Vettel: Plan for double points at final race of the season is “absurd”
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Dec 2013   |  12:50 pm GMT  |  244 comments

World champion Sebastian Vettel has described the plans to award double points for the final race of the season from 2014 as “absurd”.

Following a meeting of the F1 strategy group and the Formula 1 commission in Paris on Monday, the FIA announced a host of rule changes, including the regulation which will see the winner of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix score 50 points, rather than 25.

It is intended to mean that it’s mathematically more difficult for the title to be decided several races before the end of the season. But Vettel, 26, told German newspaper Sport Bild: “This is absurd and punishes those who have worked hard for a whole season.

“I value the old traditions in Formula 1 and do not understand this new rule. Imagine, in the last Bundesliga [football] match of the season there was suddenly double points.

“Drivers, fans and experts are horrified.”

Red Bull motorsport adviser Helmut Marko told Sport Bild that there had been a proposal to offer double points at the final four races, but his team “were against it”.

He added: “At first it was planned to award double points for the last four races. Then the World Championship [up to that point] would have been almost useless.”

Formula 1 will be very different next year, with a raft of new regulations being introduced. One of the key chnages is the switch from V8 engines to V6 turbos.

Vettel has admitted that he’s concerned the introduction of the smaller power units could dilute the show for fans.

“I am a bit sad because my first test in F1 was in a V10,” said the German, when speaking at the Autosport Awards earlier this month. “I remember that test, and then we went to a V8 a year afterwards. When I had my second go in an F1 car I could tell the difference.

“I just hope that we are not going down from a power point of view. We will lose the revs which I think is a shame because it is a new direction that we go into and a new technology.

“I also still remember the first time I went to see F1 was in 1992. It was raining and only free practice in Hockenheim. The cars were only coming out for installation laps, and just to hear the sound of the car coming around, to feel it in the ground; they are the first memories I have.

“I just hope in the future we will not lose this excitement. I think the cars need to smell, the cars need to be loud, it needs to give you something that you don’t forget.”

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Double points for Abu Dhabi makes no sense. Now there are some club racing where a race at random during the season is selected as a double points race, but it is designed to force teams to appear at every race.

The WEC has double points for one race (Le Mans) but that is because the race is 24 hours versus the six hour distances of the majority of WEC races.

Double points and the title decider at Abu Dhabi after two races in prime-time shows how the switch to pay television instead of FTA television can pay dividends. Instead of maximum television audiences in prime-time, a return to afternoon television is permissable with Abu Dhabi at 1 PM BST instead of the 7 PM BST (Austin) or 4 PM BST (Sao Paulo) races.


What happens if someone dominates the championship again? Are we going to have a 100 points for the final race?? a 1000 points?? may as well just turn up for the last race!

Disgraceful idea


f1 is becomeing a bit of a farse.


The most likely scenario is for the top two drivers to arrive at the last few races with a gap of say 10 points and leave with a gap of 60 or more points if one does very well and the other has a so-so race.

Why not have each team (or driver) pick one race where they will get double the points (provided they manage to score any)? They would have to make their selection before the beginning of the race weekend, and do it secretly so we would only find out at the end of the race! Now that would make for good drama…


And if this does do the trick will they make the last two? last three? races double-points?

Why not skip the ‘hoping and wishing’ this will spice the show and just penalize whoever is leading at the season winds down? No different than DRS handicapping the one in front. BE’s sprinkler idea looks like it’s consistent with the philosophy of the great minds that came up with this, and of course too self-important to ask fans what they thought of it beforehand.


Wouldbe more funny if the race is started at the box with engines off. Then the drivers have to push the car a lap before they are allowed to enter it.

Perhaps then some heavier and probably stronger drivers get some benefit 😉


I don’t often like anything SV does or says, but everything he has said here is right on.


He’s right, the end.


Good thing I don’t own of of the tracks that has a financial arrangement with Bernie, Todt and Co. for a F1 event.

I’d sue them for devaluing my the value of my contract and ability to attract fans in relationship to Abu Dhabi.

Who in their right mind would want to attend or even watch my ‘event’ when it only provides half points to the end of season event? Very simply through this proposed discriminatory action my contract is worth considerably less. I demand financial compensation!

Chew on that cud for awhile..


Vettel’s 4 championships clearly give him an inch of safety from reprisals from the FIA for speaking out. Fair play to him, he is the only driver to stick his head out of the parapit and speak out.

It is a shame that drivers like Hamilton and Alonso appear to have kept quiet (presumably as they have the most to gain).


Excellent idea. I suggest that all the championships in the past are corrected according to this system. In that way we will not have a new rule. There will be some history behind it.


[I think the cars need to smell, the cars need to be loud, it needs to give you something that you don’t forget.”]



