only in the same sense that GP2 reverse grids are exciting.

      The fundamental problem is that these are all gimmicks. and this is supposed to be serious, professional sport. All of the ideas I’ve heard put forward are fine, and would probably work. But we already have WTCC, IRL, GP2, World Series etc, which is where kids that want to watch “fun” motorsport can go to find it.

      This is F1. It’s the European Cup. It’s the Baseball World Series. And it ain’t broke.

      1. Garry J. says:

        Hi F1S, I could not agree with your sentiment more. As the author of this comment I would rather leave things exactly as they are. My suggestion was on the basis of if we are going to have double points for the last race weekend to ‘keep the championship alive to the end’ then I thought my suggestion was a better option than that now adopted. But really, I prefer to leave the weighting of the points scoring exactly the same for each race – be it the first, last or any classic circuit in any championship year.

        Happy Christmas to all & thanks for a fantastic job James & your team throughout the year. This site, & Joe Saward’s, are undoubtedly the best 2 F1 web-sites available on the web & the joe-public contributors, in the main, give thought-provoking comments & knowledgeable fan-based feed-back. Thanks to you all.

  125. Huwbat says:

    I’ve always thought it would be good ides to give the winner of one race a 2 or 3 place grid penalty for the next race. I don’t think this would be too harsh as to stop someone from wanting to win a race, but would be enough to stop a Vettel like domination of qualifying and the corresponding race.

  126. Paul Watson says:

    On the number front, i’m a bit confused with regards to Number 1. Lets say that Vettel takes up the option to be number 1. What happens then in 2015 if Alonso is crowned the 2014 champion?

    Does Alonso drop his moniker temporarily while he takes number 1 is will Vettel always be number 1?

    1. wdf2 says:

      1 is always reserved for the previous year’s champion. If Vettel takes 1 for 2014 and Alonso wins the WM, he gets 1 for 2015.

      Very clear. The question is, can Vettel *now* put in a request for a “permanent” number that he gets to use when he *doesn’t* have number 1?

      And, will anyone be brave enough to request number 13?

    2. Justin says:

      read the rules again mate, #1 is sacrosant for the champion, all the other numbers are fair game.

      1. Paul Watson says:

        yeh but moving forward, saying Alonso took number 3 for 2014 and then took number 1 for 2015, would Vettel have to then pick a new number or do you think he can pick a number now alongside being number 1? And if Alonso did take number 3 and then win the title, would the number 3 therefore be rested for Alonso to take up the following year should he not retain the title?

  127. holly says:

    I can’t believe Ferrari voted for the double points to get aproved. They can’t get anything right, anything…

  128. Martin (England) says:

    Why not just ban Red Bull for cheating, we all know they’ve been up to no good at various times since they became succesfull, breaking the RRA and people like Minardi swearing blind they have TC, the last few years would have been great without them.

    1. SteveS says:

      The changes are contrived and gimmicky, of course. But the problem is that there are an awful lot of fans who think that the FIA really SHOULD “do something” with the rules if a driver/team they don’t like is winning too often for their tastes.

      That’s a sharp contrast to the fans in “real” sports, for whom the integrity of the competition takes priority over all else.

    2. James Clayton says:

      “the last few years would have been great without them.”

      No they wouldn’t. The races were still pap.

  129. ferggsa says:

    Double points will not solve fan following, fans enjoy Vettel winning WDC by 3 points from Alonso(or whoever you cheer for), if he wins by 155 points (+-50 more) we call it boring

    IMO awarding many points (like they do at Indy or GP2,3) and having a large bias towards top results do not encourage winning, only makes reading numbers more difficult (and scares not true fans away)

    My biggest concern is that the new Strategy Group seems to have no imagination, they could come up with better “show” options: reverse grids (we could finally see Vettel overtaking, or not..), sprint races (full speed laps, no blown Pirellis), play off races for top drivers (Nascar again), handicaps (add 1 kg ballast per race won, or if you change helmet design)

    These options would not be F1 racing but might be more fun to watch for the average viewer if that is their goal

    1. wdf2 says:

      Quote: (we could finally see Vettel overtaking, or not..)

