The end is near
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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Three important news developments in the fast moving world of F1
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Feb 2014   |  4:43 pm GMT  |  158 comments

Today February 28th, has been a very busy one in F1, with not only the testing going on in Bahrain, but also deadlines for new teams to enter the sport in 2015 and for engines to be homologated as well as a meeting of the F1 Strategy Group.

There are three headlines arising from the day which F1 fans need to be aware of.

Double points still in place but only for last race
The Group discussed the suggestion that the controversial idea of awarding double points at the final race should be extended to the last three races. This was not adopted. Fans’ reaction to the news that the final race will be worth more than the others has been extremely negative and while there is no doubt that team bosses and the FIA have taken note of this reaction, they feel that the end of the season needs to have a highlight, the equivalent of a “Play-off” in US sports and in other sports like rugby and football.

The level of artificiality that has been introduced by the selection of double points as a means of creating this “highlight” does not appeal to many within the sport or outside it, but having got this far, it looks like they are going to try it. But there are already many voices within the sport who concede that it is likely to only last one season.

They also agreed to give the top 10 cars an extra set of tyres for Q3 – to encourage them to go out on track – and modified the timings slightly.

No extension to the power unit homologation

We wrote yesterday about the homolgation of 2014 power units and the deadline, which was today, for all manufacturers to supply one of their power units, together with drawings and software in a sealed box to the FIA. There were reports that Renault, which is clearly in difficulty, had requested an extension to the deadline, which the company denies. In any case the F1 Strategy Group has decided that the deadline stands and all three manufacturers have sealed a unit in a box and it’s on its way to the FIA in Geneva.

All three manufacturers will take advantage of the possibility to make changes to the engines for reliability reasons, so there is no question of Renault being locked into a problem for the season. But they have to prove that these fixes are not performance enhancing.

The engines will be re-homologated at the start of 2015, at which time the manufacturers will have been allowed to make some performance updates.

No decision on awarding a franchise to a new F1 team

A panel comprising FIA figures including Charlie Whiting attended presentations from two parties interested in entering F1 in 2015 for the 12th franchise. One party, Gene Haas from the USA and another from Romania, which involves former F1 team boss Colin Kolles.

It has been decided to delay a decision on this.

FIA president Jean Todt reported that his team had felt both bids were “solid” and added that “it is important to fill that empty space, it would be good, but the priority is to keep the 11 teams we have now in business”

This will require cost control and cost capping was another item on the agenda for the F1 Strategy Group. No information has been forthcoming on this so far, but the situation going into the meeting was that the teams, including Red Bull, had agreed in principle to a cost cap at somewhere around €200 million a year, with discussions today focussed on the glide path down from there, to what level and how it would be audited.

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The double points issue remains a troubling concept on many fronts and contributes to the continued watering of the soup. While some sort of a "playoff" mentality might be conceptually a good thing for the sake of "interest" it just doesn't seem wise to put so many eggs in one basket and doing it with the last three events is even worse, so thankfully, that's apparently been avoided.


I think the way forward is to put an asterisk alongside the record of a title winner who gets it by virtue of double points. Just like the steroid using baseball players.



If the championship is decided in this way, by a third or fourth placed driver scooping the title on a fluke, there will be no winners.

The crowned champion will never receive the glory or recognition, an might not want to be known as the "fake lucky champion". The driver who has won steadily all season will be cheated. I hope it doesn't really affect the final results, ie if Vettel received double points this season it would not have made any difference.

Perhaps once (if)Bernie is jailed, the 2014/ 5 championship can be reclassified fairly an correctly.


I don't think it will happen again after 2014

Lets just hope that it doesn't decide the title this time...


Definitely - sport that looks artificial is simply entertainment - if there's the element of real competition it means the possibility of domination and sewn up winners long before the end of the season. It's sad that the 'stake holders' are only just about getting that nobody likes this idea.

Besides haven't we had a whole number of last race finishes (or final 3) for many years now? Yes there's been the odd year decided very early but many have gone to the wire without weighting a boring middle eastern track...


My feeling is that in the seasons immediately preceding DRS and Pirelli we had interesting SEASONS but not necessarily interesting races. The key moment was the closing race of 2010 with 3 drivers still in the championship and everybody unable to overtake the Renaults. Alonso could do all the hard work - banging in the fast laps after his pit stop, closing right up on the Renault and then... The Renaults did nothing illegal, but with the regs as they were at the time it was almost impossible to get past another car on the same lap as you, even if you were faster.

Since then I think RACES have got better, but as we saw in 2011 and 2013 the championship can still finish early. But that's not new. Schumacher and Mansell both cleaned up championships early on in the season.

All sport has to provide entertainment. You can't separate the two. Well you can, but the sport that makes no concession to providing spectacle and drama will not do well.

