F1 Winter Break
Mercedes backed F1 teams likely to block double points move for final three races
Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Feb 2014   |  2:07 pm GMT  |  318 comments

The subject of awarding double points at the end of the F1 season has proved controversial since its introduction at Christmas. As things stand the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix winner will collect 50 points and the driver finishing third will score 30 – more than the winner gets at any other 2014 Grand Prix.

Bernie Ecclestone, whose idea this was, is now pushing for the last three races to be awarded double points, which would require unanimous approval from the teams.

But with the obvious problems faced by Renault powered teams at this early stage of the season – Red Bull in particular – the word among teams backed by Mercedes is that they will block any upgrading of the final three rounds.

A senior figure in one of the customer teams pointed out that “turkeys are hardly likely to vote for Christmas”, while Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said last week that F1 should listen to its audience – the fans – and take note of the angry reaction to the idea of double points.

Renault has promised a fix for its problems with the new hybrid turbo power train by the next test in Bahrain, but Red Bull is already on the back foot after limited running in Jerez.

It looks set to start the season chasing the Mercedes and Ferrari powered teams and would surely welcome the chance to close the gap in October and November with three double points hauls. So now it’s gone from a novelty idea aimed at hopefully boosting audiences to a political football and there is a strong lobby against.

Red Bull’s record in the final three races of the last five seasons is very strong.

In 2009 Red Bull won the last three races, two for Vettel and one for Webber; in 2010 Vettel won two of the last three races, in 2011 he had already clinched the title by that stage; in 2012 he had a second and a third place; in 2013 he won all the last three races.

Ecclestone meanwhile has come out with the astonishing claim that he pushed through the double points initiative to help Ferrari. He has made public some quotes today suggesting that he told Ferrari’s president he had done it to help his team, because they were not performing,

“He (Ferrari president Luca de Montezemolo) was talking about it and I said: ‘It is very simple why we got that [rule]. It is because you aren’t performing. If you were doing what you should be doing there wouldn’t be any need for it,’ ” Ecclestone is quoted as saying.

“He said: ‘I know, I know.’”

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This is pretty shocking reason for double points...openly admitting to distorting rules so to make a rival team more competitive is just wrong on so many levels, what a disgrace


I'm not sure if I buy the Ferrari story.

Bernie is ridiculously pro Vettel, pro Horner and pro redbull.

As said- this end of season double points would only help one team redbull (historically and likely this season)

How on earth does it help Ferrari!


You all need to take a moment to give this some thought.

Bernie is playing with the idiots out there, if this had been in place last year, what difference would it have made to the final results?

Unbelievable, LdM spoke to the press about how Bernie is too old now and should retire, did you really think Bernie would go quietly?


If they want double points, the teams should be allowed to nominate a race, where they will gain double points. Prior to the race weekend, if conditions, track and other factors look good they play their double point card. If they do well, great, if not tough.


I agree that Bernie's comment about bringing in double points because Ferrari aren't doing their job properly is an extraordinary one really.

However, I'm not sure that his purpose is specifically to give Ferrari an artificial boost. My interpretation is that Bernie is trying to make sure the championship is open to the end to boost general interest and viewing figures at the end of the season. Ultimately the one he is looking after is himself.

I think the comment to Luca De Montezemelo was more of a jibe than an offer of a helping hand. He was saying if you did your job properly and built a car that is able to compete to the end there would be no need to try to artificially prolong the championship battle.

I'll just finish by adding that whatever his reasons are I don't approve.


Well there's a first, someone actually believe's an Ecclestone utterance.....


I think ecclestone meant he came up with the idea with the sole ism of closing the gap to red bull so that the sport remains interesting to the ordience. he didn't mean to say that he tried to help ferrari.


He doesn't mean just Ferrari, he means you collectively. As in, all the other teams as well as Ferrari need to do a better job. I don't like double points


The teams should have spoken out when they had the chance and blocked the double points for the final race, but they didn't, so why are they objecting now, perhaps there isn't as much money on offer.

The whole idea is farcical, a better solution would be to revise the points allocation.

Another point is how may will take a grid penalty to have a fresh engine or gearbox.

As much as BE has done for the sport, his credibility is now questionable.


You don't believe Bernies glib comments to the press anymore than I do - or or you? Really??


Can I just add I hate the idea of double points, but not surprised to be honest. Both the FIA and Mr E have come up with some hair brain ideas over the years. Remember back to early 2005, when in the early races we had "aggregate" qualifying? What a stupid idea, it totally denuded the idea of Saturday qualifying, and casual spectators would tune in Sunday afternoon not knowing who had qualified were. Thank goodness this was scrapped, I think after 2005 European grand prix, a victory for common sense. That's why F1 needs: common sense. Soon rather than later.


I totally agree with you on this, Gaz Boy; And I would like to add that not only F1 needs common sense and less of those stupid and unsportive ideas beeing forced down on the sport and more respect and consideration for fans.


Arthur, what F1 needs is a governing body with vision and direction not just on technical matters but also, as you mention, on sporting and financial matters. I think E.E. Cummings said "progress is a comfortable, slow disease". It certainly is with F1......


Berni may have meant "because you aren't performing" to mean "because everyone other than Red Bull aren't performing" rather than "because Ferrari aren't performing" as everyone is assuming. It makes more sense that way IMO. There is less chance for the media to stir up fan indignation if you take that meaning.


This comment from Bernie makes no sense at all, and is almost certainly completely false and designed purely to distract attention.

Nobody can possibly know which team(s) the double points rule will benefit at the end of a 19 race season that hasn't even started. We've had one test, relative performance of all the packages isn't yet estabished, and comments like this are just ridiculous!



I was all set to write my own comment, but you already have and probably better than I would have anyway.

Get rid of the double points and while you're at it give Bernie the boot too. Of course he's done a lot for the sport but he's now officially proven that's he's unethical and well and truly past his use-by date.


Spot on. Contrivance is something Formula 1 needs to eliminate, not encourage. As for Mr E, well if the Germans have their way, he could be eating porridge for a few years.......and even if is found not guilty some serious reformation is required in the organisation and financial structure of F1. You can never F1 a fair world, but you can try to make it fairer and more equal when it comes to financial distribution.


150 years jail time???

That seems a bit excessive; 140 years should be more than enough to teach someone a lesson.



There was another Bernie (Madoff) who was sentenced to 150 years imprisonment. He was a lot richer than BE thanks to his Ponzi scheme.


Seriously? When has a multi-billionaire ever served jail time? Bernie will never even get close to any form of incarceration.


How about Mikhail Khodorkovsky?


I absolutely agree. Ecclestone should finally leave, he is well past his prime, as some of his mad suggestions show (anyone remembers that medal system fail or his ideas of artificially watering race tracks to stir things up?). We don't need any rule changes invented by an old quirky man for reasons only he understands in his strange mind.

Ecclestone has been great for Formula one, but it seems he is living in his own world by now.


You're so right. If you push for a rule change, it should be for the good of the sport, not to help your favourites. I'm not so naive as to believe such thinking doesn't go on. To express it so openly is silly, arrogant, and maybe desperate. Bernie is well off. He had a vision of the media playing a bigger part in the sport. This does not mean that his ideas since have all been excellent.

He favours changes that are good for his group such as pay for viewing. This has reduced the audience and so is not good for advertisers and manufacturers. It means less interest from various motoring groups and less ad stickers are cars such as the Williams and McLaren.

Finally I don't like the idea of more points for the final Grand Prix. Do we really want Monaco to be worth less than Brazil?


How exactly is this supposed to help Ferrari? I think this is just Bernie talking bollocks to get some press coverage again. Looks like it worked.


It strikes me that Bernie is rapidly losing any marbles that he once had! Gone are the days when he was sharp as a dime...


B E - cool as a doornail - dead as a banana


mixed metaphor?


The new rule exists to keep the advertising bean-counters happy. It certainly has no place in a sporting competition. It also devalues the other races and could alter design and budgets towards the last race.


Its really sad, the end of an honest sport may as well call it WWF

It will be chaos at the end of the season if someone undeserving wins the title, eveyone will believe it was worthless...mark my words i can see the media now....and what driver wants to honestly win a title under those false circumstances


F1 an honest sport? Nevr has been I'm afraid.


No other comments necessary.

The single most stupid rule I can recall in over 35 years of watching F1.

Also, I don't recall them doing anything to stop a certain Schumacher winning a whole bunch of stuff. In fact, they made it easier with those dumb super-hard grooved tyres.


The rules were changed twice to stop Schumacher and Ferrari winning so easily. First, for 2003, the point system was changed so that winning was worth less compared to 2nd and after 2004 they brought in the no tyre change rule.


Are you serious?

What about the points system changed to give the driver finishing second 8 points to reduce the value of a win (10 points)?

What about the tyres made to last the whole race to help the Michelin-shod teams in 2005? Ferrari were nowhere that year because of their tyres.

On occasions, the FIA also sided with Ferrari.

At the end of the day, FOM and FIA want the races to be watched, and they did rule changes to try to even up things.


Not saying there haven't been stupid rules before. You list some, and there are plenty more examples, but, as a stand-alone rule, I think this trumps the lot.


I remember a rule where the points leader, usually Schumacher, had to qualify when the track was at its slowest, to prevent him from taking pole and running away with the race.


