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Wolff admits controversial double points system is unfair
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Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  22 Jul 2014   |  5:11 pm GMT  |  195 comments

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said that Formula One’s controversial double points system is “unfair” and that the sport’s team should not have allowed its introduction.

In a post-Hockenheim debrief, Wolff continued his weekend comments on the low turnout at the German GP (where a crowd of approximately 50,000 watched the race), saying that the sport needs to heed the opinions of fans regarding certain developments in F1.

“We have to understand the fans and their criticism of certain aspects of the sport,” he told Mercedes’ website. “Should we have agreed to double points? No, we shouldn’t have.”

Expanding on the theme, Wolff said: “I would be very surprised if [the championship battle] didn’t come down to the infamous double points race in Abu Dhabi. Even if one driver is 30 points behind, he can turn that deficit around if the other car retires.

“I don’t think it’s fair and I don’t think we should be doing it from a sporting perspective. But from the view of the commercial rights holder, whose interests lie in selling sponsorship and growing TV audiences, the system works.”

The Mercedes boss added that should the title be awarded thanks to the controversial system, it may affect the championship runner-up badly.

“Of course, if a driver wins the Championship on double points he won’t care how it happened,” added Wolff. “But the one who loses may need psychological treatment afterwards!”

Wolff said that the low crowd figure for the German GP was “a real shame”, but he insisted that Formula One “is getting it right” in terms of the spectacle being offered to fans.

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 17.08.41“To be honest I’m not really sure [why the figure was low] because this is not the first great race we have had this season,” he said. “The last couple of rounds in particular have been great to watch, with lots of overtaking everywhere on the circuit. It’s been mega sport, with some spectacular moments and great racing. I think this shows that Formula One is in really good shape.

“It’s important we understand the big picture, as from the sporting side I think all of us are getting it right,” he added. “We have to properly analyses why there were not more spectators in Hockenheim, as it was a real shame. I’m not a marketing expert in terms of why we may or may not have a particular moment behind the sport or a particular sportsperson. Having a local hero definitely helps a lot. Viewers switch on because they want to see their heroes compete – for them it’s all about the drivers and this is one of the appeals of the sport.

“The situation is far more complex than that, though. I think people have far more options in terms of how they can follow the sport than they had 10 or 15 years ago. Back then you wouldn’t open up the internet and have everything available to you instantly like you do now. Perhaps this has an influence, but unfortunately I don’t have the answer.

Regarding taking fans’ concerns into account, Wolff insisted that Formula One “does not need a revolution”.
“As team members we must be careful with out opinion on these things,” he said. “We are running teams and this is what we understand. Bernie is running the show and there is nobody better out there to do this [than him]. We’ve had good conversations about it over the last few days and we are going to have more opportunities to give our input but it is not our role to give an opinion on matters such as ticket prices and we shouldn’t try to interfere.

“There are many things to look at but Formula One definitely does not need a revolution. This should be an evolutionary process. We need to be open to all opinions and help to shape the direction of the sport moving forwards. As a group the teams talked the sport down at the beginning of the year, so in a way many of us are to blame.”

 

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195 Comments
  1. glen says:

    His comments are spot on.

    1. furstyferret says:

      If ham and rosberg are still pretty close at the last race, and both have reliability it will not matter, but the nightmare is if one of the drivers is 49 points behind, hes trailing in 2nd place on the last lap the other leading mercs engine goes bang, and hands the title, will be totally ridiculous, who ever it is , rosberg or ham, personally, I think it will be a slightly tainted wdc..

      1. Kram gp says:

        I was just in England for a few days on holiday and had a beer called fursty ferret, any relation?

      2. Timmay says:

        Slightly tainted?
        That’s kind.

      3. furstyferret says:

        My favourite drop of english ale ok not slightly tainted, an injustice for the unfortunate driver

    2. Sebee says:

      Team building exercise at Mercedes results in broken bones on 2 key team members, including Lewis (aka Mr. Unlucky) engineer braking ribs?

      How about taking a page out of Kubica’s book and having a poker game for team building instead? Think about it Mercedes.

    3. YVR says:

      Spot on but waaay late.

  2. Anil says:

    I went to Silverstone this year and I will not be going again until they sort out track limits. I was sat at Copse and despite the amazing Alonso overtake on Seb, I was left disappointed by the amount of times drivers were running off. Run off and fuel+tyre saving have ruined the sport for myself and many others. Double points is just laughable.

    1. littleredkelpie says:

      agreed. where are the consequences for getting it wrong these days – far too often, there aren’t any. dull. the need for safety is obvious, as is the problems with sand-traps … so what about electronic barriers? – cross one and go to last position. not difficult.

      1. Anil says:

        They should just put grass or astroturf on the exit of the corners; neither are dangerous but both will slow the cars down and provide an incentive to actually take the corner. That said, there should certainly be gravel on slow corner exits!

        Le Mans uses a special surface on corner exits which completely slows the cars. I don’t know why F1 doesn’t adopt the same thing?

      2. Brian Bell says:

        Make it like a console game…..run off the track and you are limited to a low RPM for 5 seconds. Apply to drive through/stop go penalties as well. Stick a big flashing light on the back that will flash for 2 or 3 seconds before the limiter kicks in to warn following driver of impending slowness

    2. Seifenkistler says:

      F1 is all electronics and it should be easy to automatically check for leaving track and then also automatically disable using KERS for the following round for the driver or something similiar.

      1. aveli says:

        some how they don’t want to lose the power to intervene. at the moment all the cars carry gps so it shouldn’t be difficult to identify cars exceeding track limits and applying the necessary penalty. an electronically automated penalty system is the ultimate but they are scarred of losing control over who is penalised and who isn’t.

  3. Gaz Boy says:

    Can the double points decision be reversed – if the teams unanimously agree to scrap it? Or is it rubber stamped definitely?
    If it is definite, then it’s too late Toto – the (turbo-hybrid) horse has bottled from the stables long ago!

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Sorry, I mean “bolted”. Bottled from the stables? Sounds like a euphemism Luca Di Monty would have come up with!

      1. finster says:

        Gaz, Good one| Paints a disturbing picture though. LDM under a horse…….well you get the picture. Fuel additive perhaps?

    2. AuraF1 says:

      From my understanding of the strategy group rules they can vote to scrap it for next year but not alter it for this year as it doesn’t fall under any safety or technical change. I suppose if they all agreed to ignore their own rules they could but Bernie has six votes and wouldn’t support it anyway.

  4. Tyler says:

    If Merc was behind he wouldnt think so. Hey Toto, how about your team being allowed to break the rules and change brake discs? Fair?

    1. Steve Zodiac says:

      Don’t matter, the good ol’e FIA said it was ok so it is not technically a rule infringement.

    2. jean-luc says:

      Lets be serious for once. I don’t think this has got anything to do with Mercs in front or behind nor with brake disc nonsense during last race week-end in Germany.
      This is what we are talking about: Shortly before the start of the current season, somebody came up with the ridiculous idea of double points for the Abu dhabi race. However silly and unsportive the idea was, the whole padock felt it was the greatest idea ever and went along; Ignoring the clamour of desapprobation from fans. This year, a driver 49 points behind the leader going to the last race could win the DWC. Would it be fair or a total let down for the sport?

  5. Jodum5 says:

    James, why haven’t journalists fully questioned team principals on the decision making behind the double points rule change? It really doesn’t make any sense. Having double points in the last race would not have prevented Vettel from dominating the 2013 world championship. And in a closely fought championship like this one, it trivializes a full year of hard work by BOTH drivers. Double points is not only unfair, it’s daft. Serious questions need to be asked by all team principals as to how the teams arrived at agreeing to a knee jerk rule change.

    1. bavman says:

      Bernie Trying to fix a problem that actually doesnt exist,
      trying to keep the championship alive till the last race, meanwhile in reality land, from memory, (and im getting old) at least 3 of the last 5 WDC’s have gone to the last race anyway, … surely some-one will prove me right or wrong.
      and unfortunately, history has shown us the Teams could never agree on what shade of Green the grass is, let alone agree on some rules, as they are all too busy pushing their own agendas, or stopping rivals getting theirs.
      Twas ever Thus – Twill ever Be

      1. iceman says:

        A 3/5 chance is not good enough for the Emirs, they have paid to have the championship-deciding race and they must have it. That’s the problem Bernie was trying to solve.

      2. Lindsay says:

        The title race will already go to the final round. Hamilton could win every race from now until Abu Dhabi and still not win the championship.

        That point will not be lost on the F1 promoters. Everyone will still be talking about about this for the rest of the season.

