Start, Yas Marina, 2013

FIA has no plans to drop double points rule

2014 F1 season

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Start, Yas Marina, 2013The FIA does not plan to abandon the widely criticised double points season finale, according to race director Charlie Whiting.

A surprise rules change during the off-season doubled the value of points for the final race of the season. An attempt to extend the plan to all three of the final rounds was scrapped following an overwhelmingly negative reaction from fans.

However Whiting said there had been no move to abandon the unpopular rule.

“There’s nothing new, no,” he said in an FIA media briefing. “As far as we’re all concerned it’s what’s written in the rules and that’s what will happen this year and will happen until it gets changed.”

“Like every rule it stays until people decide they want to change it.”

Whiting denied the sport’s governing body was ignorant of fans’ opinions about the direction the sport is taking.

“Of course we listen to what fans say. We wouldn’t be doing all this work on engine noise if we didn’t – but this has to be tempered by the wishes of those involved in the sport and who should probably know a little more about the reasoning behind rules.

“There was a bit of a fuss about the double points but it was done, I believe, for perfectly good reasons.”

Bernie Ecclestone, the major proponent of the double points rule, recently admitted it was “not fair”. “What Bernie says is his business,” said Whiting when asked about Ecclestone’s remarks. “I’m not going to comment on what Bernie says.”

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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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  • 41 comments on “FIA has no plans to drop double points rule”

    1. “Of course we listen to what fans say. We wouldn’t be doing all this work on engine noise if we didn’t”

      This, I was expecting this argument at some point and it’s probably one of the stupidest arguments I’ve heard in my entire life. You introduce a heap of awful new rules, resulting in a fan backlash. So what do you do? You ask Mercedes to run with the vuvuzela exhaust once and bother to do anything else. You end up with a perfect excuse whenever people say you’re not listening to the fans.

      Bernie Ecclestone, the major proponent of the double points rule, recently admitted it was “not fair”. “What Bernie says is his business,” said Whiting when asked about Ecclestone’s remarks. “I’m not going to comment on what Bernie says.”

      So much facepalm, I can get so angry when I read articles like this.

      1. @andae23

        You ask Mercedes to run with the vuvuzela exhaust once and bother to do anything else.

        Almost, I think they are trying a secondary exhaust on the Ferrari in the Silverstone test, but I’m not sure. Check Autosport for more details.
        However, the basis of it as a defence is flawed. As Keith has pointed out many times, there is far more backlash against double points than the new noise. Therefore it seems that they are picking and choosing what to listen to the fans on. I do, however, see the argument that the teams and the governing body should have their say above the fans. If they vote the changes in, then the fans need to understand the reasons why. Not just the baseline ‘improve the show’ excuse, something a bit more concrete.

      2. Vuvuzela exhaust, Spark Rails, Double Points… All to make the sport exciting since they moved away from the basic rule of F1 – build a fast car and let the drivers race. It is now officially an artificial sport and they wonder why viewership is way down…

      3. Angry is the right word.

      4. Abu double on which there are cars with the finger on the front, a trumpet on the back, a small number of spectators to be watched by, complaints from its audience, and B. Charles Ecclestone.

        1. Oh goodness. I’ve only just made the visual connection between the ‘member’ on the front of the car and the large, open exhaust on the back . . .
          I won’t say anything else.

      5. Witing’s statement is completely wrong and is almost insulting to fans. They are trying to increase the noise because the race organizers complained about the lack of noise. Bernie had to react to the organizers grouping against him and asking for a reduction in hosting fees due to fans not coming to GPs.
        On the other hand, as silly as it stands, the double point round will most possibly decide the championship winner and bring in record crowds for the final race. Race organisers are pleased and so is Bernie.
        The fans voice is a moot point for Bernie and FIA.

      6. “Of course we listen to what fans say… but only when it is in our interest!”

      1. Sigh too…..

    2. No, Charlie, you don’t listen to what F1 fans want. F1 fans are massively against double points and are also massively against standing restarts. Most fans don’t really care too much about the engine noise but you know who does? Bernie and the sponsors.

      That is why you are looking at the engine noise. Bernie and the sponsors probably want double points and standing restarts and surprise surprise, they are staying!