I don't think that 'you' really means that Bernie wants Ferrari to win, but that he wants someone to actually challenge Red Bull. He could have said the same thing of other teams with the budget to challenge for the championships, but are underperforming.


Agreed. He has to be doing this to keep teams from moving on to next year half way through the season because they feel they are so far behind they could never catch up. I don't agree with the extra points, but there does seem to be a trend over the past few years for teams to just throw in the towel earlier and earlier in the season. With the extra points, the lagging teams would have some incentive to keep developing the current car, and keep pushing for the current championship. In theory, of course.


I'm for more points. Maybe double is too much. Perhaps 1.5 times the normal points haul. I agree, in theory, it should encourage the teams to keep developing the cars until the final race, but in an environment where the FIA is trying to cap budgets is that really going to happen? However, I'm all for the crown jewel of F1, Monaco, being double points. Make the must-see race the most valuable in points haul for the season.


I was going to say the same thing. I can just imagine Bernie waving a pointed finger around, encompassing Montezemolo while he screams "yooooooouuu" with foam forming at the corner of his mouth.


Agreed, it's not just "you" directed at Ferrari. It's Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Lotus... the teams that should have been taking it to Red Bull right up to the last race (without the need of a double points bonus round), if not taking it from them.

I still hate it though. Double points... pffft.


Yes, I read it this way too..


Yep, 'you' could be any team that failed to keep themselves in the title hunt to the end if the season.


But it's to help Ferrari! The team that needs a head start, the team that gets an extra bung on top of all the normal prize/Bernie money. The team that has a veto. Basically the team too precious to compete on level terms with the other teams. (No I'm not a tifoso)

But double points, good idea!


15000 points for Vettel at the start of the season!!!! 1500000000000000 points for Ferrari and its drivers at every time on-screen.


Why the assumption that Silverstone is a classic race? It might have longevity on its side but it's never been a great circuit. Having lived outside the UK for 25 years now, that's become even more apparent to me. Brands Hatch, now...


Try living in Canada and only having Montreal to visit. I've never even seen an F1 car take a corner at speed. Montreal often produces exciting races and has some history, but the track sucks. I would love to see Silverstone. Brands Hatch is amazing too. I'm going to Austin this year, and really looking forward to it. Never went to Indianapolis because that track was laughable.


Utter cobblers. Until they put in all the chicanes and started messing about with it, the original flat-out Silverstone was probably the most exciting in the World.


Yeah, Ferrari, the team in which favour tyre regulations were changed last year... OH WAIT!


We already got double and a half points for every race in 2010!

Bring back V12's !!!

HAHA Galapago - I was thinking the exact same thing 😉

We all know who really has the sport wrapped around its little finger 😛


Why not have double points at every race??


Agree with everything you were saying right up to the point where you suggest double points are a good idea.

Melbourne (and Adelaide of yesteryear), Monaco, Spa, Monza, Silverstone, Canada and all those other historic tracks I grew up with are simply not worth 1/2 of Abu Shabi, not in my eyes.


In case you haven't read the article, it's RedBull which are strong towards the end of the year. On top of this, it was Montezemolo which said the idea was stupid along others, so your dislike towards Ferrari is uncalled for in this case.


What youtalking about. Dislike for Ferrari is always called for.


"But double points, good idea!"

So that makes.....yep: Four supporters 🙂


double points is to much - even for the classics.

it can not be, that the second or third gets more points than a winner of a other "normal" race.

If the had to adjust all - give them about a third more points for the last three races.

that would get those races some extra value, but only "extra points" of the amount of one extra race - split up to the "valuable races"

i think that would be quite balanced, and still add spice to those races.



That's a good idea Steve, but I'll go you one better:



@Olivier: That's the first double-points rule suggestion that's ever made sense. I notice you didn't include Monaco, however.


I know, lets have double points on all the races!


Make that five.

Actually, I'd like to see the double points system applied to the classic races only:

1. Interlagos

2. Suzuka

3. Monza

4. Spa

5. Silverstone

This way the races are spread all over the calendar. End of discussion.


That's because F1 is becoming ever more 'Show Biz' and therefore just like what happens on all those 'talent' shows,

those who hold the purse strings want to be able to manipulate the results.


Where was Toto's concern for fan opinion when the option was on the table to block double points in the last race? He didn't give a monkey's then when it didn't serve his self interest - the bloody hypocrite.

Now all of a sudden we should listen to the fans? Really? Are we considered so stupid? No other sport would dream of introducing such a deeply unpopular rule in the face of overwhelming fan and media opinion let alone a rule that is unsporting and deeply artificial.

F1 - the 'plastic' sport.


Wayne: Frankly they can do what the hell they like within the rules, but I suppose attitudes harden as the subject is further aired. There is however a fundamental issue here in that the situation could arise where the runner up could throughout the season been positioned relatively higher than the championship winner that has accrued more points in the final races. - That's why it's wrong.


Richard, these comments that justify this sort of thing are really irritating. If the consensus is that it's a bad idea they could have blocked it - but they didn't. They can't now decide its a good idea to listen to the fans when they had the chance to actually support the fans and they chose not to.


All teams look after their own interest in what is a multi-million pound competition. They would be silly not to, however I think the consensus at Mercedes is that it is a bad idea.


no - merc bosses - especially Lauda, always called the doublepoints rule a joke.



'Twas ever thus'. 🙂


"...and the driver finishing third will score 30 – more than the winner gets at any other 2014 Grand Prix."

Wow, never thought of it like that before, somehow makes it even worse.

What do you think Nico Rosberg valued more last year, a win at Monaco or his podium miles behind the Red Bulls at Yas Marina?


Quite right.

And come to think of it, maybe the very FIRST race of the season deserves double points, too: in this age of limited testing, why not reward the team that got its car spot-in to begin with?

(see if you can guess my favourite team...)


Double Points is one of many continuous nails being hammered into the integrity this sport had.

The sheer audacity of 3 double point races is crazy.

If they wanted to add something like that then an alternative could be the Joker used in Speedway. I don't like it but giving each driver a Joker card for 1 race giving them double points for that race only would add some drama with less of the artificial. They had to apply it before the race but after QF. This gives extra coverage and tension to how that driver is performing after essentially gambling his single opportunity to gain double points and a leg up in whatever battle they are having in the championship.


It's possible Ecclestone was talking about all the teams when he said "you are not performing" i.e. because no-one is challenging Red Bull they have to be tied down with the randomness of double points in the final race. I'm probably being too generous though 🙂


As much as it 'should' be directed at all the teams, everywhere is reporting the same quote from LdM

He said: ‘I know, I know.’

Either Bernie's journo-monkey messed the quote up in the CitAM article, or he's basically admitted to fudging the rules for a teams gain.


pretty much how i figured it as well. I have no doubt that Ferrari have a big influence in F1 but not to the point of having the rules bent in their favour. Lest we forget that the last major rule change was down in part to Ferrari's own dominance of the sport.


James, may I ask what your opinion is of this whole double points fiasco? I've noticed that whilst fans seem to hate it, those in the sport (other than Merc engine customers) seem to be indifferent.

I honestly think Bernie has lost it. In the last 3 seasons that one driver has truly dominated and the title has finished too early (2002, 2004, 2013), a rule change has occurred and it's been a huge over reaction. The sport doesn't owe anyone to be entertaining as it is not a show; it exists purely for the sake of competition (like a true sport). Fans don't need gimmicks, we just need racing.

How to stop the declining viewing figures I wonder....hmm. Maybe stop moving F1 to channels like Sky Sports?


The problem is though that it is getting to a point where, without gimmicks, there is no racing of any interest or excitement. It all comes back to the technical regulations. Currently the regulations governing car design are tying the hands of engineers. Compared to the technical freedom in Formula 1 from the late 70's to early 90's, today's F1 is almost a control formula.

There is two options regarding technical regulations in terms of making the racing better. One: Full technical freedom restricted only by a budget cap. Two: All cars are the same (control formula). I would rather the first option 100%.

I would have no problem with supposed 'driver aids' being allowed. The easier the car is to drive, the harder the racing will be. Drivers will fight for position more aggressively, as losing control of the car will not be as much of a concern. F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of automotive technology.

This year's cars may look innovative but when one thinks about the six wheeled Tyrrell or the Brabham fan car or the Lotus ground effect cars or the 1993 Williams, F1 has very little room for creativity anymore.


"I honestly think Bernie has lost it. In the last 3 seasons that one driver has truly dominated and the title has finished too early"

Too early for who?

If they're dominant then that's going to happen, it's not the first time.


'Too early' for Bernie and FOM to hype up the last few races. Of course, I have nothing against a driver winning the title with a few races left, but apparently the guys in F1 do.


I don't think it's a good idea to have double points - why should one race be more important than another?

Hardcore F1 fans hate it and I've also yet to meet a "casual" fan - at whom this is aimed - who thinks it is a good idea.


Run a poll and let us show how much we disagree


I am also strongly opposed to this double points idea - whether the last race or the last 3 races. If they want interest in the final races then how about once a driver and/or team wraps up a title they can play no further part int he remaining races. That ensures a dominant driver/team get the titles they want the fair way then the remaining races are open slather for the rest to have their day in the sun. There - I can have crazy ideas just like Bernie has!!!

Or do what they do in some other forms of sport and give the dominant car a weight penalty! Or how about the dominant car gets an automatic 5 place grid penalty. Obviously, we will have to have a clear definition of what "dominant" means to make this work. Or how about the dominant team has to swap cars with the last placed team in the championship for those final 3 races?