      3. Lindsay says:

        Like it or hate it, the rule has already achieved its purpose (keeping the championship alive until the final round).

    2. Andrew M says:

      The bizarre thing is that in all of his world title wins (plus 2009) Vettel has tended to come on strongest at the year end, so double points would only serve to make his victories all the more secure (yes yes I know the stats say 2012 would have been a Fernando championship, but with the title on the line Vettel/Red Bull would have played that race differently, they stopped pushing when the title was safe).

  6. AuraF1 says:

    Yeah – probably shouldn’t have voted for double points then. It’s great admitting it after the fact when you’re sure one of your team is definitely going to win the title and the constructors is sewn up.

    Still at least he’s acknowledged there are issues. But kowtowing to Bernie and playing the ‘oh we’re just humble race teams who know nothing’ is a dangerous game.

  7. luqa says:

    Well Toto, that is not rocket science, more like stating the obvious!

    Double points has totally turned me off the F1 Drivers Championship. Whosoever wins it on that basis will never be taken seriously, and there will always be an asterisk or black spot associated with it. Any driver who is so arrogant to accept the championship on the basis of double points will have totally lost my respect, both now and into the future.

    1. Zesssmo says:

      I don’t agree with the “Any driver who is so arrogant to accept the championship on the basis of double points will have totally lost my respect, both now and into the future.” Both drivers play under the same set of rules. Who ever wins the WDC would and should be proud of it.
      I do agree that the rules are nonsense but there were there at the beginning of the season.
      Changing rules midway a season are more concerning. Let’s hope they drop it, but only for the next season onwards.

  8. goferet says:

    Definitely, the double points decision shouldn’t have gone ahead seeing as not only were the drivers against the concept but the fans too.

    But one thing that’s true is destiny usually gets it’s calls right. I mean if you’re to win a championship, not even lightening can throw you off course e.g. Lewis’ 2008 season.

    So I believe come the end of the season, the right driver will win it as he would have done the best job over the course of the season.

    As for the decline in attendance at different venues like Hockenheim, I have a new theory it being that it all has to do with culture.

    For instance, in Germany their first love is DTM racing as the country isn’t so much into F1 >>> but then came a real charismatic winner in Schumi who got the country to love the sport through his talent in poor and good cars and seeing as he was the first local champion, this got the whole country hooked.

    But when Schumi retired, the country didn’t have a driver to get behind which wasn’t helped by the fact that new champion Vettel tended to struggle at the home base.

    Same thing can be seen in other regions like Spain. Not only is MotoGp the nation’s favourite pass time but also Spain didn’t have a world champion before Alonso and thus no love for the sport.

    More examples are cricket is India’s favourite sport, Nascar is the USA’s favourite motosport and martial arts is Korea/China’s favourite sport (with lots of local heroes).

    1. Peter says:

      SO I guess Lewis was right then – Nico isn’t really German since the Germans are not embracing him as the local hero.

      1. goferet says:

        @ Peter

        Yes, I too agree.

        The problem is Rosberg left the country when we was really young.

      2. Kay-gee says:

        Lewis never said that

    2. Chris says:

      You have some valid points when it comes to the low attendance of Germany. In my opinion there is something that much more important. Ticket pricing does not reflect these correct differences in passion for the sport. For example UK and Italy that are strongly behind the sport have good audiences despite the high price of the ticket. Thus the organizers (Bernie and company) need to reduce prices so that the venues are full even if ti means lower margins per person. As the fixed costs are high to stage such an event I doubt 50000 are enough to cover for it even with the current crazy prices
      Another point that one needs to consider is that people are poorer to the past due to the financial crisis. In the past probably they could attend their favorite sport and F1. Now they can afford just one, so if F1 is their favorite they will attend, other wise no.

  9. PaulL says:

    “Wolff said that the low crowd figure for the German GP was ‘a real shame’, but he insisted that Formula One ‘is getting it right’ in terms of the spectacle being offered to fans.”

    (1) The “action” is contrived and meaningless; perhaps the fans aren’t as silly as they look; perhaps we’ve gotten over F1 because it delivers drama but not sporting drama or theatre.
    (2) The characters are too staged managed.
    (3) The restrictions on development produce a static pecking order throughout the season.

    1. Rich says:

      1 – not really contrived, yes there are tools to get cars closer together, and yes sometimes the DRS is too easy, but on the whole the racign is so much better as a result. Alonso and Vettel being a prime example – are you telling me you haven’t enjoyed their battles?

      2 – same in every sport. Red tops to blame for that one!

      3 – they are designed to stop the rich teams developing even further ahead than the teams with less resources. Yes this season is dominated by one team as a result, next year wont be the same.

      It’s a great time for f1, no boring races, no reliability problems. It’s not perfect – there are issues with it being a pacing exercise rather than a sprint, but even the days of sprinting from start to finish weren’t that great.

    2. Alec Tronix says:

      And all this happened in 14 days since the ‘sold out’ Silverstone race?

  10. Rod says:

    The double points idea is the worst EVER! It’s unbelievable that seemingly sane people proposed and approved this idiocy.

    The more they try to make it a “show” the more REAL fans they will lose. F1 was always a purists type of sport. If it’s all about money, then maybe they’re right. But I can see a future where the real meaning of F1 will be as fascinating as that of pull-trucks or mud-wrestling

    Thanks Bernie for painting us into this corner.

  11. jaakko says:

    -Bring back a second tyre manufacturer
    -Much more standardized parts so that the differences would be smaller
    -Allow testing during middle of the season
    -Allow engine development throughout the year
    -Get rid of unsportman double points
    -Lower the ticket prices at least by 50%
    -Stop racing in exotic tracks where no people are coming to watch races. Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Bahrain, China and Russia should be forgotten. F1 needs tracks like Spa, Monza, Red Bull Ring, Nurburgring, Silverstone etc. Bring back Magny Course to F1 season

    1. Eggman says:

      YES MAGNY COURS! Please!

      1. the_rh1no says:

        We’ll probably need a replacement for Russia…

    2. Kram gp says:

      I find it ironic that the big oil nations have been courting F1 for years, and when they finally get the races F1s charisma dwindles in part because of the races in the very same countries.

      1. aezy_doc says:

        It’s also ironic that these nations are now watching cars zoom around a track powered by electricity and having to ‘fuel save’.

    3. Ben says:

      - I’m really not sure what a second tyre manufacturer would achieve…
      - More standardized parts? This would push F1 more towards a spec series and would only be a sticking plaster solution to the real problem which is massively unfair distribution of the money.
      - Testing is already allowed mid season – there was a test after Silverstone and other tracks
      - There already is some development of the engines allowed this season but it is only for certain components – the cost of the Renault power unit (the worst on the grid) is already the most expensive, if it was allowed to be developed only Red Bull and Toro Roso would be able to afford the updated engine and meaning the gap between Red Bull to Lotus/Caterham would get even bigger.
      - The double points is very unpopular and I will be shocked if it is still there next season.
      - Lowering the ticket prices would be pretty popular but a lot of tracks still sell out even with the high ticket prices so it fits the supply and demand model… I am use to paying similar amounts (as I paid for a general admission ticket for Spa last summer) to go to music festivals but the difference is that you get a lot more for your money. The only thing that was included for the price was the commentary on the pa system around the track but that kept cutting out. There were support races but nothing else at all. Site wide wifi with an app to help you get more from your viewing experience would be great, I’m sure lots of other people could come up with other ideas.
      - Out of the track you mentioned to get rid of, at least two are well attended – Abu Dhabi and Singapore. Singapore is described as the new Monaco and I have been told by my friend who works in one of the teams that if there is any race to go and watch live Abu Dhabi is the one! There is a lot going on that is actually included in the cost of your ticket lots of parties and glamour which is kind of what F1 is about (off track anyway).

      The biggest thing that F1 needs to sort out is the massively unfair distribution of funds, this would close up the pack a lot and mean that teams in the mid-field will be able to attack the top step by doing a better job. Teams should not get special treatment for who they are and there should not be a strategy group that is run only by the top teams and decides things for there own interest and not for the greater interest of the sport. I agreed with most of the things Wolff said apart from the comment about Bernie being the best man to steer the sport – once upon a time that may have been true but his time has come and gone. We need someone in charge of the sport that actually cares and is not in it to try and extend the profit margins at the cost of anyone or everyone else that gets in his way. I think Wolff was just playing the game stroking Bernie’s ego ready for what ever the outcome of the court case is.

