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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Double Points At Final Race Tops New FIA Regulations
Posted By:   |  09 Dec 2013   |  8:25 pm GMT  |  373 comments

In an effort to prolong the Championship race of a Formula One season, the F1 Strategy Group and the Formula One Commission have announced that double points will be awarded at the final race of the season, from 2014 onwards.

The decision, which is just one of a raft of changes decided unanimously in Paris today is aimed at forcing teams and drivers to maintain their progression and performance in to the final lap of the season.

This therefore means that 50 points will be available for victory at next year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and 86 for a on-two, which may have some bearing on both the drivers and constructors’ Championship.

It is also interesting to note that should this rule have been in place in recent years, Sebastian Vettel’s 2012 title would have seen Fernando Alonso crowned as a three-time World Champion and Felipe Massa claim the 2008 Championship ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Along with this there were four more items approved in Paris this afternoon. Drivers will now have a free choice of their car number, between 2 and 99, and this will remain throughout their career in Formula One. This will allow for the return of iconic number and driver pairings, such as we saw with Nigel Mansell and throughout motorcycle racing.

The number 1 will be reserved for the current World Champion, should they choose to use it.

The third ruling today was a change to the penalty system, which now includes a five-second penalty for minor infringements – although the decision as to what constitutes a five-second penalty over a drive-through or ten-second penalty will be made before the 2014 season begins.

The final test of 2013 was also confirmed after much expectation and will take place in Bahrain on 17-19 December for a Pirelli Tyre Test. And although every team has been invited, only Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Force India and Toro Rosso have taken up the offer so far.

The test comes at a difficult time for the teams, both in terms of halting preparations on next year’s machinery whilst also reducing the much needed holiday period for those involved.

Finally, and of most significance for Formula One’s future is the approval of a cost cap from January 2015. The technicalities of this will be completed in June 2014 following discussions between representatives of the Commercial Right Holder and Teams representatives.

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Double points - mental


I've been on holiday until now, so no chance to comment.

But it's a stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid idea.


They're essentially disadvantaging the teams that get it right at the start of the season, and any teams that can't afford to develop their cars right up to the last race (ie the teams that need the most help).

If anything it should be double points in Aus...(but double points is a joke no matter what or where or when IMO)


Might as well start introducing playoff tournament races...


Completely agree. How rediculous!! Why should one round mean more than any other? Especially if it means that history in F1 is effectively 'wrong'.

And the worst bit of all, the last race is Abu Dhabi.

I have a strong feeling that Vettel will win the title at the last race, and only as a result of this.


And I'm not a fan of driver number choices. It works in MotoGP, but not here. I like how the numbers automatically reflect where the team has finished.

I like the sound of a 5 second penalty. That's what we need for incidents like Massa in Brazil or Grosjean in Hungary.


How about double points for tha last 2 races, or last 3 races,....or last 4 races...what a dumb idea!

...and any progress with the tyre debacle?


Agreed. Double points sounds like something from Its A Knockout, and not in a good way.

Five second penalty? Why? We already have stop/go and 10sec penalties.

A return to drivers keeping their numbers year on year? About time. Why was the old system that gave us red 5, numbers zero and 27 ever scrapped?

But double points... I'll have a pint of whatever they're smoking.


How about they all drive in reverse gear as well....?


And yet it was unanimous. Every rep needs replacing I'd say, not just Todt.


So this is what happens when the FIA has a vested interest. More money for the FIA from commercial rights means more incentive to get people watching.

If greed is the motive, then I hope it backfires and less people watch races during the season due to there being races of "Less importance".

I had nightmares after reading of this abomination this last night. It can't be real.


...and what is so special about Abu Dhabi anyway? Horrible race, little to no unassisted overtaking and overblown, opulent facilities - not even any champers on the podium. Double points for the 'proper' heritage rounds I could just about stomach (Monaco, Monza and Silverstone as they are the longest serving tracks), but Johnny-come-lately Abu Dhabi? Never!


What's special about Abu Dhabi? They gave Bernie a lot of money, that's what.


Totally agree!.

Ferrari & Merc have a good car at the begining of the season. But Seb & Red Bull can take it cool as they evolve their car during the season. Add to it some mid-season rule changes to suit them. They can always double it up in the last casino at Abu Dhabi.



lol, as I read your comment I realised they just made Vettel win next year championship with this rule change 🙂


James we need a poll, is that possible??

Tornillo Amarillo

I vote double points are OK, even for the 2 last races.


Why stop there? How about double points for 3rd last race, triple points for the next-to-last and quadruple points for the last?

The "exciting" possibilities are endless...


Such a poll could end up with the most one sided poll result ever. No one seems to be in favour of this.

Imagine Alonso has a 26 point lead going into the last race, and you know who - Vettel - pips him to the championship using the double points system. Surely no fan in the world would like that result, including fair minded Vettel fans. I reckon Alonso - who seems to be quite frustrated these days - would probably end up quitting the sport.

Why should one race be worth twice as much as any other race? Its a joke. An absolute joke. I don't remember there being any problems with interest in the last race in previous years, just 2013 really, and mainly because the unfortunately unstoppable Vettel romped to yet another title.

How about 6 points for a win on the last game of the football season? Or how about in the group stages at the world cup, the first two games are worth 3 points for a win, but the third is worth 6 points.

What an absolute joke. Lets have this poll and send the results to the buffoons who voted for this nonsense.


Agree with everything you say. This rule is a fallacy.

dimitar kadrinski

Vote is pointless. It is obvious the WHOLE F1 fan base is against this.. at least some of the drivers too (sure all will be if they are let to talk), the teams should be the first to oppose this (obviously) and who does that leave us with.. FIA and Bernie.

And i have just found out that it was supposed to be double points for the LAST FOUR RACES. So it is safe to say my parrot is way more intelligent than the rule-makers!


James when you do get around to making a poll, can you maybe make it more interesting than a Yes, No & neutral. I think these kind of polls ask for the intensity of the fans dis/agreement.

* Hell Ya
* [mod] no
... to
* I will personally connive with Greenpeace activists and try to remove the Abu Dhabi(Big oil) race from the equation.

Safe to say my vote will be in the bottom half.


Please do post a link/article to that poll on here. The fans have to be heard! I think this is absolutely preposterous!!!


I won't be surprised if they announce they are going to spread nails and carbon fibre at selected points of tracks !

This IS madness, and is just making a mockery of this so-called sport.


Only a matter of time before each team is given a "joker" to play, giving them double points at a particular event.......


Over 30 years watching this sport and I think this double points thing is the daftest thing I've heard in all that time. And there's been some daft stuff...

I feel like giving up. Maybe I'm just getting old.


+1 Absolutely crazy. If the championship goes down to the last race before it's decided why should there be double points for the winner? As daft as Ecclestone's gold medal idea!


Fia own goal.

This is a ridiculous idea.

If we must go down this computer game style route at least give more points at the start of the season, rewarding teams who get it right straight out of the box.


Did everyone actually hate the 2003-2009 points system that much? I distinctly remember Bernie did but I can't remember if the fans thought the same. I think reworking the points system to generate closer championships is like putting a bandaid on a broken leg, it doesn't address the actual problems creating disparity or dominance. At a certain stage the FIA surely has to admit that close championships are brought on by teams making competitive cars. It can't be entirely the FIA's responsibility to create close racing even if it is in their best interests. The teams have a level of responsibility to create fast cars as well. The cost cap is a great idea in that respect as it puts teams on a far more even playing field.


I actually miss the old points system. The New one feels false and has completely destroyed the record books.


Crazy idea.


Can not believe what I am saying but I miss Balestre.


Yeah, it's a terrible idea IMO. Double points just because it's the final race of the season is just contrived drama. Next we'll have viewers texting in their favourite driver on the podium, and whoever gets the most votes scores bonus points. Maybe they can fly the bloke from Korea around to all the races to just cruise out on track whenever the pack needs to be tightened up again. Or maybe Bernie could pay Maldonado to crash into certain cars at certain times. That's probably the best option, coz no one would suspect a thing.

One of the great things about F1 is that it's the same format all year long, and it's the team and driver(s) who do the best job across the season that take the championship(s). I can understand the sport having an entertainment side, but entertain through quality racing, not cheap gimmicks. The cost cap will be a good start, as long as a) it's actually enforced, and b)it's not so high that it's pointless.


They could do an X-factor, american Idol et al and have a phone in to kick of drivers every week until only 2 a left for the last race to battle it out!


At the end of the day, we have to face the reality that this is but one entertainment option of many thousands of entertainment options for us.

In the old days, it was one entertainment option of a few.

These man have the real black box with ratings data. Before they adjust, cleanse, filter or pad these ratings to be fed to investors, marketers, media - they see the reality. And the reality perhaps is that they need to keep people engaged. They have a 2011 2012 recent data. They see the Vettel domination of F1 has done to ratings.

I tell you who I blame. I blame all those guys on here with 3 races to go about how they won't watch. How they are tuning out. You obviusly carried through with your threat and you are the reason why FIA is going this far.

Next time, perhaps you can focus your protests on real things many seem wanted changed. Something that will come through in stats to the FIA and will tell them "We don't want DRS" or "Give Lewis 10% bonus engine power so he can win" instead of, Vettel won a bit too early this year, I won't watch. Reep what you sow.