For me DRS is OK. It's not an guaranteed pass, for a start, and you have to closed up to within 1 second of the car that you will get assistance to pass. Think back on the infamous 2010 race - Alonso would still have had to chase the Renault down, but then would have had a better shot at the pass.


I think the teams and FIA thought I was worth trying.

Then The fan reaction surprised them - but they have seen negative reaction in the past and things turned out ok

This time the reaction has been sustained and they doubt it too now

But it's a Bernie thing and he's not backing down on it

So they will go with it, but suspect that it will be a one year thing..

Mike from Colombia

Real fans also dont like DRS....but FIA and the teams ignored them.

Double points is here to stay for the casual ignorant viewer.


I guess you mean *it* was worth trying... or are you perhaps referring to your appointment as Bernie's successor?


Also what double points guarantee is we would not see the kind of end to '13 that we had, and that's team stopping development on there car to concentrate on the next year!


..... just to taint forever the champion of 2014. Very considerate of Bernie.


Maybe the FIA should consider splitting the season into two championships, much like the FA does wit the Premier League and the FA Cup.

One season is 16 races run at traditional venues with more conservative rules (no DRS, no double points).

The other runs either in between or at the end as a 'showcase' event. It could be 4 or so races held at more exotic 'one-off' locations with all sorts of whacky gimmicks. Sprint races over two days, reverse grids, DRS, maybe even a knock-out format. They could could it the Bernie Derby.


I would really be against your ideas. To me there are enough complications already, without the teams then having to make another version of the car without DRS and "conservative rules" whatever they are...

As for whacky gimicks, in exotic locations. No thanks. Leave that mess for the WWF.

Many of us are interested in watching real motorsport, based on a real heritage - not some Mickey Mouse entertainment. There is plenty of that available already in others series!


I think you missed my point. All these gimmicks are happening anyway, against the wishes of most of the fans, including you and me.

They are driven by commercial realities (ie improving CVC's bottom line but generally supported by the teams as they get carrots dangled in front of them) to 'improve the show'... a phrase I have now come to hate.

My suggestion is to restore some of the integrity and core values back to F1, by getting rid of for example, DRS, double points, high degradation tires, races in places with no core F1 fan base, etc.

But to sustain the commercial needs, setup an 'FA Cup' style competition that runs in parallel, or at the end or, the regular season where the 'spectacle' can be exploited. I would love to watch some reverse grid races, and other crazy ideas, it would be great fun. But not at the expense of the core value of what I think F1 should be.

This separate competition does not need to constitute significant cost or regulation changes for the cars themselves. There's plenty of ways and opportunities to do this in an efficient and clever manner.


Love it. I firmly believe the FIA should be mandating that GP's like GB, Spa, Monaco, Germany, Monza, Aus, Japan +3 more (eg France, Hun) should be protected on the calendar as of historical significance. This could form the basis of a sub championship.


Double points aaaaggghhhh!


What will you say when Vettel pips Hamilton to the WDC thanks to it?


Vettle would know it was a hollow victory just like his win in Malaysia last year.


I am a I have plenty I would rather do, I watch F1 because I enjoy it, they change how I enjoy it then I would rather be peddling !

I have stopped altogether other series and never went back(meaning internet catch up also) so stopping can be done, and I have followed F1 for a VERY long time...

I have been getting fed up with the crap on F1 for years this did not start overnight.

I can also use the time to work on my own race car.


I really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really hope Vettel wins cos of the double points. That'd be the funniest thing ever


+NOR (number of reallys) 🙂


No this year he wont.


Well even Vettel says he hates it. It's hard to find anyone who genuinely likes it. Tolerates it? Yes, but wants to endorse it? Not many...


I'd like Vettel's sense of humor to come into play.

On winning title 5 at the last race from a points deficit, "I'd like to thank Bernie and Jean, without their help this would not have been possible"


It's one of my better ones Random, and way better than truth we know.


That's one conspiracy theory I hope turns out to be true Sebee 🙂


Here is what Vettel will say.

"I don't make the rules! I'd like to dedicate this WDC to Schumi."

BTW, I have a conspiracy theory on Schumi. Because I simply cannot believe they would keep him under 2 months, I think and hope he has been awakened quietly and out of media swarm and in rehab process.


If Vettel wins the final race, he'd have to shove two fingers in the air. Depending on his choice of limbs and digits, he'd end up looking like either a Japanese school girl, someone in a 70s disco, or a very rude Englishman...


How about a rude Englishman dressed as a Japanese schoolgirl at a '70s disco?

No, on second thoughts there's something very wrong with that image... 🙂


I will quit watching and following F1 ...simple as that.