      1. jaakko says:

        -2nd tyre manufacturer: I would like to have the era we had a bit over 10 years ago with Bridgestone v Michelin. That was really amazing.
        -Standardized parts: Yes, it would lover the innovation rate but it would make the races much more enticing. If you ask from me, this season and the last 3 ones have been extremly dull becuase each of the last 4 seasons has been dominated by a single manufacturer in the end. Mercedes this year and RB the last three. I would like to have a season where there are at minimum 3 manufacturers fighting for wins and championship.
        -The ticket prices are completely absurd. E.g. if I recall correctly the ticket prices to Austria this year were something 400e to the stand which would have suited me the most. I still think F1 race is something that all fans should experience at least once, but I would seriously consider going a second time. The prices are still out of league for many people.
        -Most of the F1 fans watch the sports through media from home. They – me including – don’t care at all about what after-party shows the race ticket holds. Abu Dhabi might be an unforgottable race in that sense but it lacks spirit which all the other great tracks have to offer. If you ask from me I would not hesitate a second as a fan to drop out Bahrain, China, Singapore of Abu Dhabi because they are just missing the factor. Think about e.g. Eau Rouge, Tifosos in Monza, Maggotts, Becketts and Chapel in Silverstone those places are simply magnificent both for spectators and racers. I admit most of the legendary tracks are in Europe but we still have Albert Park, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Suzuka, Sepang and Interlagos (and Fuji a while ago) outside Europe which are superb as well.

    4. neil says:

      Some thought on your points and why they are wrong or right:

      - 2nd tyre manufacturer: The FIA want tyres that degrade so that we have pit stops (for “the show”), a 2nd manufacturer will result in tyres that get harder and harder over time reducing the number/need for pit stops. Look at the tyre wars of early 2000s for how bad it can get. Never mind ending up with a situation like Indy where we had 6 cars racing. I think a single manufacturer is the best way to go for tyres.

      - Standard parts: This means teams have less to develop, would turn F1 into a spec series and stifle innovation.

      - Engines: Kind of agree with this but limits were put in to try and limit costs. I’m not sure if that’s working.

      - Double points: Yes, dump them. The single most stupid rule ever.

      - Ticket prices: These are set by the venue to recoup the cost of paying FOM (Bernie) to host a race (yes, circuits pay to host races). If FOM charged less, ticket prices could drop.

      - Locations: F1 is a world sport and needs to be seen around the world. The people that pay the money so the sport can run use F1 as part of their marketing so they need a race in places where they want people to buy their products. I don’t have too much of a problem with this providing the local population also embrace F1. F1 does not need to be so Europe-centric although a race in France would be nice.

      1. deane says:

        Why the are right or wrong, *in your opinion*.

  12. SD says:

    At least either Lewis or Nico will have an “explanation/consolation” why he had lost the WDC thanks to the system.

  13. Olive noire says:

    Spectacle on track may have been good recently but too much visible s***** politics (FRIC being the last but going back to DRS and before, on top of the infamous double points). An do not forget paying TV… It is as if everything was made to make sure nor the real fan nor the occasional have a reason to watch F1.

  14. mat says:

    +1

    no double points next time !
    not sure what is the real correlation with number of spectators and viewers on internet/tv
    no dramatic change pls. we don’t want fantasy formula 1 or something artificially (more than now) interesting

  15. Guillermo says:

    James, any theories explaining the low turn out in Germany? Are there simply too many good options for European fans with Austria, Hungary and Spa?

    1. Ben says:

      There have been many theories banded around but one that I have not really heard anyone say is that it could be a cultural thing that F1 just does not fit in with the German philosophy. For example, they have got rid of Nuclear power and will not be doing any fracking because of public perception (even if there environmental merets has not been fully considered..) and they get the highest proportion of their energy from renewable. The excess of F1, money spent and waste that is involved may not sit well with the German Zeitgeist. Yes we have the new hybrid engines but is it too little too late?

      1. floyd says:

        I have been lucky enough to be invited to three Abu Dhabi races with good invites in the past. I love F1 but I have declined the invitation this year for two reasons:
        1. The noise of the cars was the main thrill and with that tempered down, part of the magic for me has gone
        2. The TV coverage is so good now that for me it beats being at the track.

        I don’t presume to represent public opinion but that explains one ticket down.

    2. PxB says:

      Joe Saward wrote an article about this. IIRC his main suggestion was that Schumacher had an appeal to the masses (and particularly working class Germans) that others haven’t been able to match.

      With so many German drivers, and especially Vettel and Rosberg, you’d think that German F1 fans could find someone to cheer for. Or maybe their thoughts are more with Michael at the moment than with the racing?

      In any case it seems to be specific to Germany so it’s up to the German event organisers, and I guess Mercedes, to try and fix it.

    3. F1inDeutschland says:

      At the office here in Germany, people only care about Schumi. When Vettel was winning, it was Schumi’s comeback people were interested in. Now Rosberg is winning, it’s Schumi’s recovery (God willing) that people talk about. Nobody cares whether Nico wins or not, and the German TV team, which includes Nikki Lauda, clearly finds Hamilton 20 times more entertaining than him, although they admire Nico’s character more. I thought about going to Hockenheim, and although it’s only an hour away from me, I decided there were better things to spend money on, especially given that it was unlikely the seats at a reasonable price would afford any view of overtaking. Craziest of all, the hairpin where all the amazing overtaking took place on Sunday doesn’t have a grandstand! Great race to watch from the sofa, though, let’s have more like that.

      1. KRB says:

        Great post, thanks for the insight. I’ve heard that RTL’s pre-race coverage is basically all Nico and Seb, and is even more homer-ish than Sky’s coverage.

        Who are the RTL presenters? I know Lauda and Marko come on after each race.

        You’re abolutely right that it’s ridiculous that there’s no grandstand at the hairpin. That’s a prime viewing spot! A GP needs to be more than just a race. It needs to be an EVENT, where a race just happens to break out. There should be concerts on the Friday and Saturday nights, camping, etc. Basically a Glastonbury festival feel, with the smell of gasoline and burnt rubber mixed in.

        They should have a radio channel where you can listen in to the different teams’ pit-to-car radio, and FREE phone apps to give timing info, etc.

        Look forward to other posts from you.

  16. VV says:

    If he thinks it’s unfair and that it shouldn’t have been voted in, why did he vote for it in the first place? It was apparent from the very beginning that it wasn’t a popular move out there on the internets.

    Or is it only an issue now that Mercedes are front runners and one of their drivers might be affected?

  17. aveli says:

    i don’t understand why the double points is described as unfair. it was introduced at the start of the season, giving every driver and team equal opportunities to earn double points. how can that be unfair? I’d understand if it was introduced mid season with one driver with such a huge advantage that only the double points system would give the chasing driver a better chance for the rest of the season.
    i first thought it was strange when i first heard of it but after a few months of thinking about it i see that’s it’s a good idea to keep the attention of the fans right up to the last race. nothing unfair about it.

    1. Phil says:

      You can argue that it is fair as everyone has the same opportunity but I say it’s unfair in that it makes the result of that one race worth more than any another race. Why should the winner of that race earn twice the points of any other race winner? The achievement is the same therefore the reward should be the same. It’s an unequal reward for the same achievement. Therefore it is unfair.

      Would it be fair in football if you said the last goal of the game actually counts for two goals? No. A goal is a goal and a race win is a race win. They should all be equal.

      It’s a stupid idea that undermines and makes a mockery of every preceding race.

      1. aveli says:

        are you sure you thought this through? why is it that the winner scores 7 points more that the driver who finishes second and the second place driver earns only 3 points more than the third place finisher? is that fair? how much more effort is required to finish a place higher towards winning?
        changing the rules mid season is unfair. designing a system of awarding points for poor driving, using it to penalise drivers for specific offences and then deciding not to penalise other for committing the same offences is grossly unfair.

    2. Bobbyf1 says:

      Because it’s unfair by it’s very nature.

      How can one round, contested over the same distance, in the same time, with the same regulations as the other 18 rounds of the championship be deemed twice as meritworthy? It’s complete nonsense.

      1. aveli says:

        what is the same about any of the races? it is the last race at a very far away place. have you considered how long the half point rule has been in place? have you ever heard anyone mentioning that the half points rule is unfair? or better still, have you ever complained that the half points rule is unfair?

    3. RacingFanatic says:

      Driver 1 wins 2 races – 50 points
      Driver 2 wins 1 race – 50 points

      How on earth is that fair?

      1. aveli says:

        have you heard of any driver being awarded half points for winning a race after going through all the preparation for the race, going through qualifying and through no fault of his own the races was stopped a lap short of full points ?
        isn’t it fair that everyone is aware of the value of the last race from the start of the season? this focuses the minds of all the competitors to keep the suspense to the last race. isn’t that why we watch sport, the suspense?

