Race promoters question double points for Abu Dhabi

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Organisers of the first 18 races on the 2014 F1 calendar question why the Abu Dhabi season finale should be valued more highly.


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Double points idea for final F1 Grand Prix to hit the buffers? (James Allen on F1)

“Promoters of other Grands Prix on the 19 race calendar… have been on the phone to [Bernie] Ecclestone since the announcement, questioning the justification for the final race, in Abu Dhabi, to be considered "more important" than their race.”

Formula One forced to cut spending as costs pinch (Reuters)

Tony Fernandes: “At the end of the day there may be only five Formula One teams if it carries on the way it is.”

Lotus ‘no worse off than 80% of teams’ (ESPN)

Gerard Lopez: “For 80% of the teams, their financial situation is no better than ours. If half of those teams say they are leaving Formula One, it would lead to the collapse of the championship.”

Hamilton: New rules can topple Red Bull (Autosport)

“I am happy that it is all resetting again otherwise it would be five, six, seven world championships [to Red Bull].”

Vicky Chandhok steps down as FMSCI chief (The Times of India)

“After a second extended term as president of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI), Vicky Chandhok [on] Monday opted to step down and not to seek re-election.”

Step inside the MP4/4 (McLaren via YouTube)


Comment of the day

Davey is hoping Pirelli tone it down a bit next year:

Did Red Bull complain about the extreme high degradation seen early in the year? Yes they did but so did most of the fans, a lot of the media people within F1 and some of the other teams.

Paul Hembery constantly singling Red Bull out and ignoring everyone else who was criticising their tyres and most importantly ignoring the fact that the early-2013 tyres were too extreme. Tyres degrading to the point where you need to make four pit stops and still drive round slowly managing tyres at Barcelona was a joke.

The levels of tyre management seen pretty much all year was too much. I get tyre management has always been a factor to some degree but never to the degree seen in 2013 and that’s why so many complained and disliked the tyres we had this year (including most of the drivers let’s not forget).

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Andrew, Richpea, Wasif1 and Willian Ceolin!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Warwick Brown, one of Mark Webber’s less heralded F1 racing compatriots, turns 64 today. He finished 14th in his sole F1 appearance, driving a Williams FW05 for Walter Wolf at Long Beach in 1976.

Two years later he finished runner-up to another Australian, Alan Jones, in the 1978 Can-Am championship, before retiring from racing the following year.

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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61 comments on “Race promoters question double points for Abu Dhabi”

  1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    24th December 2013, 0:08

    James Allen doesn’t mention a concrete example of what he says, but I really hope it’s true, because the promoters, all of them, can push the rule back as the most directly affected (financially) with this rule.

    1. He is a bit thin on sources in that article, but I don’t see why any of the other race promoters would be happy with this arrangement.

  2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    24th December 2013, 0:12

    And Happy birthday to Andrew, Richpea, Wasif1 and Willian Ceolin! And Merry Christmas in advance for all F1Fans, since I’m travelling to a no-internet place near the city for my Christmas, so have a beautiful night tomorrow!

    1. Have a good Christmas @omarr-pepper, may the mass x acceleration be with you!

      1. @vettel1; haha good one, first time i hear it!

      2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        24th December 2013, 13:44

        @vettel1 Merry Christmas too.
        And as well, Merry Christmas for my friends here: @fer-no65, @celeste, @hohum, @tifoso1989, @wsrgo, @hamilfan, @mnmracer Enjoy it and save me a present!!!

        1. Merry Christmas! :D

        2. Merry Xmas, fellow F1fanatics ! @omarr-pepper, @celeste, @vettel1 and all the others :)

          Hope you get cool presents, eat a lot of chocolates and stuff, have a good time with your families and enjoy your winter/summer holidays (depending on where you’re standing in our little planet).

          Remember to wish for a very, very nice and competitive 2014 F1 season, before peace, love, health and all that ridiculous and meaningless stuff :P

        3. Merry Christmas to all of you guys @omarr-pepper,@vettel1,@fer-no65,@todfod,@kingshark and all the F1fanatics i hope you enjoy it !!!!!!!!!

          1. Merry Christmas to you as well! Enjoy the holidays and a great year ahead

        4. Thanks a lot @omarr-pepper !!! And merry christmas to you too!!! :) :D
          Merry christmas to all my friends @celeste @vettel1 @andae23 @hamilfan @kingshark @bascb @girts @fastiesty @npf1 and all the others whom I haven’t actually forgotten!!! :)

          1. @wsrgo thanks! Merry Christmas to you and all other F1fanatics as well!

