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Winner will not take all in F1 championship
Winner will not take all in F1 championship
Posted By:   |  08 May 2009   |  12:21 pm GMT  |  41 comments

There was quite a bit of chatter last week about the inclusion of the ‘winner takes all’ clause in the 2010 sporting regulations, whereby the driver who had the most wins would become world champion.

The FIA had tried in March to introduce it for the 2009 season, but needed the teams’ agreement, which wasn’t forthcoming. It was assumed by most people, including teams and by me, that the system would be introduced in 2010 instead. After the World Council Meeting on 29th April, the rules were published with the winner takes all system in place.

Now it’s gone again.

Two days ago, May 6th, the sporting regulations for 2010 were published again, but with the original system back in place, instead of winner takes all, it says the following,

“The Formula One World Championship driver’s title will be awarded to the driver who has scored the highest number of points, taking into consideration all the results obtained during the Events which have actually taken place. ”

In other words back to the way it has been in recent years.

It turns out that it was not something slipped in to the rules on April 29th, but there was simply a mistake made in the version published after the April 29th meeting. When the teams brought it to FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting’s attention it was quickly rectified in the version published on Wednesday.

There is so much else going on at the moment with the row over the budget cap, that it seems winner takes all will be taking a back seat for the time being.

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Probably a good thing given the way this season is going as Jenson would be well on his way to the championship by now (not that'd I'd have any objections seeing him win).


Dear James,

Don't you know why the FIA did not published the regulations yet in the "F1 Media Section" in their site? Since the season started it stands "Available soon..." I thought it will change when ICA announces the verdict about the diffuser, but not...

It is very funny in a way.


Alistair Blevins

Phew! Common sense prevails. For the time being at least.


Do people remember a time when F1 was less about rules and the FIA... more about the drivers, the driving and the teams?
Or am I just looking back with rose tinted glasses...


good. never liked the idea from day one.
I'm not one of them, but I do know people who would've stopped watching as soon as the champ for the season was confirmed, so imo they should just stick with what works.


Phew at least one thing turned out good today

Peter Freeman

Yes thank the Lord for that! It was a terrible idea that really was not thought through at all...

But I do like the idea of more points being awarded to the winner, any chance?


couldnt they open up the point scrore and give points to more drivers lets say from no1 to 12 or 15 or even further down.
no1 is given 20 points, no1. is given 15, no3. given 12 or 10 and so on. and also points for pole position and fastest lap during the race. I think it will motivate the drives to give 100% through all weekend.

brown eyed girl

fabulous, looks like they took notice of us telling Bernie and his silly idea to naff off somewhere else

my faith is restored... well mostly


I wonder if the results from the first four races have contributed to the turn-around?


it's not the first time something slipping in FIA documents ...
remember WMSC McLaren 2007 transcript with black stripes which can be read easy when copy/paste text?

such a mess ...


Thank you very much for bringing us this fantastic news.

Gary Davidson

12-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 is the way forward I believe.

Taking Bernie's theory into consideration about drivers settling for points, the 8th to 4th places will only get an extra point, but that's to be expected as that's how it is now. A driver in 4th may only get an extra point for third, but he has the incentive to challenge for a place on the podium. The 3rd place driver would challenge for 2nd as he would get 2 extra points rather than 1, and the 2nd placed driver would (hopefully) go all out attack for the win and the 4 extra points on the driver behind him.

That's my theory.


You would think with the amount the rules change year-on-year the FIA would be better at version control!

A friend of mine (who isn't an F1 fan) commented the other day on F1 and how the rules always change and it was confusing...

He did watch a GP last year and ALMOST fell in love with the sport on the spot - It was the Belguim GP and he found this confusing as well.

My view is that if the FIA/FOM/FOTA want to get new fans (like my friend) interested in F1, they need to stop confusing people.


All I can say is...

Thank the maker!


Phew. I hated that system from start to finish and I'm glad to see it's gone.

A huge thanks for updating us on this James, the media has also been completely distracted by the budget cap issue.

This has become one of the best Formula 1 blogs out there, you should be very proud.


Duh 🙁

Any chance of it being revived do you think James or is it now firmly off the cards?


Thank goodness for that. It was a silly idea anyway. I agree with others in saying that there should be a bigger gap in the points between 1st and 2nd place though.

