Double points not extended but kept for last race

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone’s efforts to apply double points to the final three races of the year fail, but the last race will still award double points.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Formula 1’s double points system fails to get backing for USA and Brazil grands prix (The Mirror)

“The double points system will still be in effect at the final race of 2014 in Abu Dhabi, but an idea to bring it in for the US and Brazil grands prix were given short shrift by the F1 Strategy Group.”

Todt: double points not a big issue (Autosport)

“Honestly, I’m not very excited about it, I’m not really excited. But it’s such a little parameter, compared to so many other things.”

FIA delays decision on new F1 team (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“Intriguingly it seems that realistically Gene Haas is aiming for a 2016 start, while the Romanian project is ready to kick off in 2015, should it be given the go ahead.”

Lots of teams in the running – Button (ESPN)

“We’re all competitive and it’s absolute rubbish when drivers say we are concentrating on ourselves – utter crap. We all know that and I’ve had some of them as my team-mates!”

Alonso: No one ready for Oz (Sky)

“If you go the World Cup of football and they change the size of the ball and they give you five days to touch that ball… we would all like to have more days, but on the other hand when I see the number I have done in five days, that is probably more than any other driver.”

Q&A with Pastor Maldonado (F1)

“Q: You are sitting in Kimi [Raikkonen’s] cockpit. How does that feel?
PM: Like I have a lot of responsibilities – but not only for the team, also for my country. When I won the Spanish Grand Prix it was also a sign for my country that we can do it – and we want more! My job here at Lotus is to do my best to get there again.”

Day two of the final pre-season test in Bahrain (BBC)

“No-one outside the team knows whether it happened or not, and those on the inside wouldn’t say.”

An update from Spy (Red Bull)

“A major news broadcaster posted the story this morning, along with the line ‘No-one outside the team knows whether it happened or not, and those on the inside wouldn’t say.’ Eh? Run that by me again?”

The world according to Niki Lauda (MotorSport)

“Coming into that weekend, [Lewis Hamilton had] informed McLaren that he was staying put and had told friends the same thing, that he had looked at the Mercedes alternative but decided against it. But then something came to Lewis’ attention that weekend about a background situation regarding Ron Dennis that did not please Lewis one little bit, so he was already wavering.”


Comment of the day

@Maciek on the end of FOTA:

It is unfortunate that competing teams in this sport cannot see the advantages of laying down the arms once in a while to ensure that what they’re fighting over remains relevant and, obviously, it is precisely why one individual has been able to hold such sway over the direction of the sport.

It’s really a bit pathetic – these are major players in a major venture, yet they’re led by the nose by a little (as in petty) man who knows how to push their buttons. F1 needs a new paradigm and technical changes alone isn’t going to do it.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jose Arellano and Becca Blue!

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

Martin Brundle became the second driver to test McLaren’s 1994 challenger, the Peugeot-powered MP4-9, after confirmed race driver Mika Hakkinen.

But McLaren continued to hold off on confirming who Hakkinen’s team mate would be.

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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71 comments on “Double points not extended but kept for last race”

  1. At least it’s definitely one race that I won’t be watching. I might watch the GP3 and GP2 that day, unless the FIA want to mess around with that, of course.

    I only hear bad things about double points, even from senior drivers and team members, so why have we still got them when the fans, drivers and teams don’t want them?

    1. I’d be willing to bet there are a couple of Renault powered teams who are now in favor of double points…

      1. I hope you’re being facetious and not cynical. RB already expressed their displeasure, in fact Vettel and Newey and Horner were three of the first to have the guts to speak out against double points early on, even when they already knew they were behind other teams.

        1. This is the perfect example of how many F1 viewers make up their own things and post them as the opinion of others. Like when people said Kimi would never return to Ferrari… etc…

        2. @chaddy Since then, didn’t Horner say he likes the idea and he would like it to be 3 races?