Get real. What are you gonna watch? Dancing with the stars?

Mike from Colombia

No you will not. And that is the the teams and the FIA will do it.,they dont care about real fans.


It is unprintable in any number of languages! TBH I don't think this will decide the title. I reckon it's going to be more interesting further down the field.


When Vettel pips Rosberg to the WDC ...


Now we have to watch that double points race to see which Mercedes will be defeated. Ahhh! They got us with the double points gimmick.


Thats more like it. Rosberg is more likely to win of the two Merc drivers in my book. Hamilton has been on a downward trajectory for several seasons, look at the final results!


At least Hamilton didn't win


Treble ahhhhhh? Lol


It depends more on Newey I think and how many tenths faster per lap the package he gives to VET will be throughout the season, relative to the runner up. If it still is 5+ 10:ths faster, as in the other x titles won, probably you will need to continue using your outstanding literary talents promoting him 😉


Thank you. It should be pointed out that if we have many winners and not two dominant drivers than it could be like 2012. Vettel won one race in first 9, then he went on a ripper and snatched it in last race.


Stop watching f1 if that happens .


You say that, but you don't mean it.


Shouldn't that be a double aaaaggghhhh!? 😉


A huge amount going on today in F1 but in reality, nothing really changed.

No extension, no decision on new team, and no double points for 3 races.

The only big change today is no more FOTA. Bad day for the teams for this reason alone.


I think Renault asked for extension after all.


I'm really keen to find out about the new entrants. Would be great if we could get another 2 or 4 cars on the grid. I suppose that if any of the existing teams see in big money trouble then the FIA may encourage a take over as opposed to start up. It's looks as if Force India may be on the brink of major upheaval as Sahara Roy has Bern arrested and detained to appear before a judge on march 4th.


Another 2 or 4 cars blocking others during quali is not attractive to me.

An extra race or two on the calendar would be most welcome though.


Bernie would love that view. More sanctioning fees and fewer teams to pay travel costs to.

Tom Clarkson made the comment on Australian TV that at the end of 2012 that the F1 paddock was sick - that it was worn out from all the travel to different time zones and the time on aircraft. I'm guessing that Nascar gets to run 36 races running many cars and presumably transporters for each driver and the time zone spread is a maximum of 4 hours.


Maybe what's really going on is FIA is shopping for team buyers?


A new team should only be welcome, in my opinion, if they are competitive from the off.

No disrespect to Hispania, but totally underestimated the cost and complexity of F1, which probably explains why they have gone out of business. Even Caterham have been mired on the back row now for 4 odd years, although they may move forward this year - potentially!

Any new team in F1 should only be allowed if they are solid mid-field from the off. F1 doesn't need another couple of mobile chicanes blocking the leaders, any new team allowed in the hallowed turf of grand prix racing should be able to demonstrate they have excellent budget, facilities and development plans.

No plodders welcome - remember the Forti team?


The four new teams that planned to start in 2010 were coming in on the expectation of cost controls. The reality of F1 in the last decade is that money has largely determined the championship order. One of the exceptions was Toyota, but part of its big expenditure came from building up the resources that most teams spread over a much longer period.

Nascar is the only other series that spends anything like the money F1 does on car development, but its infrastructure is likely to be quite different. Nascar wind tunnels tend to full sized. Building a tunnel and all the simulation capabilities that F1 uses in its design processes would be two areas that I believe even a Nascar team would need.

Gene Haas has the advantage of potentially being able to self-sponsor for a while, but I don't see how many others could do that. Manufacturers are the obvious source, but it may take some time before the relative failures of BMW, Honda and Toyota are forgotten. Even Brawn and Red Bull are the result of investments from the late 90s with Stewart and BAR/Reynard (and Tyrell in name).

The constraints in the rules mean that the design process is one of consistent refinement to get performance. Big ideas are rare now and instead big teams of people are needed.


They were under 107% rule, so hardly plodders. The backmarkers cause some extra entertainment from time to time, so why not keep it in the show?


To be fair, Hispania's entry was made under the (totally unrealistic) promise of a 40million budget cap.

I agree, though, that they should have bailed as soon as they found out this was not going to be the case.


I fear that Renault's engine troubles may herald the death knell for the Caterham team. I've read stories that Tony Fernandes wants to see progress off the back of the grid this year to justify all the money he's sinking in to the team.

The French power unit may condemn them to the back of the grid for this year, as I doubt they have any chance of beating Toro Rosso, even if they have made an improvement to their chassis.


Tony F bought the team to promote Lotus cars which he believed he was going to be able to purchase from the Malaysian government. This id not happen. By that time he was already committed to racing a few seasons.

The Caterham team will be gone as soon as a buyer can be found. Tony F said earlier this year he would close it down if the results are not there this season.