      2. aveli says:

        how does the double points compare to the safety car rule?

    4. M Wishart says:

      Ok Aveli look at it this way.

      Lets forget about points for a minute and say every time a driver wins a race he wins £1000.

      But in the final race, when they have put in the same amount of effort, the same amount of fuel, etc Well this time you now get £2000. Double the money. Have you done anything double to earn the extra money? Did the winning driver do any extra overtime to achieve the higher amount? NOPE.

      So it is not FAIR.

      I speak about money because getting back to the points etc, who ever wins the championship, money does come into it because some where down the line they will earn more money than if they didn’t win. i.e. Rosberg wins: More sponsorship, he is now a World Champion. Hamilton wins: He is now a Double World Champion, more money and sponsorship.

      So my point is this, it is not fair at all and the double points will affect the winner by earning more money somewhere down the line……..

      SCRAP IT NOW, BAN THIS IDEA AND F1 GROW UP

      1. aveli says:

        awarding double points at the last race is fair because all the teams signed up to it before going racing. i have never heard anyone complaining about half points being unfair. it doesn’t matter which way you look at if you agree to a set of rules before the competition begins you should not then later complain because you feel like it.

    5. moxlox says:

      Aveli, I quite like your half points argument. Interesting take on the new rule.

      For me I’d be happy with double points if the last race was 400 miles long.

      1. aveli says:

        @moxlox, there’re is no direct correlation between poins awarded and race distance within the rules. will a 400 mile race be more spectacular than a 200 mile race? don’t forget that it’s all about attracting eyes, pairs or singles.

  18. AlexD says:

    My only hope for this year is that the title is won before the disaster race in Abu Dhabi. I am short for words to express how insulting this decision is. It is pretty much FIA is saying to all fans that we are idiots that care about artificial entertainment more that the challenge of the true sportsmanship. I see many people switching off from the sport because of the rule….let’s see what happens. It looks like FIA needs more races like the one in Germany last week. I have been to several myself….but never again.

    1. Mark says:

      Sorry, meant to reply to AlexD, not aveli

      I do not see that happening.

      The biggest that the gap has been all season is 29 points which is now half at 14.

      Hungary is coming up, and barring any mishaps for Lewis who has won this race 4 times, the gap will be down to 7 and then we press the reset button again.

      Even though Lewis has won quite a few of the races which are left on the calender, and if he manages another 4 race winning streak again, you can pretty much guarantee that he will get anothe DNF somewhere with Nico not getting any and then the gap will be tiny again.

      So, there would be no need for double points as it is neck and neck all the way.

    2. Bobbyf1 says:

      I know how you feel but the fact that we’re all hoping it doesn’t have a bearing on the outcome proves what a joke it is.

      I actually hope it does affect the outcome so there is a massive outcry and they pull this idea for all future seasons!

  19. Dai Dactic says:

    ‘. . . may affect the championship runner-up badly . . .’
    Not nearly as much as it will affect the credibility of the title in particular and the ‘sport’ in general.

    Easy solution : officially put it to the fans’ vote before it’s too late.
    Rather than just ‘listen’ to us, they need to act.

    ‘. . . Formula One definitely does not need a revolution . . .’
    Not in terms of the format – but the dinosaurs that run it still don’t grasp what modern communication is all about. They appear to be able to pronounce and remember ‘internet’ but have absolutely no clue as to its current power.

    I repeat – ‘INTERNET’ – for anyone in ‘authority’ bothering to read this.

  20. Steve S says:

    “To be honest I’m not really sure [why the figure was low] because this is not the first great race we have had this season”

    I’ve been hearing for years that the supposed dominance of the Red Bull’s was bad for the sport. Why is it so hard to imagine the vastly greater dominance of Mercedes might cause some people to lose interest?

    In the four years from 2010 to 2013, 77 GP’s, RB won six races with a winning margin of over 20 seconds to the first non-Red Bull car.

    In just the first ten races of 2014 there have already been seven races where Mercedes have had more than a 20 second gap to the first non-Mercedes. Mercedes are making people long for the close, competitive racing of 2013!

    1. the_rh1no says:

      I get your point, but it was nearly always Vettel that won the race. At least this season it is even between the two drivers.

      1. Bobbyf1 says:

        Plus they’re really fragile. With a Merc in front there’s still a good chance it’ll break down before the chequered. With Vettel it was over and done on Saturday. Crikey it was a boring year.

      2. Steve S says:

        “it was nearly always Vettel that won the race”

        In other words, close racing with Vettel winning is far worse than uncompetitive races with somebody else winning.

      3. the_rh1no says:

        Steve S, maybe we have a different opinion about definition of competitiveness. End of last season 9 wins in a row for Vettel, 13 overall. I very much doubt that the same will occur this season. There seems to be genuine competition for the drivers championship this year, however the winner of the constructors championship looks all but decided. I had nothing, but admiration for the way that Vettel seemingly had complete control over the championship, my comment was not a dig at him.

        I think there are quite a number of people who are not as interested in the Constructor’s championship as the drivers championship. Whilst like last season there is a constructor who has done an amazing job and produced a brilliant car, unlike last season there are 2 people who are genuinely competing for the title. It is partly why, like so many others, I feel that this season is more competitive than say last year.

        All I can really say is that I’m still really enjoying F1 this season, I can’t wait for Hungary.

    2. PB says:

      All of what you’ve mentioned can be explained just by the fact that Red Bull in those years was acting much like a one car team putting their weight behind just the one driver – I’m not saying whether it was right or wrong or whether or not Seb was clearly much faster than Webber (that’s a separate debate), but at the end of the day their two cars weren’t competing with one another hence there was never the need to stretch the car’s legs and reveal it’s true pace.

      If anything, this year has seen much better racing than the last few. Plus I think Pirelli have got the balance right this year allowing for reasonable durability but also leaving room for strategic play. There are competitive and close battles all over the grid, with the teams (including Red Bull) not choking the racing. Would it be better if Mercedes was not that far ahead? Of course, it would! But then, it’s not a perfect world…

      As long as one can accept Mercedes winning, there are a number of reasons that make 2014 a great season to follow.

      1. Steve S says:

        The “2014 is a great season” argument rests entirely on the fact that one of the drivers competing for the title (in fact guaranteed at least a one out of two shot at the title) is Lewis Hamilton.

        if Massa and Bottas, or Hulk and Perez, or Chilton and Bianchi, were driving a car miles ahead of the rest and having their own private battle for the title while Lewis was fighting over third, fourth and fifth place how many people would be claiming that this was a terrific season? Very few, and we all know it.

    3. ferggsa says:

      For TV viewers, an 8sec plus lead from VETs RB or 20sec from HAMs MB look the same, the next car is out of frame anyway and camera follows battle for 4,5,6, etc or wherever something is happening

      I do find this years -.2 sec qualy difference between MBs and some intra team fights more fun than previous +.5 sec qualy and very rare fights between WEB and VET

      I think the best about this season is the more balanced driver pairings and, diregarding the fight for the two top spots, the best of the rest tussle has been more varied depending on car, track, tyre degradation, dsqs and dnfs, not to mention Massas off track trips

    4. Anil says:

      There was no competitive racing 2013 because of the tyres and the fact that Seb was going to walk most races. This year we’ve actually had battles that have last lap after lap.

    5. pargo says:

      Yes, you are right. Watching F1 this season to see who will take final podium step is hardly exciting.

    6. Rohind says:

      Absolutely Spot on…

  21. Andy says:

    I have never understood why the teams agreed to double points in the first place, how did they not see that it was a bad idea. Perhaps their own greed and self interest got the better of them, again.

    One thing is certain, if a driver, most likely Hamilton or Rosberg, wins the championship as a result of the double points ie they would not have won if the normal points system had been in place, they will be called the World Champion. However, I think most will see him as the winner of a tainted World Championship, if not unjust, and the drivers don’t deserve that when it’s not their fault.

    1. Pem says:

      So let us hope that the winner is leading by 51 point yes

  22. Ian says:

    “Even if one driver is 30 points behind, he can turn that deficit around if the other car retires”

    Eh? Even if he’s 49 points behind, he can win if the guy ahead retires (or finishes 11th). What’s 30 got to do with it?

    1. Liam says:

      “Even if he’s 49 points behind, he can win if the guy ahead retires (or finishes 11th). What’s 30 got to do with it?”

