Race wins to decide 2009 F1 champion, FOTA points system rejected by FIA

In rather surprising move FIA today decided to reject the new point scoring system proposed by FOTA and go for the system similar to Bernie Ecclestone’s “medals” instead. The driver with most race wins will become the 2009 F1 champion. In case of a tie the bigger points total (as per the existing 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system) will determine the champ. The Constructors’ Championship is not affected by these changes.

“The WMSC accepted the proposal from Formula One Management to award the drivers’ championship to the driver who has won the most races during the season. If two or more drivers finish the season with the same number of wins, the title will be awarded to the driver with the most points, the allocation of points being based on the current 10, 8, 6 etc. system.

The rest of the standings, from second to last place, will be decided by the current points system. There is no provision to award medals for first, second or third place. The Constructors’ Championship is unaffected.

The WMSC rejected the alternative proposal from the Formula One Teams’ Association to change the points awarded to drivers finishing in first, second and third place to 12, 9 and 7 points respectively. “

I must say this came as a shock … I expected FIA to either leave the things as they are or accept the 12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1 system suggested by FOTA (and agreed on by the F1 teams). Hm … They do know how to come up with unexpected …

Read also – What could have happened if there were medals

FIA also introduced voluntary budget cap at GBP30 mil a year from 2010. For the teams that sign up many of the existing restrictions will be lifted. More on that in separate post.

25 Comments Post a Comment
  1. pk_dude04No Gravatar says:

    what a load of rubbish this is
    this is just the FIA folding to Ecclestone
    FOTA had the right idea but i dont see anything wrong with the points system as it was!
    when it comes down to it surely it makes the season more interesting if someone who has driven consistently well can finish 5th in the final grand prix to win the title
    this will mean Ferrari dominate as they always look like they can and win the title before we’ve got to Spa
    that will make F1 a boring sport and not what it has been working toward recently

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      I am not sure I like this system, I think I don’t, but there are some interesting (extreme) scenarios possible:

      1) Brawn starts season ahead of other teams, by the time the others catch up with them Button or Barrichello will have 4-5 wins to their names and come Monaco the title may be almost decided :-)

      2) The teams are very evenly matched, 4 teams capable of winning races, different drivers keep winning races. coming to last race there may be 8 drivers with 2 wins, 8 drivers with shot at the title in the final race :-)

  2. BazNo Gravatar says:

    Obviously, there are only a certain number of points/first-places to be won, whichever system is used. Once a driver has won a majority of races/points, the championsahip has been decided, and the rest of the season can only affect the Constructors Championship.

    One plus with this new system, is that there will be no coasting into second place to conserve engines etc!
    One minus is that we might see more team orders, with the team driver on the lower score backing off in favour of his team mate.

    But what system can anyone devise that overcomes this, and takes every season down to the wire? Bernie’s medals system makes it even more boring!

  3. bmwf1guyNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, team orders all over the place. That was my first impression.

    I don’t really like it and the decision seems a little spineless. Can you just imagine Brawn so far ahead the season is over by Monaco? Well seriously, the likely hood of a driver clinching the championship way to early could happen even more than the old point system.

    bmwf1guys last blog post..Steering Wheels for F1.09 of Robert and Nick Compared to F1.08

  4. TimmieNo Gravatar says:

    What is stopping a driver taking an engine and wringing the neck out of it and destroy it in one race for the win. So he takes a penalty or whatever if he uses up all eight engines but he just won those eight races and therefore the championship!

    teams can technically set themselves up with their car for certain tracks where they know they will get maximum chance and win those races while not having to worry about it so much at other races and could tehcnically just park it if they can’t win to save the engine. Gives them more to burn before the end and a better car when it matters. win enough races and retire for the rest of the season to rub it in Ecclestones and Mosleys face what a dumb idea this is for the championship.

    You can’t have two systems where first place is based on wins and then every other position is decided by points, total rip off for the public and definitely not something that makes F1 racing more bloody appealing! Always stupid how they even get public to tell them what we watn, we give them a good idea, FOTA backs it FIA says its great idea but then goes with what the FOM wants because he has a cry. Total joke, none of this has to do with the better of the sport or what fans want, it all has to do with what Bernie Ecclestone wants.

    Come the end of the season if the points are skewed, i know who i will be supporting as the “true” world champion no matter who it is.

  5. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    have been thinking more about this:

    positives:

    - driver who never wins a race can’t become a champion (but how many times did this happen ?)
    - there will be more racing to win, crashing out while fighting for win will be worth it
    - we may have exciting end to championship – up to eight drivers may be fighting for title in final race of the season, and the last race may become the “Winner Takes It All” race

    negatives:

    - team orders (as mentioned in comments above), having in the team drivers stealing wins from each other will be a luxury few can afford, especially if other teams (McLaren, Renault come to mind) have obvious number one driver

    - too much power in hands of unpredictable stewards

    - Championships may be decided way too early, all that is needed is one team ahead of others early on in the season

    - the cost saving with engine limits may not work. it will be worth blowing the engines the weekend after the race win. getting wins in first 8 races totally compensates for grid penalties in remaining 8 or 9 races … (as pointed out by Timmie)

    - the emphasis now is on speed, not on reliability, that is something FIA could have told teams much earlier (as pointed out by somebody at the debate over at sidepodcast), not when the test season is over and teams are a week from practice session no 1

    Well, controversial decision, but worse could have been done by FIA, like for example they could have come up with some 2 class F1 recipe, F1 run to 2 different sets of rules … Wait, they have done that too …

  6. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    Why change it. The last race of 2008 was probably the most exciting finish in F1 history. The championship has been down to the last lap the last two years.