Even if a new team bought in the best engineers and drivers it's not likely to be mid field immediately - look at Red Bull - mega budget and Adrian Newey and it still took a few years for them to sort it out...


Exactly right.


I think you're setting the bar too high. How can a new team be solid mid-field from the off with no experience of F1? Imagine being a new team coming in to this season.

You scrape together enough for the chassis

You blag a deal on the Renault engine

You hire some people who are out of work/contract

And after all of this you've made the worlds most expensive sandwich toaster. If Williams can find themselves struggling as last season, anyone can.


Colin Kolles enough said.


Surely the lawyers at FIA can consider more than 1 thing at time? How does retaining current teams conflict with signing new ones?

Is there no written procedure/timeline for new franchise applications?

Or is this just more of their "management" style, ie being unable or unwilling to make a decision?

Perhaps it is because these applicants were not from politically correct places?


If both bids are solid, then I hope both get in.

Colin Kolles and the Romanians get HRT place

and Haas get the USF1 place.

Both somehow seems to be related to the empty places 🙂


Yeah. I would like to see more teams. Too many decent drivers left on the sidelines. Didn't bernie say he likes 10 teams?


Bernie won't won't an odd # of teams, b/c that doesn't work w/ FOM's not-yet-dead plan for customer cars...


I think he means that his priority is to make sure that F1 is less expensive so the 11 existing teams are able to survive


If the double points race is likely to only last one season, I really hope that no driver feels cheated out of a championship by a gimmicky rule from just one season.


Im sure it will give the fans plenty to argue about over the next 20 years or so.


I really hope this season does not end with someone winning the champ who wouldnt have last year...who would want to win under those circumstances


I like the idea of the double points. I maybe the only one but someone should stand up with the alternative view.

So lets look:-

> The sport has long passed the purest view e.g. DRS was added

> The rules are the same for all entrants

>I expect it will reduce the strategic decision of accepting a second place.

>It will stop the last 5 races of the season being all about points differential

Any sport that stands still is doomed to fail and every sport has progressed through change. F1 is a technology sport and for this reasons tends to change quicker than most.

I have no opinion if it should be continued into 2015 but I do hope that it will be assessed properly and not just dropped because stories in the papers are about how how much something is hated... rather than looking at its merits.


"rather than looking at its merits."

it has none.


Here comes the "evil" Vettel to continue his trend and win the WDC in the last race, this time with help of double points.

2010 Vettel wins a close one - last race.

2011 Vettel blow-out

2012 Vettel wins a close one - last race.

2013 Vettel blow-out

2014 Vettel wins a close one - last race - assisted by double points.


Yes, I agree. What would happen if it was Vettel himself that wins another championship this way? Certainly not out of the question ..


Lawyers, Start Your Engines!


It's a stupid idea, period. It remains stupid no matter who wins the championship because of (or despite) it. Vettel winning the championship due to double points doesn't make the rule stupider, but it should make Bernie feel stupider for supporting it. Except that Bernie is obviously immune to feeling regret for anything he proposes, no matter how idiotic.


At least he was highly critical of it when it first emerged.


It is a daft idea.


This whole homologation discussion keeps coming back to the fact that they can upgrade their designs in the interests of "reliability".

But its quite obvious that everyone expects these changes to increase performance.

So, in other words, everyone expects them ALL to cheat. Nice.


It's a beautiful thing.

timothy clarke

i wonder what they do with the palletted engines when the season's over? i'd like one for my rec room!


It happened in 1981 when Brabham introduced their adjustable hydraulic suspension to compensate for the banned sliding skirts. Guess what? Everyone team copied Brabs so every team was guilty of breaking the rules, so cheating by numbers does have a historical record.

And guess who owned Brabham in 1981? Mr E....


May not increase performance in absolute terms, but reliability fixes would probably allow units to achieve full existing potential without exploding.


Yes, this confirms the point made by RichC that changes on "reliability" grounds will no doubt bring a performance improvement.


double points :-((((((((((((


Let's just hope the championship is decided at the penultimate race...

Tom Haythornthwaite

Or at least that the doubled points in the last race make no difference to the championship. This will make the system proponents look silly and will be a relief to racers and fans who criticized it.


Double points is a contrivance that F1 doesn't need, but hey, we're only spectators and we all know what Mr E and the FIA thinks of us.

As for homologation, rules are rules, the engine manufacturers had 2.5 years to prepare for the new formula. There was always a chance one manufacturer could get the jump on the others, but that's Formula 1, its a combination of engineering technology as well as driving technique, there will always be a car/engine/driver package that has the edge.

I would imagine Gene Haas would find F1 difficult - I mean we use the metric system in F1 which is perhaps why the likes of Scott Speed and Michael Andretti found grand prix racing a struggle.