          2. @wsrgo Thanks a lot :) Happy holidays to you yoo!

          3. Merry Xmas to you too @wsrgo! And all at F1F! Here’s to 2014!

        5. Merry Christmas Guys !!

    2. And merry returns to @tifoso1989, @fer-no65, @omarr-pepper, @mnmracer, @me4me, @todfod, @kingshark, @celeste, @wsrgo, @hamilfan, @william-brierty and anyone else I’ve missed!

      Have a great day! :D

    3. Feliz Navidad @omarr-pepper @fer-no65 and happy holidays everybody on the F1FANATIC hope you have a lovely day with family and friends.

      Anyone up fo Navidad Tamales and torrejas? ;)

      1. Merry Christmas everyone!!

      1. Thanks to all of you my friends, i hope you enjoy your well deserved holiday an interesting era of F1 is waiting so be prepared !!!!!!!! Merry Christmas return to my friend @seahorse as well

  3. It really is pretty much as simple as that. All Formula 1 races are bound to the same set of rules, and are of a similar duration, so to attach extra points to any one of them certainly devalues the importance of the rest. It surprises me that we haven’t actually heard from any of the other race promoters yet.

    1. The other race organisers were my first thought when it was announced. I suppose they wouldn’t make a media show of it because that isn’t what they do. So instead I’m sure they just got on the phone and complained directly to the people in charge. So although we haven’t really heard anything, they may well be a large part of the reason why Bernie has started backtracking, seeing as the most important thing he does is try to keep the organisers happy (or more importantly, just keep them involved, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some organisers even found grounds to void their contract).

    2. Especially given that the double-points race is Abu Dhabi. Imagine the promoters of legendary GPs like Monza or Spa having their race worth half as many points as Abu Dhabi.

    3. @schooner Is it really that simple? You forget for that up until ’83 there were non-championship races in the season. Which means the championship races actually held infinitely more value than the non-championship ones, nevermind the triple value Abu Dhabi…

      And, on the point of race organisers raising a voice, I wouldn’t dare say a word against Bernie if I was in charge of a race venue. One wrong word, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Bernie made my life hell lol!

  4. It’s still very worrying how so many teams have financial troubles. Hopefully positive action can be effected before any kind of collapse takes place and good teams and good drivers are pushed out of the sport.

  5. Promoters of other Grands Prix on the 19 race calendar… have been on the phone to [Bernie] Ecclestone since the announcement, questioning the justification for the final race, in Abu Dhabi, to be considered “more important” than their race.

    Yeah, it’s pretty dumb really. Abu Dhabi certainly isn’t like Le Mans in the WEC (which is worth double points), in terms of challenge, history or length.

    What would people have made of a double header for the final race, like the Indycars had at a few races in 2013?

    1. @david-a I was thinking the same thing. The only justifiable scenario for double points would be to run two separate, full length races on the weekend, or increase the one race to double the normal distance. Fat chance for either of those happening, and either option would no doubt still get up the noses of the other promoters.

      1. This was the only scenario where I would agree with double points as well; it would be really cool for F1 to run a longer distance race, esp. at the end of the year when engines have run out, or you only have previously raced engines.

        I would prefer the double distance or double header races to take place at a track like Monza, since the Grand Prix distance there is much faster than at other tracks. A double distance/header at Abu Dhabi would probably be a bit tedious.

    2. @david-a – The double points would have been applied to the final race regardless of which circuit hosted it. Going by an article Keith posted in the round-up a few dats ago, the double points idea was floated because the sport is coming under pressure from broadcasters who want the title fight to go on for as long as possible. They’re probably losing viewers in their droves when Vettel wraps up the title four rounds from the end if the season.

      The fact that the final race is in Abu Dhabi is incidental. The circuit got the season finale because they are hosting post-season testing.

      1. Completely agree. We have to split the issue of double points from where the race is held. Are we saying that we would be OK with extra points if Monza or Spa was the last race? The issues with the track at Abu Dhabi have been done to death but lets not let it devalue the argument that double points for the finale is just plain wrong.

  6. They should all team-up and threaten to fail to provide the facilities if they are being unduly devalued. That’d show Ecclestone – a one race championship.

  7. If I built an Island, then built an F1 track on it, then built a hotel on the F1 track, I’d ask for double points. But there’s nothing special about the track or event, its like a stupid joke.

    1. They already get more than they deserve given how terrible the track is- that it even features on the calender is a shame, and it having ever been the final round is a joke.