          1. I think Horner’s stance, and I agree with it, is that the preference would be to not have double points at all, but if they MUST have it then having it for the last 3 races is better than just the last one. As he put it…it takes some of the lottery out of it.

            Of think of that like this…if in the third last race there is a surprise grabbing of big points by someone who is generally thought to have not done as good a job up until then, and therefore has won a bit of a lottery from the bigger points day, then at least the rest of the teams have 2 more races to answer to that.

            I think with 3 races there is a better chance of the ‘rightful’ winner taking the cup and less chance that the rightful winner will be robbed. Rightful in this case of course being subjective, but meaning the one who seems to sentimentally and literally have earned it throughout the season and earned the right not to be robbed of it through points schemes, because he hasn’t made mental mistakes and squandered the opportunity under pressure and has been doing a worthy job.

    2. I’ll be joining you in boycotting that race, hopefully the championship will be over by then.

      1. I would also like to boycott the last race, but it will probably have the opposite effect in that the reason it was brought in the first place was to try and retain viewing figures, so if everyone switches off for the last race this year, it could be extended to more races the following year.

        I’m just really baffled at how this was voted for anyway if literally nobody seems to like the idea, from fans, to teams, to the FIA president himself.

        1. This is why I am going to boycott the entire season. I’m not going to watch any F1 race until double points are dropped.

    3. Yes . But I doubt that will have an effect into viewership as they are calculated differently and can be manipulated . The major effect will be created when a LOT of people boycott going to the race .

    4. @craig-o and others.

      Come on now folks! Yes we all have overwhelmingly agreed that double points’ system is bad and unfair. But the overreaction is getting out of hand. The rule is the same for everyone and the probability that the driver leading the championship would lose it in the last race because of this rule is 0.156 (10/64, computed using all the 64 seasons of F1) and a meagre 0.1 if we look at the last thirty alone.

      The point of my post is to shed some light on the irrationality of people’s reasoning for not watching the last race. Most notably a person, who posted below this thread. He’d rather read a book :O than watch and F1 race. I mean, seriously!? The probabilities above are not big enough for someone to take the ‘extreme’ step of skipping the last race of the year. Unless you have the opportunity of getting laid or something similar!

      1. @sankalp88
        For me the issue isn’t only about 1st place in the championship. I’m just as much concerned about the positions lower down, especially for constructors championship, as it affects the prize money that they receive.

        1. Exactly right!

          What a horrible mess this can turn out to be.

      2. Madwinchester
        1st March 2014, 7:59

        I’d say that 15.6% is a pretty significant statistic.

        I’ll be watching the race, but I’ll be scowling while I do.

      3. @sankalp88

        The point of my post is to shed some light on the irrationality of people’s reasoning for not watching the last race.

        I am sorry, but what I find irrational is trying to dismiss the feeling that it is wrong with some numbers and mathematical expressions. It just does not feel right and fair. Only BE would know the purpose of it, but obviously it is not a sporting purpose. It feels like those gambling saloons where they put in big flashing lights the jackpot of the weekend.

      4. the probability that the driver leading the championship would lose it in the last race because of this rule is 0.156

        @sankalp88 do you have any understanding of probabilities at all? If the chances are 15.6% that’s quite a high probability and by no means all that unlikely at all. It’s a chance of almost 1 in 6. Also the “meagre” probability of 0.1 (or 10%) is a chance of 1 in 10, in other words still quite likely as an outcome. Neither of your calculations takes into account the possibility that the likelihood may be much higher due to the likelihood of low reliability for some teams in the early races.

        To put this into context banks typically set capital based on survival through 1 in 200 year risk events (0.005). The chance of the change in points rules changing the outcome by your own sampling calculations is therefore at least 20 times more likely a British bank failure.

        This also doesn’t account for change in behaviour as a result of the change in rules which can’t be accounted for when looking at past history in which the rule was not in place.