    3. It’s astonishing how the people in charge of F1 seem to fail to understand just how terrible we think they are.

      1. I couldn’t agree more. Starting to lose hope entirely.

      2. @magnificent-geoffrey Nice profile pic by the way :)

    4. I like double points, if Lewis wins the world championship thanks to double points, it’ll only cancel pout the injustice of those mechanical failures earlier in the season. If Nico wins the world championship merely because he had the fortune not to have his engine conk out rather than because he’s actually the better driver, well that’s unfair.

      And I’m in no way a Hamilton fan.

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        4th July 2014, 11:09

        What if Nico then wins the last race when Hamilton retakes the lead in Brazil?

      2. @danbrown180
        Mechanical failures are part of the sport. Races and championships have been lost because of mechanical failures in the past as well. Remember Kimi in 2005, easily the fastest on the grid but awful reliability. Is it unfair that he didn’t win the championship?

        Besides, Hamilton himself admitted that in Canada he could have backed off a bit from Rosberg when the brakes started overheating and in that way been able to save the brakes. He said that if they’d have similar problems in Austria he’d rethink his strategy.

      3. @danbrown180

        Alongside what Daniel said above – What if Lewis wins every race between now and Abu Dhabi with Nico in second (which would put him 41 points in front), then loses the championship due to another mechanical failure in Abu Dhabi? Will you still feel the same? There’s an equal chance of either having a failure, maybe more for Lewis if he’s used more engines and needs to stretch the mileage out further. Double points exaggerates the effect of mechanical failures, it doesn’t compensate for them.

    5. *sigh*

      That’s all

    6. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      4th July 2014, 11:11

      Oh dear, they are so out of touch.

    7. How long will it take before the leadership in F1 is updated? As it stands, it is a bunch of old men with archaic ideals attempting to be modern – and failing dismally.

      What we really need is Toto Wolff, I think.

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        4th July 2014, 12:14

        He’s the only one who speaks any sense in the paddock I feel. Everyone else is very wishy washy when it comes to criticism whereas he slammed the ridiculous exhaust on the Mercedes after at least giving it a go.

      2. Couldn’t agree more. Whiting and Eccelstone in particular starred in the ’80’s. Despite myself being born in the ’80’s and thinking it was not all that long ago, it is quickly becoming 30 years ago. Time for a change.

    8. Charlie, Newton’s 1st law is wrong. Moving cars if not pushed by energy eventually stops and thus discounts the law. What happens outside Earth and its atmosphere is none of my business.

    9. “Of course we listen to what fans say. We wouldn’t be doing all this work on engine noise if we didn’t – but this has to be tempered by the wishes of those involved in the sport and who should probably know a little more about the reasoning behind rules.

      “There was a bit of a fuss about the double points but it was done, I believe, for perfectly good reasons.

      Explain them, then… if it’s so clear cut, instead of just announcing such a vast modification in the rules, have the decency to explain the changes.

      I’d imagine, all FIA members discussed it long enough to have plenty of arguments to support the idea, right? well, it’s not a secret, is it? why would it be? Explain it to use…

      That’d be a great proof that the FIA is actually working something out. We need proof that this is actually going to be a solution to something. We need proof that there was something to be fixed and they just went ahead and fixed it.

      Because, frankly, in the last 10 years, 5 championships (2004, 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2013) were decided before the end of the season, and 2 of those 5 (2004 and 2011) were decided so early that double points in the last race wouldn’t have changed absolutely anything… So, 80% of the last 10 championships didn’t need such a rule… FIA surely thought better, but we’ll never know…

      “listening to the fans”… bah….

      1. I was all geared up to reply but then read this which sums up where I am! Has anyone explained the reasoning behind double points?

        I’d like journalists to get tougher with these people. Ask them direct what the reasons are, and then grill their responses. The only reason I can possibly think they could give is to keep championships alive but as you’ve pointed out in your last paragraph, it is rarely affected. Has anyone raised this to the rule makers in a recorded interview? Have they even released a statement?

        It’s baffling they’re being allowed to get away with it.

    10. “Of course we listen to what fans say”

      No… no you flipping well don’t…

    11. I think it is as @keeleyobsessed has suggested…they do listen to the fans but that doesn’t mean they do everything the fans want. And frankly I can’t blame them entirely. They rarely even do what the drivers would prefer either. At some point those in charge are going to make decisions on how to run this entity as they see fit and think will be the best for the continuation of the sport, whether we agree or not. And where would they draw the line? How about an issue where the fans are split 50/50? The fans do not run the show, not cannot, in any sport.