I can do this all day - I should be the next F1 supremo and I would do it for a fraction of the amount Bernie is rorting out of the sport!

How about, a team that wins 2 GPs in a row has to use standard road tyres for the next 2 GPs? Or they get a one lap handicap at the next race? I'm sure if I keep this up long enough there will be a worthwhile thought come out eventually, but isn't that how Bernie has been operating for some time now? Perhaps that disproves my assumption.


or howsabout qulaifying like they did in touring cars in SA back in the day...you go outm set a quickie, so that locks you in to your choice of tyres and fuel (ok, so fuel loads are irrelvant due to no refuelling), and then when we all get back in the pits, the top 10 draw thier positions from a hat...so you may have the fastest car and start down in 10th...

and then what about a pitstop "window"...let pirelli build tyres that can actually race instead of this "delta times" crap...so now you can drive balls to the wall but you must come in for 2 mandatory stops (so you get fresh booties_ betweeen laps 15 and 20 and laps 36 and 40 or something like that...

still contrived, but at least better than double points...


Totally agree James. What worries me is that is this the start of Formula 1 being dumbed down? What next? Is this the case that the lunatics are starting to control the FIA asylum?


I dont think it is aimed at the casual fan in the sense that they like the idea of double points, I think there is significantly more chance of the title being up for grabs come the last race and so casual would watch as it would be more exciting.

I agree though terrible idea


I'm completely against the double points idea like everyone else here, but to play devil's advocate for a moment: in Bernie's mind, it doesn't matter whether those fans think it's a good idea. All that matters is whether they stop tuning in towards the end of the season because the championship is wrapped up.


Well- what if there were 3-4 designated "major" races with double points- like Suzuka, Spa, Monza... not at the end but spread out over the season. I still think double points is silly, but a lot of other "tours" have their major events. Of course that makes it hard for Bernie to squeeze them off the calendar for more money so it will never fly. Bernie must be losing it- in the last 5 years Ferrari has 1 win plus 9 podiums in the last 3 races. Redbull has 11 wins plus 7 podiums. Why would this help Ferrari????


how bernie can be sure that this new system will help the ferrari... is it guarenteed that ferrari will be 1-2 in the last race so what he says is totaly nonsense


It's just a load of nonsense. It doesn't matter how many points are on offer for the last few races if a team isn't quicker than its competitors (save blind luck, which would be even more distorting of the final standings outcome). If anything these double points would have only helped Red Bull win by an even bigger margin since Vettel is mighty in the season back end.

Anyway hopefully this year the others can challenge. I'm still wary of Red Bull doing a sort of "Brawn GP" and turn up at the final test with reliability solved and simply blow the others away on performance.


In 2012 the final 3 races were won by non Red Bull cars (McLaren x 2 and Renault x1).

Not that I think this is a good idea. The whole way the rules have gone this year is just idiotic.

I want to see cars with more power, and less aero. Not more aero stuff and less power because of some crap hybrid stuff. Who cares about fuel economy and stuff when they're all jetting around the world in a seemingly random order track wise, and the other logistical factors such as trucks totally out weight any environmental gains.

They'd be better having kept the V8s, shrinking the wings, and decreasing the number of staff each team is allowed at a race weekend - including corporate!

I want to see fair, close racing. This season promises to have massive performance gaps between the cars, cars breaking down and more corporate people than ever before at F1 races.


Indeed. It would be ironic in the extreme if this fiasco ended up having Vettel win the title once again, in a situation where he might otherwise have lost. Which seems probable given that Red Bull are known for their in-season rate of development.


Could it be that bernie saw the problems for red bull coming and pushed for double points to help them knowing that they would be on the back foot with the rule changes .


This must be the best conspiracy theory I have read for a while 😀

Double points are about money. Nothing more.


I agree. Seems as if Bernie can do what he wants. This would be acceptable in any other sporting arena. For this alone he should not be in a position to dictate rules let alone all the other things he's had a hand in engineering over the years.

Ferrari have gotten preferential treatment on issues in the past and it's time this antiquated way of rule-making and governance was retired....like Bernie.


Bernie SHOULDN'T be able to do this; after all, the regulations were supposed to have been separated from the media role due to the European courts in the 1990s... Hence why the FIA had to sell the media rights to Bernie in the first place!


Ooops I obviously meant "This wouldn't be acceptable" 🙂


How can F1 continue to be considered a sport when this kind of blatant manipulation of the rules in favor of certain teams can go on without consequences?

I know that its unrealistic to hope for any sporting event to be considered fair or pure these days - but this kind of report is heart breaking.


This has nothing to do with favouring certain teams, it's to do with declining audiences, which Bernie (wrongly) thinks is due to Seb winning the title with races to spare.

It's actually down to f1 moving to channels that are behind a pay wall.


I think it is very much to do with Vettel winning all the time. This doesn't mean that I agree with the solutions put forward by BE. Most certainly not. However, the 2nd half of last year's season was pretty dull at certain races. I will keep watching because I love the sport, but if it becomes so predictable that fewer and fewer people watch, I am not sure if there is enough of us 'die-hard' fans around to keep the sport alive.


But ratings barely went down because his domination. In fact, in every area there was a viewership decrease it was because of the move to channels like SKY etc.

Of course, you won't attract new fans when a single driver dominates. Let's hope this year is more unpredictable 🙂


"It’s actually down to f1 moving to channels that are behind a pay wall."

...and the general dumbing down of F1, pandering to the casual viewer...


"How can F1 continue to be considered a sport when this kind of blatant manipulation of the rules in favor of certain teams can go on without consequences?"

Ask Ferrari...


Ask the drinks company...


Ferrari have been doing it longer...


Ecclestone reveals yet again why he needs to step down. How can a sport have any credibility when the rules are distorted at whim for personal favours?

Honestly, I am a long term F1 fan but this is getting beyond a joke.


Unfortunately double points last year would only have served to widen the gap between Ferrari and Red Bull. Only if a team is catching up like Ferrari in 2007 would it serve to assist. I think F1 has become so artificial this latest Ecclestone brainwave beggars belief. What F1 needs to do is get back to basics to restore common sense and REAL racing. What the idiots don't seem to understand is that cost reduction will not come unless we have a much simpler formula all round. They should apply the KISS strategem.


Mercedes backed Teams likely to block double points move for final three races.....

And in other news today, it's reported that scientists have discovered that the Sun will set to night and that it will rise tomorrow morning. 😎


Those scientists and their crazy theories!


If Bernie wanted to stop domination and help Ferrari, they should have banned EBD, flexi Wings and stayed with 2013 tyres. But to blame Ferrari???

I take it he's going for the insanity plea at his court hearing


How about modifying it to give all the teams three "Jokers" which serve to double any points scored for that race. I think that would be a far fairer way of increasing interest later in the season and allow teams to aim their cars at certain track types.


Or how about not?


I like this idea. Teams like the Mercedes powered teams which believe they'll have an advantage early in the season can use their Jokers early, and teams which believe they'll be more competitive later in the season can use them late.

A question would be when should a team nominate that they'll be using a Joker for a race. Nominating before a race weekend would be far too early, and nominating after qualifying is less interesting because the top qualifiers are more likely to score points.

For me it must be before qualifying so there's more risk for the team in making that call, but there's still scope to "hide" the decision from other teams a bit and it's something for commentators and fans to speculate on until the decision is made.


"but there’s still scope to 'hide' the decision from other teams a bit"

And I'd also say that a team's decision to use a Joker should be held in escrow until after the start of qualifying to avoid teams adopting a tit-for-tat strategy on Joker usage. That is, if a team thinks it's competitive with another team and knows the other team is using a Joker, they might use a Joker as well to cancel out any gains the other team makes. Knowing who's using Jokers before Joker nomination is finalized reduces the risk in choosing to use them.


Joker to be submitted 24 hours before qualifying, but not announced to other teams after qualifying. That´s actually not bad (in comparison to double point, I mean). Could even give the likes of a small team to pick up some good points if they managed to finish after a hectic race (Joker not likely to help Max Chilton if he doesn´t finish in the points to start with though!).


It would certainly make things interesting, to be fair to the drivers there'd need to be either 2 or 4 jokers so each driver could nomiate 1 or 2 tracks. Lewis would probably want Silverstone and Hungary (maybe Monaco) so the team would need to ensure his new engines, gearboxes and updates dovetail with those events. As you say, secrecy would be paramount so the teams would need to hand in sealed envelopes of their joker events up front. Deffinitely has more mileage than a simple double points for all


This 2x points system is a farce. Majority of fans are against it. Teams please block it.

Mr Angry of Abingdon


As far as I am concerned I will work out the positions based on single points and that for me will be the true result. The fake results, which I will call the "Ecclestone fuck up" will, I think be ignored by real F1 fans. And if the two results differ, especially in the top position, I may well give up on F1 completely. I just hope Bernie gets put in prison and hos poisonous persona is removed from F1.


I think it will be a hell if the top position differs using the two systems, I can imagine this blog blowing with people trying to define who is the real champion, and for the drivers, I don't think anyone would like to be in that position especially the "fake" winner.