      I think you’re missing Toto’s point. At 49 behind unless you’re looking at a double 1st-dnf (unlikely) the championship is pretty much over at race 17 on the old scoring scheme. At eg 30, it’s over at race 18. This exaggerates the unfairness…

  23. Grant H says:

    Bit late now toto

  24. Gordon Divitt says:

    I really believe the days of going to a track are coming to an end.

    I’ve always loved the sounds,smells and rubbing shoulders with knowledable fans but it’s one of the worst places to watch a race and I’ve often come home and watched the taped event to figure out what really happened. Add in the ticket cost, travel time and weather . . . .

    F1 needs to target digital audiences and refuce curation – let folks watch the car/camera of their choice with the choice to tap into the commentary at will.

  25. Joe S says:

    Why didn’t he and Mercedes say no to it before the start of the season then? As usual. the people who can do things are a lot of talk and little action. It’s very easy for him to comment on it now when there’s no chance of it being overturned.

    Though he is right about the sport needing a revolution. Every season now there is some big rule change. There is no stability in the rules and regulations and there hasn’t been since the mid 00s. It’s irritating that those at the top of F1 think the sport needs to be constantly changing. It doesn’t and it puts off people like myself.

  26. Timmay says:

    DRS was the moment F1 jumped the shark, When combined with weak tyres, no refueling, no development, homogenous parts, long duration parts that have to last 5 races, lower revs, etc the whole sport has moved from a pure race into an endurance test. The passing which used to be exhilirating is now processional, push to pass, almost always onthe straights, and no longer decides races as much as it just blends into them.

    Drivers are boring corporates nowdays, and stewards & ther penalties are over rigorous too.

    I have stopped watching and thats after 20 years hardcore fandom. The sport is ruined.

    1. aezy_doc says:

      If you’ve stopped watching then you will have missed some great action this year. yes many overtakes are DRS assisted, but it does work to prevent processional racing. A few years ago the only way to win a race was through the pitstops. When they get the DRS zone right it works well, with battles into a corner. At Silverstone and Hockenheim we have seen some great overtakes and battles through corners that you would not normally expect and the racing was great at Austria too (overtakes through Copse for example and then into the stadium section in Germany.) The stewards have now backed down on the penalties and are looking to be more lenient.

      1. Basil says:

        But the suspense and thrill has vanished. Yes, let them drive around in their mega-lego mobiles, let them show the world how progressive and ‘clean’ they are, but don’t ask me to waste my time watching this corporate, money-grabbing, hypocritical and false circus.

        THIS IS NOT GRAND PRIX RACING

      2. aezy_doc says:

        What is Grand Prix racing in your view? Has the suspense vanished? What caused the suspense in the first place? And since when has f1 been anything other than a corporate, money-grabbing, hypocritical and false circus? It’s been that way for the last 30 years that I’ve watched the sport. No one is asking you to do anything – free world, go and watch something else.

  27. JF says:

    I can’t remember anymore: is it double points for first place only, or double points across all top 10 positions?

    First place only could reverse quite a gap even with a 1-2 finish between challengers (assume both Merc).

    1. JOS says:

      good question. I’m assuming its for all the points scorers.that makes the catherham/marussia/sauber battle very interesting too…

      1. JF says:

        That would make most sense, most articles I see out there on the webs focus on the 50 points to win, no mention on the other finishers.

    2. ferggsa says:

      Yes, double points all
      As JOS says below, all battles will be involved, MB duo, best of the rest, mid fielders and tail enders get to participate as well (as long as they finish in the top 10)

  28. DC says:

    Did the double points change not go through with the teams’ blessing at the time? If so, the comments are great, but it is the actions that matter.

  29. Pkara says:

    It is unfair but we’ll just have to see how it works on Double Points Day.
    For all we know it could won by another team other Mercedes…over the summet break we could have Red Bull or Williams or McLaren or Ferrari making a leap in performance.
    Though its a highly unlikely scenario.
    For all we know it could be a Lead Balloon on the day. Like FRIC gate.
    Be thankful we dont have the Bernie’s automatic sprinkler system or a Joker Rally Cross lap ( that would be entertainment:-D).

    Come on Lewis Kick Ass :-) & have a Gremlin free race to the finish.

  30. D1M0NST3R says:

    I really dont care about this today! MEXICO GP coming november next year! :D

  31. Caterhamfan says:

    What’s wrong? Double DRS zones, double points for the final round, inconsistent application of rules (cross the white lines this week/here, but not that week/there), changing rules part way through a season, terrible TV coverage (in NZ we get a mix of pictures from one provider and commentary from another – so the two often don’t match, but, presumably, it maximises Bernie’s income!). The cars look and sound dreadful and there’s not been any real attempt to get a budget cap to help keep the sport “affordable” for the smaller teams. Too many gimmicks, not enough real effort to promote overtaking/racing.

    1. Ben says:

      What TV coverage do you get in NZ? In Australia we get the world feed with Sky UK’s commentary over the top. Very occasionally they’ll be talking about a replay only the UK viewers can see, but it’s pretty rare. I think the worst thing here is how Channel Ten treat the coverage, shifting it between channels, HD one week and not the next, quali in HD but not the race. Sometimes you only get 5 minutes of coverage before the race starts :(

      1. Random 79 says:

        True, but at least it’s still FTA and apparently it’s still better than what NZ gets so it could be worse :)

      2. PB says:

        That’s pretty much how it works in NZ – race coverage starts at 11.55pm for European races with a warm up lap starting at 12 midnight. Same with the replays when the commentary is irrelevant to the pictures on screen. Where it gets worse is that we need to pay at least $65 per month for this cr*p as F1 is only broadcast over Sky.

        I don’t feel proud about NZ in saying this, but a NZ based F1 fan is better off watching it on BBC iPlayer or a dodgy internet stream which broadcasts pictures as well as commentary from Sky F1 UK.

      3. PB says:

        Plus that way you can also catch all the pre race build up as well as post race analysis!

      4. Drew says:

        Totally agree with what you say about the Australian coverage. It’s awful.

      5. Caterhamfan says:

        To be honest, I’m not sure what coverage we get – but we have to suffer David Coulthard’s hopeless comments (does he actually watch what’s happening?) We also suffer from the erratic treatment of coverage – different channels, sometimes we get all three practice sessions, sometimes just one or two; sometimes we get qualifying repeated before the race, sometimes not; sometimes the race is replayed, sometimes we only get highlights. Even with a video recorder we don’t always get to catch everything because channels and timings change :(

  32. zombie says:

    Has Williams benefited massively from Toto’s conflicting interests in both Mercedes and WilliamsF1 ? Apart from the incredibly good Mercedes turbo engine, is there more that Williams is sharing with this year’s all conquering Mercedes ?

    1. Random 79 says:

      Besides a surname of Wolff? Doubtful.

    2. ferggsa says:

      Yea, the Wolff name

    3. Tyemz says:

      If that’s what it is, then we need more conflicting interests in F1. If Mercedes’ dominance is trickling down to Williams, it is in stark contrast to the Rb dominant years where the only thing that seemed to be shared between both sides of the garage was when one car was turned into a spare parts reserve for the other. And it’s not like Mercedes are complaining anyway

  33. Christopher Cathles says:

    Seems he is sticking to what he is good at, and not interferring with other people’s jobs. Likewise, not tying his drivers down to Team orders, and letting them race freely. A very commendable attitude for a corporate person – unique in fact…..

    1. Christopher Cathles says:

      27 July – post-race
      I spoke too soon – “Lewis, let Nico pass……”

  34. Wade Parmino says:

    Even if the double points for the final race alters the outcome of the championship from what it would have been under normal points, it is still fair because the rules were decided at the beginning of the season and it applies to all competitors. In my opinion, Alain Prost won the 1988 championship as he had the most points. However, due to the nature of the particular (ridiculous) points system at the time, it made Ayrton Senna the winner. Rules are the rules.

    If Sochi is cancelled (although unlikely), it will just be like moving the points from that GP and adding these to the Abu Dhabi GP. Still not quite as fair as normal but it could be seen as some degree of compensation to the fans who have been so overly outraged by the double points idea. I would rather it was points as normal for all races too, but some people have seriously overreacted concerning this issue. There are definitely more significant problems with Formula 1 at the moment; having double points at the final race of the season is not what is causing a massive reduction in followers of the sport. As far as negative things go regarding this season’s rules, this is at the bottom of the list.

    1. Pkara says:

      Russian Grand Prix must be cancelled if anyone in the F1 or FIA had any sense or feeling towards the civilian plane full of innocent lost souls murdered in an act of terror by Russian backed & equipped with anti aircraft surface to air missiles.
      Russia should not have any sporting event for a lifetime for each of the Children,Mothers,Fathers ,Sister, Brothers , Eminent Research Scientist & Doctors , Cabin Crew that were lost.
      Russia has blood on their hands from Ukraine to Syria.
      They desrve be annexed from all sport.