I have re-read your original post and realise I got hold of the wrong end of the stick - I have subsequently been arguing with something that you didn't say. Please accept my apologies.

On reflection I think we are both saying much the same thing and are actually in agreement 🙂



I am not entirely sure whether you are serious with this comment or a bit tongue in cheek. If you are serious then there are a couple of gaps in your argument.

First and most significantly, you make the assumption that Bernie and the FIA listen too, and care about, the fans - their consideration begins and ends with how much money they can squeeze from them.

Secondly - and to be clear I don't like the double points idea any more than anyone else - it will almost certainly generate more interest in the last race, particularly, from casual viewers. Cynically, Bernie and the FIA can be pretty sure that traditional fans will still watch and they may pick up a few extra - lovely jubbly. That means Bernie (who I understand came up with the idea) can charge even more for the rights to the last race - why do you think Abu Dhabi got the gig - $$$$, it's not a coincidence?


Well, not sure what else you expect Tim. You vote with your remote. If I make a product, and you watch it and ratings show growth and interest, the clear conclusion is that the product I'm putting out there is being consumed and ratings show that you like.

I'm not sure what else you want Bernie to do? Clearly he won't care in the emotional sense or give out hugs. He makes a product, you like - it shows in the ratings. You don't like, it shows there too. Consider that ratings may be shrinking and therefore actions being taken are to try and reverse that trend.

My point about arguments is about having a discussion. Not just knee jerk - boo, I don't like it. Sure, we may not and the resons are logical, but the rule put into place:

1. Avoids an early end to the season. I think we agree we want that.

2. Boosts ratings, making F1 more reported on.

3. Boosts revenue if ratings grow and if premium is paid by Abu Dhabi for this "perk" - which partially goes to the teams.


So, considering the benefits, why can't this adjustment be made? Why is it out of place? I'm just curious, because to Bernie, FIA, even teams who have to satisfy sponsors - there are nothing buy PROS and no CONS on this new rule. Look at NASCAR, they erase a large points lead with 10 races to go and do a type of points reset with The Chase for the Cup. Remember, F1 has always been about entertainment, marketing, brands. It's not a man vs. man in a pure sport sense of the word. One man usually tends to have a better car, which we could compare to for example steroids or other performance enhancing methods. Imagine England was able to have 6 foot players or taller, but other competitors could only have 5 foot 6 inch player limit. In F1 that actually happens via budget, or ideas and innovations. So what's wrong with FOM, FIA, Teams in wanting to go out with a big season finale? Dexter did it. Walking Dead does it. Braking Bad did it. F1 is just an entertainment format. You're watching, but you're not participating in a sport. You will never drive an F1 car. You will just use your eyeballs and your right hand to lift a beer - it's entertainment to you. And they want to give us something to be entertained with - a season finale that matters.



Perhaps I should have clarified my statement about Bernie/FIA not caring about fans - all they care about is whether we watch the races. It doesn't matter to them if we like what we see so long as we don't stop watching or cancel our PTV subscriptions. Either way, indirectly or directly this translates into how much money they can get from the 'fans' - which is what I said.

I also said they can be pretty sure the 'diehard' fans will still watch the race along with a few more casual viewers - cynical, but a win/win none the less.

Not sure why you are asking me to put forward the purists argument - please clarify.


You all better become Vettel fans really fast and hope he steam rolls the field in 2014. That way WDC decided way in advance, F1's integrity somewhat maintained, and there is no double points drama or spike in ratings for Abu Dhabi and this then has a chance of going away. Otherwise, it's here to stay.



Trust me, Bernie and FIA care about fans. Perhaps slightly indirectly, but we represent ratings and they absolutely care about ratings. There is no single reason for this double points idea. It is at least 5 reasons, all good as far as Bernie and FIA are concerned.

Go ahead, give me your purist argument against it. Honestly, I'd love to hear a proper argument that would be presented to Bernie/FIA on behalf of fans to stop the double points. Remeber, it needs to overcome the 5 "pro" points.


This is about money, pure and simple ;(


One of the stupidest idea ever, might as well put the grid in reverse championship order to, or would that be quite fun 🙂


Absolute rubbish rule change...Is this a sport or entertainment


It's an entertainment it has been for decades.

Why do you watch it? I watch to be entertained.

If the participants are paid to compete it is an entertainment business, just another mechanism to put your money in their pockets.

If double points are so appalling then any points must be bad. We should just appreciate each race for the challenge it presents.


Both... surely?


Now, there is a question. The short answer is "both" and the long answer involves the word "money" quite a few times.

But I'll add my vote to the "this is the stupidest rule ever" option.


This...this is just...oh God, no. Double points for 1 race? Random sprinklers would have been a better idea.


+1000 🙂


Well, with DRA we already have the Mario Kart turbo boost arrow, so sprinklers is obviously a good idea. As long as we get to vote when they get triggered!

Vettel fans - UNITE! Whenever he is not P1 we trigger the rain.


'Vettel fans', good joke.


You mean....I'm alone?


Let me just shove my way through all these Vettel fans and say that sprinklers are a bad idea: Everyone would be affected, so why bother?

Bananas now, that's different story. Every time someone manages to get in front of Vettel they should get to throw out a banana to try and trip him up before he catches them again. That should make things more interesting 😀






Still worth it 🙂


I strongly believe Vettel's vegetable of choice would rather be cucumbers


Blue shells = Vettel kryptonite


Bananas - you are overlooking the weight penalty or carrying all that extra fruit in the race 🙂


You mean, all three of them? Not a problem, they are watching from the same pub in Heppenheim.


his Mum, Dad and girlfriend?


+1...quite honestly, I'm at a loss for words.

I already stopped watching nascar because of the ridiculous mickey mouse 'chase'...maybe it'll free up some Sunday mornings.


What next random safety cars for no reason like nascar


I like the fact double points for the final race would have made Alonso and Massa champions, but putting my fanship aside, the thought Mickey Mouse springs to mind for this new rule

Alexander Supertramp

That's just..weird

Love the number rule though.


No you cannot possibly mean that, they have to be given by picking out of a hat.

Else we shall see drivers wanting the same number and weird stories about how the number has special significance for them, dating back centuries.


I think the choice is given to drivers in the order of last year's driver standings


Makes sense.


Every year F1 is becoming less race more show (DRS, tyres, you name it).

Therefore to make sure the championship is not won by anyone before, I propose that points be awarded only at the final race...


Then nobody would watch any race apart from the last one.

We need to double the points after every race.


Of course to really maintain interest the current WDC would not be allowed to win anything.


That's an interesting point you make. However, speaking as a non Vetell fan it's not the fact he was winning that I found boring. It's that there was clearly no possibility of anyone else winning that was boring. When the McLaren, way back when, won all but one race in a season there was still the excitement that either of the drivers might win. And McLaren allowed their drivers to fight for the win - none of this hold positions in the last third of the race, but toe to toe scrapping for positions. At least that's how I remember things looking back through my rose tinted telescope 😉


+1 on everything.

I vaguely remember when McLaren had two drivers and a car that could challenge for the win and yes I do believe McLaren let them 🙂

dimitar kadrinski


The Best idea yet!

Be careful what you wish for... some one from FIA might be reading this 🙂


I welcome the idea of the budget cap (if policed properly) and am neither here nor there regarding permanent race numbers.

However the double points for the final race is a joke. Why should a win at Abu Dhabi be worth as much as Spa and Suzuka combined?! It distorts the championship. Pity the driver who has lead all year, has a 49 point lead heading into the final round and has an engine failure. The bigger worry here is, does this now set a precedent for other races to "buy" additional points to ramp up interest in their event. Farcical.

Let's hope the FIA see the light and ditch this idea before long.


+1 on the points!!


Double points is a stupid idea which devalues decades of history during which every single win was of equal importance.

I just hope that whoever wins next year has it wrapped up early so that this ridiculous plan backfires of the FIA.


Last race more important that all the others?

I know, I's entertainment. It's fun. It's a diversion. But for purists, this is hardly the right move.

Hey, many WDC outcomes would this have changed? Would Vettel have won in 2009 if this was in place?



VETTEL 2009 WDC under this rule. 98 points Vettel to 97 points Button! YEAH!

I love this rule! Vettel is OWED a championship in my view now. I hope these rules help Vettel win the WDC in 2014. Todt should have brought this in as first order of business for 2009. He would have saved Button being from being known by some as the Defused Champion.


Once again we have maths with Sebee, but not so fantastic this time 🙁


Taking a weekend course to brush up. Also, updating my calculator app right now. Maths with Sebee back soon stronger and more accurate than ever.


Vettel would need your specially biased calculator still 😉


He is not owed a championship from 2009 as you say as he would not have won in 2012 if the double points was in.

Double points for final race has to be one of the stupidest ideas I have ever heard. How can 1 race carry so much more significance.


Dont foget that Alonso would have done Seb in '12 under the same arrangement.

Goferet seems to be awol lately. Must have been banned again 🙂


@ random

I seem to recall he may have spent time in the penalty box a year or 2 back. I dont know why AND I could be wrong. Lets face it, I said Webber would win a race this year...


I meant what he was banned for before...



First Web 2.0, now goferet 2.0? I don't think I'm ready for these upgrades. I still have an Amiga 1200.

One thing is for sure, goferet owes James some click-through ad revenue when he returns.