        1. @jerseyf1 : Yes sir, I do happen to have a strong understanding of how probability works. As a professional statistician I’ll take 1/6 any day over 1/3, 1/2 or 3/4. I never said it was miniscule, I said it was small and it is compared to rainfall fluctuation, agricultural yield patterns and other socioeconomic variables, which follow the annual cycle. Your example of banks isn’t valid, as the reserves that they have to hold with their country’s central bank are flexible. If something goes wrong the central bank will almost certainly step in to help. I will concede to your argument about reliability, in that P( Affect | Reliability) >= 1/6 at least in 2014. But that should be a concern in the beginning of the season, with reliability getting better towards the end and being almost non-existent ‘015 onwards.

          @hohum and others: I’d like to clarify that I never said that I’m on Bernie’s side. Is the double-points rule bad? Yes. Is it unfair? Yes. Is it the end of the world? No. We live in a world of constant evolution. Be it technology, nature, sports or arts. Change is the only constant. The evolution of rules has always been a case of two-steps forward and one-step back. This seems like a step back. But let’s withhold judgement and see how this rule plays out over the next few years and if things go completely out of hand, then create a mass revolt.

      5. 15% seems way too high to me. Use this argument effectively when it’s 0%, or possibly up to ~1%.

      6. @sankalp88, It is a matter of principle, if you don’t stand firm and are not prepared to make even the smallest of sacrifices then you deserve to be walked all over, “If you are not part of the solution,then you are part of the problem”.
        Double points for the last race is an artifice designed to increase interest and therefor TV viewership of the last race, by refusing to watch we can ensure that this silly plan does not succeed.

    5. Very simply because the sheiks already paid for the additional drama to their show and it cannot be revoked.

      Do I know? No, but honestly it seems by now the only sensible explanation after surviving criticism this severe.

      1. @poul, exactly, you can be sure that Bernie did the deal 1st. then told the teams afterwards, fait accomplis.

  2. The only words which jump out from the double points article are ‘Jean Todt’ and ‘insignificant’…

  3. Dr Marko has decided to return to his roots and become a dubstep producer under his street name DJ Graz

    I’ve got to read that Red Bull Spy more often, that made me laugh hard.

    1. Now seriously, I would bet with anyone that very little people on any team know what’s going on inside the insides, I’m saying this but I don’t mean that something illegal is running on any team, lets just wait for a couple books to be published in 20 years time.

    2. My favourite was

      Seb, meanwhile has sent us a postcard, and says he’s really sorry for all the fuss. He’ll be back soon but has decided to chill for a while by spending a couple of weeks watching daytime soaps and eating crisps ’round at Mark’s house.

  4. New plan, whoever is leading at the end of Brazil we call the world champion. Then Bernie and the five other people that will show up to Abu Dhabi can watch it, whilst the rest of us stay in bed or read a good book or something.

    1. If only! That would be the only way it would actually get the boot.

    2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      1st March 2014, 1:59

      @looseasagoose how will the history records show it? Just simple, or with a footnote saying about the double scam?

    3. we are going to have 2 WDC & WCC then one worthy champion for public & fanatics alike & another unworthy champion for the record books…. i hopefully expect the plan is going to be scrapped after an year, making 2014 results debatable over years to come…

      i guess, f1 is not new to this strange disparities in points & etc since it booted up.:)
      aint it in the 80s champs are decided from best of 10 finishes or so. even then, that is only meant for WDC and makes full sense…

      however, this double points fiasco is utter rubbish even though there exists equal opportunity for every body…. i felt it could have planned better… like one grand finale after whole year circus…. and there will be double race distance… or something… its not easy.

      i can imagine lot of scenarios popping up in the current situation.. especially with likes of midfield teams Sauber, FI, TR… there will millions difference in prize money and see one fkng race entirely changes their fortune…. its going to be more like a very undeserving lottery to some .. but then again at the cost of other teams… which otherwise would have been a level playing field…

      how about change in points might influence… its double points.. so u get 25 extra points bonus accumulating to WDC just from last round… so the competitors might need 4 races worth of effort (25-18=7)*’4′<25… o god this calculation itself shows .. how ridiculous this points move will turn out to be…

      f1 is no sport anymore…. its just entertainment business which is a means 4 some beings to be immensely rich…

      1. The double points rule is in no way to be compared to dropping worst results from the summation. @keithcollantine made a very good point of this recently but I am unable to find it.