Please stop turning F-1 into Nintendo racing game, get rid off double points. Bernie has to go,[mod]And while you are at it, get rid off DRS and the idiotic fake degradation of tires. Then hopefully we will be back to real F-1 racing again.


yes please bring back processional racing it was amazingly awesome, turning on the telly at 14h00 watching the dash to the first corner, falling asleep for an hour and a half and then watching the final 5 laps of the race, yes yes yes, i prefer that over this. (This is the lesser of 2 evils (DRS & CHeese tyres), but double points are a sign that Mr Ecclestone should go play poker and go away now before he mandates F1 become like the wacky races, and why not).


"14h00 watching the dash to the first corner, *falling asleep for an hour and a half* and then watching the final 5 laps of the race"

I guess this is why people continue to claim that racing used to be boring. A mysterious outbreak of fatigue on Sunday afternoons between [insert the year you believe 'classic' racig ended] and 2011 caused most F1 fans to fall asleep during the races thus MISSING all the action that the few of us who were unaffected by the epidemic enjoyed so much.

Mystery finally solved. Not in time to save F1, unfortunately.


I find it quite amusing. While it's a disgrace to hear how rule are made in F1, I think it's still funny to know Monty replied "I know, I know" - of course you know! Well, supposing all this is true. Either way, couldn't care less about any of the Mercedes teams, but I still hope this ridiculous double points rule gets discarded!


You can't believe everything you read that Bernie says.

Can't wait to hear what Luca says.

The double points in the final race is the worst thing Bernie has ever done; it makes no sense that Ferrari asked for it. More than likely it has to do with 'commercial rights'!?!

\How could it not be that the Abu Dhabi organizers, and their pallets of cash, didn't buy this status in order to elevate the event, above and beyond being the last race of the year (a scandal in itself), to a decisive milestone in the season.

Of course they don't care where the money went.

I don;t care about the trouble in Germany, but this boondoggle is too much.

All fans should officially not recognize the final race.



"You can’t believe everything you read that Bernie says.

Can’t wait to hear what Luca says."

So, hearing from 1 senile old man isn't enough for you?


'senile' is a perspective call, isn't it?

could be... complex and interesting?!?

I kind of like both of these personalities, as I know them, regardless of whether or not I agree with everything attributed to them by the MEDIA.

It only frustrates and confounds when one has formed expectations, which once not met, are attributed to this or that senility, it seems to me.


'can't wait to hear what luca says'.....he's already said it, ' i know, i know'.


Ferrari didn't ask for it, in fact Luca has publically slammed double points. It was brought in to extend the title fight so there would be more viewers for the season finale.

Abu Dhabi is unfortunately the season finale due to a religious holiday that means the GP can only be on that weekend. Like in 2011, I'm sure Brazil will return as the final race in 2015.


I'm just guessing but I think the fact that Abu Dhabi has a Ferrari World might also have been a factor.


Why would Bernie say this would help Ferrari? As it says in the article, Red Bull have been one of the strongest teams at the end of the season. Any double points would only help the teams already doing well at that stage.


This makes me more angry. Bernie lost all touch with what the fans want?


Bernie concerned for fans?! It's all about the Benjamins!


Well said, totally unacceptable but at the same time totally unsurprising! Bernie needs to go, he should of gone years ago. Corrupt greedy and completely out of touch with the people who support F1.

It could start creating a lot of political issues over different race venues wanting to host the more important double point events rather than the insignificant single point races. Double points simply cheapen the other 18 events


Strange that the 3 race double points came when Red Bull and Renault teams were struggling, I'd have said it was to benefit them as they struggle in the first half of the season before running away with the second half!!


No, it was thev initial plan from Bernie all a long.


Surely he means he pushed it through to help all the other teams generally and not Ferrari specifically. It seems he could say exactly the same thing to any team leader other than Horner.


F1 will never be considered a proper sport whilst one megalomaniac dictator has such freedom to act on such openly questionable motives. Even if Ecclestone is charged in the German courts or dies for that matter, a similarly powerful replacement will always be found. I just makes no sense! Have him thrash out the deals for new tracks or long term contracts but it's just illogical for the rules to be so open to one individual. Imagine Tennis, or Football, Cycling, anything with the same arrangement.


My reading of Bernie's comment re Ferrari is that if Ferrari were performing at a higher level, Red Bull wouldn't have sewn up the championships before the end of the season.

I was hoping this would have gone the way of medals or shortcuts by now...


Bernie's admission is a punch in the underbelly of so many f1 fans all around the world. Please make him a non-entity when it comes to all things related to F1.

The mere fact that the double points came into existence is that all teams are in collusion; they got greedy in the belief that it will bring fans to watch the last race, in situation where one team whitewashes the rest (in addition to the extra money the circuit may pay to BE). It amazes me that f1 teams with full of smart people would even vote for this in the first place, considering how stupid it sounds. Now, Wolff trying to back off although seems like a concession, was stupid in the first place to agree to it.


Nothing good seems to be coming out of this double point debacle, neither sportingly nor politically.

A blocking of it would be a relief!


If RBR blitzes the next test, Toto will have you believe the fans want double points for the last 5 races!

Actually this might be a useful way to equalize the teams for the next season, because those that are not in contention can shift their focus earlier while those fighting for the championship be forced to continue developing the current right the end.


Teams really need to work on getting the McLaren rear suspension mushrooms banned. They quite obviously break at least two rules so I cannot understand how Charlie has let them get away with it. (I'm a McLaren fan but that is ridiculous, they must have done it for a wind-up!)

If it's bodywork it breaks 3.10.1 and 3.15 if its suspension it breaks 3.15, 10.3.1, 10.3.4, 10.3.5


Now(after the 1st test) that they know they have the upper hand over the main rivals isn't it hypocritical to claim they do it for fairness?

The rule is not right but should have been altered before the tests. Now a change would simply favor the strongest team which at the moment obviously is mercedes.


Do we have a source for Ecclestone's quote? I'd want to know the larger context for his statements.


Ah, got it: *City A.M.*, 4 Feb.


Bernie, stop digging mate.


Hahaha - good one. Trouble is, he has been stirring the brown stuff for so long now he doesn't know any other way to approach things.....and silence has never been an option for him.


Apart from being astonished James, what's your opinion on Ecclestone's admission? I'm still pretty amazed the media reaction to the double points for the last race is so muted


So F1 turns from a sport to a political disgrace.....


Christ, where have you been, this happened decades ago.


Agreed - just look at the blatant FIA rule manipulation in the Senna film!


Whatever the reason/politics behind double points it is a stupid idea to bring to the sport. The F1 ringleaders are not helping the sport at the moment. Stop scoring own goals and kicking the loyal fans


The genius that is Bernie works his magic again, saying just enough to stir the pot making people forget what they were annoyed about in the first place.

I would pay to work for that man.


It's not genius, it's easy, so long as you have the gumption to carry it off.


And when you think that Vettel said the idea was rubbish. I wonder if he will change his mind after the Jerez troubles.


I am in no way a fan of the double points system , but if its purpose is to keep the championship alive until the end of the season and prevent a runaway like we have seen recently it would make sense to have it apply to more than just the last race. As always it looks like we will end up with a ugly compromise that is beneficial to no one and alienates fans.


I think that you're right. And as more is better, surely the best way to resolve this is to award double points for *every* race!


Hahahah! Love it.


Ok, that's frikken' beautiful. Look at that carbon fibre work on that nose and the awesome curves. I would love to see a photo of an F1 car in nude carbon, no decals at all.

Here is a contest idea. Awesome detailed close up shots of a piece of an F1 car that shows the craftsmanship, and we have to guess what it is.


I expect you have heard of this guy, but in case you haven't I thought I would mention it.



Pretty cool. But honestly, strip down the trinkets on those fish and notice the simple shapes this guy executes. Now look at this nose again and check out the complexity, symmetry, etc. The mold form is amazing. I wonder if the molds are made from aluminum in one of those milling machines, and how many times each is actually used.

What also made me react to this nose shot so strongly was that it looked normal. After the hidious things we've seen it just soothed me like a pacifier to a baby.

Friend had a prostate biopsy recently, just made me think of yet another reson why CT05 should give every guy nightmares.


Well if it looks like a well crafted knob then I'd guess McLaren 😉


Remember the photos of that McLaren ECU James had up here a year or so back? Another lovely tech thing to look at.


Bernie..[mod] What are you trying to do?? Destroy F1?


I can understand Big B wanting to help out Fiat . . .

But I miss the glory days when Ferrari participated.


You do realise Ferrari have publically slammed double points, right?

It's worth noting that the rule changes of 2003 and 2005 came about as a way to stop Ferrari winning. The tyre change in 2013 hurt them and the ban on testing in 2009 was so sudden it ruined their chances for years as they were reliant on it, whereas others used wind tunnels and CFD.


I get the feeling that most of the F1 paddock feels strangely dependent on Ecclestone, as if he's the head of the family and they couldn't live without him - how many times do you hear F1 people talking about how he alone has built up the sport. But honestly the man's a mess. I think F1 will be better off once the apron strings are cut by the German court.


I absolutely agree.

I would also like to see the promoters gain more of what revenues from the races. The way things are now is ruining F1 for fans. I don't care if CVC does the Singapore stuck deal or not.


I think this is the beginning of the end for Bernie. He's always described as "F1 boss" yet he's publicly spoken out against the direction of the sport he's meant to be running. How powerless does that make him look?


+1, have always thought that one of Bernie's cleverest tricks has been to create the illusion that he is irreplaceable.