Everyone, click on the Tag link above the countdown clock each time you come here. Let's make up for goferet so James has enough for a pint or two this Christmas season. Either that or to prepare JAonF1 ver 2.0 for when goferet 2.0 returns.


May I ask what goferet was banned for?

Crimes against statistics perhaps?


He wasn't banned just gone quiet


Yep. The goferet you see is ver 2.0 😉




Again? You mean he managed to get himself banned once before?


Yes, someone bring him back

@goferet that is


No not banned. Gone AWOL


Not sure how you worked that out, but it's wrong 🙂

As it happened:

Button 95

Vettel 84

With double points:

Button 101 (extra 6 points for 3rd in Abu Dhabi)

Vettel 94 (extra 10 points for win in Abu Dhabi)


Huh? Where do you get 98-97 from? They ended up 95-84. Seb would get an extra 10, Button an extra 6. So 101-94 for Button still.

The Defused Champion, haha! Get a new phone Sebee!!

As for this double-points thing, this just can't be serious ... this is the stupidest thing I've heard of in a long time. Looks to me like a bait 'n' switch. What other silly rule did they bring in, besides this? They'll remove the double-points at a later date, but keep some Silly New Rule #2, and we'll all just be thankful that they removed Silly New Rule #1.


@KRB bait and switch....

you sound as if you are as cynical as the FIA/Bernie show 😉


Oh..and you're right...this Note II is too small for typing and voice sometimes goes haywire. But way better than Siri dictation. What do you suggest? Vintage BlackBerry to support Rosberg?


Something went wrong with my math? Let us CSI this puppy. Ahhh...on another thought...lets not. 🙂

So sprinklers in, double points out? 2013 was a dry season. I bet you some would have loved a sprinkler in the second half.

Look, NASCAR did it with the Chase, F1 is just doing its own simpler version of it. Double points are here to stay. Trust me...they ran the simulations on it to know it would work. They can see the writing on the wall...Vettel is going 7 straight.


And Alonso would win in 2012.


The irony is that it won't force teams to go all out until the end of the season, it just means teams will prioritise the final race and put in that older engine in one of the late season flyaways rather than at the last race.


Double points at the last race of the season. I can't wait for the controversy this will cause if it influences the championship. I mean seriously this is ridiculous. Let's go one further and pick the winner of the race from a hat. Neither wonder Webber has left this circus. I might join him. I enjoy gimmick free motor sport!


" I can’t wait for the controversy this will cause if it influences the championship."

Pirelli *cough* ack furball.


It's not quite the same, wasn't everyone up in arms and wanting them changed after Silverstone?


Not quite:

It was mostly the teams that were struggling up until then (most notably RBR).

Teams like Ferrari and Force India resisted the change.

Either way and Pirelli's fault or not, changing the tyres mid-season did cause controversy.


I don't agree with the final race/double points rule at all. This is a purely commercial decision trying to keep the championship open until the end and suddenly makes one race worth more than all others - and yet there is, presumably, so additional skill, technical or otherwise, that means these extra points will be EARNED. Now, if the race was also twice as long or ran with a reverse grid based on championship positions, maybe that would make more sense. Seems silly and very short-sighted to me.

The other rules are better - especially the cost cap FINALLY.


The double points rule change might make the last race more exciting, but I think it's unfair to give that race more prominence than any of the others.

It would be completely unfair if a driver who had a lead of 49 points lost because they retired through no fault of their own and the guy 2nd in the championship won. Where's the fairness in that?


"Sebastian Vettel’s 2012 title would have seen Fernando Alonso crowned as a three-time World Champion and Felipe Massa claim the 2008 Championship ahead of Lewis Hamilton."

Good to know at least one wrong would have been righted with this rule.


Wonder how long it'll be before Luca di Monty brings this double points retrospective up in an interview.

Ferrari 'champions' in '07, '08, '12


Red Bull 'champions' in '10, '11 and '13

Ahem, what an even fight it has been over the past few years between them 😉


Hey! we won't have the Malaysia Multi-21 again. No booing through the season. We will leave it the last race! People would forget by Australia next year!


Hey! we won’t have the Malaysia Multi-21 again. No booing through the season. We will leave it to the last race! People would forget by Australia next year!


Are you saying that Alonso should have won in '12 Sebee 😉

You can't possibly mean Lewis' one championship...


If this, if that! You can't have it that way. Vettel won 2010-2013, Alonso is a X2 WDC and Lewis Hamilton won his Title on merit.

Time to accept it and deal with reality.

Some people are hopeless...


I'm just having some fun with the hypothetical.


Yeah, it would have been good to reverse the travesty when Alonso was taken out by Grosjean at Spa.


Huh? Which one would that be?


That's the fun can choose the one you prefer.


Both needlessly inflammatory, and quite unlike you ... more in the vein of you-can-guess-who.

Both seasons ended as they did. Double points would've wrecked both as spectacles.

Alexander Supertramp

Yeah, because Lewis losing the win at Spa was not wrong at all..


I had to check that I hadn't slept right through the winter and woken up on April 1st when I read this. Double points .. For winning at a nothing track?? .. Does anybody think this is a great idea?


Just read through 127 comments.

3 for, 122 against, 2 reserving judgement.

Much like Ward's FIA presidency campaign actually, and considering that got cancelled there's still hope yet 😀


What about the final race merits a double score?

"Shh! Close your eyes and believe it's worth double points. Now we have a championship decider!"


Well.... actual cost cap good, as long as its actually policed. Tyre test, fine. Driver number, OK, whatever, if it helps. 5 sec penalty, OK. But this here double points at the last race lark.....

I see the merit in the idea, it is good that it gives teams a reason to keep pushing till the end, but it seems kind of blunt. Normal points all season, then bam!!! Double points. Almost winner takes all, ish.

Problem with so much of this is that there are reactions whenever we get off seasons. And then something must be done. The sport keeps getting tinkered with, but still there are issues. Tinker again, and sooner or later, again we dont like it, again. Cant we just let the rules be pure and accept that often we get rubbish seasons, which then only make good seasons seem even better? And aren't the tech reg changes enough to spice up 2014? Do we really need this as well?


I think the choice of numbers should be given to the driver based on this year's championship standing.

Glad to know Vettel is spared the hard decision of choosing a number for 2014. But I'm sure he'll go with "V" as his backup. Also good choise will be 8, so when someone asks him the minimum number of WDCs he will be satisfied with, he can just point to his hat. Or while passing Alonso - his car's nose.

Here is something these guys didn't think about when they approved the rules. How will I know when you run into James in the grandstands if his Hamilton T-shirt is vintage or this year's version if Lewis' number is always the same? He won't have to buy a new shirt every year with the changed number standing. Didn't think about this swag revenue angle of having to buy a new shirt with a new number each year, did you teams?


Double points? Are they trying to dumb down the sport? In what professional series does this happen? What a bunch of bafoons! How can you possibly justify this? I take it the FIA are more interested in 'ratings' than in sport. Anything to justify their own role in F1. Fire the FIA, and get a referee who can actually make decisions on the day! Why does F1 tollerate these incompetant boardroom beurocrats? Rant over.


Jean Todt: check this out this out- now let's talk #f1 regs.


Oh good grief, more tinkering with the rules 🙁 The only ones that make sense to me are the 5-second penalty (provided we see a lot less of "incident involving ..... will be investigated after the race" and the cost cap. Even so, I wouldn't mind betting that the "cost cap" turns out to be another failure once the top teams have had their say.

Thread the Needle

And so it goes on, what will they dream up next?


I'm hoping for jumps, boost pads to drive over to charge up the ERS, oil slicks out the back, leader bombs for slowing Newey's cars, bananas of course (single and bunch), track crossovers without bridges, shortcuts and lava for graveltraps to stop them running outside the track boundaries.

In all seriousness though, it would be pretty gutting to beat your rival to second for seven races in a row (25 points to 18 points giving a 49 point gap), then have a car failure at the final race joker and lose 50 points and the title!


Double points! Surely the whole point about having 19/20 races in a season is that the best driver/team wins. To use 'is aimed at forcing teams and drivers to maintain their progression and performance in to the final lap of the season.' as the reason is a bit of a joke. It isn't going to make any difference to most of the teams or drivers regarding whether they stop development or not.

I don't see why they couldn't introduce points for qualifying, 10 for pole down to 1 for tenth.

I would have thought that if they looked at this years tables they would see how little impact it would have had.

That's one of the oddest rules I've ever seen, two different scoring systems.

I wonder if they have been watching re-runs of It's A Knockout, but have made The Joker compulsory.


I think they honestly looked at points for qualifying but as you say this is a new set of rules based on a knee jerk reaction to Vettel/RBR wrapping up championships early. If they awarded points for quali they would let the finger wrap up even faster.

A ridiculous rule because the teams can't agree on sensible leveling the playing field standards. The cost cap if properly enforced is the only rule worth having.


With Double Points F1 introduces yet another arcade game gimmick to try and liven up the sport whilst simultaneously ignoring all the factors that lead to the sport needing livening up in the first place.

Having already destroyed the purity of racing by using the artificial concept of DRS, the purity of competition is now being eroded.

Unfortunately this is the outcome when billions of pounds are resting on the sport being entertaining - the importance of the entertainment factor rises above the sporting factor.

The more of this happens, the more tainted the sport looks and feels to me.