      2. @fractal,@poul, The worst 2 results discard was the exact opposite of a double point race, the discard rule took into account the fact that even the best driver and car can have a bad result or 2 through no fault of their own, the double points rule works in exactly the opposite way, doubling the penalty for a bad result no matter the cause, and doubling the points for the beneficiary of whatever causes a bad result for the best driver.

  5. Not sure if this was the right or wrong decision, on one hand it doesn’t mean teams that fall off late season won’t be as punished, but it means that more relevance on one race where anything could happen to the drivers. I say get rid of it all.

  6. Nice sort of political double speak by Jean Todt. Not really for or against double points, nice safe position. Insignificant, not excited about it, not a big issue, keep it if it works, get rid of it if it doesn’t… Then Todt changes the subject to costs as the bigger issue. The double points issue may well come back to haunt F1, but Todt has his bases covered.

    1. It’s what I expect. He’s better than Mosely by being less contentious, but with F1 in particular he doesn’t seem to have done a whole of good. Sitting on the fence for the most part.

    2. @bullmello, Bernie too has his bases covered “I told them it had to be 3”

    3. Not necessarily aimed at you, more of a general question – how will it be considered to have “worked”?

      1. @oweng: I think “they” will consider it to have worked if it stretches the WDC to be decided in the last race, keeping the audience and the world at full interest at the last race, AND it doesn’t help Vettel to yet another title, he wouldn’t have had without this rule. But that is solely my interpretation;-)

  7. I’m just imagining the outcry if the championship is decided by the double points situation, would not be good. If it doesn’t effect the results I suspect there won’t be much more complaining and Bernie will use it as an excuse to claim that it was a success. This will allow him to bring it in at other races if he so chooses.

    Either way its not good for the sport

  8. Since they choose to actually go ahead with this double points gimmick the least they can do is let the teams choose when to use double points instead of forcing it on one particular race. If you’re going to introduce a gimmick make it as exciting as possible.

    1. I personally think that would be the best choice if this rule is to be implemented anyway

  9. That Red Bull Spy article is hilarious,This killed me:

    Interpretation of Vettel’s 1st drive in the new Red Bull:

    ” Perhaps what really happened is Seb leapt out of the car and started foaming at the mouth. He made a very rude gesture in the direction of Adrian, snarled at Rocky, kicked Ole in the spanners and then stormed out of the garage, saddled his unicorn and rode back to Switzerland.”

    1. LMAO at that article. Got to hand it to Red Bull’s PR team… they are really responding to the pre season speculation pundits well.

      This was even funnier –

      Dr Marko has decided to return to his roots and become a dubstep producer under his street name DJ Graz

  10. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    1st March 2014, 1:44

    For me, whoever is leading the championship after Brazil, will be the true world champ. The double points round just doesn’t feel like a legitimate race.

    I know it will never happen, but I’d totally support the teams if they boycott the Abu Dhabi race. It’s just ridiculous. I very glad they didn’t extend the double points ruling to the final 3 rounds. Atleast common sense prevailed on that one… Sort of.

    1. Not commom sense, just more cowardice.

  11. “Honestly, I’m not very excited about it, I’m not really excited. But it’s such a little parameter, compared to so many other things.”

    If it’s a little parameter, having it or not is virtually the same. And logic would dictate that the simpler, the better. Plus you’d not be making every single fan angry…

    I’d respect them so much if they just said: “look, Abu Dhabi wanted to pay more if we did”. At least that’s a “valid” reason…

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      1st March 2014, 1:57

      @fer-no65 they will never admit it’s for money. It’s as the mayor contenders in elections times. They all say they want to bring you a better district. They never say “I’ll open the city hall vault and enjoy my holidays with your taxes”

    2. Exactly this. “Bernie, we’ll pay your exorbitant fee to host the final race of the season, but you got to give us something in return.” Just out with it already!