You can imagine Andretti Jnr's first test with McLaren:

"Michael, we're adding some ballast of 1.5 Kg on the front suspension."

"What's a kilo?"

"Oh no, we forgot when we signed him he used to imperial measurements..........."


Michael Andretti crashed so often and so early in his short stint in F1 that the joke around the pits was that he didn't know what to do when he encountered a right hand corner.


Its true tho,he didnt....took him hours to drive home sometimes.


Now it is certain that double points will apply, can we have a "Enthusiasts' Championship" where the driver and team that have the highest score including single points at the last race are lauded by the fans.

This blog and all the other media outlets who are against the double points could just ignore the result of the "Farcical Idiots Association" championship and ensure in 2015 they refer to the Enthusiasts' champion as the proper world champion.

I feel sure you could organise something like this with your contacts James or it could be driven by the people at Motorsport who are not afraid of saying what they think.

Having said that I hope it makes no difference at all to add weight to dropping the idea in 2015.


Talking about the double points issue achieves very little. In fact it is quite the reverse. The marketers that came up with the idea love the fact that they have created a controversy and a talking point. That is how marketing works. It doesn't care if it is right or wrong, it just wants the attention. So for my part Abu Dhabi does not exist this year. I won't watch it or read about it. For me the season will end at Brazil.

It is the least I can do. You see I don't need any artificial sweetener.


Playoff? I can't get the vision of drivers being knocked out all season and the last race being the last two drivers racing each other out of my head. Worse still a NASCAR style "Chase for the Championship" where the first 2/3 of the season is meaningless. Stop the madness now before it's too late.


Nascar has tweaked its chase for this year. The First 2/3s is as it was - qualifying for the chase, and is virtually no different to how Australia runs its football codes. From there is a knock-out format dropping four drivers every three races. The last race has the top four in contention for the title in a 43 car field.


I find it hard to comprehend any engine change for 'reliability' which will not of itself therefore improve performance in a race i.e. finishing or not finishing, full belt or tuned down.


My sentiments exactly so they just should have allowed an extension that way no one is disadvantaged


Yes but this is nothing new - V8s were homologated too


If they are so desperate to make the end of the season similar to the play off system, why go for double points which doesn't achieve the same result?

How about this:

1. The first 15 races are all worth an equal amount of points. After this, the top 5 drivers in the championship qualify for a championship play off.

2. Of these 5 drivers, who ever scores the highest amount of points in the next 5 races takes the championship.

Doing it over 5 races means that it reduces the chance of a fluke result affecting the championship (like the season double finale points system). It also makes the final 3-4 races incredibly tense, as well as making round 13-15 worth watching to see if your driver qualifies. Finally, it wouldn't punish someone from making a late season comeback as I can't remember if someone has ever been 6th in the championship with 4-5 rounds to go and gone on to win.

Of course, I'd prefer the system we've had all these years but I wouldn't mind a play off system because it wouldn't really screw a driver over and it also keeps the races worth the same amount (25 points).






I was just trying to suggest something better than double points, which is just terrible.

I just want it the way it was 🙁


Then we can call it F1 "The chase", like NascRap


Sounds terrible


Tbf, F1 used to use similar system to this, where only the 10(or a few more?) best result were only relevent when it came to the championship. My suggestion is just that those races come at the end of the season.

But yeah, there was nothing wrong with last seasons system. In fact, take us back to 10,6,4,3,2,1 🙂



I agree. With that system I could easily work out in my head, at any stage of the race, who'd be where in the championship if the race finished at that point.


British Superbikes have done this since 2010 (a knee-jerk reaction to a weak championship and a dominating rider in 2009) normal points all season plus "podium credits" for 1st, 2nd and 3rd then for the final 3 rounds (six races) the top six riders get a flat 500 points plus their accumulated credits, the final six races are run as a normal championship.

IMHO and that of many others it totally devalues the championship it has also robbed one rider of 2 championships and benefited the same rider once.

One rider won the championship by one point and six thousandths of a second despite not starting 3 races in the "regular" season.

Bike racing is a minority sport so the owners of the championship obviously have to keep the viewer numbers up, the stupid thing is IMHO they have the technical regs spot on now and they get an exciting championship without the mickey mouse shoot out.

I absolutely detest it, the vast majority of the riders hate it, a larger proportion of fans hate it, the team owners of the smaller teams like it because it's an outside chance for them to get sponsor coverage.

F1 should have nothing to do with gimmicky scoring, there are lots of ways to provide closer racing without this, what next? Success ballast? boost reduction? Actually that kind of reminds me why i rarely watch BTCC anymore either.