      1. True. I can’t imagine what they would have to do to actually deserve double points. If they doubled the race distance we’d all fall asleep, even the drivers, and that’s not safe.

    2. @spinmastermic It’s even more absurd: Bernie wanted double points for the last three race, and the teams didn’t want it: they made a compromise, it will be just for the last race.

      1. Interestingly I actually find the last three races less offensive @spoutnik, as then it doesn’t all hinge on one race which could ruin a championship single-handedly. That would be embarrassing.

        It’s fine as it is however, which is why it has stuck for over 60 years. Why bother changing something that clearly works?

        1. @vettel1 or double on every race, like paeschli said :). But indeed, why bother …

      2. @spoutnik – I find it interesting that you put it that way, because you have completely changed the meaning of what Bernie said. He did not say that the last three races should be worth double points; he said that the last three races should be worth double points or the idea should be dropped entirely.

        Far too many people have been far too quick to forget that Bernie supported the idea of scrapping double points. Which is strange, because it is exactly what fans want.

  8. I hope Vicky Chandhok’s decision to not stand for re-election doesn’t affect the Indian Grand Prix’s chances to return in 2015. Either way, it probably still hinges on whether Government support can be obtained. If India’s top brass still continue to treat F1 as entertainment, not sport, and thus levy entertainment taxes on the incomes, the Indian GP will probably not return.
    Chandhok has done tremendously well as the FMSCI president in the last few years, and it’ll be tough for his successor (whoever he is) to emulate him.
    As for Gerard Lopez, he comes up with a strange number…80 percent. This just proves my point that some people speak without thinking, and without preparation, just because they have to say something. 80 percent of 11 is more than 8. So he’s saying that only 2-and-a-bit teams have no financial problems? Does that mean that a bit of Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari are financially handicapped?

    1. I entirely agree with you on Vicky Chandhok and your assessment of Gerard Lopez as far as his statement without any logic/thoughts behind it. However, you got it a bit wrong @wsrgo . For Gerard Lopez says,

      For 80% of the teams, their financial situation is no better than ours

      I interpret this to mean totally 9 teams (including Lotus) are in the same boat as Lotus i.e. 80% of remaining teams is 8 and Lotus is also in the same boat, so it is 9. This means only Red Bull and Ferrari/Mercedes are not financially handicapped.. ;) How ridiculous it sounds..

      (If we literally interpret his statement, it would mean 9.8 teams are financially handicapped, which would mean one of Ferrari/Mercedes are handicapped by 80% and the other 100% as is Lotus) :P

      1. Although a little exaggerated, there are still some major outfits that are in a little trouble as well.
        Although Red Bull – and, by proxy, Toro Rosso – Ferrari and Mercedes are fairly financially secure, McLaren, just as sizeable as those outfits, officially recorded a small loss in their latest financial submissions to Companies House. Moreover, McLaren openly stated that part of the reason for their partnership with Honda is that it would “transform their business model” – in other words, the financial benefit of not having to pay for engines, which is what they have to do now after being demoted from works to customer status by Mercedes. http://adamcooperf1.com/2013/10/02/mclaren-f1-team-announces-3-1m-loss-for-2012/

        Now, whilst there may be something to Bernie’s jibe about teams needing financial restraint – if the gains are limited in one area, then the teams will simply shift resources elsewhere rather than cut back – but there is only so far back that you can pare costs. Symonds, before leaving Marussia, gave an interview to Auto Motor und Sport where he pointed out that it cost his outfit about £2 million per race weekend merely to attend a race weekend.

        1. From my understanding of their budget, that would be $64m per season and 2/3rds of their total budget on everything simply involving going racing.

      2. @seahorse Yeah, numbers do tend to make the situation more difficult to understand and have clarity. And your literal interpretation is just lol :D

    2. @wsrgo :

      Either way, it probably still hinges on whether Government support can be obtained. If India’s top brass still continue to treat F1 as entertainment, not sport.

      I am sad but maybe looking at this absurd idea of double points, I’ll have to say, I agree with the Indian Government!

      1. @neelv27 Well yes, the FIA aren’t helping matters with their ‘brainwaves’…

      2. I guess anybody who looked at how the sport is treating itself would come to the exact same conclusion!

        I guess Lopez really meant that from the non-works teams, 80% are worse off than Lotus. Taking out Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren, we have Lotus and Williams, with everyone else at almost a 2.5:1 budget ratio vs. works teams. Lotus and Williams’ budgets are contracting and approaching 2:1 most likely for 2014. So only those two are likely to survive on strict budget terms. In reality, it comes down to how well heeled the ownership is of the teams. But Bernie only needs at least 6 teams anyway – they would just operate a B team each, like Toro Rosso.

