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Double Points At Final Race Tops New FIA Regulations
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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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1

I’m not the biggest Vettel fan and I like when the championship goes to the wire. However next year I REALLY hope that both championships are settled before the final race just to spite this ridiculous, degrading rule.

2

Some arguments against double points for the last race:

1. If a race is suspended and cannot be resumed, half points are awarded if the leader has completed more than two laps but less than 75% of the original race distance: what does this now mean in the final race of the year? Would it revert back to normal points? For a significantly shorter race?

2. It breaks the dead heat rules (“count back”).

For example, since 2010, the “new” teams have each failed to score a single point and their constructors championship positions are awarded on simply the number of like-for-like high finishing positions. Say that Caterham and Marussia have one 11th place each, but Caterham got their 11th place in the last race: does it now count more because double points were awarded that day?

For anyone who scores points in the last race the result is now twice as significant as any other race, so will it count for more in count-back too?

3. It magnifies the element of luck, for example:

– Driver A gets a 7th, two 9ths and a 10th (11 points)

– Driver B gets a 7th (12 points)

– Driver B finishes ahead in the championship because his 7th place was in the final race.

Has the FIA even thought of these issues?

I’ve been watching F1 for 20 years now and this is just the worst kind of rule meddling I can remember. I hate the idea. It’s ridiculous.

3

James, you forgot to mention that Kimi would’ve won the championship in 2003 with these rules

4

Surely this will lead to more “Senna/Prost” type end of season crashes?

Also we all know Alonso would not of won the titile in 2012 under this system, because after Vettel spun on the first lap. Red Bull would of managed his pace and timed his pit stop so he came out of the pits just in front of Alonso so when he got blue flags he would of taken him out of the race.

If the FIA can’t see the amount of “crashes” that this will course, then they must be thick.

5

Double points… The most retarded idea yet.

6

APPEAL:

FIA please don’t destroy our beloved sport. We,the fans have been, are and will always be the biggest and most important stakeholders in the sport and won’t put with the increasingly farcical and illogical regulation changes.

I hope for a change, the governing body opens its eyes and sifts through what the fans are thinking and talking about, otherwise there won’t be a sport to govern come 2017-18.

7

This idea is nothing to do with ensuring a tight season-ending finish for the sake of the championship or the fans’ excitement. It is all about generating media interest and therefore sponsorship/advertising dollars. Shame, because I initially thought this was a sport. Silly me.

8

This is my first comment on this site. And I would like to reiterate that I am NOT in favour of the double points for the last race. Will this rule make the last race more exciting? History suggests that in very few championships would this rule change have made it more exciting, but results would have changed in years where there was a lot of excitement going into the final race. So it does not really solve the problem!

However…

Tennis has an unequal points system, with the slams, the masters, the ATP 500s and the 250s. If the rule makers wanted to increase excitement (and maybe get money from Abu Dhabi), they could split the races into tiers, and award different points for the races in different tiers. Maybe Spa, Sao Paolo, Suzuka (I personally don’t like The Monte carlo processions) should be the top tier. Give more points for the races in the top tier, make them longer (400km?), and award points for fastest lap and qualifying results in these races. The teams will then strategise more, have new engines and gearboxes for the tier 1 races…etc.

The ‘random’ double points in the last race can cause serious heartache among fans, and I sure hope my favourites don’t get the wrong end of the stick because of this rule!!!

9

FIA, hope your reading,

WE have spoken.

10

The FIA are a joke… lets list there screwups…

1) Narrow Chassis

2) Grooved Tires

3) Excess Aero regulations

4) KERS

5) DRS

6) Winter Tires for racing

7) Random Stewarding

8) Anti-Racing penalities

9) Double Points

The FIA are run by muppets, in my opinion… or they have no backbone at all, and are simply bent over by the teams…

11

Awesome idea! Now I can give up on F1. Not a fan of the tyres or DRS. Being in oz, no more late nights.

12

Yes – I like the idea of watching 1980s/1990s races during the season, just so we can get a buzz from actual racing…

I have not watched all the 1980s races, so there will be a freshness to the experience…

13

What a joke!

James, where’s that poll?

