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Controversial double points rule for final F1 Grand Prix of season here to stay
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Posted By: Editor   |  23 Jan 2014   |  8:57 pm GMT  |  174 comments

The controversial rule to award double points at the final race of the season is set to go ahead after a meeting in Geneva on Wednesday between Formula 1 team bosses where they did not attempt to overturn the ruling.

The idea, which was formed by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, first surfaced late last year with the idea of making it mathematically more difficult for the title to be decided several races before the end of the season.

At the time, reigning four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel described the plans to award 50 points rather than 25 for a race win at this year’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as “absurd”.

Earlier this week, Caterham team owner Tony Fernandes described the plan as a “fake fix” for problems which the sport needs to address.

Likewise, many fans, drivers and even Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo were against the idea while promoters of other Grands Prix on the 19-race calendar where unhappy that the Abu Dhabi race may be considered “more important” as a result.

But according to the BBC, it seems the rule is here to stay after none of the teams chose to raise issue with the idea at the meeting.

At the meeting, the team bosses also discussed the introduction of a cost cap in 2015 but they did not agree a figure for the limit of the spending. That will be discussed at a later date. The banning of tyre warmers was discussed but not yet introduced but a change has been made to the regulation about drivers stopping on the slow down lap after a race to save fuel. This will no longer be allowed.

The news comes ahead of the first launch of 2014 which take place tomorrow. McLaren will launch their 2014 challenger online, a day before Ferrari do the same thing.

Sauber launch online follow on Sunday, with Toro Rosso unveiling their car in the Jerez pit lane on Monday, a day before the opening day of the first pre-season test.

Mercedes, Caterham, Red Bull, Force India, Marussia and Williams are planning low-key roll-outs on the morning of the first test day on Tuesday while Lotus, who will not be in Jerez, have yet to confirm their plans.

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1

What if the Abu Dhabi race gets cancelled for some reason? We all know that the Middle East is a nice stable region…

2

As everyone else is saying, the drive to make F1 an easily accessible ‘show’ is stuffing up what has been a technically brilliant and massively challenging sport.

This must open up an opportunity for other series to step up to grab the support of the traditional F1 fans.

3

Perhaps Bernie is heading for a championship and cup type structure? The double pointers being the cup races?

Bring on the gold, silver and bronze medals!

There must be more ideas to come, how about a two race per weekend format, with a sprint race followed by a reverse grid main race plus a couple of London distance races…….oh that’s Aussie V8’s is it?

4

That’s long distance, not London distance. Sorry!

5

This is TOTALLY ridiculous! I’m a long time (over 40 years!) F1 fan and cheered Vettel’s championship wins. However, this double point decision will drive me away from the sport. I’ll stick with MotoGP and attend a Formula E race.

6

I’m feeling the same way, too. While there have been quirks in the rules and points system over the years, this double-points thing has really struck a nerve with me.

7

MotoGP is pretty naff at the mo with small two tiered fields, try WSB, instead. Great racing throughout the big and very competitive field.

8

I’ve really enjoyed MotoGP and thought last season was terrific. But I’ll definitely check out WSB. Thanks for that!

9

So abu dhabi is now worth twice the other races???

what a ridiculous way to try and make a bland circuit interesting: move the last race to abu dhabi and give it double-points. I wonder how much money they paid for this.

bad decision. it sucks

10

After this was confirmed, apparently the Oxford English diction-airy [sic] decided to add to its definitions of gimmick, contrivance, stupidity and absurdity as “The 2014 F1 last race double points award.” Oh dear, FIA, what have you done? And why didn’t the teams stand up the Parisian cheese eating make a mockery of the points system monkeys and said, just keep the points on offer at every race the same? Where does the F1 rules go from here? Its make me and every F1 viewer shudder………..

11

This is even more stupid than allowing teams to change tyres on the grid under red flag.

12

I read somewhere that this was being introduced for 2015, not THIS season, can this be confirmed please?

And all of you saying you won’t be watching this season because of this rule, yes you will, you know that, and so does Bernie.

The rule is ‘absurd’, agree, but there is still a racing spectacle to be watched and I am not turning my back on it because of this, true fans won’t.

13

You have to laugh! I said way back, that the F1 Strategy Group was Bernie’s dream come true and how he would manipulate the participants.

Here was a classic Bernie move, he made noises a week or so ago, in fact he merely repeated what he had said originally,that he really wanted more than one, maybe 3 or 4 double points races. So with this in mind and knowing that Bernie can bring pressures, inducements and bargains to bear, to get a majority vote, they all thought they had better not mention it and maybe Bernie might forget.

To be fair it’s an excellent new rule which will give others a chance if there is a runaway Vettle again. However it is more likely to be someone from an engine supply team this year.

A few other new rules were put forward too, th most controversial being to elimiate tyre warmers in 2015. But we shall have bigger wheels by then (ideally) so the old warmers will not fit.

14

It is a very stupid rule for the following:

Devalues the 18 races

Penalizes consistency

Promote team order even more. Team(s) are going to stack points on one driver earlier.

You want liven things up? Revert back to the old 10, 6, 4, 3, 2, and 1 rule with dropping the 5 worst races…. This would promote winning….

I pretty confident – high budget, move(s) to races out of Europe, and Bernie will ultimately cause major problems for F1……….

15

What an appauling shame..