        Lotus did very well to be competitive in 2012/13, same with Sauber and even Williams in 2012. Force India do well with a small budget, by buying in as much as possible ‘ready made’ technology and simply optimising it (e.g. for the tyres) along with saving money on drivers. If Williams could optimise more they would be similarly competitive, as their car usually has pace underneath they are trying to unlock.

  9. I want to thank Keith for the amazing website.
    We still have around 3 month until F1 races are back. F1F is like a Placebo. Thanks Keith

  10. In times like this, teams like Sauber gets bigger and bigger. Its not easy staying for 20 years in the F1. Only Ferrari, Mc Laren and Williams can say that. Of course, everybody has ups and downs. F1 was never easy and cheap. Ask Copersucar, HRT, Super Auguri, Forti, even great teams as Tyrrel, Minardi…
    Ecclestone will not change. Until his last day he will decide on the future of what we love.

    1. I predicted it before, F1 will probably cease to exist sooner or later because it’s fundamentally flawed as far as finances go. The teams get paid unevenly, too little or nothing at all. Circuits make a loss just because they’re hosting a Grand Prix. There’s a lot of things wrong with the sport and it will ultimately mean Formula 1’s demise. I don’t really mind though because it will surely lead to the beginning of a new series, because there’s still too much money to be made. This time however, I suspect everyone will have learned from what lead to F1’s demise. It’s the way of the world, everything with a beginning has an end. I’m sure it’ll be replaced by a GP1 series or whatever though.

      The bankruptcy of several teams
      will be the beginning of the end, I suspect.

  11. We have to thank the genius who decided that winning a race was worth a greater points premium than it had been for the early crowning of this years champion and consequently the quick fix of a double points last race, stand up and take a bow Bernie.
    In Bernies defence, he had previously reduced the winners premium to reward a consistent placegetter over the undeserving driver who may luckily win a few races whilst crashing out or otherwise perform poorly just as often as win.
    It’s great to be a Bernie supporter, he’s always supported every side of the argument at some time or the other so you just need to quote him selectivelly and you can’t lose.

    1. @hohum – You know full well that it wasn’t Bernie who proposed it or forced it through. The FIA and teams came under pressure from broadcasters to make the championship fight last longer.

  12. Merry Christmas everybody! :)

    Now a perfect present would be Bernie scrapping these double points!

    1. Agreed!

      If we ARE to have the double points after all this backlash, the Abu Dhabi trophies ought to commemorate the “Bernie has difficulties with a revolving door (moving pieces included)” moment, just for the looks of surprised laughter on the drivers to help them through that awkward podium celebration.

      1. That and proper champaign

        1. @verstappen is that meant to be a mixture of champagne and campaign? ;)

  13. The ESPN and Reuters articles on costs in F1 paint a rather grim picture.

    The talk now is of the urgency of taking costs in hand, with the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) announcing this month that teams will have a cost cap from 2015 with the precise rules to be drawn up by mid-2014.

    [Ecclestone:] “What we are going to try to do is set a cap on the amount a team can spend. We’re going to try to save them from themselves.”

    Fingers crossed this will work, but it will depend on where they’ll place the bar. For instance if teams are not allowed to spend more than 100 million pounds, this will have huge consequences for Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari; but for teams like Marussia nothing will change, since they can’t even reach 100m. And it’s far from sure teams like Ferrari and Mercedes will agree to a budget cap that drastic in the first place.

    Also, I seriously doubt teams like Lotus, Sauber and to a lesser extent Marussia and Williams will even survive for that long. I wouldn’t even put money on Lotus attending all pre-season tests, with their engine deal still not yet sorted out.

    So, a lot to worry about, but I guess from a financial point of view, things can only go up from here. I hope.

  14. Money by unelected Arab dictactors speaks volumes, just what that crook Bernie loves!! F1 isn’t a sport anymore, it’s a criminal empire.

  15. In the video of the MP4/4, the camera seemed more interested in the presenters watch than Senna’s car.
    Still, 50 years of product placement :)

  16. I hope James Allen is right about the other race promotors being quite ****** about the new points system, It means the oppositions is now growing even bigger: Fans/Teams/Race Promtors

    And it’s still not too late for this: Merry christmas evreyone!!

  17. I don’t like the double points idea for the final race…

  18. Which teams like this?

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