The irony of Bernie's reasoning for the rule change is that for 4 of the 5 past years the rule would have actually helped RBR. If the past is a good indicator of the future then his reasoning is flawed.


Not if you take into account that he is very close with Horner and Red Bull. Bernie is the master of misdirection!


Oh, this is hilarious!!!

So, Vettel said right of the bat that he thought double points was 'a stupid idea', which I think we all agree with...

...so, now it's likely that we might hear him say he'd like double points for three races? I can't wait!


"…so, now it’s likely that we might hear him say he’d like double points for three races? I can’t wait!"

I bet you any amount of money he won't.


Ferrari already get too much favouritism, just disgraceful behaviour by Bernie if he really means it and the double points idea is plain dumb like his medals idea was.

Bernie has done a remarkable job to make F1 what it is today and i'll be forever grateful but it's time he moved on


This isn't about favoritism toward any specific team. It's about keeping the championship mathematically alive for as long as possible to keep TV viewership from dropping.

For all we know, come the end of the season, it could very well be Ferrari leading, and Red Bull chasing. We have no way of knowing.


i read it as he was only talking about ferrari because others aren't mentioned, having read it again i see your point



Rather than invent a new system of double points at the end of the season, F1 should adopt the already tested method of 'playing the joker' where each team can decide which race it wants to try to earn double points.

This worked really well on 'It's a Knockout' in the 1970's and we could get a celebrity from that show to accept the joker from teams at the front of the grid on race day.

This might sound stupid, but so does double points in the last three races.

Another idea... what about double points in EVERY Race? Now that's what I'm talking about...


I like that more than the single round, as we've seen for the last few years, especially with the tyres that teams have good and bad tracks so a single race is a bit of a lottery. The only reason this rule even exists is for Bernie to "fix" the end of the season if someone is out in front though so we'd probably see no double points before this.


Neither Bernie nor Max before him, have rarely had any good ideas for many years. It seems all their ideas are/were knee jerk reactions, and almost always have the opposite effect from what was intended.

Grooved tires made passing harder, decreased grip, plus the increased marbles offline, made passing more difficult, especially in the later half of the race.

Every attempt to alter the front/rear wings just made the cars twitchier, and again resulted in less passing.

The changes to the engine rules supposedly to save costs, collectively cost the manufacturers over 1 billion to produce new V8s. No new manufacturers jumped on board to supply V8s. Hopefully, the new V6s will have a better sound than the V8s, even if a little quieter, and a better torque curve out of slow corners. Just think of the actual cost savings had they just reduced the RPM limit of the V10s, like they allowed for the Toro Roso.

The quickly degrading tires was Bernie's hair-brained idea after Montreal, another failure with the inability to push the tires for more than a few laps. No more come from behind drives like we saw from drivers like Raikkonen or Schumacher, etc.

DRS is another failure for me, even though I'm sure the stats show passing has increased. To me the passing with DRS is boring and meaningless, plus the stats include all the passes from back-markers that rarely get shown on tv anyway. It really wasn't required with the changes made to tire specs, with the drastic differences between fresh and worn tires. One race like in Italy between Alonso and Schumacher is worth 1000 DRS passes, even though the pass was never completed.

Judging from the comments from F1 fans, the double points rule will be another fiasco, likely to lose a lot of viewers rather than gain any. Unfortunately, Vettel doesn't seem to be very charismatic, and his domination isn't helping the viewership. But this seems to also depend on the driver dominating, I doubt the Brazilians would have quit watching races if Senna was dominating. Imagine all the American audience possible if an American driver was winning.


It's not that he lacks charisma. It's that he is smug, arrogant and self-centered. The finger and the lip-service of those drawn out victory radio messages sum up his off-putting personality. When Schumacher was winning all the time, he never threw it in everyone's faces.


I'm not sure Mr Ecclestone's always capable of remembering these incidents accurately. The whole double points mess is another example of messing about for the sake of it, like DRS.


I can really only re post my comments from December. All the reports since have only reinforced what I think......

"So it continues…… F1 is driven more and more about maximizing revenue. Not surprising as it is clearly more a business now than it ever was.

I would suspect that CVC would have had a large influence in lobbying the members of the strategy group to approve changes like the double points.

With little interest in the longevity of the sport, their goal as a business should be to maximize their returns.

I assume that once F1 is floated they will move on to new investments.

So the goal has to be to maximize revenues in the short term, and it appears that this will be done by focusing on a contrived entertainment model.

What I fear for F1 (as someone earlier stated) is long term brand damage.

I’m afraid that I can easily see a loss of identity and a loss of “premium status”.

Once that starts, the rot will be hard to stop. Revenues will disappear and F1 will lose its relevance.

F1 really only sells one product. If they corrupt it for too long I think the end becomes inevitable."


"F1 really only sells one product."

And there's only so much Red Bull the human race can consume 🙂


The problem is I doubt that all the teams would now vote unanimously to get rid of the double points rule for the final race. Especially as some are (quite rightly) blocking the proposed 3 race version. So we're probably stuck with it.

Too much self interest which is why as a political football this is such a bad idea. Let alone the sporting nonsense that 3rd place at the final round scores more than winning at the previous round. Abu Dhabi should be a 400 mile race on that basis.


Even if Mercedes want to block the double points, they won't do it now. They will wait and see how the season progresses. There is no guarantee that they are going to win from race one. You never know, the rule might benefit them in the end.

As for Red Bull, it will be very difficult for them to bounce back this year. They don't have enough time. I really don't know what Ricciardo is talking about. May be he doesn't understand how serious the situation is for the Renault teams.


ricciardo is a red bull driver and you don't get much closer to the action than that. that being the case the i would simply ask the question, how is it that you know more than ricciardo does? do you know precisely what the engine problem is and that it is highly probable that renault with all their resources cannot provide a fix?


Renault will provide a fix ... eventually. Right now, they don't have a silver bullet. It is a very complicated situation. Not just with Renault but with the Red Bull design as well. You will know in two weeks time.


@rob newman,anyone could have arrived at that proposition but you still haven't answered my question, do you have any knowledge outside what anyone else has gleaned from comments placed into the public arena?

what makes you think that they will find it hard to bounce back this year? based on one test session failure does not preclude them from having a very successful season. obviously it was a major setback but, at this stage, i do not know whether or not it will have an overall effect. to suggest otherwise is fanciful.


He [Ricciardo] might just be whistling in the dark. Not long to wait before we find out 🙂


Any points system is always open to debate, simply because you're giving false values to something. How many times have we seen championships worked out based on a different scoring system... "if the old 10-6-4-3-2-1 system was used, then so and so would have been champ". That said, the double points proposal is straying dangerously into BTCC/Coco The Clown territory.

What about if the champ was the person who scored the least amount of points in a season? 1 point for 1st, 2 points for 2nd and so on, all the way down? Would that then not reflect the true performance of a driver over the course of a season? Perhaps you could make it '0' for a win, giving a slight boost over 2nd place. What do you think?


Do it the other way. One point per position ahead of the 24th, but you only score if you finish the race. Something like: 24th - 1 point, 23th - 2 points and so on.


Honestly, I think it's only Mercedes that would be interested in blocking the double points for the last 3 races as they're likely to be the only Mercedes powered team to push for the titles.

As for the other Mercedes powered teams, I would guess they would all be for the rule change as this would mean more chips in their coffers.

So unless the Mercedes works team twisted the arm of it's customers, I suspect the team would get no support and hence the new rule wouldn't push through.

As for Bernie saying the double points was introduced to help Ferrari, I believe there's some truth to this for if the double points was around in 2008 and 2012, Ferrari would have won the driver's title and as we all know a Ferrari win means more money for Bernie as the Tifosi subscribe to Sky in large numbers.


No. it wouldn't have helped Ferrari more than f.i. Redbull.

Bernie is only interested in having WDC's decided in the very last race.


He would do quadruple points if he could, I have no doubt


All this TV viewing figure talk, I really think it's pathetic they are blaming Vettel and RBR for the ratings. If I was him I'd stick another figer up to the press that are blaiming his winning ways for the drop in viewers.

What? He's supposed to toss it in so that more people watch?

How about, Ferrari and Mercedes to blame for poor ratings for now mounting a respectible challange?! Yeah, that sounds absolutely correct.

At least BBC Radio ratings are up 12% YoY, right James?


At least BBC Radio ratings are up 12% YoY...

Is that right, Radio?

If that is the correct, I can't imagine a great deal of excitment will be felt by the marketing men 🙁


So you're saying there is no visual aspect to Radio - which means I don't have to be assaulted by branding images, scrolling logos and constant billboards?

Jeez, seems like people would recognize the benefit of this reduced marketing along with developing of one's visual imagination to create images in mind's eye of what is being described and thus ratings for Radio would be up more than just 12% YoY.

I also understand the Radio feed is free, OTA, live, correct? And one can listen to it freely while at the beach, or cycling, or jogging, or...hope you're sitting down for this idea...driving on the motorway! I mean, you could listen to F1 while going 100MPH - beat that sitting on your sofa Tim!


I think people are, and rightly so, attributing a decline in interest in the second half of last year to a lack of competition, and the sewing up of the championship well before the end of the season, which is different than actually personally blaming Seb or RBR as if for some sort of wrongdoing. I think (hope) people are smart enough to realize the sole reason teams and drivers are in racing is to win.

If you look at the last four years, the championship came down to the last race twice, and was wrapped up early twice. This is just as F1 has always been. Some reasons come down to the wire, many don't.