14

Just to add my 2 cents:

This is by far THE most asinine decision the FIA has dreamt up. Does the same apply to other series the conducted user the auspices of the FIA, or only Formula 1?

What were they smoking? Surely nothing legal. This new points system just opens up a can of worms for abuse, which will inevitably happen. (Driver two of contending team taking out lead driver in other contending team).

No sane person could support such utter rubbish. After watching F1 for 45 years, I can’t see it happening any more given such stupid point distribution.

15

I think double points should only be awarded at the last race to those teams or drivers who have completed every race. Rewarding consistency and reliability.

16

why not go back to the old 10,8,7 system?

double points is an awful idea

17

F1 has lost its way. Not sure how I can defend this sport anymore. I have to pinch myself to convince myself I’m not dreaming, what a complete joke.

18

I would like to make some suggestions as well:

1) 2 points for the best donuts at the end of the final race ( 3 points if they are done before the checkered flag. However a safe “donut area ” is required for this. They can not be done under yellow or red flag conditions. Only a driver that has 0 points and has completed 75% of the laps is eligible.

2) Drivers that offer a lift to a fellow driver who is stranded at the track side will be awarded 2 extra points. ( 3 points if this is done before the checkered flag. Special safe areas to be marked by the track side similar to Taxi stands.

3) Drivers will be allowed to carry over any extra fuel that they manage to save in the previous races. This is only allowed for drivers that complete the race and are less than 2 laps down on the leader.

19

Well, I can barely believe it, although I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at the machinations of modern F1 anymore. What an utterly ridiculous rule change.

20

I think it will be a sad day for fans if the situation ever occurs, that we have to see a driver crowned champion that we know in our hearts is not the true champion. I think even the the fans of that driver would have difficulty enjoying this false victory. So nobody is really left satisfied after this scenario.

Not a great way for F1 to endear itself to the fans.

21

I suggest that at the end of the race, the drivers should immediately be given a Rubik’s cube. The first to solve it is awarded the Grand Prix victory.

The World Champion can then be drawn out of a hat (white smoke to billow from the FIA chimney when this has been done. Jean Todt can then say the immortal words ‘habeus World Championum’).

22

Absolutely farcicle. Makes a complete mockery of the whole point of equal competition. I can already see someone being 49 points ahead with one race to go, being knocked out by a backmarker and then someone else wins the 50 points to take the title whilst everyone’s supposed to think that it’s exciting because someone lucked into a title win because one of the races was worth double!

I’ve watched F1 for years abut gave up watching at the end of this season because there’s so much stupid gimmicky stuff like DRS and kers and rules like this are cementing my decision not to bother next year or subsequent years either.

23

If a championship leading driver has been doing a great job all year and loses the WCH due to an accident, puncture etc. in the last race, than he would be double punished. I do not think that is the way to make a more interesting season. The circuits should be less artificial at the first place (punishing errors more without added danger factor), than addressing the problem of pay drivers would not hurt either, than having a smaller gap between the few top teams and the midfield etc.

However I would consider giving more points at the most traditional venues (grand slam like) like Spa, Monza, Monaco, Silverstone that would make more sense and would give some unpredictability to the season.

24

I think the retrospective comparisons of who would have won which titles under this points system is pretty silly. You can’t do that, because if this new system did apply then things would have happened differently anyway (e.g. race strategies, drivers’ preparedness to take risks).

It’s like saying “let’s work out who would have won in 2009 if refuelling was banned”.

What matters is how it affects future championships – if challenger A has a DNF in the last race and challenger B wins by a point, challenger A is going to justifiably feel the points system has robbed him of a deserved championship.

Have we heard any reaction about this from drivers yet? I doubt they’re very impressed.

25

I visit this site every day and enjoy its insight, but rarely do I have something sufficiently interesting to say that I feel the need to post a comment. Today, that is true again, but I feel absolutely compelled to join the chorus of fans who want to express a view that awarding double points at the last race is an unwelcome rule change.

26

Thanks for your comment

27

I’m actually really surprised that the double points on race race was ‘decided unanimously’!!

Were the voters high on weed or something? The scene from the movie Ali G in da house comes to mind.

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