The cost cap will be the most important thing Todt does in his tenure, everything else is just fluff.

Double points = Bad fluff

driver numbers = good fluff

A rigorously enforced cost cap that all teams buy into the spirit of is the only thing that matters.


How Mickey Mouse is that?!


An awful awful rule and another example that shows that the FIA have no idea what the fans want. The 2014 race at Abu Dhabi will be worth the same amount of points as Monaco and Suzuka combined? Absolute joke.

If Brazil was the season finale then maybe it would have some merit but this is an awful idea.


Last race . . . double points! Wow . . .

Silly season well and truly started –

Will it be a 120-lap mini endurance event?

Free choice of car number . . .

Unless it’s already taken.


Ha, yes, Make them drive twice as far to get double points! The fuel at the start would be crazy.

Or perhaps award half of the double points for positions on track at the halfway point of the race! Would make for interesting strategies.


You finally really did it... You maniacs! You blew it up... God damn you... God damn you all to hell!!!


Pesky humans, always being drama queens...



My favourite Simpsons a long way 🙂


Try Planet of the Apes. Charlton Heston's words at the end of the movie.


Oh yes, I am aware. The simpsons episode is a spoof of the film 🙂


I'm surprised to read this. It's completely not fair to give double points for the results in the last race. Nor for the world title fight, nor for the smaller teams. Teams like Sauber, Toro Rosso, Williams fight all year long and in future they risk to lose some places in the constructors' championship due to the result of one single race. How credible is this rule?


Come on, this is silly!

What in the world makes the final race worth more than any other race and what do these people think will happen in the race before the last race when teams will try to save engines and gearboxes to score better in the last race.

Why in the world should a tire failure in the last race be a double punishment?

This is so blatantly absurd that I need to ask myself, if Formula-1 still wants to be a sport and a competition, or if they have decided to do it for the show only. It seems that artificial overtaking aids like DRS is not enough, these guys really are on a mission to transform Formula-1 into Masked Wrestling shows.


Utterly ridiculous!

Top this with Brazil no longer being the last race makes it even worse. Abu Dhabi! ABU DHABI! Brazil has always brought an exciting close to the season, why get rid of it.

Shame on you FIA!


Abu Dhabi was final race in 2009 and 2010 so even in the last 5 years its not like Brazil has had exclusivity of hosting final race.

As for double points, you are correct....Utterly ridiculous!

Might be better off following Webber across to sports cars. At least it will be frill free racing without all the stupid gimmicks F1 continues to adopt.


What horrible ideas!! Consult F1 fans FIA!! Is there more value now being the final race?? Will it cost more to host it??

In my view, every race should have the same value championship wise!!


Brilliant set of rules:

Drivers will have numbers to compensate for lack of personality.

Lewis might choose 18 like 18 karat or 22 like 22 karat or even 24 like 24 karat.

Vettel should keep 1

The number chosen by the next Karthikyan will be lost for ever

Seriously though, doubling the points of the last event will make things much more interesting once Vettel & Newey are out of F1


I imagine Newey will choose the number 47, as it looks the most aerodynamic and will generate significant downforce. Moving from right to left of course.


The Fia have totally lost the plot what a stupid

rule to decide a whole season on 1 race win


Double points seems good idea, but Abu Dhabi ...err .. definitely not the circuit to deserve double point score. Bring back Interlagos.



F1 is moving further and further away from being sporting competition to entertainment.

What next, reverse grids? Bonus points for the most flashy overtake?


This is an utterly appalling decision right up there with the medals that almost got imposed in 2009. Elevating one Grand Prix above others is simply wrong. This didn't happen when they were racing on the Nordschleife and it shouldn't happen now.

You say that the cost cutting is of most significance to Formula 1's future. I couldn't disagree more, these bizarre unexplained rule changes pose a far greater risk in the long run. Alienating the core fan base is a dangerous game.


For me double points for the final race is an unwelcome distortion


You must be a diplomat. Tell us how you really feel?!?!

IT'S A HORRENDOUS DECISION!! I truly can't believe it's real. And unanimous?!?! Who are these characters??


this just stinks of a bernie headline grab, hopefully it disappears


The last time I said what I really thought they refused to show my posting, so this time I've retreated into civility. The double points idea is just nuts


A lot will be written about the double points rule but I really like it, imagine the extra marketing hyperbole which can be used to pump up the TV numbers for the final round. It really will be a must watch race. Do you think as a broadcaster & journalist that its a step too far James or do you like the idea?


Another crap idea to stick with drs and useless tyres, what makes the last race any better than monza, Silverstone, spa or any other track? If they wont to make the racing better let the designers have more freedom instead of banning any good idea after a year ie f duct, double diffuser's. The way they keep slowing the cars down in a few years you'll see faster cars on the m25!!


They aren't slowing the cars down. They're faster now than ever. Look at the lap times.


If you look at most of the circuit lap records most come from the v10 era around 2000~2004 ...montoya and barichello have at least one each


If I am allowed to post this James, it's a great in depth speed comparison for Monaco qualifying over the years.

The speed is increasing over time. It's mainly cornering speeds due to improved aero.

I will be so surprised if they are still 4 secs off 2013 pace by the end of 2014.


Sky were doing g a piece on next years rules and how the cars will look, and because of all the new aero rules (narrower front wings, bigger side pods, moved exhaust, the lower beam wing being removed and the fuel flow restrictions) engineers reckon they will be about 4 seconds a lap slower at the start of the season.


This ruling is an absolute disgrace and a complete joke. I seriously hope this just a winter PR stunt to keep F1 in the sports section. Whoever thought of this needs firing, they can not be serious.


Imagine a shortcut which a driver can use five times every race. It would stop people getting stuck behind others. It would be good for TV.

Bernie Ecclestone

I think Bernie came up with this in 2010?

Might as well introduce that too and make it like a playstation game!

So a driver/team has a great consistent year, gets itself into a winning position and then with just a bit of bad luck on race day in Abu Dhabi they could lose the championship/s..

Or maybe Redbull and Seb could just win by an even greater margin?


I actually don't mind the shortcut idea, compared to the double points for one race. What is behind this? Abu Dhabi gets shifted to the last slot, then this happens? There's a lot more to this ...


I like all the ideas apart from the drivers choosing numbers. I liked the way formula one worked with its numbers. It's one thing I never really liked about motoGP.

I always liked the consistency of drivers having their helmets chosen and teams the need to get the 1 and 2 on their cars. I think that the rule should be to ban the constant changing of helmet colours with only two alternate designs allowed during the year.

The idea of double points is going to be confusing and could actually help a driver win the championship with greater ease as suddenly more points would be available for them to gain over their nearest rival instead of fighting it out at the front.

However I do believe the points at the end of the year will be interesting to see what happens - might just help Vettel win by a greater margin


Have they even thought about how this will screw up historical stats, such as points-per-GP, etc.?

I would rather they go back to some sort of best-x-results-of-y, but make it say your best 6 results of the first 7 races, 6/7 again, and then all of the last 5 races count.

Back to basics .... 3 words F1 needs to grasp, toute de suite.


Double points is a concern. Bad luck and/or reliability with the new power trains will be doubly painful as will being knocked out by a first lap nutcase in the final race.

It just seems wrong that the driver's title could be decided purely because of external circumstances.

I'm surprised that the 'show' has won out over the 'sport'.


Its crazy. They are only making things ridiculous. F1 is liked because of some order, and copying motorcycling with there crazy numbers is wrong, damaging. Competition is for the numbers it what makes things worthy.


Here we go again, stick a band aid on it, and hope everything will be all right. I'll believe the cost cap when I see it!



What a travesty of a system like this could be if a driver who has had an outstanding season is wiped out in an "accident" at the last race allowing a driver who has had an above average season to possibly win the title by luck

If they want to tighten it up go back to the old system of 10 for a win but allow 5 points for pole, 4,3,2,1 down to fifth in qualifying and a point for fastest lap and maybe bonus points for leading a certain percentage of the race to increase teams strategies over a weekend if their car isn't quite on it.

Oh and give them tyres they can damn well race on flat out for all the stints no matter how many they force them to do!


The sport/show aspect of F1 is now firmly tipped to the show side.

F1 has run out of time, the world changed - the sport, as we once knew it, is now like a hungry dinosaur, set for extinction in this economic climate. But - for better or for worse - this will not lead to extinction, it will lead to evolution. I predict that F1 and Formula E will merge.

It can be good, it can be bad. All the same, I am very sad.


Yuck!!! R.I.P. F1, hello LMP1. The new Audi lmp1 car is drop dead gorgeous! F1 truly has become a glorified NASCAR.


Is it April 1st? Where did this decision come from?

The driver and constructor with the most points wins the title, we don't need this tinkering with the system to ensure false competition.

Am considering turning off F1 if this is the way it is going.

The car number change also seems a bit pointless.


Double points for the final race is a crazy solution to something that isn't a problem.

It's totally unfair that the final race should be worth twice as much compared to the previous 18 races. As proved by the fact that 2012 and 2008 would have been different outcomes. The champion should be made on equal merit across all races. Otherwise whats the point?

I literally cannot fathom this decision!?!?

The other changes like that of permanent numbers is fine though


That's just stupid and makes no sense. If applied to this season or the last it would have made no difference to the final standings.