Of course everybody would love to see a truly competitive season in which the top several drivers battle down to the wire in roughly equal machinery, but F1 needs to realize that carrying a season down to the last race artificially, through mathematics is a poor substitute.

I would rather see somebody win easily because they were simply the best, than to see things manipulated so that somebody might be crowned champion who wasn't actually the best over the course of the season. I would feel cheated.

Formula One should reward excellence, not chance.


Very well put.

Don't sweat it. This was the thread of spelling mistakes.


that's...Some SEASONS come down to the wire, many don't.

I'm so irritated. ; )


that's ...for NOT mounting a respectable challange.

I was so irritated it came out in the typing.


Bernie is behaving lately like " Rasputin " it's time for him to join fossil society and take a walk and keep walking,one can attribute saying as has been,we live in modern times and FIA needs a sea change( PRONTO).

Continuing with Bernie in F1 is destined like late Sandra Ilene West who was buried behind the wheel in her beloved 1964 Ferrari.


Another thing that keeps being missed is that as team entry costs are based on the previous years points, the winner in Abu Dhabi will have to pay at least $125,000 MORE in fees in 2015. Extend this to 3 races and you're looking at an additional $375,000 if you win all three. This will be more if you also happen to be constructors champions. In fact, the final race alone will generate over half a million dollars in additional fees for the FIA, fleecing teams who are already struggling for cash. I doubt the teams will be getting additional media revenue to make up for this ridiculous rule, either.


I see Dietrich Mateschitz effectively said the championship isn't won at the first race when responding to Red Bull's poor Jerez results.


No it would appear it's won in the last 3 races if this gets through.

I'm sure the Bernie quote about helping Ferrari is purely him publicly prodding LdM where it hurts given LdMs recent comments about Bernie and his successor.

Either way this is all starting to become a little tiresome now.

Thank goodness only just over a month until the opening race!!


Bernie does again what Bernie does best and that is getting F1 some headlines in the off-season and yanking your chains.

The moaning about double points is getting boring and nauseating btw. I hope Bernie gets his way with double points for 3 races so the moaners just leave F1 and the rest of us can happily enjoy the sport without blogs and forums filled with complaints and moaning.


He should be in a home for the elderly lol


Isn't FIA a member of the IOC now? If so Bernies claims could have serious repercussions as that could end up as a case in CAS.

Deliberately tamering with the rules to influence the outcome of a sporting competition is quite a serious transgression.

Alberto Martínez

It seems the FOM and the FIA are in favour of the double points system: that´s 12 representatives voting in favour. With regards to the six teams that have the right to take part in the discussions, at least Red Bull will be in favour and probably also Lotus (uses Renault engines).

Could you explain which are the requirements so that this new (stupid) measure won´t go ahead? Are you sure the unanimous approval from all the teams is required?

Thanks James.


Double points for the last race was always a bad idea, but for the last three races is simply lunacy! It's just too much of a "get-out-of-jail-free" card for those who get it wrong at the start of the season. How about double points for the first three races to reward those teams who get it right straightaway?


Please explain how double points help Ferrari. Bernie is talking nonsense.


All such 'rules' must be subject to the law of unintended consequences.

Possibilities are multiple but just a couple of ideas?

First, if the double points at one venue increase its audience would that make a legal challenge from another venue likely if they felt ticket sales had been effected. After all they signed up to a deal where all races were equal.

Secondly, if a driver pipped another to the title at the last race by dint of the double points what would the classiest drivers do? Take the accolade and pass it on to the 'rightful' recipient as Hamilton did when Rosberg obeyed team orders?

Indeed, could we see one driver giving way to another on rack to avoid this situation, either out of honourable sentiment or as support to a 'friendly' team?

If teams have spent a fortune on cars for this year not knowing the ground was being undermined with silly last minute rule changes and they lost the title by a whisker, might they not be tempted to look for compensation from the ground shifter. Teams have shareholders and directors who may not be so 'racy' as to ignore the loss.

Before you pooh-pooh these possibilities just remember how much rides on these races and titles. And money talks as Ecclestone has shown us in his other business dealings.


Perhaps medals can be handed out at the last three races in lieu of double points...


Formula 1 is a JOKE



with Bernie stwepping aside from the FOM board does his seat/influence on the FIA council to make these decisions still apply?


Bernie is old and his judgement is imparied...please stop listening to his ideas!


hi James,

Any chance you will do a piece on the brake by wire technology and impact it will have on this year's racing? I'm interested to know how this will change how the driver's "feel" the brakes wearing as a race unfolds. Thanks.


Off topic much?


James, i beg you to please raise a voice against this. Media critique has been not so loud and we need someone to question this for the sake of our sport.


It just proves that F1 exists in an alternate universe.


I honestly think this will kill F1 in the sense of moving it backwards 20years. Rubbish ideas don't become less stinky by expanding on them.


We all know Red Bull always come good at the end of the season, 3 wins on the trot and 150 points to turn things around if they have a poor start to the season with the Renault engine. I think we all know what Bernie is up to. Each race should be equal, end of.


Well, not that it matters but I am against double points as well being a fan now for (gulp) 30years or so.

However.....after hearing about the decrease in worldwide viewers, and doing some simple math (all I can muster is simple math)I find the following:

Change sparks debate (how busy have forums been this year?)

Controversy creates interest and investigation

F1 has never been more "interesting" and technoligical..throw in some Controversy and you have....ratings! For all the haters and naysayers...for the rules and cars etc..

Ask yourselves...how active have I been in following all of it, getting involved and posting my opinion where I can?

I (for one) have spent more time following tesing this year, reading James A, following Ted K and investigating all the news more so than in any previous year. I expect to wake early, brew coffee and watch F1 with GREAT anticipation this year and I am going to enjoy every moment 🙂

Mission Accomplished!!


Why not just go back to the old scoring system where is was ten points for a win, eight points for second etc. Then there's less chance of a giant gap towards the end of the season and no need for double points.


When I was 15, many years ago, I worked out different point systems and in the end it doesn't really make much difference. The double point award would skew the result though.


That's not the old scoring system.


Yes it was. Between 2003 and 2009 the scoring system was 10 points for a win, 8 for second, 6 for third, 5 for fourth, 4 for fifth, 3 for sixth, 2 for seventh and 1 point for eight.


Exactly, not the old scoring system.


Like all others I think BE is out of order. If he wants to make ridiculous comments then so be it but to drag Ferrari into it is extremely bad taste. Ferrari are sitting in a good place leading up to the first race as are Merc. Why spoil their efforts with comments like this! RBR has done a fantastic job for the last 4 years and if there is to be a new pretender then so be it. At least be gracious and recognize their hard work and results instead of trying to undermine and steal the limelight!


Ok. Double points for the last three races. No point in watching the others then.

That will sort out the viewing figures.

6 Wheeled Tyrrell

While Bernie is pointing in one direction you can rest assured he's trying to make you not look at what his other hand is doing, a master of misdirection.

How does it help Ferrari is at the end of last season Red Bull was stronger than ever not weaker?


Why not quadruple points for Abu Dhabi? The thinking is that it is barely a quarter of the quality of a track like Spa, so 4x the importance via 4x points makes it even.

Doesn't it?!?!?!?!


Actually why not make circuit owners or governments pay for "extra importance" and buy extra points. Let's make it easy, an extra million dollars per point.


I know its madness!!!! I just am not looking forward to all the media at the end of the season....eg driver / team "X" would have won the title if the normal points system applied, what driver wants to win the title with that doubt in thier mind


Bernie has gone well past his sell by date. Whether he gets locked up or not, i think its time for him to go. He has lost the plot!


If they want double points, make 'em race the Nordschleife!


...with the new low noses at least they wouldn't flip going over the jump! 😉

Maldonado on the Nordschleife...eeeek!


I think if we must have double points, it should be for four races. This is enough to greatly reduce the element of chance, while simulating a playoff type period, when it's crunch time, like exists in other sports. It could be argued that a team that performs when the pressure's on, and the chips are down, while others drop the ball, deserves to win, even if they won't have without double points.

I'm not saying this is what I would like, as I would prefer no double points at all. Just that if we had to have it, I think four races is a pretty good number. One race makes it too much of a lottery.


I have read comments on this double points proposal from many areas including here.

Time for some clear thinking in F1-Drop the double points idea. Keep it and the value and standing of the sport is diminished significantly.


Always been against this double points business. Its absurd!

But if they really dont back down, I wonder if it'd be possible to have 2 races (slightly shorter than usual) on the double-points-weekends. At least maybe then, the double points can be justified!


I don't like double points. I don't even like single points. Let's not have points at all. Formula One is pointless anyway.


I don't like to get off topic, but if you think F1 is "pointless", why are you on an F1 website, commenting on an F1 topic, to be read by F1 fans???

Please appreciate the people who come here to read and discuss are fans and are genuinely interested. If you are not, please leave "pointless" opinion to yourself.


Don't worry, I follow F1 closely since the 1980's. It's just a joke of words, which doasn't take away from the fact that F1 is pretty pointless (as is any other sport).

What I don't understand is that people get so worked up about little bit of math. I don't really care what random number of points are awarded to a random number of drivers over a random number of events. The 'championship' is always a calculation, not a result.


if we really want change then why not simply do away with points altogether and just have 19 individual races with 19 sets of top three results and the at the end of the year the team/driver with the largest haul of the 'largest' silverware be awarded the unltimate winners trophy?