    3. @fer-no65: You’re absolutely right. If he just said that was the reason, I would respect the decision a little bit and I would respect him. His fallible try to talk the importance down is outright stupid – as if so many F1 fans, drivers, teams etc. don’t have a clue about what is important in F1. He is trying to turn attention to the importance of bringing down cost of running an F1 team, but what about trying to bring up the amount of total F1 revenue which goes to run the teams? More engineers and designers are preferable to the Bernie’s and Todt’s and all the local TV broadcasting companies, who suck up most of the money.

      1. @palle, actually the TV companies PAY all the money, other than what the track owners and advertisers pay.
        Todt of course is as duplicitous as Bernie, he talks about lowering the cost but increases the teams fees to the FIA.

  12. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    1st March 2014, 1:54

    Todt was the Ferrari team principal back at the Schumi times. He had a dominant driver who usually won his WDCs with a couple of races or more left. But ask Lewis, ask Seb, if the very same rule would have been insignificant in 2009, 2010 and 2012. These 3 seasons are recent seasons, thrilling seasons. Why the double points so? Vettel dominated in 2 of his 4 championship years. All the other changes in F1 cars design and engines was more than enough to have a thrilling season. Maybe it was even the perfect timing to get rid of DRS. But FIA “siete scemis” let this horrible thing happen.

    1. You have to know that all the deciders in this F1 world are just a bunch of capitalist, all what they cares about is the money, there are more severe problems in F1 that can be solved BTW with just some wise decisions. this ridiculous idea of double points is just like making artificial rains to heat up races. My only wish is that someday one of the fans of this sport will take control of it and made some radical changes, maybe an F1Fantic that would be ideal !!!!!

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        1st March 2014, 13:04

        @tifoso1989 can you apply for the position please? We need that change so much!!!

  13. Given the nearly universal negative reactions to double points from us fans, the drivers, and some team bosses, I’m surprised that it’s actually going to happen. I guess we can only hope that the championships aren’t ultimately decided (and tainted) by some skewed result of the final “super/double” race.

    1. On the contrary I hope the same happens , so that the people who did this realize how stupid they were ( which doesn’t seem to be happening otherwise ) even if it means having an unworthy champion :(

  14. All that remains is for them to rename the teams/Drivers for the last race too……
    Rosberg can be Penelope Pitstop in the Compact Pussycat,
    Alonso and Massa – Dick Dastardly and Muttley in the Mean Machine,
    Button could be Peter Perfect in the Turbo Terrific,
    Vettel – The Red Max in the Crimson Haybailer,
    and Lewis would probably be the Professor Pat Pending in the Convert-a-Car.

  15. Double points is a fantastic political/business way of doing things. “Double points should be extended to 3 races, that failed, at least we have it in 1 race”. Bit like saying “We need to raise taxes so we will make the poor pay more. That’s unpopular so how about we make rich people and big businesses pay more to make it a bit more fair. Unfortunately it has been decided that the rich and big businesses won’t have to pay more tax. Good news is only the poor have to pay more tax”.

  16. If double points had been awarded in previous years (Not going back too far) then Raikkonen would be champion in 2003, Massa in 2008 and Alonso in 2012. Pretty significant in my opinion! I just hope the leader of the championship in Brazil wins the championship in Abu Dhabi to minimise the impact of double points.

  17. Seeing all of them, Force India’s nose, Toro Rosso’s “Gonzo” nose as I like to call it, and Caterham’s monstrosity are just so hideous that I may have to avoid using pictures that heavily feature any of these as wallpapers! And also, not that I don’t like Lotus’ nose, but it is doing my mild OCD no favours!

    Hopefully next year, like they did last season with vanity panels as a reaction to the horrid 2012 stepped-noses, there will be changes made to make the cars more aesthetically pleasing, like the Red Bull, for example.