      Please. The Vettel-can’t-pass myth has by now the same epistemological status as the flat earth model.

  130. David Goss says:

    What interests me is what will happen to the team that breaks the cost cap (i.e. Red Bull) – points docked, exclusion from championships?

    1. F1S says:

      See penalties that have been applied for breaching RRA for details.

  131. Alan Revitt says:

    Re the extra points for the final round – why not go the whole hog and give the teams a joker card. They could then decide which race to play their joker and then we could get this card paraded at the start of the race by some scantily dressed lady. Hmmm, I seem to recall we have done this before – It’s a Knockout wasn’t it…and that was a farce too (and I haven’t even mentioned the presenter)! Bad idea which should be changed…

  132. audifan says:

    double points ? typical bernie bollocks

  133. Jim says:

    F1 is running through its own chicane field of ridiculous engineering ideas and the FIA has run out of bandaids. The FIA gets double points for being absent from the smarts factory.

    It’s a Frankenstein monster of bad carbon fiber quilting running amuk. Half the field will approach bankruptcy trying to make the 2014 nut-car run, only to hit a funding cap that will put the parking brake on things just when they think they’ve got it built.

    What has happened to these cars? Just watch the first race of 2014 as half the field drifts off to park on the grass completely overwhelmed with electro-mechnical glitches.

    Now would be the time for IndyCar to go global as F1 buries itself.

  134. All teams should just agree not to go to the last race or all of the teams should run the race in reverse gear only pulling a caravan/trailer

  135. F1 Bobby says:

    Total joke, FIA need to pull this stupid double points idea. F1 used to be above nonsense Americana like this. Not sure that F1 can look itself in the mirror and call itself the pinnacle of motorsport if it continues down this path.

  136. Fantastic Idea says:

    Starting numbers and 5 second time penalties are just cosmetic changes, not much to talk about.

    But, double points for Abu Dhabi? Double points for Suzuka would be more appropriate, but still terribly inappropriate. I hope that the drivers would boycott the final race. I definitely will, and I have to avoid every goods advertised in F1 for the rest of my life if they still decide to go there.

    Only rule change F1 needs is dropping DRS. Otherwise we will witness another year with no racing during the raceday. With current rules, only qualifying results can be taken seriously.

    However, cost cap is a great idea. Better 15 years late than never.

  137. David B says:

    I have to join in with the incredulity expressed for the double points suggestion/rule.. what are they thinking of. I can only hope that Politics is playing a large part and there will be some serious U Turns..maybe a double bluff to ridicule cost cap as it came under the same set of changes as the last race farce…
    PS
    They might as well extend the points down to 20th and then Marussia and Cateram would only need to turn up for the last race!!!

  138. Gavin says:

    If you ask me I would have rather have had the 2008 & 2012 championships go the other way. Felipe winning at home and a break in the Vettel domination would have been good moments for the sport and if the double points rule can bring about a different result every now and then I can’t see the problem. Is the chance of the championship leader getting knocked out in the final race all the more reason to watch it. It adds additional pressure to the teams and drivers alike which will lead to mistakes but can also bring the best out of people. I ask you this….if the rule was in force in this years championship would Vettel have been any less dominant? NO
    Could he have lost the championship at the last race? NO Is he the only driver whinging about the rule? YES

    On a side note I think that the pitstops have become a very predictable aspect of the race. How much excitement can be had in 2.5 seconds?(or maybe 2.4 if its a great stop!) blah blah blah.

    They need to reduce the number of mechanics in the pit box. maybe 1 for each side of the car or one front and one back. The stop will last for 10 seconds which will help mix up the order on track and there will be more emphasis on the team members during the stop. No extra man with the new tyre make one guy do it all.

  139. Rob Newman says:

    Double points is the most stupid idea. This will lead to teams having clear number one and number two. Team orders will dominate. Now that Webber has left, Red Bull will be able to handle this situation. But it will be very explosive at Ferrari and Mercedes. McLaren won’t have this problem because Button will be beaten from race 1 by the rookie Magnussen.