I think also that there really should be points awarded throughout the classified field. Surely this would more racing all the way down to the back of the pack on the chance you could pick up extra points?

Jose Arellano

What about FOTA system ???


given that they were not highlighted in red like normal, i can only guess this was an error - one which i'm very happy has been rectified! one positive bit of news for F1 this week at least...


Accidental Appearance of Common Sense at FIA !!!

Chairman denies responsibility !

'It was three ovver fellas an' anyway I wern't there, guv !

A spokesperson said,

'This is a very dangerous precedent and measures will be taken to ensure that it never occurs again ! '


Is this necessarily the end of the saga though? Will Bernie bring it to the fore again in the near future when the cost capping issues subside? He still has time to have it put through


Thank goodness. Winner takes all was a horrible idea. All that needs to be done is to add a couple of points to first place. 12-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 seems good to me. that increases the reward for a win (and the incentive to get from second to first), but doesn't completely ignore the hard work of a driver and team to have even managed to get to second at all.


Bernie is a Nutty Proffessor. I mean where else you see something like this happening. It's the biggest motorsport series in the world and rule changes happen in a way like - Bernie calls Max to drink tea and tells him that let's make it winner takes it all for 2009 and lies that all the teams agreed on that, when if I remember then only Force India had anything positive to say about it, well they are dead last, never gonna win a race sure they can agree with that. 2nd thing, there was this voting about it on site, where all the fans could vote, yes or no for "winner takes it all". I think the result was so negative against it that they have not showed us results. Some 90% fans telling that it's no good idea but still I see Bernie in f1 sites telling that it's all good and all like it...If this ain't no circus then what is?


While I am very much against medals system or winner takes all (whatever we want to call it) I do not think it was aimed at those of us that watch and enjoy F1 like a religion. Friends of mine that don't care about the sport like the idea because it was more simple. I tell them they are idiots but maybe it was designed for the heretics. Some motor sports have incredibly complicated points systems where the points leader can have over 1000points and that does put me off following.
A win is worth 10 pts, not 12, 15 or whatever.


Here's my solution: why dont they just award an additional 10 bonus points to the winning driver only, not the team. That way a win is really significant compared to 2nd place, but a driver who is consistent gets at least some form of chance at the championship.




Glad to see it has been scrapped, seemed like a terrible idea from the start. I wouldn't mind seeing points be distributed further down the field as Martin H suggests though, anything that make the racing more competitive throughout the field appeals to me.


I saw the A1 GP at Brands' Hatch on Sky the other week ... THAT's how motor racing should/used to be!

Anyone know if Masters' GP is still going, and if so, can it be seen on TV?


I do DC and by golly I wish we were back there. This political nonsense is ruining a fabulous sport. Sure there needs to be some regulation but the balance is all wrong.

James, is there anything you can do about it?


No, I think you're bang on!

Peter Freeman

No Never heard of S&W... 🙂


Yes, we broke through 500,000 visitors in April. I'm very proud of that and thanks to all of you for coming to the site and for (hopefully) spreading the word. Let's keep building it..


I went to visit a friend the other day and couldn't remember this website's address when using their computer, so used Google to find it.

Google had 299,000 references to James' website. Not bad in a few months!


Me? I don't think so. Give it a chance, this is a massive moment for the sport, but it's a process they have to go through, The sport would have gone off a cliff if costs remained unchecked. Max has gone for the confrontational route, which is his way, rightly or wrongly. But he felt that the teams would have taken too long and come up with an insufficient answer. He needed an answer which would guarantee that three new teams could come in, in case one of the manufacturers decided to do a Honda. Let it play out and see what we end up with then judge it.


Of the cards for a while, a much bigger game is in play


Perhaps the "mistake" was realised when the vehemence of the opposition was felt once again.
Who me, cynical? 😉


Hi James - I woke up this moring really looking forward to the GP this weekend, then suddenly I broke out in a cold sweat when I realised Legard was now comentating - When are they going to move him onto the CBBC F1 comentry and get you back in with Martin?


They are not in the media pages AFAIK but have always been here: [Link]]

Although the tech regs are still only a summary and I would like to see the full version.


More points to the winner would be good, they should never have ditched the 4 point gap when they introduced points to 8th. Great at getting it half right.

ps not the Peter Freeman who retired from S&W last June?

Peter Freeman

I agree!


No, I think it was a mistake, a cut and paste error..

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