Its like this guy's don't know what to do with themselves


It might not have made any difference to the top spots, but it could've impacted other spots.

For this season, it would've resulted in Ferrari beating out Mercedes for 2nd in the WCC, 375-372.

It's insanity.


The double-points finale is gimmicky nonsense, what on earth are the F1C thinking?


Go home FIA, Your drunk !

Wtf ?!? Please tell me Mr Allen that this is a joke. I ain't Vettels biggest fans but if he's racked points from good work mid season this can be undone by a single race.

Goodbye F1 hello plastic racing. Just bring sprinklers in and Oil slick release systems. What are we coming to Mario karts ?


I think all of these are great. I love the way motogp riders have the same number for their careers. The cost cap is very sensible and long overdue and double points is a great idea, giving a play off slant to the final race without making the rest of the season irrelevant.


Actually let me correct myself

It's still a stupid idea and is worse than Bernie's gold medal suggestion.


Stupid stupid decision!!!

First off, I agree that having a championship battle at the very last race is one of the most exciting things that can happen. 2012, 2010, 2008, 2007 being the most recent four times this has happened. All were really exciting edge of the seat races with 2008 being settled by 1 point right at the end.

However! If the aim of the double points rule is to bring the championship battle to the final race, it still won't help all the time. Look at the most recent times the championship has been decided before the last race, 2013, 2011 - this rule wouldn't have changed anything and a certain young German would still have taken the title with races to spare.

Lastly and MOST IMPORTANTLY this rule RUINS last race deciders!!!! If this rule had been introduced for the four deciders in 2012, 2010, 2008, and 2007, NONE of those years would've had the exciting conclusion we saw! They will have been as boring as some of Vettel's processional races that are causing this so called 'problem'

2012 - Vettel spun on the first lap but managed to battle his way through the field with some great overtakes and clinch the championship. If there had been double points, with Alonso towards the front as soon as Vettel spun the show would be over because there was no chance he would finish 3rd after that (which is what he would then need)

2010 - Had Alonso got past the Renaults he would've won the championship and it was exciting to watch him try everything just to get past. Double points? He would've had to finish 3rd, in front of Button >20 seconds up the road (never gonna happen) which would mean the excitement would've been killed after Vettel took the lead.

2008 - The most exciting end to any season would've seen Massa win the title easily even with the rain at the end. Where would Hamilton need to finish once Massa took the lead? 2nd! Was that ever gonna happen? No. Bye bye exciting race.

2007 - When Hamilton's gearbox malfuction he would've been out of the race and even with the Ferrari's dominating Alonso sitting pretty in 3rd would have taken the championship as he was never under threat. Hamilton battling up the field wouldn't have been as exciting since he would need a few more positions before threatening to take the championship.


Could you please re-calculate all this seasons with F1-pure-classic 9-6-4-3-2-1 scoring system?

(to help you, in 2008 Hamilton would need to finish in some impossible P2, too)


The whole season? I'm sorry but I'm not going to do that for you man


Oh well, you might be surprised how classic rules would have ruined those last race deciders..

Never mind, just accept that you're wrong.


Good spot; I kind of thought the same thing in a different way. Specifically, many of our very close championships in recent years have had dramatic finales because the lead driver has only needed a solid points finish to win the title and therefore doesn't know whether to go for the win or to play for points and got caught between a rock and a hard place. Under this system this element of uncertainty will probably be lost, albeit replaced by the enticing prospect of a winner-takes-all contest if the gap between the main protagonists is pretty small.


If my facts are wrong I apologise and please let me know - I put this together quickly


You've illustrated nicely how the law of unintended consequences would have robbed us F1 viewers of some great title deciders.

The only one you got 'wrong' was 2007, as Kimi with the extra 10 points would've padded his lead. Alonso would have needed to win to take the title, whereas with reg points if Massa had an engine failure that could've decided it in Alonso's favour.


Thank you! I thought I would make a mistake. That's obvious not sure how I made that mistake. Still wouldn't have made for an exciting race.

Thanks for pointing that out


Double points seems artificial and like aknee jerk reaction to recent events. It essentially throws an undeserved lifeline to those in second place in the championship. The others seem good though.


Not sure I'm a fan of double points for the final race. When you think how hard everyone works for every point during the year it feels a bit daft to suddenly penalize those poor teams that have a little bad luck at the end or give the championship to those who have a spot of luck.


More American Wrestling style malarkey for F1. Yeehaw!


The FIA looks out of control....

Double points would not have helped in runaway championships... to the contrary, some of the best championship deciders in the past have been where they were very close together and its only as they cross the line do we know who has won... double points might end this...

As for fixed numbers... who cares? Only rich drivers who want to make more cash.... OK its ultimately no problem, but a fanfare over it as if this is going to solve all F1's problems.. Get real...

Budget cap.... good luck... it will never work...

All in all a complete waste of time...put me in charge... I will show you some changes...


Double points - may be my natural conservatism but my initial reaction is negative, giving points based on the order of the calendar just seems pointless and random to me.

Car number - Hmm, not sure, we'll see how it goes. What do they do if both people want the number 🙂

Penalty system - Seems unnecessary, we have a wide enough variety of penalties as it is, what needs to be looked at is consistency of applying the existing penalties.

Test - Seems all the cash strapped teams (Lotus, Sauber, Williams, Caterham, Marussia) are giving this one a miss.


Double points is a joke.

As for the penalties. I think they have introduced 5 and 10 sec penalties as alternatives to drive throughs in certain situations. Not to add extra penalties as such.

I can think of a number of situation this year where a simple 5 sec penalty would have been fairer then receiving a drive through.

Ricciardo overtook sutil in japan at 130R but ran off track and stayed ahead. Sutil immediately pitted 2 corners later which meant ricciardo was unable to rectify position on track and was given a drive through, which was not fair at all. Personally i don't think it even warranted a penalty but to be given a 5 sec penalty instead of drive through would have been much fairer.

Massa driving over the pit entry line in brazil after his warning should get a small time penalty not a drive through. After all crossing a white line is currently the same penalty as crashing someone off track which is not fair.

If that is how the new penalties are used I think they will be good.


Double points? Like DRS and mandatory tire conpounds/changes another "gimmick" choice by the decision makers. Their pursuit of ratings I get, but their unwillingness to grabble with the hard issues in order to create real drama rather than manufactured hype is why I feel progressively less interested in F1.

I can't see much appeal when things like the WEC offer more classical charm. Oh well. More football for me...


Double edged sword !

Yes, it may prevent a driver (yes, Vettel) wining the title well before the end of season.

BUT say, a popular driver (e.g. Alonso) leads most of the season, but is beaten to the title at the last race, purely by luck, by another, far less accomplished driver (.e.g. Maldonaldo in a Lotus) !!!

The *might* have added extra points, but NOT DOUBLE !!!




Alonso... beaten by Maldonaldo.... *shudder!!*


Double points? Pathetic and manufactured


My view that is sadly a cheap Gimmick to maintain advertising revenue to the very end by skewing the results

I really long to see some proper racing give them proper tyres and plenty of fuel and let them damn well get on with it please is that too much to ask!


This makes me quite sad, it's so American. I thought f1 was above all that. Salary cap will just restrict the science and see teams with road car divisions hiding f1 related work in their road car r&d divisions. I hope I'm wrong but I think this is the beginning of the end.


What absolute rubbish (double points at the final race) another move that smacks of this sport lurching firmly into entertainment rather than a genuine contest.

It wouldn't be so bad if they did double points for classic races, such as Belgium, Italy, Japan, Silverstone etc, but a one off at the season finale is just to pimp ratings.

Having said that, the car number rule is good, hopefully we can see the return of 27 and 28 on the Ferrari's which would be a nice touch in a season with their most competitive inter-team line up since Gilles and Didier.

James, I feel it's completely pointless to go over how previous championships would look under the new points system, it is totally irrelevant for a whole host of reasons.


I like these new rules. Any news of in which order are the drivers allowed to pick a number? I understand that No 1 is reserved to Vettel if he wishes to take it, but what about the rest? Would it mean Alonso gets to choose after Vettel and Lewis 3rd and so on?


I have never signed an online petition in my life. Until now.


And when you get to the end there's link back to this page.

It's like an infinite loop and NOW I CAN'T GET OUT!!!!


*Checks Date* Nope not April the 1st. Double points for the final race? What madness is this?


First reaction a terrible idea, the championship is over a 9 month season, its like the english premier league having a playoff between first and second to see who wins the title. Will it reduce costs as teams may make a specific wing or other parts for the one race?


Wow, what an atrocious decision. F1 is definitely on a slippery slope & this sort of gimmick won't help. A dark day for motorsport.


Double points - RIDICULOUS. It beggars belief that a win at Suzuka or Spa will be worth 25 points and a fourth place at Abu Dhabi will be worth 24. Just think of the uproar if 10th place in the constuctors' championship is decided by one team's 10th in Abu Dhabi putting them on 2 points compared to another team's 1 from a 10th earlier in the season.

How can any sport be taken seriously with people making up the rules as they go along and neither (a) thinking through the consequences nor (b) consulting the fans and smaller teams for their opinions?

The FIA needs to scrap this idea before it is too late - leaving them looking merely incompetent rather than completely foolish to boot.


Holy moly! FIA just dropped a bombshell. I think I'm on board.


There's one word for this: naff.