    Glad the mandatory pit stops was rejected. That is another stupid idea.

  140. Jon Entwisle says:

    I believe one of the unattended consequences of the double points scenario will be an increase in team order controversies . It will be a bad year for ” number 2 ” drivers who will be asked to let their more favoured teammates through in races throughout the year . Teams won’t risk their number ones losing points in fear of being caught in that last lottery round .

    Can you imagine Red Bull letting Ricciardo take points from Vettel . It will be interesting at Ferrari and probably shows how stupid their decision to take Kimi who will split points with Alonso too much !

  141. roeclue says:

    Really not liking the double points idea, why should you get more points for a race just because of when its on the calendar!!
    Really really hope they change their minds on it!
    I do like the driver numbers though :) & the 5 second penalties is probably not a bad idea either

  142. wdf2 says:

    My friends, it is simple. If you want to see “pure” racing — fastest vehicle/driver combo prevails — stick with karting. (As Senna liked to remind us.)

    F1 hasn’t been about pure racing since, well, I don’t know when. (Thought experiment: Imagine Gilles Villeneuve was dropped into F1 2013. My bet: He would walk away in disgust and return to snowmobile racing in Canada if need be.)

    There is far too much money involved in F1 for us to expect the “powers that be” to exhibit any common sense. (And I don’t mean the budgets, but rather the marketing dynamic, whether for the organizers (who must be masochists) or the teams and/or their sponsors.) These are the people, after all, who created the rules for the 2014 nose/wing configuration and then realized (or admitted) only a few weeks ago that it will make the cars look like a proboscis monkey. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proboscis_monkey)

    The only advantage of the 2014 regs is that they guarantee mechanical failures and in that aspect return us to the alleged good old days of F1. (“Clark was leading by 56 seconds when his gearbox failed.”)

    For that, I’m looking forward to the new season. But I suspect that the novelty will wear off quickly, and, like so many others in this thread, 2014 will mark the year that I end my decades-long love affair with F1.

  143. Old Dry Joint says:

    I think the idea has some merit… needs to be something like points +10% for wet races. Lets face it, we all love wet races.

    Mitch

  144. luqa says:

    Give ‘em Hell James!
    As I indicated on the previous thread, the double points for the last race of the year has got to be THE most brain dead and contrived piece of stupidity dreamt up by the FIA.
    If I really wanted such contrived nonsense, I’d watch the various forms of NASCAR inundating us here in North America 10 months of the year.
    I’v watched and followed F1 for 45 years and if this double points system for the last race remains, the 2013 season will have been my last. Will I miss it- absolutely, but the proposed nonsense is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
    WAKE UP F1, I’ll put up with a lot of contrived nonsense such as your condom thin tires, but such blatant favouritism for one race regardless where it is, is not on and too manipulative.

  145. yassin says:

    Hi james,

    Vettle has commented on the new double points system as and labelled it as ‘absurd’.

    I say points system has changed a few times the last two decades and everyone has got on with it. The current points system very clearly is favorable for a front running team.

    The 7 more points for first place gives a team a strong advantage specially if they win a few races and as I understand the current points system was suppose to make teams push to win rather than drive conservatively to gain points.

    With a strong team dominating like RB it is clear the points system needs to be tweaked how I do not know.

    The shame is our old buddy Vettel has to complain rather than get on with it like Kimi, Shuey and Alonso have done in the past.

    Never a World Champ in my eyes.

  146. Justin says:

    How about abandoning “points” altogether and crown the person with the best aggregate finishing position as the champion; tot up finishing position according to FIA results for all 19 (20, 21, 22…) races and divide by number of races; whoever comes out with lowest number has performed best over year and wins?

  147. wdf2 says:

    James – I certainly don’t expect you personally to be on call 24/7, but this site is (hopefully) a global phenomenon, and it is discouraging when one’s comment is “awaiting moderation” for an hour. (At least. I’m going to bed before I can see it posted.) .