16

It seems that someone from Abu Dhabi stroked a very large check to make sure their dolt of a race track would attract some kind of attention. Bernie hatched the entire thing only to pocket said financial instrument as he will be stroking quite a few instruments of his own, to lawyers, soon.

17

I would bet money that if the last race was Brazil, there would be no double points. Abu Dhabi is well known for having some of the dullest races and most people wouldn’t mind missing seeing that race. Nobody wants to miss Interlagos. Add in the fact that the season rarely goes down to the final race in any meaningful way and the result is ridiculous gimmicks to try and appeal to the new, young masses rather than the stalwarts who have been following the sport for decades. It is nonsense, ridiculous and downgrades the notion of F1 being a sport, but one thing it certainly isn’t is a surprise. Shock is reserved for the new noses : )

18

I would say that this is the worst rule i have seen imposed into F1 for a long long time and there have been some pretty contentious ones lately.

If F1 are going to do double points why don’t we add a ‘joker’ round where each driver could select one race where he can get ‘double points’. Then we can have a real circus!. I thought F1 was the pinnacle of motor sport?

Seriously i think Abu Dhabi money had something to do with this with Bernie…but i didnt say that did i??

20

i think its a great idea.

Who wants to stop watching the season with a few races to go if the winner has already been decided? which it was last year.

Everyone turned off last year after the ‘vettelathon’ became so boring towards the end.

Sorry but I for 1 reckon its a smart marketing move and it will extend the interest in the season.

21

So what happens if Vettel has the best car and dominates again? Or anyone or that matter? It won’t make the racing go down to wire all it will do is allow them to set a new record for most number of points.

Also I don’t know how F1 car development works but couldn’t a team that usually run at the back, caterham, marrusia, develop a car specifically for Abu Dhabi? The. It wouldn’t matter about the rest of the season because so long as they get a 1-2 or a similarly good result they fly up the table at the end leapfrogging plenty of teams.

Bernie really is F1’s Vince McMahon, not that I watch WWE.

22

Bernie Ecclestone believes that the double points idea will attract casual viewers and that hard core fans will watch anyway.

What does everyone think to the idea of a little on-line petition to all F1 fans asking them not to watch the final race of the season? I know it would be very hard for us to commit to but it might be worth a try, and if it got enough notice might help the rule being dropped next year.

Thoughts on a post card.

23
Clarks4WheelDrift

Correct, I will watch anyway.

Wrong about the casual fans though, at least in the UK. Speaking to colleagues, none of them will be motivated to shell out for pay per view Sky F1 to watch the races live because of ‘double points’.

Most of the casual fans that watched the season in 2011 and before don’t even bother with the 9 live races they get paying the BBC for their TV licence. Maybe, just maybe they’ll tune in for Spa because of the racing, past history of good races and awesome track.

Double points – engage blasee French mode – pfffffffff, boff.

24

James please start a petition to get rid of the double point rule. And another to get rid of Bernie his time is up. What perfect timing Mark Webber had leaving last year. I will still watch motor sport just not f1. Up coming driver’s must be thinking why go to f1? It is no longer the pinnacle of motorsport. Best drivers worst rules

25

Proof that the sport doesn’t care about the fans.

Disgusting.

26

If a driver takes the WDC off another because of the extra 25 points gained in the last race I don’t think fans around the world will regard him as a worthy Champion.

Surely that is the test ?

27

An artificial champ to me

28

I’m not a Vettel fan by any means (got nothing against him either), but can you imagine if Alonso had a 48 point lead before Abu Dhabi and then Vettel won the championship again, actually benefitting from the double points finale? That would serve everyone right!

29

Funny, I had a very similar post but it was deleted.

I wonder why?

30

It’s there now.

I’ve found that James and his merry minions tend to moderate the newest comments first, so the early bird actually has to wait a bit for their comment to show up 🙂

31

Oh so nice. Sorry my paranoia is on overdrive.

32

We have no record of that

Probably didn’t get through. We only delete swearing, defamation etc

33

You know, I don’t get the outrage over the double points. For much of it’s life the WDC has not been about who simply accumulates the most points over the season. We have often had systems where only the best so many results count towards the final tally, or the best so many in each half of the season. This has from time to time resulted in situations where the front runner could only marginally increase his points by winning (because he had to drop the points from some other result) or the guy who scored the most points across the season did not end up WDC (EG 1988 when Prost scored 105 points to Senna’s 94, but after the dropped points the tallies were 87 and 90 and Senna was crowned champion). These systems seem unsatisfactory now, but points systems cannot be perfect and have been adjusted in the past to keep the WDC going longer. So maybe this is not that unusual a thing.

35

If they awarded no points for the first 19 races of the season. Then award them for the last race of the year this would guarantee the title fight would go down to the last race of the year.

With ideas like this i could work for Bernie!!

36

It is quite curious all of this. When Ferrari had their dominating streak in the early/mid 2000’s Bernie was challenged about their domination. His response: “…the other teams should try harder”. I would suggest that if Ferrari were still dominating, his response would be the same. But now that another team is dominating, the mans thinking has changed. It is a historical fact that the major teams domination in F1 is cyclical. This double points malarkey is nothing short of a joke, and does not reward consistency. I have always said that 3 championship trophies should be awarded each year. 1 for Ferrari, and the other 2 for the team and driver who race hard and do the best job throughout the whole season. The championship is become more contrived and manipulated each year…oh well, it is Bernies toy I guess. Thanks James, my spleen has just been vented.

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