      1. Wade Parmino says:

        I usually try to stick to the topic of Formula 1 but I will say this. I agree Sochi should be cancelled as a sanction against Russia due to Russia’s belligerent foreign policies.

        However, it is inaccurate and propagandist at this stage to label the catastrophe an act of terror; it appears to be a genuine military accident having occurred possibly as a result of negligence. Russia and the militants have no motive to do such a thing, only a huge disincentive. It has done them no favours in winning support for their cause. If it was deliberately ordered by Russia, then the West should be ashamed of itself for not declaring war on Russia.

        The Malaysian airline should have erred on the side of caution (regardless of what the Civil Aviation Authority said) and rerouted the plane, avoiding a known warzone. The whole thing is terribly sad.

        The fact is that Russia (China as well) takes liberties with it’s neighbour’s borders, supplies militants and tyrants because they know there will be no consequences for their actions. The Western world (especially Western Europe) has developed a reputation for just expressing an opinion of disapproval, possibly followed by economic sanctions which are only ever imposed for a short period of time. The Russians will push, push and push right to the brink. If it happens that they push a little too far, they just apologise and take a step back. The West then responds with “well, since you backed off, that’s OK, no further action will be taken”. The Russians know Western Europe is dependant on their gas as well. Russia has the power in this twisted game of diplomacy and will continue to milk it for all it’s worth.

      2. monster says:

        By that logic, there is no country that you can have sporting event.
        Especially USA, where are plans to have 2 events.

        Last i heard France will deliver war ship to Russia, but having F1 in Russia is problem, now that is interesting.

    2. Pkara says:

      Wade
      I take your point & agree with a whole part of your analysis of the situation.
      But things have progressed further…
      Just yesterday the Russians downed 2 Ukrainian Military Aircraft the missiles were fired from Russia,
      near the border of the Rebel controlled part of Ukraine .So they certainly know how to distinguish military aircraft from civilian aircraft. An act of terrorism bu the rebels.
      The Russians don’t want anything flying within the rebel held air space. Russians are creating a zone of terror. Nothing can fly from Ukrainian airspace across the rebel held part of Ukraine.
      Rusdoa does not deserve a Grand Prix . World Super Bikes have already cancelled their race. But Bernie likes his top pocket full of cash & is a friend of Putin so however much it the world wants the Boycott. Bernie will race. Shame as Malaysia will find it difficult to let Mercedes Petronas go to Russia.
      Will be a hollow race & I wont watch if it runs. Leave a nauseous feeling watching Russian Politicians handing out trophies & the Russian Rich parading their wealth. Nobody mentioned the poor that were made homeless in Sochi over the Winter Olympics just for the building of stadiums & the Rich Oligarks Mansions.
      Sad place for sport to go.

      1. JDanek007 says:

        It’s true that of the state-actors w/ these G-to-A missile systems, only Russia has an interest in denying use of airspace to Ukrainian forces, but it’s still fanciful to suggest that dopey drunk Ukrainian traitor rebels and merc-for-hire Russian ex-Spetsnaz fighting against legitimate gov’t of Ukraine would’ve intentionally downed a civilian airliner. No doubt they shot it down, but not on purpose. It wasn’t an act of terror – it was a display of massive military ineptness. We can only hope, however, that there is no pressure being brought to bear on Poroshenko by F1 hosts like USA, Germany and France – oh wait, scratch that last country – to agree a cease fire.

        Ukrainian troops must continue their relentless advance and crush the illegitimate foreign fighters and treasonous pro-Russian rabble…and even then Russia should still not get to host & run its grand prix!

        Hopefully US Congress declares DPR a terrorist organization (despite everything I said above) b/c in that case, Russia will automatically become a STATE-SPONSOR of TERROR! Brilliant!!!

        That Bernie prefers to deal w/ a man as fundamentally evil as Putin shows just how morally bankrupt and utterly reprehensible is the leadership and ownership of F1 in the modern era.

  35. Ben Z says:

    No doubt Toto cane foresee problems in Mercedes if either Hamilton or Rosberg win the title over the other because of the double points system in the last race.

  36. BMG says:

    Whats unfair, is the freeze on development.

    Fans will not fork out large sums of money to watch a 2 horse race, everyone knows Mercedes have this championship and more than likely next years too.

    The way Mercedes went after Redbull during the Ricciardo appeal shows they only care about f1 if they are winning.

    They are holding a gun to the FIA’s head, have been all year.

    1. Grant H says:

      Like last year when seb won 9 in a row, this season is better

  37. don says:

    F1 is dying even though they won’t admit it. They should remember the KISS acronym – keep it simple stupid.

    They are overthinking stuff way too much – 77 rule changes since 2005!!

    1. Steve Zodiac says:

      Yep! F1 fans are a pretty intelligent bunch and all this contrived S H one T will not wash. Do what Lauda says, simpify it all this will purify the racing and cut costs as well. At the same time bring back some testing (with controls plenty of fans like to see it and it is all good publicity for sponsors) bring back spare cars (why let down fans that have waited all year?) and make the cars self starting so a driver can get going again ( why put so much work and money in and then lose it all on one minor glitch-stupid). And finally stop slowing the cars down so much, it is all a bit Nancyish these days.

    2. aveli says:

      name a more successful motor racing series.

  38. Bobbyf1 says:

    Good, I’m glad he’s spoken out – I hope this encourages the rest of them too. Double points is the worst idea ever seen in F1.

  39. mp says:

    1/2 a crowd in Germany for a 1/2 points race – seems about right.

    1. ferggsa says:

      Well said

      James, what is the expected attendance for Abu Dabhi?

      1. James Allen says:

        45,000 is a sell out

    2. iceman says:

      Brilliant idea! Award points at every round in proportion to the circuit attendance.

    3. aveli says:

      quality or quantity?

  40. August says:

    It seems like the revultionary ideas like DRS or double points don’t bring new viewers. Instead they alienate old viewers. With viewership in decline, should F1 rather try to keep the old viewers than desperately try to get new viewers? I mean reverting from those revolutionary ideas.

    1. Steve Zodiac says:

      Bit of both, you can’t live in the past or turn the clock back but youdo need to anylise and keep the elements that made it appeal in the first place. Remember the things around us change but people remain essentially the same.

  41. F Zero says:

    Toto Wolff has become one of my favourite things about F1. He in a position where he can speak straight and not worry about running PR lines.

    Lets hope that mathematically the double points race has no effect on the outcome of the season. It would ruin the best season we’ve had in years.

    Any chance it could be changed during the summer break? It’s a black cloud hanging over the whole season.

    1. matt says:

      if one driver keeps having reliabilty issues,itll ruin a good battle too.i looks like the wdc will come down to who has the best reliabilty,rather than double points anyway.

  42. the_rh1no says:

    Sometimes I feel like I am one of the only people who enjoys watching F1 these days. Yes there are some annoyances and of course double points is a ludicrous idea. Is there anyone else out there who has vaguely positive feelings towards F1 or is just me?

    I really do love this site James, however I feel if I keep reading comments I might start thinking I hate F1 as much as the majority of your posters seem to.

    1. Grant H says:

      I agree the on track action has been great this year, its the off track stuff which kills it for me

    2. Ben says:

      The negative voice is always the loudest!

    3. aveli says:

      looks like some people like to complain for the sake of it.

    4. ferggsa says:

      Welcome to the F1 fan club!
      Don’t worry, there’s a bunch of us hiding here

      Unlike VET, HAM or ALO die hard fans, we don’t care much who wins, and don’t believe in dark conspiracy theories, we just enjoy racing
      Not that everything is perfect, mind you, but still interesting enough

      As Ben says below, few people write to compliment, most do it to express their complaints
      Even so, most opinions are worth reading as well, so fun before, during and after the race, thank God for JA on F1

  43. Balsac says:

    I will be in the USA when F1 goes there but I won’t go because for me sound has taken something away from the sport and it’s not great that only a merc can win. Ross did do a very good job before being shown the door . So it’s my first nascar race and I can’t wait

  44. Ryan Eckford says:

    Hopefully one of them will win the championship before then, or the points tally is so tight between them that under both points system scenarios, that it will be a winner takes all race. I hate double points beyond 100%.

  45. Kristiane says:

    “I don’t think it’s fair and I don’t think we should be doing it from a sporting perspective. But from the view of the commercial rights holder, whose interests lie in selling sponsorship and growing TV audiences, the system works.”