Thanks for the post! I wasn't aware it was used elsewhere before, quite interesting. I agree that we should just go back to NORMAL scoring, but would F1 ever care what the fans thought?


Hopefully, someone is listening if they remain determined to add more artificial barriers to results.

Problem might be that your suggestion makes too much sense. Logic doesn't seem to be a strong suit for some of the "promotional" ideas - aka the orders from FIA/BE to the tire supplier and the fallout from that whole tangled web.


I put that point to the FIA when I was in Geneva on Wednesday. It's the "thin end of the wedge" theory - by sanctioning this idea, they run the risk of fans fearing that bad ideas can get into the system

Double points is a bad idea and now people feel insecure about what else might get in

They should use this as a learning. Turn a negative into a positive


"Turn a negative into a positive", you say. You may be being generous a bit generous there.

BE's making a fool of someone, possibly himself, and has every opportunity to drop it yet won't.

How is not repeating a mistake that really doesn't have to be gone through with in the first place a positive?


The max number of teams is still 13, isn't it?


James, in your estimation, does a "delay in decision" mean they will not let a new team in for next year or that they will announce at a later date?


Not sure. It could be a difference of opinion between Todt and Bernie, it could be that they've requested more financial information


Delaying tactics. Bernie clearly didn't like Haas & not taking him seriously, but Bernie might not be around next year; meanwhile another team might fall by the wayside this year so there'll be room for *any* team(s) to fill the gap!


Mr Allen, a heaps of thank you for the deversifield and intelligent agendas you present on your site/forum that makes it a compelling read inrrespective of one eyed contributors regardless of the fact.

Your first question put!double points ? a experiment one may say,the real dabate will be addessed in 2015.

Power unit homologation/extension? some members

of Strategy Group remember yesteryear when the FIA allowed Renault to update the Engine performance and consequently bared the other engine manufacturers to do the same, the bottom line say it all,Renault engine won four

years in the row,one may say good no extension in the world we live dog eats dog.

Franchise of F1 team,how sad to note the decision being delayed due to the fact that Bernie has not appraised it as yet, and in view he has veto who comes and who goes,it gives the insight how the FIA is unable to get out of the square,the decision to delay entry to F1 grid of new entry headed by Mr Gene Haas is a insult to him and his organization.

The US F1 team is more important in F1 carnival

then F1 track,but for some reason Mr Todt and his cushy,cushy FIA does not think outside the square, and let Bernie deside that,believe it or not.


Have any engine homologation rules been set for 2016? I.e. do we know if the engines have to be the same as 2015?

If so, would this mean Honda will only have the one chance to get things right, unlike Mercedes/Ferrari/Renault who get another go next year?


A list of the parts expected to be carried over for future years is in the technical regs for 2014.

From 2015 Honda will be stuck with their first attempt at:

- Cylinder bore/spacing

- Crank Throw

- Air valve system.

In 2016 that list increases to include

- Complete crankcase dimensions.

- Camshaft geometry

- Engine covers (in contact with oil)

- Ancillaries drive (?? I assume that’s the non MGU-H/K electrical?)

I’m guessing if Renault are shown much leeway this year Honda would get the same treatment, if they turned out to be severely underpowered that is, which I somehow doubt will happen.


They will be re-homologated before the start of the 2016 season, with some performance updates allowed, but based on a smaller list of permitted areas than at the end of this season


A bit of side bar Honda knowledgeable enough to watch through the year lap times and fuel loads to calculate the HP of the adversaries....and make sure they are a bit more or at least equal to....before the re-homologration.


I was wondering as well if the audio analysing of the mid 2000 years is workable with the new engines to work out BHP. Given silent electric motors I'm not entirely sure, but have no idea how it works.


Given the test results Red Bull might agree to the double points last race now ?


doesn't appeal to many 'in' the sport, sounds like only the team owners do.


The only way to let relevant people know the opinions of fans about double points is to agree not to watch the last race!

This is a disaster!!!!




Double points, need to kill it now, a disaster in the making. Want to make it exciting, level the playing field and you’ve got it. So . . .

Cost caps, still way out of reach for upcoming teams, try 50% of the proposed limits. Teams, like it or leave it, at a reasonable cost, there are others who would love the opportunity.

New team, figure it out and give the green light to one or both teams, then give them a chance to be competitive. Hint: Cost Caps!

Homologation of power plants, it seems Renault didn’t quite figure it out, however, we need competitive teams, last year was a waste of viewing time. Had to record the race and fast forward through them.


I don't mind double points, if they did it on a exciting and more often than not unpredictable track, like Brazil. Not the borethon that is Abu Dhabi.


A good track doesn't make a bad idea any better...


Okay, here's hoping Brazil will be the final race in 2015 …


As I understand it, the next season's entrance fee includes a component based on points scored in the current season; what therefore is the money equidistant of a point?