If he really wants to help Ferrari, he should award double points for the first three races; their performance historically nosedives or flatlines anyway as the season progresses.

What a farce. I suspect we'll see this backfire with RBR having a typically unbeatable second half.


If this is true about what Bernie has done, then Bernie needs to go, he has taken his power within F1 circles too far. If this was anyone else they would be banned from the sport for life. Although anyone could win the last race at the moment, but to potential do it to give another team an advantage is disgusting


The opposite. If it was up to Bernie we would have been listening to V10s and all the tobacco money would have been fuelling unsustainable progress of F1 instead tobacco money got to boar members pockets and manufacturers/partners are in position to demand regulation changes to their liking.


This is absurd, skip this stupid double points idea. Bernie´s words are just unbelibable, helping ferrari?? It´s wasn´t a decision for the sport or for the fans but for a team!!! that´s just stupid.


Bernie is destroying the integrity of F1.

What will future fans think when looking back at the records of F1, if an undeserving driver or team wins the championship because of this foolishness? They'll blame you Bernie,probably be known in F1 as the Bernie years.


On the other hand, if the driver is close enough on points for the final race to count how is he undeserving?


I think it is a good point because one event should not be considered more valueable than the next in terms of points. Why should one teams effort at the beginning of the season be considered of less value than the end. It would of course be possible for a driver to have finished higher in terms of relative position than the driver that wins more points and hence the championship because of the double points at the end. - It's unfair!


Sounds logical,But what if a team in 2013 had decided to put all their resources into developing their new 2014 car,thus having a winning car, and then had this new rule sprung on them for the new season? I"m not au fait in all things Formula one, but this doesn't sound reasonable to me.


I am sure he meant, when driver wins cause of double points in last race.

Just imagine last round of football is 5 points for win 3 for draw and 0 for loss.

Can you imagine that?

Ofc not, cause no one is that crazy, but F1....


They do have a rule like that, in World Cup 98, including all matches and qualifying, there were 2 teams that never lost a game, but only one of them won the World Cup!


It's called away goal rule.


they should give the top 3 qualifiers points in the last three races and then do a reverse grid order for the race itself!!


If the double points influences the championship outcome there will be a crapstorm of apocalyptic proportions. Everyone will say the championship is tainted.


Why must you all slag LdM?

All he wants is ... well,

everyone's money. And all

the FIA money for Ferrari.

And favourable rules.

And more money.

If only I ran F1 ...

Valentino from montreal

Lol ! Very true ..


Truly sad F1 has come to this stage like some desperado trying to get attention by tweaking this great motorsport into some kinda gimmicky rules. Feels like some cheap lucky draw at a dinner and dance function.

2014 will be a very trying year for F1. Cars will be much slower for a start and I bet the drivers hate it but have no choice and pretend it's alright as they need a job. The pinnacle of motorsport? not anymore.

I'll take Felipe's point that cars will be sliding a lot more as something to look forward to. Well, some F1 drifting for a change?

I'll be watching the first few races then decide if I'll follow the season. The negatives are mounting up to a very uncomfortable level. We are true fans but look at how we are treated by Bernie and Todt trying to gain 15 minutes television viewers just to hype up the numbers.

Rapidly F1 will be losing fans in the future, FOR SURE.

I thought the last America's Cup was more exciting IMHO.


Bernie said he did it because of Ferrari not for Ferrari. I took it to mean that after having Redbull run away with so many championships he was resorting to a gimmick in order to try to keep the fans engaged.


Mercedes blocking this farce - so they should!

Obviously out of self interest, but at least for the good of the sport (if you can still call it that).


Sure, first vote for it with a total disregard for others. And when being caught, revere back.

Typical corporate behaviour, self interest all the way.

Before we had just Bernie, now whole grid holding F1 hostage to promote their interests.


Double points is a tough call. It would make the teams fight it out until the very end. No packing it in because you sewed the trophy up by October.

On the other hand, I believe it slightly perverts the pure form of F1...albeit it seems that purity is becoming decidedly muddled.

Regarding Bernie's supposed quote about the double-points being there to help Ferrari, I would need more concrete proof he actually said that. I can however believe the notion that it was to help Ferrari. Ferrari is F1. If Ferrari is doing well, F1 is doing well.

Does anyone remember the last time we had one of these "scares" about the championship being cancelled, or F1 fracturing into a different series? I think it was around '08-'09, Max Mosely was still FIA president. I don't entirely remember why, concord agreement, costs, something like that. But I clearly remember threats that teams would leave the sport. Ferrari being one of these. When the story broke, I remember reading a claim that the organizers of the Monaco GP said that if Ferrari were to leave F1, there would not be a Monaco round. THAT is power. If Ferrari left, MONACO = defunct.

James, do you remember this story???

You guys can see my point. Ferrari has so much value to F1, it's good for the sport for them to be winning championships. HOWEVER, by my opinion, not by artificial means of "boosting" points.


Yes. It was the FOTA revolt of July 2009


Ugh, Bernie needs to retire now. Double points is daft enough and just one race makes it a winner takes all scenario. Make it 3 races and teams don't need to turn up for the previous 16. If I were a team like Sauber of Force India, I would throw all my resources at developing a car just for those races and not bother the rest of the year.


F1 is not a sport. We need to accept that. It is a commercial entertainment venture for the big car companies. Until guys like Bernie are removed from making astonishing changes to the rules for entertainment purposes, we shouldn't kid ourselves that this is a sport.


he was admitting to the fact that his team along with all the others were not performing as they should and allowing the newey car to wrap up the title before the end of the season.


Anyone else think Bernie is losing his marbles? He's always been a bit loopy but I mean that statement about Ferrari is totally crazy both to suggest it as a idea and to say that it might in anyway benefit Ferrari.


F1 is really losing the plot!

Its really 1 of the most unprofessionally run sports in the world.

Considering what a major sport it is its unbelievable that in today's day and age F1 can be run this badly!

No proper thought or research is done when introducing new rules and regulations!

Nobody bothers to think about the long term impact of these changes and thats why F1 is in the mess that it is!

New rules and regulations are brought in on whim just because some moron either the FOM or FIA or 1 of the teams pushing their own agenda think its a good idea!

Sadly there is no1 left in F1 that truly cares about the sport itself!

The FIA, FOM and teams all push there own agendas!

F1 will only ever come right when the current crop running the sport are dead and berried and we have a new generation of people in charge!


you don't see FIFA running football the way F1 does!

They have a history and legacy which they stick too no matter what!

You see them making ridiculous changes to the rules.

MotoGP is a good example of how well a motorsport category can be run!

F1 is supposed to be bigger then MotoGP but its a fact more ppl pitch up to track to watch MotoGP then they do to F1!

Almost every MotoGP event is sold out! and on general MotoGP events have a far high attendance then any F1 races.


I wouldn't hold FIFA up as a model of probity!


I too am against the double points proposal for the many good reasons including commercial reasons explained by F1 fans on this forum.

I think the proposal also devalues the 3 or 4 races leading up to the last three.

1) fans will choose to fly to and talk about the last 3 races;

2) the races before might suffer a drop in viewers and fans because points won there no longer significantly influence the year long championship;

3) teams will just need to ensure they are within 20 points going into the last 3 races;

4) teams may therefore focus on car development for the last 3 races at the expense of the races just before;

5) fans and promoters at the preceding races will feel that their race has little bearing on the year long championship;

6) the preceding races will have a "second class" feel about it - impacting marketability and sales.

Just my 5 cents worth to the debate.


To those who want double points for the classics, while I can see the idea, it won't achieve the desired effect of keeping the championship alive. In fact if one team is dominant it will make it worse.


No need for double points. The fans vote for who they want to be the the Driver’s and Constructor’s Champion, and then we give it to Vettel and Ferrari.


When Bernie slammed the turbo sound for not being loud, I thought he should probably need to update his hearing-device, now it looks like he needs to defragement his brain, or else...


With all the negative reaction regarding double-points, it now seems that Bernie is trying to blame someone else for the decision. And trying to focus this on one particular team (who don't support the idea, mind you), is as low as his height!


While this is all very welcome, why couldn't the teams have blocked the double point rule altogether? Its a joke that a race like Abu Dhabi is worth twice as much as classic F1 venues.

If there is going to be double point races at all then at the very least the teams should be able to choose which race it applies to rather then this farce


Viewers decline is not just down to dominance of Vettel. There is switch to pay per view in lots of countries, in my it was removed as TV rights are too expensive.

On top of all that you had season with tire change in the middle of the season, which made 2nd part of season watching with bitter taste for many ( i guess all except RB fans).

On top of that you had secret testing, which was obvious it helped one team.

Many do not consider that season to be legal, and many hard core fans i know were just tired of change and were happy when season was over.

I my self watched all races, I think i missed few races in last 10 years and last season feel so rigged that you just do that extra effort to watch the race.

With this new rule about double points, this bitter taste is back and I personally wont put that extra effort to watch race (like planing stuff so i get at some TV on time to watch it).

Sadly this wont be sport anymore, and India was right all the time...