It should be placed alongside the 'medals' idea and the 'sprinklers' suggestion (albeit an actual joke) from a couple of year's ago. I remember Lewis mentioned his love of Mario Kart and its red and green shells: that might have been a prophecy!

Also a bit like the 'simulator tournament' with the winner getting a drive *ahem* 🙂

I think three driver teams is the best way to legitimately spice up the action, without losing credibility. Why not?


The only thing with 3-driver teams is that you could have podium sweeps. Perhaps have it so only the top two drivers of a team can score in a race? Then you might get the 3rd driver sacrificing their race, to aid a teammate (e.g. running a rival hard to get them to burn out their tires, or fuel). That would add a different strategic element.


Double points final sounds like a joke to me, this is F1 not Mario kart.


I think this is an awful idea. Seems so non pure and like a gimmick. What is your opinion on this James???


The double points just feels like a desperate descision to me.

It's not too hard to imagine Bernie's 'trackside sprinklers' coming next...


(delete previous)

The double points seems taken from Bernie’s rule book, where sprinklers where to be added randomly in races

No, in fact, it makes even less sense than that, and it comes from FIA!!!!

What is happening?


The FIA appear to be getting more and more desperate to keep the F1 show going: would perhaps be more interesting to award points for pole and fastest lap: this new rule seems akin to giving each team a 'joker' they can play in any race to double their points... in my view it debases the racing.

If teams do not do a good job in providing their drivers with a good car, they don't deserve to win.

This adds to the lottery: it means that a simple puncture can decide the outcome of a championship.

As each year passes, I become less interested as the gimmicks grow and the racing decreases...



And when will a big joker walk down the pit lane and halt a car in the pits......????

Come to think about it, this is not such a bad idea.

Every year teams have 5 jokers that they can play at any point, what this means is if they are behind a car on the track, they can play their joker on another team which will mean a car would have to stay in the pits for 20 seconds longer, then the other car can pass it, and as he does he has to wave at the loser, because if he doesnt wave then the joker doesnt count.........

YES I AM JOKING AND KIDDING, but it doesnt sound that bad compared to what I have just read.

What a complete joke this sport is becoming.......Double points, get real, unbelievable......

"Are they having a laugh..!!!"


Wouldn't want to be the joker standing in front of Maldonado.


Wouldn’t want to be the joker standing anywhere near Maldonado... (whispers) the man can move sideways....


Double points on final race? Oh dear. More fakerism


Curious if anyone doesn't think the double points idea is completely terrible. If it actually is a decider on who wins the Championship it will be ridiculously artificial and just embarrass the sport.

I don't enjoy the Vettel domination as much as the next person, but him losing the Championship in 2012 despite leading until the last race because Senna punted him off and Alonso got double the points in one particular race is nothing but stupidity.


Comment 86 and I've read two positives and a non-comittal.

Research continues...


This joking extra points in the last race, just about puts the tin hat on F1 for me. The last race of the season is just as difficult to win as any of the other races, so why should double points be awarded? Should it rain in Brazil next year and cars fall off left, right and centre, should a lesser team and driver be allowed to leapfrog another who didn't finish?

No serious sporting event gives double points in this way. What idiot came up with idea without floating it with the fans first?


What a joke!

I'm off to go and watch Mark Webber in the WEC!

No gimmicky points and super mario overtake flaps there! The technology is more relevant to the road and the cars sound better too! More interesting racing and strategy. The drivers having to drive flat out not at 80% because they need to manange their tyres!

Oh yes the the other bonus? WEC is less than half the price of an F1 ticket and the races are generally twice as longer. Better access for fans too.

Can't believe I've stuck with F1 for this long!


Were there some sings about double points beside Bernie's wild ide to add some factors for more famous/significant tracks in calendar?

Permanent numbers were mentioned earlier, but is there any decision about mandatory pit stops?

How about budget cap?


With a season finale in Abu Dhabi, this just means more points for the leading team/driver.

It also means an extra half a million into FIA coffers in the form of entry fees.


"It also means an extra half a million into FIA coffers in the form of entry fees."

Very good point that no-one else picked up on.

Sneaky FIA....


Ridiculous on a scale I can barely comprehend. I can only pray that this is a PR exercise to keep F1 in the news before portraying Bernie/Jean as a hero as they swoop in just before the start of the season and change it back to the way it was.

Places artificial importance on the Abu Dhabi race too, wonder how much extra pennies might swim CVG's way on the back of this idea?


great to see the new numbers thing. what will guys go for. me thinks hamilton will choose 22. raikkonen could pick anything! no doubt it will be cool somehow


I hope the Ferrari drivers pick 27 and 28.


I do not like this double points thing at all. Would be interesting to see what other people think.

I know it will be the same for everyone, but it elevates the importance of engine failures, accidents etc at this single race. Also, it will favour teams that run particularly well on the last circuit of the season.

What about the small teams? A 4th or 5th in a chaotic race could mean that a team from the back of the grid beats all its competitors. Is this fair on the other small teams?


Yeah ok. I didn't really watch the second half of this season (first time this happened since 1994) due to the farce that was the first half, and with this sort of garbage I guess it's time for me to finally say goodbye to F1. It's become a complete joke.


April Fools...... teams stop developing when they don't have a chance to win, how does double points change this?

Driver/car number is a good idea though.


This 'double points' concept is ludicrous. The FIA (and teams that supported it) are diminishing F1's credibility as a sporting series; F1 is now becoming too-focused towards being an entertainment spectacle.


Fair enough. But make it double distance.


Horrible decision... Unless they make it a double header!


Double distance at Abu Dhabi. Um... woohoo??? 😀

Seriously though. I've always thought that F1 could do with a couple of feature races during the season. One endurance race at like double or treble distance. One oval per year (JUST one!), perhaps. We've got night races covered already. Then maybe one race at a classic track in the opposite direction to normal.

These would provide a little bit of variety to the series, without detracting too much from the actual formula, and provide genuine challenges for the drivers and teams, as opposed to "double points! ready! go!" cheapening gimmiks


also important, how do they rate the backmarkers .. there a 14th place is even more important, getting 10th at the end of the year.

is a 14 at the last race now more worth than the up till know the first team to get 14th gets the sweet spot (marussia this year?)

james: haven't read anything about this up till now... do you know something about THAT case?



14th place now becomes 28th place 😉


what i dont understand as a F1 Fan , is why is this the first i heard about it ?

surely this was on the cards before today ?

you telling me some people had a meeting today , and thought of it , and passed it as a rule ?



Seems to be the case in a nutshell.

Emphasis on the nut.


I think it's time to institute drug testing for the rules committee members.

Maybe if they had a race comparable to what the Indy 500 is to that series (and that race is also twice as long as most of the other races).

No. Not even for Spa or Monza.


If they must do this then why not a double header with a race on the Saturday and then another on the Sunday at the final round, with all the engine longevity rules cancelled out for that one event?


The double points situation is completely idiotic, and you should know that James. It will force many teams broke, and unable to run in Formula 1, so in fact it will force many teams to give up on the season even earlier than they do know to ensure that they can survive in Formula 1. Anyone who supports this is a complete and utter idiot, and really Formula 1 should sort out the Concorde Agreement, and financial stability of the teams before making these 'remarkable' and 'stupid' decisions.


I agree. I don't like it, it's very hard to explain or justify as a commentator on TV or radio.

I think it will play badly and be short-lived


There are only four teams, maybe five or six, that can survive with these idiotic decisions being made by a body that should know better.

Maybe our protests may change their minds, but I think idiots or people who make idiotic decisions do not know how to change because they don't have the intellectual capacity to make smart and common-sense decisions.


Christ I hope you're right...


Hmm...two Ms. Time for sleep 🙂


JC's come out against this too?!


Double points to keep teams developing further

Budget cap to stop them from developing further

FIA (or F1 commission)needs to make up their minds

Again, mid field teams will run out of money towards the end of the year and will be punished by not scoring double against the big spenders


And F1 tries to become more like NASCAR (or something like it)!!! Outstanding!.....Not!!! One of the things I used to love about this sport was the straightforwardness of its (sporting) regulations. Oh well...


Once again, this is an idea that's an answer to a question no one asked.

Talk about devaluing your own brand.


This is so awful... If this is the direction F1 is going I fear for the sport.


After this and all the politics, it is as much a sport as WWE. They should call it F1 entertainment


I've loved F1 since I was a kid. Been to every Oz GP since 99 when I was 8 years old. F1 has been my number 1 passion, much more so than even football. I loved that there were no gimmicks, and everything about was professional. No holds barred. All out racing, driving the car with the scruff of its neck.

It's so fake now. DRS, degradable tyres, boring Tilke dromes, and now double points. The latter is by far the worst idea ever implemented by F1. It's so bad it sounds like Bernie came up with it.

I cannot tell you how nostalgic I felt for the years before DRS, Pirelli etc. while Vettel was on his 9 wins streak, the years between 2006-2010 are the kind of racing I yearn for.




When are Bernies sprinklers coming into to play?

This new idea makes that one look positively sane.


Team and car number would be better than driver and car number. This is closer to MotoGP and motocross with permanent numbers.

However, the double points idea for the last race is silly. In many "Late Model" NASCAR club racing, where double points concepts are used, the double points races are selected at random but usually in the middle of the season, and never to decide the title. This has all the look of Family Feud (Family Fortunes in the UK) where after the first two rounds, the third round is worth double points, and the subsequent rounds are triple points, making the fourth round more relevant than the third round.