  18. Todt : Double points is insignificant

    Say again ?

    Like it or loathe it. But , how it can be insignificant is beyond me . The drastic rule changes amplify the effect of double points even more rather than diminish it .How would Todt feel if he were leading in a dominant car only to be put aside as someone else snatches the title due to the double points . Looks like F1 at its current state is corrupt and run by the whims of one man .

    Some say, he used to pull puppets’ strings when he was 2 . All we know is he is the puppet master .

  19. David not Coulthard (@)
    1st March 2014, 4:56

    @keithcollantine Prost……That was the best thing do far this year!

  20. I think the Double Points could only work if they are available to the Top 3 in the Championship standings(as of Brazil).. A bit like Nascar and the Sprint Cup series , still artificial but still eliminates the chances of someone probably 5th in the standings 45 points behind..

  21. What’s going on with the FIA delaying its decision for new entries? Are the two potential entries ready to commit to F1 and the FIA is not letting them? Is it just that Bernie does not want to pay for one or more teams? Perhaps it’s too bad the teams did not break away in 2009, now we will never be rid of the combined mess of FIA and FOM.

    1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
      1st March 2014, 7:40

      The FOM is holding the descion back to look through the teams.

      1. Perhaps the potential new teams are actually the ones who have expressed concerns about comments from BE like ‘double points are to help Ferrari.’ If I were a potential new team I don’t see how I would have confidence that it would be a wise investment right now. I’d want to see how the new-look F1 pans out for the lesser teams as to whether or not they now have any better chance of working their way up the grid.

        And I’d be concerned about how 3 potential new teams put together proposals about 4 year’s ago and presented them, having gotten the backing etc etc, one of them being JV and his group who were going to revive the last Toyota chassis while it was still relevant, only to have the rug pulled out from under them and leave them feeling there was never any real interest in new teams at the time, after all. And now this.

        I don’t see what the draw is right now in even trying to put something together. Do all that work…get all the ingredients together…only to have them say…’nah’. Or get in, only to find they still haven’t controlled costs as promised, leaving you assured of languishing in the back of the pack, unable to keep up, needing paying drivers whose inexperience further guarantees languishing in the back as witnessed by some of the current lesser teams, and even teams as big as Lotus.

  22. Just waiting for Bernie crying about teams not understanding “the best of sport”.

    I hate the double points, one race is bad but three races would have been even worse.

    1. I disagree as I say on page 1. At least if it was 3 races then teams would have a chance to answer to some unfair points grabbing that might occur in the third last race. Don’t get me wrong…I hate this as much as everyone else, and I only see a big asterisk beside the WDC’s name this year. There’s a good chance he’ll be perceived as only having won it because of points…not because he did a better job.

      Double points might help bring the fight down to the last race, but it will be at the cost of the integrity of this year’s WDC. Double points and DRS passing to me pretty much eliminates the chance for us to any longer consider F1 drivers as ‘legendary’ figures performing ‘legendary’ feats.

  23. Well, I´m glad it didn´t get extended for brazil and USA but, I also think they should have gotten rid of it for good. Anyways, all this means is that MERC will get all the money they have invested in this year´s car in points alone… Nice little bonus at the final race.

  24. Good answer from Pastor to the stupidest question I’ve seen so far this year!

  25. The double points system will still be in effect at the final race of 2014 in Abu Dhabi

    I think this was what we had to expect, considering that there has to be Unanimous approval for it to be removed, which of course is not going to happen in the near future with the Formula One Murderers and the Fédération Internationale de l’Antiquity wielding two thirds of the voting rights at the Strategy Group. Thank God the teams had at least one third which essentially blocked the move to expand it to the last three GPs.

  26. Roflmao @ red bull Spy
    Seb chucked a massive hissy fit, jumped on his unicorn not to Sweden but headed off to Webbers house where they bitched about the team , ha .
    Cant wait for Markos album
    Best spy ever

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