    It hasn’t happened yet so how can Toto Schwarzenegger say “the system works”?

    It is so stupid in the way that F1 finds audience figures are dropping when fans have been complaining about the lack of noise, the wide front and tall + narrow rear wings, EDB, Vettel, bendy noses and flexi-floors were to blame, then Bernie decided it was the points that’s the problem. How the fook is points related??

    F1 is becoming a huge farce, bloody nonsense.

    1. RacingFanatic says:

      Hahahaha I like what you did there :P ;)

  46. Ozherb says:

    Have said all along (as it would seem have the majority who frequent this site) that the double points idea is ridiculous.

    If they can make a rule change that requires actual effort by the teams (removing FRIC), they can surely change the farcical double points rule.

    As for the state of F1 in general, I’ve loved the sport since I first saw it as a 12 year old. I’m probably in a minority here, but there is nothing they could do that would ever make me NOT want to watch it. I’m a fan for life.

  47. Ian says:

    Perhaps the drivers should all have a season ‘joker’ and play it at the start of the race of their choice.
    Then they get double the points they score in that race, just like that good old TV show.

    And then, after each race, spin a ‘wheel of fortune’ for each driver to earn bonus points if he can answer a trivia question correctly.

    Add on how many litres of fuel he has left, deduct the number of seconds whilst stationary in all the pit-stops he made and add the last digit of his racing number.

    That should spice it all up a bit…

    1. M Wishart says:

      I said that in a post many months ago and I agree with you this whole idea would be made better if everyone had a joker card to play..!!!

      May be in one race a driver could use a bumper car and take people out, it could be like Mario Karts and people shooting apples and orange, and laying the track with oil…….

      Yes that all sound so stupid and silly, but you know what, its just as silly and stupid as DOUBLE POINTS…..

  48. Jake says:

    “Viewers switch on because they want to see their heroes compete – for them it’s all about the drivers and this is one of the appeals of the sport.”
    This is only true for a portion of fans. Some of us enjoy the entire spectacle without firm favourites.

    “The situation is far more complex than that, though. I think people have far more options in terms of how they can follow the sport than they had 10 or 15 years ago. Back then you wouldn’t open up the internet and have everything available to you instantly like you do now. ”
    He is way off the mark with this statement, and herein lies a major problem with modern F1; that it has NOT taken advantage of the modern technologies.

    Most people have to pay to watch F1 on TV.
    Ticket prices are prehibitively high, even in the more affluent countries.
    There is no online alternative for watching a race in real time.

    Fix those three things and you will have viewers by the billions. Then there will be no need for the gimmick of double points.

    The racing this year has, despite my fears of DRS etc, been excellent. In my opinion all that is needed is easy access to watch the races, and perhaps a smaller focus on money-making by the owners which only serves to alienate those fans who are expected to have “ownership” of F1.

    1. JDanek007 says:

      Errr, so I guess you’re completely unaware of the fact that anyone, anywhere in the world can access the live SKYSportsF1 feed in near-HD quality on race day w/ a couple of mouse clicks to any one of a dozen websites that make it available free of charge? And that what Wolff is saying is that, unlike 15 years ago, there is massive coverage of F1 available online including in real-time via social media updates and post-race summaries that are available only as long after the race as it takes the author to publish his text – so w/in an hour, say – not to mention torrent sites like Racing for Me that all together mean you never need visit a grand prix or sit in front of a live broadcast to know who won and how?

  49. Jason says:

    Look on the bright side about this rule. It looks like the Mercs will be locked into a tight battle going into the last race. It will be winner take all. No being 10 points ahead and cruising around in second place. We would see some ugly scenes there with one Merc backing the other into traffic no doubt. Would be hilarious to watch. What we will see is an all our effort to win the race from both guys. I can see Nico heading to the last race ahead because of DNF’s etc for Lewis and then bottling it.

    1. Olivier says:

      +1

      People seem to forget that last year most F1 drivers were looking forward for the F1 season to end before they even turned a wheel on InterLagos. Driving the race was a mere formality to them. They were already looking forward to the Xmas break and the 2014 season …

      This will no longer be the case.

      All the hard work can be undone at the very end.

      Expect a raw ending of the 2014 season.

      There will be tears. Just like in 2008.

      Remember, it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.

      For 2015, please swap Abu Dhabi with Brasil.

      1. Jason says:

        I agree, swap Abu Dhabi with Brazil. The random nature of the Interlagos track with the weather would be amazing with it being an all or nothing race.

        I don’t like the double points rule but I do want to see an all or nothing race.

  50. Lohani says:

    My vote too on how silly and disappointing the double-point is in case FIA is listening as Toto says it should.

    Interesting to note that the last race is at Abu Dhabi – a venue that has never hosted the last race in F1. Correct me if I’m wrong. Interesting also that the UAE is a super rich nation with a bold drive to survive past the fossil fuel era. Land reclaimed palm Island and mini Earth are cases in point. They are bold and inspiring projects, no doubt. Is Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with double points for winner another such project?

    No one can deny that while the reasons given for the double-point system is to take the fight to the last race, it also humbles UAE equally well. Lots of attendees, lots of focus, lots of money (which will find its way to CWC, no doubt). Is this the motivation? If not, why wasn’t Spa, Monza, Interlagos chosen for the last race? They are real classics of F1. Me smells some’ fishy. No disrespect intended to UAE!

    1. Anil says:

      Abu Dhabi hosted the last race of the season in both 2009 and 2010. Both were utterly dreadful races, as the layout makes racing nearly impossible. It also has a very small capacity (45,000) so the atmosphere just isn’t there.

    2. M Wishart says:

      You are wrong.

      Abu Dhabi has hosted the final race of the season!

      Vettal’s first world championship, when Alonso got stuck behind Lotus/Renault in 7th place and Webb made a huge mess of crossing the winning line, which both gifted Vettal the championship because he went on and won that race and just did enough.

    3. Lohani says:

      Abu Dhabi has hosted the last race in F1. My apologies for saying otherwise.

  51. Olivier says:

    The Double Points Bonanza will sure create Outrage & Heartbreak. If that is the goal of the FIA, then they should go ahead. Personally I think it is a bit unfortunate to have the double points in Abu Dhabi. It is not a classic circuit. It tends to produce boring races.

    1. aveli says:

      it’s the last race and teams tend to loose interest in the championship by the last race if the main positions have already been decided before the last few races. the double points will keep their focus.

  52. FW14B says:

    If we must have a farcical rule such as double points, why not allow a driver a ‘joker’ which he can play at any race entitling him to double points for just that race.

    At least it would enable an element of skill from the driver and team predicting their competitiveness at any given circuit to use double points to their full advantage. Playing of the joker would be announced by all teams at the same time on race day morning so no team could react on the actions of another.

    Once played that’s it.

  53. Rohind says:

    This just in..

    Rumours abt an outrageously high offer made from Mclaren to Vettel ( From the mouth of Dr.Helmut Marko ) and Mercedes also showing interest in Vettel ( though unlikely)to have an all German line up for 2015

    Anyone has got anything to add?

    1. Kristiane says:

      Yer, heard that Vettel is going to retire for good.

  54. Grant H says:

    Ouch toto is reported to have had a cycling accident resulting with a lot of broken bones and metal work…get well soon toto!!!! Guess we wont see him at the next few races.

    I know how much that hurts cos same happened to me couple years back

    1. aveli says:

      he’s as tough as schwarzenegger so should be on the pit lane.

    2. Random 79 says:

      Maybe you, Wolff and Webber could start a cycling team ;)

  55. Harvey says:

    Double points is a farce. Cost control is a farce. Racing is Russia is a farce. Someone should ask Toto how his Petronas sponsors feel about having their marque displayed in Sochi come October. Even better, someone should ask Petronas.

    1. AlexD says:

      How is racing in Russia different from racing in Bahrain, China or US?

      1. JDanek007 says:

        Not to mention that fact that neither Bahrain, nor China nor even US govt are supplying advanced military air defense hardware to untrained, undisciplined, drunk rabble seeking to overthrow a legitimate, democratically-elected sovereign gov’t (diplomatically recognized w/ a seat at UN too, btw!), who then just happen to use it to murder nearly 300 innocent civilians flying over a European country at 33k feet.

  56. j says:

    If he doesn’t like double points then why did he vote for them?

    The rest of his comments are just putting his head in the sand. Attendance has nothing to do with German culture, or the world cup, or any of that. The same weekend there was a truck race at the Nurburgring that got 100,000 people and the weekend before another 100,000 went to the German Moto GP race. If F1 is only getting 50,000 then you know that will ring some alarm bells.