An overtly dominant driver, however, would be able to gain 51 points on second after Interlagos, however, and make the double points gimmick fail.

It's similar to how golf's Race to Dubai works, and how there are more points paid to Dubai than the other tournaments leading to it.


I suggest that the cars be equiped to produce one smoke cloud and one oil slicks per race. If a driver gets too close you could use them to defend your position. Also "power-ups" could randomly appear on track. If you collect them by running over them you can get a temporary 200hp boost that can be used anywhere and anytime you chose.


Maybe 'Frankenstein' can also guide us on how to win these races... Jason Statham, here we come!!!


Double points sounds somewhat NASCARish.


Is the double points a done deal or is there still time for common sense to prevail.


F1 seems to be driving it's real fans away year on year with stupid new gimmicks. Time to start looking for a better alternative racing series I think. Awful new rule. I can only hope it gets scrapped by Melbourne.


Bizzare, so to spice up the show (somehow), the FIA is advocating a rule that would have reversed two exciting championships? What's to prevent a driver and team as dominant as Vettel and Red Bull in 2013 from using the new rule to further humiliate their rivals?

James, how about you do a story on the sudden knee jerk rule changes by the managers of F1 (FOM or FIA)? Have ratings truly improved so much over the past 10 years to warrant so many changes?

Having said all that, I suppose double points for the final race isn't as odd as the points system in the 80s where only a number of best results were counted.


The one thing that does surprise me is that during Michael Schumacher's dominant 2002 a lot of the clamour for rules changes came from the bottom up; from fans themselves. This time, there appears to have come top-down; there has been little support for such ideas amongst the fans but the FIA have decided to go ahead with it anyway!

Personally I think it's knee-jerk and gimmicky and takes us into somewhat dangerous territory of one race having more value than others. But with F1 there is always that paradox; you want it to be a meritocracy, with the strongest guy over the season winning, but what if one guy runs away with the title? And what if it happens more than once?! It doesn't put bums on seats as far as the casual channel-flicking fans are concerned, and sport can lose its magic somewhat if we know who's going to win. Non-meritocratic solutions always look artificial; think some of the other ideas like ballasts or a end-of-season "shootout/showdown" like they have in NASCAR or British Superbikes.

I suppose we'll always some sort of artificiality or levelling of the playing field and that may not always be a bad thing. However, the worry with this idea is it looks a bit crude and I'm not sure it's been well thought through. There's a lot of things you need to consider here: what difference will it really make if one driver-car combo dominates? If a title battle like 2010 or 2012 is really close, would doubling the points tally make a huge difference? Sure, assuming no behavioural changes the rule would have made Alonso champion in 2012, but it was still a classic season anyway (and the finale was a classic, with Vettel cautious at the start knowing he only needed points). Finally, what about the implications for the midfield teams? Imagine if, in the drizzle of Interlagos, a huge points haul from one race would have put Sauber above Force India? I know it's the same for everyone, but it still makes me uncomfortable.

Alexander Supertramp

The fact that the last race is in abu dhabi makes it even worse!

I guess there is no way the FIA is willing to review this stupid rule?

Alberto Martínez

FIA and FOM have gone crazy. What a way of bringing artificial elements to F1 and create unfair racing and situations in the standings.

If you´re against this absurd idea I would encourage you to sign this petition to revoke it.


Ridiculous. Go back to 9-6-4-3-2-1 and set that in stone. After 31 years of following F1, I have just about had enough. Ugly cars, rich kids, DRS, KERS, Vettel's helmets, Asia Series, etc. Yeah, I'll be tuning in come March. Guaranteed.


Double points for the final race makes a mockery of the 'sport'. James, is there a genuine chance of this being repealed before the start of the 2014 season? Why don't the FIA consult fans before introducing stupid rules? I have read 95 previous comments and I only count 6 positive comments about double points! Says it all really.


The verdict seems pretty clear so far! What rubbish. A double-points decider at that historic bastion of international motorsport ... Abu Dhabi. They have to be kidding. Sadly, it seems not. One more nail .........


So, for the upcoming Pirelli Tire test, is it still a test using 2013 cars? What are the limitations as to what car configuration can be run? For instance, could someone show-up with an early 2014 test car? Or a more likely, a 2013 version with various aero- or mechanical test bits they'd want to evaluate?

Just curious.. knowing f1, someone will want to push the boundaries.


This decision is selling the integrity, history and purism of the sport to gain a few extra casual TV viewers for the last race and to make a quick buck.

A terrible idea and I can't believe the sport as a whole has agreed to this.


Any team that has a grid penalty for using too many engines or gearboxes will be double hurt in the last race of the year.


Nail. Coffin. If they follow through with this daft idea then I'm out. I barely care as it is with quite possibly the worst season in living memory dominated by DRS, which only serves to promote non-authentic racing. F1 needs to back to its roots to find itself because right now just about everything is wrong. Tyres, DRS, qualifying format and now the points system. Sigh.


Any chance the double points will be revised due to the obvious awful reaction from everyone?


I've been a fan of F1 since 1977, I watch every practice, every qualifying and every races. I read the F1 magazines from cover to cover, log onto this site everyday, I've been to Silverstone, Donnington, Brands Hatch, many times, I've travelled abroad to Monaco (three times) Monza and Montreal (twice) and many more, so you could say I'm a bit of a fan....

Well alas no more, enough is enough, the double points are the straw that has broken the camels back.

Why ? Well here are just a couple of facts,
The FIA are an organisation which is riddled with corruption.

Bernie is a "[mod]" of the first magnitude, he is incapable of answering even the simplest of questions and has failed in his responsibilities to the F1 paying public over very many years. You know the truth James (along with the rest of the F1 futurity), and as a journalist you have a responsibility to your public, but it seems that you are all just too scared to rock the boat, as you know it will have serious consequences for you access. But James I do feel it's time to speak out and make a stand for the sport you love., Yes it will have consequences but sometimes you have to make tough choices and make a stand for what you truly believe in. You will certainly lose something but the respect of your audience won't be one of them. So James please make a stand, stop playing it safe, do you job and rather than just report the demise of your sport, make a different and reflect on what you role models would have done. You sport is dying in front of your very eyes, I just hope you can see it.

I could go on and on, but quite frankly I've wasted so much of my life on F1 I really can't be bothered.

Good luck James and I hope you have the balls to do what's right....nobody remembers the "middle of the roaders".

I'd love to stay but F1 has now reached a point where as an outsider I can no longer


"Good luck James and I hope you have the balls to do what’s right"

Read the next article: You will be impressed, guaranteed 🙂


Hi Random79,

Yes I was impressed by James, he's obviously not happy either, I just hope the other F1 journalists have the same level of conviction that James has.

Personally I feel they are all so self absorbed in trying not to incure the displeasure of dear old Bernie that they really don't do a great job of representing us (the hardcore F1 fans).

In the early years I think Bernie did a very good job, but for the last 10 years at least the balance between the commercial side of F1 and the sporting side has been totally lost, so in my opinion the sooner Bernie is out of the picture the better, if he could also take some of his FIA cronies with him maybe we could get someone in who could redress the balance. Ross Brawn would be a very good replacement, I just hope Bernie doesn't shoehorn in Christian Horner.

Just my view.


I agree on your comments on the FIA nonsense, have been following F1 since 1966, and all I can say is hold on and keep doing something you obviously enjoy

Regarding James, as far as I know he is not a FIA/F1 employee, consultant, stockholder and is thus unable to affect their decisions

His job is as a reporter and does quite a good job at it, for example: keeping this site so all of us unhappy about something can express our ideas

I am sure he can "forward" our comments to the powers that be, but he has to stand aside and report objectively, which he does and is why we read him (most of us at least)


Double points for the last race has to be the stupidest thing to come out of F1 in years. And that's saying something for a sport that has artifical passing thanks to DRS plus tires designed to fall apart after a lap or two. Seems like the FIA is trying to drive away whatever fans put up with the tire lunacy this season. What's next, NASCAR style yellow flags designed to bunch up the field every time someone gets too far ahead and ruins "the show"?


I've just cancelled my Sky subscription to save many £s and had planned to resume it in March when the new design begins. However if this double point rule is introduced then that's not going to happen. Hopefully the anger that's being demonstrated on this website is replicated around the world and the FIA will back down for the good of the sport.


FIA, if you want to totally loose your fan base keep on in this direction. This HAS to be taken to a vote with the fans. Or don't we matter anymore in this world driven totally by self centered money grabbing lunatics who have no respect for the history of the sport. If this goes ahead I could be one of those that will stop watching on a regular basis from 2015. Stupis, stupid, stupid.


I'm officially giving up on F1. Unless whole board resigns and we get some people who are actually passionate about F1 and not in there to make money and accommodate sponsors.

What a bunch of self-obsessed and incompetent leeches. Do they ever step out of the paddock club or WATCH the races?!


Look we all know how this should work in a sensible world - any driver who wins 3 races in a row only gets half points at the next race. Also if the drivers surname sort of rhymes with metal...


I don't see this as a problem if i'm honest.....KERS and DRS maybe, but this isn't as daft an idea.