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

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

Let me tell you what I would love to see.

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

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


I don’t see how it will produce anything but unsatisfactory outcomes… If it’s a close championship it’s not nessesary and if it’s not close, it can only produce results that forever leave the come from behind champion looking undeserving!


Well said Seb, nice to see a sense of responsibility for the history of the sport and what appeals to true fans.

Tornillo Amarillo

What is the impact of double points in the team budget?

I mean, with the double point system, teams would have to develop the car for the last race, while they are almost fully committed for the car of the next season, aren’t they?


Not only that, but – as alexdhq pointed out in the original article – with extra points the teams will have bigger entry fees for the following year.


Here’s an idea already mooted…

Keep the points system as is.

Give 5 points for pole

Give 5 point for fastest lap.

Give 5 points to constructor for fastest pit time…

However, if you want to continue with this whole lottery bussiness, drop 22 numbers in a hat, and let each driver draw his starting position…

Now drop in some more numbers and have them draw the laps on which they must pit…TWICE.

See, Mr Ecclestone, now i’ve made it EXCITINGLY stupid…not just stupid!!

Double points is going to dilute the value of the championship…

and i so do miss that beautiful screaming 3.5litre Ferrari V12, or the melodious Honda and Renault V10s…


Why do people always suggest giving a point for pole and fastest lap? How often did Vettel get both this year? He doesn’t need any more points!


Good point 🙂


James, it would be great if you could go into more detail about how this rule change was decided upon. It would be interesting to find out who first proposed it, how long it was considered for, who was consulted and who voted for it and why.

I know you wrote about the working group who came up with it but I, as I’m sure many fans are, would be keen to know more about how they operate and how they reached a decision that seems so unanimously opposed elsewhere. I do wonder if it had less to do with the championship and more to do with Abu Dhabi paying for more prominence.

Your reporting on the subject has, as always, been first class.


Sad that F1 is starting to resort to gimmicks to spice up the show…. Always thought that they were above that stuff. I’m really starting to be concerned about the future direction of the sport. Slowly morphing into a lite version of NASCAR “racertainment” is just going to alienate casual and hardcore fans alike, IMHO. Hope they revisit this stuff sooner rather than later.


I think this double points rule is a sham! Surely a better way forwards is to revers grids after qualifying (and award points in quail to incentivise getting pole even though that person then starts at the back).

This would mean there would be no more processional races, add a genuine level of excitement and keep things simple for the casual viewer.


“Surely a better way forwards is to revers grids after qualifying (and award points in quail to incentivise getting pole even though that person then starts at the back).”

Then everyone will have an incentive to qualify tenth/midfieldish, getting decent qualifying points while still being in with a realistic shot of a race win.

I’d sooner turn on the sprinklers than do the reverse grid gimmick. In fact after DRS, designed-to-degrade tyres, and double points for some GP’s, the sprinkler idea no longer seems all that objectionable. That Bernie is very devious!


Reverse grids are a good idea on paper, but personally I don’t like them.


I don’t get what Seb is saying. Why would he be worried. If the car,….ehem, the driver is in a comfortable lead towards the end of the season, why would something drastically change in the last race???


Needless to say, I wholeheartedly agree with Vettle’s words, for one very simple reason:

All of a sudden, the remaining races have lost considerable value, and they are, regardless of merit and degree of difficulty, half the value of the last race…Could the remaining tracks not sue F1 ?

If we wish to keep on calling F1 a sport, points should be gained on merit alone, and if by any chance the championship is won several races before the end, so be it. Do you wish to give more points? Let them be earned with pole and fastest lap.

The best thing that could happen would be an immediate departure by RBR and TR, as well as Vettel, from F1, and let’s see what happens next year.

In every half reasonable sport, there have always been eras of domination, by teams or individuals, and those times come and go, without resorting to idiotic ideas like what we have seen lately. Sadly, Mr. Ecclestone’s greed will soon kill this glorious endeavor.


Will this mean teams will look to optimise their car design to primarily suit the Abu Dhabi circuit? No more celebratory doughnuts because a final-race engine-failure could be catastrophic? What about the potential “number two driver” sniping a rival contender out of the race?

Worst. Idea. Ever.


Maybe i’m a bit cynical, but does anyone else think that the whole issue is just to keep people talking about/debating F1 for a while in the off-season; only to be magically reversed once the new cars come out and we all have something else to get our F1 teeth into?

If i’m right, it’s working bloody well.

Must admit though, i’m looking forward to the fight over no.27.


I remember standing at the end of Hanger Strait during quali in 1994. Unforgettable. not quite an Avro Vulcan taking off, but in that league. Will a V6 really be anywhere near next year?!

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