    1. Spyros says:

      Trucks? Was it at the ‘modern’ track or the proper one?

      I count myself an F1 fan, but between this year’s race and a bunch of trucks hammering down the Nordschleife (if that’s were it was), I don’t think I would have taken too long to make up my mind… I bet the tickets would be cheaper, too.

  57. M Wishart says:

    You can say all you like on the subject of the double points, but it really boils down to one thing and that is it is just “WRONG”

    Off the top of my head I can not think of another sport which when it gets down to the business end that it is made easier.

    I play sports my self, and once you get to the end after having a battle with another person, and you are at the business end that is when sport comes into its own. That is what sport is all about!! Its then a battle of will, a battle to make yourself go that extra mile, BUT DOUBLE POINTS JUST MAKES THIS INTO A JOKE…….

    F1 is fast becoming a joke sport……I like F1 because if something doesn’t work they change it, it may come at the next race, the next year or for major changes maybe a couple of years later. How many sports are prepared to do that? Change the fundamentals of their sport for the sake of the sport, but I am affaird that they have started to take this a bit to far and instead of making changes for the best, they are making changes that makes it look stupid.

    If the final race is won and it changes the way the championship is won, F1 will be a laughing stock to the world. Its not high on the agenda at the moment because its many months away and its not in many people thought process, but mark my words come November when the new champion is selected, if it swaps hands because of the final double points, there will be an out cry then and people will feel cheated because of the out come.

    I can see it happening right now, THANK YOU BERNIE……..

    1. Spyros says:

      I was agreeing with you, right until the ‘Bernie’ part.

      The team bosses agreed on this. ALL of them.

  58. Karl says:

    Red Bull Racing consultant Dr. Helmut Marko, who has Vettel under contract until the end of next year, said McLaren has made the four-time title winner an “outrageously” high offer.

    Source Autoweek

    1. Random 79 says:

      An outrageously high offer? Like a car that doesn’t break down every second race? ;)

  59. DTM says:

    If Hamilton wins the last race and wins the championship due to the benefit of double points, will people still think its unfair even if he suffers more retirements than Rosberg during the season?

    I don’t agree with double points for the last race (as its unfair) but curious to what people think of this possibility. I dislike the points system but I dislike even more the effect of car reliability on the outcome of a drivers championship. I think its worth considering going back to the old system (pre 1990), where only the drivers best results counted.

    1. JDanek007 says:

      ooo, interesting potential material conditional scenario.

      all I know is that, by hook or by crook, I hope Hammy is 2014 WDC!

  60. Fuzzy says:

    While we talk about how the double points will affect the outcome of the drivers championship the midfield teams are the ones that could really be affected most. There is little doubt that Mercedes will win the constructors championship and the monetary rewards that come with the title but lower down in the standing there are a number of teams in close battles that stand to win or lose millions. Just a thought.

  61. Jarv027 says:

    I’ll be keeping the normal 25 points at the finale. I’ll know in my head who was the real champion.

    P.S. James. Any chance telling Bernie to get rid of these stupid electronic advertising’s we are increasingly seeing on TV, they’re putting me off watching the race.

    One camera shot you see a Pirelli sign or whatever and then you see another camera shot and there’s nothing there!!

    I think F1 already has enough fakeness thanks:(

    1. Random 79 says:

      Just wait until they start introducing CG crowds.

      You know it’s going to happen…

  62. aveli says:

    the only unfairness i see is change of rules midway through the season. track limits were viciously policed in austria costing hamilton hugely during qualifying and yet ignored in Germany. once the season has started they should keep all rules the same until the end of the season for the sake of fairness. double points is surely not unfair in my eyes.

    1. Random 79 says:

      In that sense it’s not unfair and I agree 100% with what you say, but what Wolff is saying is that the rule itself is unfair (which I also agree with 100%).

      1. aveli says:

        i like your approach random 79 but double points will keep the teams all focused on the job right up to the last race, fighting for eyes focused on their sponsorship logos.

      2. aveli says:

        i like your take on logic random 79 but i am not sure if it is my place to be telling you about advertising. rosberg was on the podium to receive the highest number of eye focus. those eyes later read about his success on newspapers, magazines and internet, focusing yet again on his logos.
        williams built on their past small successes into bigger successes by getting rid of pdvsa and getting proper sponsorship. they caged their rottweiler and bulked up on key staff. look at them now, how many days have got by without a story being written about them in any of the media?
        i could go on but i think you’ve got the outline at least. double points could bring a team which maintain their focus from the back of the grid to the front if their competitors gave up to focus on next season’s car, resulting in further exposure to attract further sponsorship. all of a sudden double points are regarded differently. yes stories get written about battling cars too but more so if your cars is in with a chance. got it?

    2. Random 79 says:

      Sorry aveli but I can’t agree with that one.

      As much as the teams and their sponsors want us looking at their cars double points won’t make a speck of difference in that regard.

      The only cars we usually see are the ones who are fighting for position. Cars at the back are rarely seen – which is understandable – but while you would think that that the cars at the front would get more attention ask yourself: In the race just gone how often did we see Rosberg on the TV? Answer: Almost never.

      It’s my hope for Abu Dhabi that we get to see some good fights and that at the end of the day the double points won’t make any difference to who wins the championship, because if that doesn’t end up being the case then it’s going to be unfair and an absolute shame for whoever has to go home second.

      1. aveli says:

        if all the teams stop developing going into the last race and marsupial put most of their effort into the last race and win it, how much advertising will they get? they will be in all forms of media.

  63. Ekim says:

    “Admits” implies he was pushing for it. Was he, ever?

    1. JDanek007 says:

      Who knows if his original comments to MercAMGPetronasF1 PR were even made in English…may very well have spoken in German from which the english-language article was translated for posting to Merc’s site? Idk…just speculating, and can’t be bothered to go check on Merc site since JAonF1 did such a good job reporting on TW’s comments.

  64. dufus says:

    Double points is introduced to put more pressure on a team who has a big advantage.
    We know from the Vettel WDC’s that fans start to lose interest when a championship leader has a big margin. Double points means teams far away in points have a chance and a chance worth fighting for.
    So we can all blame Vettel and RBR for this ;)

    The point is that now you have the Merc’s running away with it but F1 needs fans to keep watching and attending races towards the end even if 1 team or driver has a big advantage.

    Make no mistake that the battle between ROS and HAM will keep the fans watching and thats what F1 management want and you know what, it’s also secretly what the fans will want when their favorite driver from MERC either HAM or ROS is behind with a few races to go.

    When the field evens up then lose double points otherwise stop whining about it because you know you want it !

  65. Victor says:

    It feels like ages since this ill-thought rule was set against Red-Bull-Vettel domination. Now the talk is about the Lewis-Nico intra-team battle.
    But what about the midfield? An Abu-Dhabi race with plenty of retirements (like Monaco or Canada) would for instance allow a midfielder to finish 5th, bringing 20 points to the team and overtaking a team or two in the Teams’ Championship. That is worth millions and the losing Team Principals will be in want of psychological help.

  66. Mack says:

    Double points – this is a good example of “group think” where the implications of the decision were not thought through. It has all the elements of quick fix marketing idea that did not consider the impact on the F1 brand and the consequential loss of followers.

  67. JDanek007 says:

    Toto, I thought you were better than this…

    “As team members we must be careful with out opinion on these things,” he said. “We are running teams and this is what we understand. Bernie is running the show and there is nobody better out there to do this [than him]. We’ve had good conversations about it over the last few days and we are going to have more opportunities to give our input but it is not our role to give an opinion on matters such as ticket prices and we shouldn’t try to interfere.”

    You suck, Toto.

    If Bernie was doing a properly good job, you wouldn’t be having to address plummeting TV viewer #s, depressed ticket sales, and worldwide, widespread fan-disgust with the state of the Formula (1).

    Just another “go along to get along” man whose expression of regret about agreeing to Bernie’s Folly (double points) rings totally HOLLOW.

  68. Paige says:

    I actually don’t think the double points system is a bad idea.

    It creates a big spectacle for the final race of the year and puts a lot of pressure on whoever is ahead in the championship going into the final race, as even a 15-20 point lead is not safe. It’s going to be a lot harder to win the championship by only having to finish fifth in the final race than it used to be, and I don’t think it is a bad thing.

    Where F1 gets it wrong is in the execution of the idea. If you want to turn the last race into a big spectacle, then add some more spice to the mix. Why not have the last race of the year at a different track each year? It would be a big honor for the track owners to be able to host the championship deciding event. Imagine the championship coming down to Suzuka or Monza or Spa on any given year rather than Abu Dhabi every single year.

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