The challenger(s): all eggs in one basket, fortune favors the brave, something for him (her maybe?) to try as a last do or die attempt at the championship. 50 points for a win opens up the scenario for multiple champion elects right down to wire

The champion to be: always giving it his all..going for glory to the last race because anything could happen.

Keeps everyone on edge


James,I'm not sure if Mark P has got it totally right, yes you can make a difference, but what about getting the actual drivers reaction to this stupid rule change. I can't believe they support it. After all they risk everything in every race so what makes the last race twice as dangerous. Their feelings have been bludgeoned into the dust by dear bernie and the FIA. Not to mention the teams that actually employ them if they have been part of this madness. It's all about the money for the FIA, the teams and for Bernie. Drivers obviously don't matter any more.


Double points for the final race is too distorting of the season. I think DRS needs to be kept. The car aerodynamics stuff up passing without it. But also include no waved blue flags. Surely a guy lapping another, with DRS, needs no more help to pass a slower car a lap or more down.


There should be a call for the final round of the Formula 1 World Championship to be boycotted.

There is no way drivers should allow for the rule change to go ahead. I would like to think that there would be no driver on the current Formula 1 grid that would actually claim the World Championship in circumstances where they only won it because of double points in the final round.

The line between sport and entertainment has been crossed and the sport is being trivialised to an extent that is damaging to the brand.

It also sends a worrying message about the influence that very wealthy nations are having on Formula 1. It's one thing to have a large amount of investment in the sport coming from these kingdoms but when they start impacting on the fabric of the sport, people with a role in the sport have to take a stand.

Calling that if the rule stays the same, there should be a boycott of the final race by all drivers.

Please look to push this James, we need people that have a voice in the Formula 1 paddock to prevent this going ahead.


The changes to the penalty system and the free choice of car numbers are a positive at least, even if the final round double points system is nonsensical rubbish (to put it lightly)! Surely the FIA must be aware of how unpopular this change is already? Not that I imagine they care, they know we'll all still be watching anyway so they can get away with it.

Wondering aloud here, I'm interested to see what numbers each of the drivers pick - I'm half expecting numbers from karting days being revived for sentimental reasons, I vaguely recall reading that Hamilton always raced with a number 42 so perhaps that will be one to watch out for. I also like to think that Vettel will have the number 1 on his car shaped like his index finger!



How about, as mentioned by Brundle at Interlagos, drop the Free Practices down to 2 sessions with one of these being mandatory to be driven by their reserve driver.

Should spice things up come quali and race, place extra emphasis on having (below a certain experience level i.e. no supersub like MSC) reserve drivers who can give very good feedback and guaranteed time in an F1 car before entering the sport proper.

Would save coin too, especially if they didn't run on Friday - 19 days fewer running would save a bunch of coin and with the reduced wear and tear on travel crews, would allow these extra 2 or 3 races to be implemented with relatively low impact.

Valentino from montreal

Stupid . New . Rules .


For a sport that relies on intelligence, education and raw brain-power, this "double points" rule is the most shambolic, idiotic and ridiculous idea I have ever seen.

Why only the final round? Who chooses the final round? What if the racetrack that hosts the final round has a benefit to certain teams because of its configuration?

It is a ludicrous idea in all respects.


Last straw.

I am not going to subscribe or watch in 2014


I like the idea of more points per race. I do think some races are more important than others, say GP of Britain, so I wouldn't mind extra points being awarded during that GP.


Really? Each race is just as important as another and no races should offer more points than another. Britain is no more important than Australia, Monaco, Canada etc


Why do you think Silverstone, or anywhere, is a more important round than others?


It's official: F1 is now a proper "reality" show with it's very own twist.

Attention all nongheads at the FIA:


(please don't mod that guys: it's both 100% accurate and completely justifiable...and once again sorry for the shouting)


The number thing is interesting at least.

7ewis 4amilton should be number 74. 5ebastian 5ettel as number 55? 4drian 5util? K1m1?

Ok I'm out of ideas already.


Thank goodness - I kind of think you were struggling at 4amilton 🙂


They only way double points would be okay would be if it was also double distance. Otherwise farce.


Double points is kitch. F1 is better than that. What a howler!


This reeks of stupidity and desperation to make a point ( pardon the pun) by the FIA. It devalues every GP in F1 history. If, by luck Caterham win at Abu Dhabi they can accumulate more points than a team that works hard all year and invests millions to do so. Eg Sauber.

Honestly can we get a petition going to stop this lunacy ??- Im sure many team principals are already opposing it aren't they?

On a positive side it's fantastic to see the budget cap start going but I will reserve my judgement till we get some details and some sign off from all the teams.

The 5 sec penalty is a great idea but I hope it doesn't get used every time someone touches. It's far more important that we get clear rulings ,consistent stewarding- and as mentioned previously even regular full time stewards wherever possible to add some solidity behind the rulings.


The sad thing is that according to the article this was passed not just by the FIA but also by the "Strategic Group" (you know, Ferrari, RedBull, Merc, McL and Lotus) unanimously, I can't figure out how everybody agree with that, maybe someone throw some hypnotic chemical weapon in the room this guys were there. It's madness.


Still surely the FIA could have said "what are you smoking guys". At the end of the day they have to sanction it.Its just so bizarre.. You know what is it just a coincidence that Abu Dhabi just became the last race on the calender- perhaps the Princes have just decided to throw some pocket money -you know 50-100m just to get more exposure for their embattled nation ! And we all know how fickle F1 can be when it comes to money ...


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

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


As bad as Bernie suggesting medals.


No, not really - nobody would care about medals or even cash. This compares to water sprinkles, I'd think.


I HATE these idiots. I swear I won't watch the season finale, and I'm not sure about the rest of the season either. Incredible!!!


I gave up watching F1 last year because of DRS. And wasn't that a good decision. I only popped in now to see the reaction to the latest nonsense.

The Le Mans Series has well and truly overtaken F1 as the premier high tech racing event.


In actually shocked at these comments. I've been watching f1 for 40 years and I have never before been more disappointed in the views of other fans.

I find it ironic that people who follow the most progressive and cutting edge sport are so reactionary. More conservative sports like golf rugby and football have all introduced play offs so what's the issue with double points? The downside of the play off format is that the rest of the season is just teeing up the play off. The double points idea is a clever way of introducing a finale without nullifying the other races. In theory it will be possible to win the championship before the last race but double points stops the season peatering out. This season I have never watched more dull races than those at the end of the year. Will everyone get a grip.


There's been a strong reaction for sure - even from James himself - but I don't necessarily think that a bad thing.

Better that than apathy.


Why dont we have whoever wins the last race declared as world champion and be done with that...Saves us the trouble of watching entire season..Worst decision of all time!!


Actually if Massa hadn't moved over in 2007 he would be a double world champion...


Only possible if you use the present (2010-)points system for the last race of 2007.

Otherwise it would have ended:

(Driver: DWCpts - BRA07-KR1pts + 2xBRA07-FM1pts)

Massa:  94 -  8 + 20 = 106

Kimi:  110 - 10 + 16 = 116

Fred:  109 -  6 + 12 = 115

Lewis: 109 -  2 +  4 = 111

Kimi still wins, Massa still 4th, while Alonso and Hamilton swap positions.


For fuck sake, this is Formula One, not Call of Duty Ghosts where once in a while you have a double xp weekend.

Just imagine 2007 if Kimi had won by these rules, wouldn't have been as good as it was.

Another example: I don't like Vettel, but he deserved this years WDC, I would have laughed very hard the first week if he lost his trophy if these rules were active this season. The week after I would be like "Driver X who took the trophy from Vettel didn't deserve it". It is no fun to have seasons like this, but it is part of the game.


When I read a headline somewhere else about it yesterday, I thought for a moment whether it's not an April 1 joke. Truly sickening. DRS pales in comparison to it, now it is a computer game, and nothing else. Now I'd love SebVet to win his 5th title by leapfrogging someone else from behind by virtue of this double-points rule. That would be ironic justice and in-your-face moment to all those unanimous reps.


Is this some kind of a super Nintendo are we in? Ai ai more distaste for the sport I am getting very close to stop watching formula one. If it it wasn't for Hamilton and Alonso I would have stopped long ago. This is pure mockery and buffoonery. .. bernie must just die in peace. I remember his stupid and idiotic idea about artificial rain and short cut ... ai ai ai in what language can I possibly cry


I would have preferred double points for best doughnut at the end of the race, voted for by the public on a mobile app.......

Terrible rule change (double points for final race)! What?,


Bernie a very clever guy throughout his career but this is about half a dozen steps too far.

As for it being a unanimous vote, that's worrying too!

Revolving door difficulties.... now double points. Time to retire Bernie.

Ridiculous I'm afraid!

Leslie in San Francisco

I thought this kind of stupidity was reserved for this side of the pond.


Yes but apparently they're watching your reality shows on the other side of the pond which is giving them funny ideas 🙂

Leslie in San Francisco

perhaps the Austin race has contaminated them all.


Ok, my only other suggestion is this: bring back non-championship races.

No need for testing, and the drivers can race unhindered by playing for points.

I'd pay to see that, especially when there is a very domininant car in the championship.


In the Australian V8 Supercars they have non-championship races.

The theory: No points, so just play it safe and bring the car home in one piece.

The reality: Racing that puts Grosjean (2012 version) & Maldonado to shame 🙂