      I think the noise thing is something they can address without much disruption or expense, and it can easily be argued that most are fine with the sound now and certainly wouldn’t mind them being louder. It was the initial ‘shock to the system’ upon hearing these cars for the first time that caused the reaction and as many predicted it’s not shocking anymore. So whether or not they do or do not change that, it’s almost neither hear nor there (pun intended).

      BE has admitted double points is unfair, which to me is an admission of what I think is the most terrible aspect of it…there is a big risk that the winner will be perceived to have won ‘just because…’ and the loser will have been robbed. But that obviously is not a big enough deterrent. They know the fans don’t want this, but they also know the fans, if they get their way and have double points abolished, will also not watch the last number of races if/when the WDC is decided early…not in the same numbers. And F1 obviously feels it cannot afford another ‘Red Bull’ type domination resulting in fan drop off. I hate double points too, but in a way I wouldn’t blame BE if he said ‘ ok fans, I’ll drop double points if you all agree to tune in to every race until the end no matter what.’ But he knows they won’t.

      As to standing restarts…I’m fine with them and it seems so are the teams. I don’t understand the outrage on this issue.

    12. Are the fans that they are listening to the ones trussed up in Mosley’s old basement?

    13. This smacks of selective hearing, or delusion.

      Either way, stinks of a Formula One that’s slowly becoming NASCAR’s Brian France’s dream of a sport, if those in control are not careful!

      I’d prefer there to be single points at the last race, but if the organisers really want to ensure the title makes it to the final weekend, why not take a leaf out of the IndyCar book. I’ve come to warm heavily to their concept of double header weekends, so I would suggest the following fix for the last Grand Prix of the year, although not the purest solution of course:

      Friday: FP1 and FP2 as normal; FP3 after GP2 qualifying and GP3 practice (if supporting F1 at that weekend)
      Saturday: Qualifying and Race 1, in a fashion akin to Japan 2004 and 2010 race days (replacing FP3 and Qualifying of a normal weekend)
      Sunday: Qualifying, Race 2 at the same respective times as Saturday.

      But, like many, I’d stick to single points for season finales!

    14. Bernie will probably say “This is just what the fans wanted” if double points have any effect on who wins the title.

    15. I really don’t get the stuff about engine noise I keep reading about. In Montreal I loved the sound of the new engines… I also loved the old sounds of the V8’s. I just love the cars.

    16. Says – Listening to fans
      Watches – Sponsors Money bags
      Does – Opposite to Needs
      Proves – We are Fools
      Charlie Whiting history in F1

    17. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
      4th July 2014, 14:01

      When one day Bernie leaves / passes away, FIA or FOM or whoever takes the decision should hire Jerry Bruckheimer… he can create for them “The Amazing Races”.
      This is so reality-TV stuff.

    18. I wonder if the Strategy Group have thought about if and how the double points rule affects the TV ratings and ticket sales. For sure, it draws more attention to the final race(s) but what about the rest of the season? It is unlikely that many hardcore fans have stopped watching F1 because of that but it is possible that casual fans do not care as much about the biggest part of the season because they have got the message that everything will be decided in the end anyway.

    19. Matt (@hamiltonfan1705)
      4th July 2014, 15:40

      I personally like all these rules such as double points and standing restarts. The thing that annoys me is people have been complaining that “F1 isn’t exciting” don’t know why cos it’s been a great season so far, and the FIA makes these rules to make it more exciting,people complain it isn’t “F1” If someone doesn’t like the way f1 is run cos they think it’d “boring” then they shouldn’t be watching f1

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        4th July 2014, 21:15

        The point is that it isn’t fair. It’s turning what was a sport into a game show. It’s like football having a smaller pitch and bigger goal nets to increase the number of goals. How would you feel if Hamilton lead the championship in Brazil by 26 points. Under normal circumstances this would have given the championship but then he has an engine failure in Abu Dhabi giving Rosberg the title. Would you still be a fan of the rule then?
        You make a good point though. We should switch off and then hopefully they will get the message.

    20. You know, if we bribe someone to wave the flag in Abu Dhabi before 3/4 of the race……….

      1. Rylan Ziegler
        4th July 2014, 19:30

        Haha genius. I’ll pitch in on this :)

      2. HA! This is awesome!! Get a FIFA referee to wave it at just past half distance…

    21. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease get rid of double points!! It’s the worst idea in the history of a sport that is littered with terrible ideas.

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