The key word for Bernie and Co to focus on is AUTHENTICITY. The challenge of building audience is not a short term one and F1 will only succeed long term is it is believable. The competition has to be real, so rules and points need to separate out driving and engineering brilliance from chaos and luck. If the 2014 championship is artificial in any way, expect the audience to shrink in 2015. Mr Ecclestone; are you listening???


I for one like the double points idea. I think double points make the races closer to the end more exciting if the championship is still in contention. IMHO, the idea of "points" is arbitrary to begin with.

I know there has been a vocal uproar from the vocal minority of the fanbase, but has anyone polled the silent majority and the casual fans? I wonder what the results might show.


If you organise a get together, you won't need to hire caterers..


Caterers . . . No.

Minders . . . Yes.


With regard to the "play off" mentality, wouldn't it be better to have two races back to back - double points over the weekend but two races?

Darrin from Canada

That's the best compromise I've heard so far...


James, How can the FIA say that they're trying to control costs when they've implemented an engine that's drastically more expensive and the teams are spending more now than they have in the past!? Jean Todt and the FIA are contradicting themselves.


The set up costs are high but the engine will be around until at least 2020 and the ongoing annual costs should come down over that time

FIA asked the manufacturers to amortise the costs over time, but F1 teams are not reliable and who knows if a midfield customer team will be here in five years?

They had to go hybrid turbo to be in step with the automotive industry and to prove relevance

Otherwise you walk up one morning and realise you are a dinosaur series


Perhaps the real question around the delay in awarding the new franchise positions relates to whether Caterham and Lotus will be in F1 next year?

It already looks like Caterham will circulate by themselves at the tail of the field, with Marussia having a chance at early points in the reliability lottery in the early races, so will Caterham hang around for 2015?

Lotus couldn't make money last year with one of the most marketable drivers in the field and while at one stage they were a championship contender.

How will they fair this year with the loss personnel, a new, interesting, driver line up, the most problematic power unit in the field, a late start and shortage of testing.

Two testing days to go and the car is still catching fire.

Their glory days may he over.


Hi James. Any chance you or mark could run an article about the rear end of the mclaren. Would be very interesting.

Also does anyone else think that races will end up resembling the tortoise and the hare? Cars zoom off at start run low on fuel and crawl home. The tortoise drives at the same pace for every lap and wins. I hope I'm wrong.


One report with three major topics makes reading comments confusing. Could we have one report deal with one subject ?

Thank you James, you are a lifeline. For us here in Canada in the late 1950s we got a guy who lived in "Little Italy" in Ottawa to translate the F1 news from Gazzeta Della Sport before each car club meeting !!

Justin in Perth

Instead of double points for the last race - and if FIA wants to stick with the idea - how about a concept where every team throughout the season gets to nominate one race only where they can earn double points. Eg before qualifying, a team gets to use its 'double points' card just once for the season, but can use it at any race they choose. That would add a bit more to the spectacle, knowing that a team is under a bit more pressure if they choose to use their double points option.


The problem with this whole "play off" mentality is where it's held. Abu Dhabi could be worth a whole seasons load of points and it would still be a shit place to hold the season final (or any F1 race for that matter). Brazil offered a real event all of it's own with a party atmosphere that you could feel even through the TV, no need for fake gimmicks like double points to cheapen the show. It really should be enshrined in the rules that Interlagos holds the season final every year.


Double points make perfect sense, but why stop there? Bernie's sprinklers, coupled with packs of feral dogs wandering the circuit (recently tested in Sochi, I believe) couldn't help but to turn F1 into the sort of spectacle that BE and his Murdochian ilk obviously covet.


There could be nuns, or parties of school children, crossing on pedestrian crossings at random intervals at several points round the track.


those budget figures of 11 teams at 200 million euro's highlight the obscenity of f1.

the poorest 2.4 billion people on the planet live on less than that.

i think the power unit rules need to be relaxed to allow for the constant advances in battery technology.


Same as the DRS...a manufactured way to try to make excitment. It will fail just as the DRS has IMHO.


Playoff? Hardly. This double points idea is about as silly as counting touchdowns in the last quarter of the Superbowl as 12 points each or saying that goals in the last 10 minutes of the UEFA Champions League games count double.


I would like to see the top ten shootout also become a hot lap affair.

For mine, there was nothing inherently wrong with hotlap qualifying; it just took too long. But the benefit of it is in seeing every competitor's lap whereas in the timed format you just see a train crossing the start line.