    Racers are racers. The cars simply were not built to promote passing. I am hoping that the changes to the aero packages will allow closer racing without all the dirty air of the past.

  7. Cruz GonzalezNo Gravatar says:

    Just go and race! we want action!!!
    a NASCAR kind of action!!!!
    controversy, crashes for the position, strategy games, craziness!

  8. draconteNo Gravatar says:

    Cancel the FIA approved WDC selection criteria for F1 World Championship 2009

    Please accept this petition from F1 Fans of the World as our official statement against the FIA approved World Drivers Champion (WDC) selection process that will be used for the 2009 F1 World Championship. We believe the quantity of wins alone is not an accurate selection criteria for the WDC. We propose that the cumulative points standings at the end of the 2009 F1 World Championship should determine the WDC, as it has for previous F1 World Championships.

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/cancel-the-fia-approved-wdc-selection-criteria-for-f1-world-championship-2009

  9. seskuNo Gravatar says:

    sorry to say this word…**** FIA!!!!…rubbish idea came of the old guy with white hair !!!! just accept the FOTA 12 9 7 5 4 3 2 1 system…much interesting…much better or revert back to 10 6 4 3 2 1 system.

    seskus last blog post..Mathematics With No Numbers

  10. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    I was going to write something yesterday about it all, but then I decided to wait for the response of the F1 teams. And they all are with my opinion, the FIA’s decision just is thought to “**** our brains” (quite a dictatorship, again…). What else can be expected?
    A very last moment imposition which can’t be refused because there’s no time for discussing it, there wasn’t any agreement done by the interested sides and worst of all… This doesn’t benefit at all the show if several things happen.

    It’s said, this will make the F1 more exciting and take over will happen, yes, but only when this is needed…How frustrating will be that the fastest cars will be a world apart in strategy terms, to make all possible to win the gap and then administrate it for winning a race (it always has been important, but now more than ever). Will be boring for the spectators to see how the “Schumacher era” comes back maybe, and it won’t matter at all who does finish second or third in the podium…
    The benefit to the “spectacular spectacle” which could probably happen with such point system modification is that we could have a World Champion driver at July, if a driver managed to win all the races from the first half of the championship plus one. Anybody is interested to know the champion at the middle of the season without an exciting end? Prime regular drivers should be an aim of the FIA, they should search a way to make the championship less boring, and this rule is giving no sense to these ones which score a second or third regularly during the season but didn’t manage to achieve many race wins, or any. Kubica is considered as a stunning driver because managed to stay in the fight until the end, but now it wouldn’t be possible.
    Last, this could be the end for such teams which aren’t used to get bright results; there are no reasons to compete for them anymore, when they will have chances to become a championship challenger? Never??? If the aim is the victory, but there’s no way you can get it, why you should waste so many resources to try it… Anyway the little competitors, as Toro Rosso is, now they will have chances winning a single race (if doing not bad during the season achieving regular points). If the championship is tight as is thought to be, surprises could happen, but I don’t believe in it, I think that greater differences will appear now.

    Can’t say this will be bad for the F1, but not what I expected to happen :( This is not focusing properly the problem of making races more exciting, as FOTA released a good proposal to make a change, I just think the FIA’s proposal together with the Bernie’s absurd idea are not the proper change to balance more the things out there for more tight battles. That’s bad for those who care about having wonderful races and unknown results until the end between the serious challengers.

  11. After hearing Eddie Jordan talk in favour of the change I’m warming to the idea – yesterday I thought it was just plain daft.

    If the season is as close as they are prediciting, it won’t make much of a difference. I do wonder if teams have already decided on ways of putting team orders in place from Australia without making it obvious. Time will tell if this is inspired or a big mistake.

    Steve Robertsons last blog post..Twittering

  12. [...] FIA implemented new point system for 2009 season. Well, point system remains the same, but the wins not points will matter when it comes to drivers’ championship. Well and a driver who only 2 weeks ago still faced at least a year on sidelines is all of a sudden mentioned as one of the title contenders … [...]

  13. TimmieNo Gravatar says:

    What stops a driver, who can’t win or his team mate, using his car to obstruct or “take out” another driver who is going better to ensure they don’t win a race?

    They want more passing, but nothing will stop them from going well second doesn’t matter so i’m just going to throw my car down the inside and hope i don’t take him out to get the win. If i hit him, well then at leats he isnt winning either!

    I agree that yes it should make for more reasons to pass, but that means more aggressive driving is needed and more risky moves must be made, The stewards are going to get a work out this year and we all know they can’t get a decision right from one race to the next. Who expects about a thousand controversial decisions before the season is over?

    Same as said before Winning should be rewarded, but don’t make it count for the world championship so easily. You give some teams bigger luxuries than they should have.

  14. JaredNo Gravatar says:

    I wonder if this will end up setting the foundation for a possible FOTA vs. FOM/FIA showdown. Even though the idea of a breakaway series ran by the FOTA seems far-fetched, more decisions like this from BS Bernie and Mad Max could lead to the snapping point.

  15. [...] also won the first 5 races of the season – imagine if someone manages that this year with the new wins above points rule … Williams-Renault McLaren-Honda [...]

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