  148. Dags says:

    The only way that this is going to be spiced up with any hint of credibility is to reduce the reliance on aero generated downforce by as much as 70%, bring in more tyre manufacturers for a good old fashioned tyre war and set a maximum size as far as members of personel at a given team (100 is a nice easy figure). As far as budget goes, that should always be as much as the team can generate, they should be restricted on what they are actually allowed to spend it on, ie wind tunnels and CFD. The body work and aero should be submitted for testing in January before the season starts to be tested by an independent body, and there should be a specific limit of overall downforce and downforce generated at each wing. If there are 2 things that kill F1, they are aero dependence and the tyre situation (as well as greedy fatcats).

  149. DrewTX says:

    James,

    Regarding your comment:

    “With diminishing returns from TV rights, the sport has been aggressively pursuing race hosting fees as a revenue growth area”

    Do you have any insight into why returns from TV are diminishing?

    Is it because TV audiences are shrinking? If so, then it is probably safe to assume that some fans are losing interest because of perceived lack of real competition and real racing, and a perceived increase in artificial elements like short-lived tires.

    It therefore seems odd that the F1 would respond by adding MORE gimmicks like Double Points for the season finale.

    It feels to me as though this is becoming a downward spiral:

    1. Too many gimmicks and not enough real racing -> alienated fans
    2. Alienated fans -> fewer fans
    3. Fewer fans -> less TV revenue
    4. Less TV revenue -> more gimmicks and higher race fees
    5. Higher race fees -> higher ticket prices -> more alienated fans
    6. More gimmicks -> more alienated fans
    Goto 1.

    As always, MANY THANKS for your excellent commentary.

  150. Mike P says:

    Hi James,
    Nice to see you come off the fence with regard to the double points…good job…. I think a straw pole on the double points plan would be good ldea.

    Even 24 hours later, I still can’t believe that anyone who knows anything about F1 could have come up with this one……… shame on you all!!!!! and to hear that the decision was supported unanimously by the teams in attendances, well my respect for them has totally evaporated.

    If you look back on F1 over the past 3 or 4 years, you’d be hard pushed to do a better job of destroying a sport than the FIA, FOM and now it seems the teams have achieved. ….. well done guys…. good job.

    I bet Frank Williams wouldn’t have supported it if he’d been allowed to participate.

  151. Adam says:

    So Ferrari would have won 2 more recent WDCs with the double points rule… Jeab Todt is impartial and I bet the thought never crossed his mind ;-)

  152. Peter W says:

    I think this double points thing is a good idea, but it doesn’t go far enough. I think the track is probably under utilised on a Sunday, so I think the FIA should set up a fair ground arcade on the main straight and we can put on games for the fans in the main straight stands to watch. We could have:
    1. All the drivers play a game of musical chairs, and the eventual loser has to wear a pair of steel cap boots for the race.
    2. The guest driving standards official (Mansell, Prost etc) throws a dart a board with balloons. In each of the balloons is the name of a driver, and the name that comes out of the burst ballon is the pole sitter for the day.
    3. Each driver puts a ball into one of those laughing clowns. At the end of the chutes that the ball lands in are numbers that represent the number of crew that are allowed to work on the car during pit stops.

    I think these sort of games will provide the entertainment for the masses, that the racing itself is clearly unable to provide.

  153. Liam in Sydney says:

    In terms of double points, it’s a sad day for F1.

  154. Ben Dziekan says:

    It is safe to assume then that no driver will want to carry the “No.2″ on the car then…

    This might well make Mark Webber the last man to ever race (and stand on the podium with) the “No.2″ on his car. Somewhat appropriate!

  155. Eff1osaurus says:

    This rule is ridiculous!

    Heck, why not give them all bumpers and have them banging wheels and and flinging it up the inside into turns, scraping of mirrors and paint…perferct for Maldonado and Perez!

    we could even let them have personalities and argue about who was right or wrong after the race on camera, with a few fists for good measure…

    and donuts…lots of donuts…

    wait…they’ve already done that…its called Nascar

  156. Eff1osaurus says:

    In South Africa they also changed the rules repeatedly in the most popular categories…what happened, manufacturers pulled out (BMW auctioned off thier kit to the highest bidders!), the public stopped supporting, and the local racing scene is a shadow of it’s former self…the best years were late 80′s and early 90′s…just google Stannic Group N, or BMW325iS (Sa homologation) or Opel Superboss (another SA “special”)

    The F1 anoraks on here would cry if they saw how the legendary Kyalami looks these days…in fact it’s future is in doubt and we may lose it to developers…

  157. Trent says:

    Pardon the ignorance -
    #5 and #7….what’s the attraction?