Maybe new Formula E will be run with some sane people and we will have some new exciting thing to watch

disappointed fan 🙁


Hi James,

any idea as to why Bernie and the FIA have completely ignored the overwhelming fan reaction against the double points system? As it's the fans spending money (watching telly or buying t shirts...whatever) that funds this (on a Global importance scale) trivial pursuit, you'd think that this would be a dangerous thing to do?


it seems like Ecclestone is a bit bitter these days.. lashes out against FIA with new engines.. puts Ferrari on the spot.

He looks like a man on the way out without interest in keeping good relations or caring about what was built.. he wouldn´t mind if F1 collapses. If he cared he´d put a succession plan in place long time ago..

Now about the double points... very bad plan. Especially given that a decision on it now, might influence the outcome of 2014 championship.

If it were planned for 2017... fine.. everyone can work towards it.

The format should stay as it is.. can you imagine... Vettel winning the 2014 campaign by winning in the last three races, while being 3rd or 4th in the WDC by mid season.

I would stop watching F1


"can you imagine… Vettel winning the 2014 campaign by winning in the last three races, while being 3rd or 4th in the WDC by mid season."

It's not terribly hard to imagine. Vettel won the 2010 and 2012 WDC's after being 4th and 3rd at mid season.

I dislike the extra-points nonsense, but I'm not impressed by people whose opposition to it hinges on which particular driver they think it will help or hurt.


2013 was a farce already with Red Bull lobbying for Pirelli to change its tyres after 3-4 races.

We had a nice unpredictable start of the season.. after the tyres were reset in Red Bull favor the whole balance changed.

This is not right. One more episode of the same and I seriously will start watching.

2014 promises lots of exciting because it looks damn unpredictable. Lets keep it this way... do not touch anything.


perhaps you should also consider the fact that pirelli changed the tyres in order to penalise red bull in the first instance!

when other teams lobbied pirelli for change there hembery made this statement, 'you want us to change the tyres so that red bull will run away with another championship' it is on the public record.


sorry to rant on about this... but surely Ecclestone played the role of match fixer in 2013 to get Pirelli to change the tyres.


Great idea, Bernie. Why not just make ALL the races double-points?


Leave the points alone and allow the drivers to choose two of that seasons results for themselves to be disallowed as was in early years of formular one, this would elimenate dnf's caused by other drivers for example.


This is what always happened with in go-kart. You drive four final, three of them count towards final score.

This is how most of drivers were brought up.


Bernie needs to retire yesterday. He is a fiddler, he can 't leave things alone and often bring F1 into disrepute with his artificial-excitement ideas that leave real fans pulling their hair out.

Bernie: goodbye.


Double points runs the risk of turning off the viewing public especially if Red Bull becomes the dominant team in the second half of the season.

I have been following F1 since it started in 1950 (no, I'm not as old as BE or not yet senile) and I'm really against this idea of awarding double points.

Why not consider awarding points for qualifying and for fastest lap? I don't simply mean one point for pole position or fastest lap but POINTS worth striving for.

Make these points worthwhile and it may stop cars remaining in their garages during final qualifying and encouraging drivers to push for fastest lap during the race.


There is a phrase that springs to mind when I read these stories about bullshit, mendacity and manouvering. It's "Bush League". It is the reason why I eventually stopped watching IndyCar racing in the USA, and it may be the reason why I stop watching Formula 1 some time this year.

All of this nonsense is part of a general desperate set of tactics to paper over the cracks in the Formula 1 business model, which is not sustainable for many teams. At this rate, I doubt that any new team will enter. Why would they want to join a lunatic asylum when they can pull up a free seat outside the entrance and watch from a distance?


double points = stupid idea.

why would any race be more important than the other?


Gosh!!! 😉

Just imagine: 4 years in a row Red Bull won.

2014, any othe team would be able to win, but with double points at the end (no matter last race or last three races), Red Bull wins again. 😉

That's the reason why we do not change the rules of a game to have another winner.

Imagine if is Alonso, that is getting second place for many years, and when he would win (just an exercise), Vettel would win again. Do you imagine this??? 😉

Now think about this Murphy Law: "The other line is always served faster".

Don't matter if you switch to the other line, the rule does not change. 😉


F1 isn't show business and the sooner Bernie and his clan realise that, the better. It's about getting to the chequered flag as quickly as possible and that's what the fans love about it. And why they've watched it since it started way back when.

Soon, we'll have X-Factor style pauses to build post race tension. "And the winner is..............".


So it's not just football that has fixing problems then...


There's really no need for this, why doesn't Bernie simply give Ferrari a one lap headstart at all races this season to see if that helps them out?


James, is the Mercedes's nose are legal ? i've just seen the pictures of it and the other noses like force india and the others who were using the "finger" style, their tip of the noses are very low compare to the mercedes and the ferrari ones whose nose tip not quite as low. as the rule says the nose tip has to be above the ground maximum of 180mm or so, meanwhile the mercedes one based on pictures i had seen is quite higher than that the rule said


+1 for no double points.

Bernie lied, he proposed them to bring TV commercials back.


Dont listen to Bernie hes just talkin rubbish again trying to drum up media attention and create a little fire for the pre season!!. We all know that Luca Di Montezemolo very publically opposed the double points. Bernie just stirring Ferrara and Luca with these comments because Luca has not been all that kind to Bernie of late.

If I were Ferrari or Mercedes I would be a little peeved too because it just buys Renault /Red Bull more time- chances are they probably wont need it anyway.


LOL it seems that the general idea is that double/ halved points should be awarded by victorious team not by track/race order. 🙂


Actually I would say LESS points Per race ! The massive reward amount of the point spread encourages less competition for the top ,It Creates a " If I Finish in The Top 10 " attitude This is all to Qualify for share distribution Of Bernie's Prize bag at the end of the Year. Award the top 5 Places @ 5,4,3,2,and 1 point Award 1 point For Fastest Race Lap and 1 point for Laps Led. Make A race of it, I am so tired of Gas and Tire management racing @ several Hundred Euros a race Or have I been watching NASCAR ?


Multiple points for ANY race will help me to decide to ditch my expensive Sky connection, as the whole thing has become a farce - not champions on merit, but 'entertainment value'. I don't watch much TV (actually very little other than F1), and those other Sky channels that I might sometimes be interested in mean paying even more. As a follower of F1 for 60 years, I doubt I will lose interest altogether, but some of the recent developments leave me very unenthusiastic. However, I know that I'm not the market that commercial F1 (and Sky) is looking to attract, so I'm wasting time to post this.


no, that is not a waste of time at all. i too have been watching slightly longer than you and i do feel much the same but fortunately where i live we can get all the races in entirety for free so i am not ripped off.

nothing wrong with change but it needs to be for the right reason and the betterment of the series. these cosmetic changes just detract from what should be the main game. real racing.


I haven't heard one good reason for double points. It may be a grab for cash, but it does nothing for the sport or those who support it.

If Bernie spread the wealth more fairly, teams wouldn't be strapped for cash and would have no interest in this ridiculous rule.

There's enough change to absorb this season and already it's impossible to predict what will happen.

Reliability or lack of is what 2014 will be about.

Double points certainly won't make it more interesting.


james, it would appear that, 'prima facie' there would be approx a 99% rejection of double points/last race, according to the posters here.

on all the many sites that i have visited those figures would be replicated as well. given that the vast majority of your posters are intelligent, well informed followers doesn't that mean anything to those who are about to make final decisions? i mean, is it all to absolutely no avail? are we all just wasting our time venting about this proposal?

what would it take to get these opinions heard in a meaningful way? sometimes the sheer weight of sentiment gets absolutely nowhere when issues like this come up for discussion.


Maybe a boykott? If 99% reject this stupid rule they should stop watching F1.

I'm done with F1 and so I have completely ditched Sky for next season. I won't watch a single race. There are other and more serious racing events.

Enough is enough! Bye bye F1...


Interestingly while it is on radio it is not available on internet radio on your phone! You just get a notice that it is not licenced. works on the laptop but not the phone. That annoyed me as it was a major reason why i got a smartphone


Sorry, post 132 was supposed to be a reply in the post 56 thread. Phone finger trouble I'm afarid


F1 is the pinnacle of anti-racing.

Button's double diffuser winning the WDC was the beginning of the end for F1.

It sinks lower each year - greed is driving every decision in F1 now.


Will the double points for last race mean it will be more expensive for the teams? As we have it now most teams do not do much to upgrade there cars at the last few races or once they leave Europe. By awarding double points for the last race means that the teams will be upgrading right to the end the current season car instead of how I understand it now most teams are working on the next years car from the mid season or thereabouts? I think yes it would be good for the fans to see true racing right to the end of the season, but there is so much talk about costs at the moment can the smaller teams afford to push on development right through the season?


Bring back 10 points for a win, then we can compare todays feats with drivers from previous generations. Double points, track watering, medals, DRS, ERS what's next??? You've done lots of good for the sport, made yourself sh*t loads of cash through management via dictatorship...now go away and spend your money and stop stuffing with the sport before it's too late. Just one more thing - TRADITION that's important too not just money! money! money!


What this means is that the real championship is decided at the race before Abu Adabi, a race that is now extraneous to any real part of the sport.


As I have written on other sites, I'm boycotting watching or attending the farcical Abu Dhabi (spelled it right this time,whatever) race. I would encourage all fans of the sport of Grand Prix racing to do the same.


Double-points for the the last race, for the final 3 races - makes no difference - it's the last straw for me. After 44 years watching F1, I won't be watching anymore. Not idle words - I mean it. F1 will die a very quick death if Ecclestone continues on this path.

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