Anyone with me?

kenneth chapman

regarding the 'double points' issue it has once again proved that it is totally pointless in even expressing an opinion. apart from that the only benefit is a soothing of ones 'wa' by having a good rant!!!

i think it would be a fair summary to say that 99% of fans/followers/pundits et al have expressed a negative acceptance. it all means zippedy doo dah. they,FIA & FOM will do whatever they want and WE can do nothing about it


So they've noted the fans feelings about double points and... Decided to keep them.

Well that makes sense.

Bangs head against wall...


Lack of common sense is something that never ceases to amaze me. Why the hell do we want a "play off" situation - its not a ball sport for f/ sake -its a global sport not a hyped up local sport !

Cost control - €200million Scoff, Scoff & triple Scoff.. Thats like saying next time Im buying the top line bentley with a titanium emblem instead of the white gold. Its all well & good for RBR to work with 200 whilst Marussia and Caterham are under 100. Then the FIA have to reconsider why new entrants may not survive in the "sport"...Ding Dong the bells are ringing is there anybody home ????

As for engine homoligation - well if we have 10 cars fail to finish in Melb and half the viewing audience just stop watching - then it all counts for naught. Even Mercedes despite their pre season consistency are not 100% sure they will finish- it could be they all do but why risk it- even if Its only Renault continuing to fail!. I do agree they must submit the plans and engines as they normally do so the FIA have something to police. But all manufactures should be allowed to re- submit after the first 3 flyaways after which we can have some certainty. If we find nobody breaks down then theres nothing to change.Those that are in front will still be in front and will not be unfairly disadvantaged - win win for teams, fans, track officials, and commercial rights holders!

Absolutely bizarre how F1 continues to be illogical and un-original in the most unique, passionate and exciting sports on earth.


in F1 some times all the hard work put in over a season can vanish due to a bad luck in a couple of races and the true world champion does not win the title like

eg 2012 where Alonso was tagged by raikonnen in japan and by grojeans mad start in spa

1986 Mansell , 1989 senna ,94 hill the list is endless

The double points system only magnifies the chances of a undeserving WDC being crowned and F1 becoming a theatre of the absurd. 🙂


Budget restrictions are always double edged, those with the most always find a way to spend it, the example being the money spent on CFD when wind tunnel time was reduced. But the best of F1 always pushes the world forward. How about allowing unlimited wind tunnel use if it is carried out by students in universities? At least then any overspend would in fact benefit the next generation of engineers?


“Farcical Idiots Association” - Priceless

FOM - anyone?

kenneth chapman



Full Of Money



My suggestion would be scrap double points as everyone hates it. In its place reschedule the race calendar so that the final 3(maybe 4) races of the season are at Suzuka(4th last race, then Monza(3rd last), Spa(2nd last) & the grand finale at Silverstone. Call those last 3 or 4 races the "Hall of Famers" Trophy that runs within the championship but is also an added prize with extra prize money for the driver and team that wins the Hall of Fame Championship. Normal points towards WCC & WDC, but a classic award for winning at the very best old school tracks.

Maybe just make it the final three, and then F1 could really market it as the "finals" for F1 held in Europe & sell great packages to fans for all 3 races, held over 3 consecutive weekends. F1 Heritage Trophy might be another name for it.

Drivers would love to win those 3 races, teams would love the extra prize money and trophy & fans would love the concept of the final three races held at classic tracks, and something they could really look forward to all year. Rather than dreading double points all year!


I can't believe that Renault won't alter their engine spec in the next couple of months but it will probably be hushed up - like they tried with the Mercedes tyre test. If we hear about it at all it'll be because either one of the other teams really objects, or because the other teams would like to make mods a as well and they're all content for it to be out in the open.

The whole world of F1 has become so artificial that I'm losing interest after following it avidly since 1958 and then increasingly less avidly for the last decade.


What are the chances of the FIA adding to the engine count to be used this year? So far reliability has really shown the fragility of the power units. is it only engines that are limited or the whole power unit? as it stands now the double points will really be a farce if we have 22 cars starting from the pit lane at the last race.

kenneth chapman

of course it is early days but if the rate of attrition is anywhere near what we have just witnessed then the allocation of five engines per/car/driver would be appear to be quite ludicrous.

i presume that a 'power unit' would embrace all components not just the ICE. if so then i fail to see how any team can go for a full season without incurring some penalties. from what i have been able to ascertain the 'power storage units' are very susceptible to breakdown.

surely they should've maintained the same availability of units as the previous year. that alone would be sensible given what we have just witnessed.


Disagree. It's the right level to set it and and you will see how quickly F1 teams adapt that it won't even be an issue in 2015!


I predict that Ferrari will claw their way back up, only to have Alonso lose the WDC and Ferrari lose the WCC in the last race as double points get Vettel and Redbull over the line for a 5th title.

Alonso will then join Webber at Porshe for WEC in 2015.

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