    1. 5 was Mansell’s number for years while he was at Williams (Jenson was quite happy when he got it this year). Not sure about 7 though.

      1. Michael Allfrey says:

        Number 7 was Sir Stirling Moss’ racing number. Just like Nigel Mansell’s Red 5.

  158. HansB says:

    Very good and critical article. Thanks for that.

    The double points system for the final race is not good at all… yes it might bring more tension to the final race… but it is artificial. Why not make it 4 times the points, or maybe 200 for a win ? These kind of rules bring in the luck factor: Who is luckiest man in the final race. It is the same as artificial flooding a circuit, an idea from good old Bernie that luckily never got through.

    Didnt Formula one start as a game were the combination of best driver in the best car wins the championship ?

  159. The idea of double points just reveals the dire financial situation that F1 is in and how utterly silly ideas make it to the fore. It just points out how far astray the sport has gone from it’s basics. I would argue that ignoring the core audience has led to this situation. Take me for example, the last time I spent money on going to a race was in 2003. I would have spent more in the years between but I did I not because I disagreed with the directions the sport was taking with Mad Max at the helm playing out personal vendettas followed by other
    silly ideas like DRS and a single tire supplier. How many more core fans like me did the same. If you build it they will come has an analogy in F1, if you make it real they will come. Ignore the hardcore F1 fan at your peril

  160. Alberto Dietz says:

    Gentlemen, no F1 season dominated by Michael The Greatest was ever dull.

  161. Hugo says:

    Actually I think that the problem with the new double points in last race idea, is too little to be really effective, if all what is at stake is to increase viewing number for it….Why not make it 5 times the points? For those who think that doubling the points was a brilliant idea (personally, I think is one of the most idiotic, ever) just make it 10 times better !! For one, with the current point system, it would be almost impossible for anyone to come to the last race with an advantage of 125 points….naahhh, would not have changed this year, so let’s say 8 times!!, and we can be sure that the last race will determine the championship, but why to stop there? Surely there are other gimmicks that can be used to cheapen the sport? Random speed bumps in the middle of the race will surely add spice and uncertainty to any race? How about night races with no lights, or at the very least, partial, sudden blackouts?
    However, nothing would bring in more viewers than removing most of the security aspects of today’s cars, to ensure that a driver or two get killed or maimed on a routine basis? After all, the romans had tremendous success with gladiators getting killed, for the amusement of the masses? Should F1 not try a proven method?
    I guess we have reached a point where artificial ways have to be found, in order to have a new champion, so why not to expel Vettel and RBR ? F1, instead of going forward, keeps on regressing with idiotic gimmicks

  162. Nator says:

    Obviously the people that make these decisions are on the take. An absolute joke. I agree with all negative comments here.

  163. BoogWar says:

    Personally, I’m no longer a fan of F1 after this year. I live in the Caribbean, the only reason I got my 4DTV sat setup was so I could watch F1. Engine changes,tyres and DRS has done me in.

    I agree with most of you with the double points in the last race rubbish. The passion has gone from F1. It can be seen in the drivers faces after the race. What they have succeeded in doing to F1 is akin to giving all fielding positions in cricket baseball mitts and saying bowlers can only bowl underhand.

    Let me tell you what I would love to see.

    Extend the calender to 22 races. Make tyres that can be driven on. No DRS, no KERS, no push to pass. Enforceable salary cap is a must. Make the FIA hire the drivers, and pay the contracts, or some designated independent body. Bring back in-season testing in abig way. Then make every driver drive two races for every team during the season.

    I will not be renewing my 4DTV subscription this year. I can get NASCAR on the cable I have. NASCAR, at least, panders to something exciting. Ain’t no push to pass there.

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