Double points likely to be dropped – Ecclestone

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says the double points season finale, which he introduced this year to widespread criticism, will “probably” be dropped for next season.


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Ecclestone ponders three-car teams (Sporting Life)

“As for keeping [double points] for the last race, I don’t know. Probably not. We can’t yet see whether it has worked, it depends.”

F1 move imminent on an eight-team, 24-car grid, says Bernie Ecclestone (The Guardian)

“I would rather see Ferrari with three cars, or any of the other top teams with three cars, than having teams that are struggling.”

Ecclestone: radio traffic crackdown is just the start (The Telegraph)

“Even if we get rid of this ship to shore, as I call it, there are still a lot of aids that they should not have.”

Massa slams radio ban (ESPN)

“It’s something they could have done more professionally, not just speak too much with the old drivers. They always believe that now it’s too complicated and too easy for us, but they’ve never driven the car.”

Bernie Ecclestone backs F1 ban on teams instructing drivers via radio (The Guardian)

“As I was the one who started it off – yes. I think none of the drivers want it [radio]. They are all happy that it has gone.”

Hamilton ‘excited’ by lack of radio (Crash)

“I’m excited with the new challenge. I was told on Monday that this is what we’re going to have to do and I was like ‘Cool, how can we utilise it?'”

Aufschub für Sicherheitsinfos (Auto Motor und Sport, German)

The FIA is may reduce the extent of the restrictions on radio messages after team representatives expressed their concerns to Charlie Whiting in a meeting which lasted over three-and-a-half hours.

Nico Rosberg Q&A: Radio restrictions will enliven F1 duels (F1)

“That was the main reason for the simulator ‘stopover’ – to get used to all the new things without conversation! In such a situation the simulator is very useful. I did a few things wrong at the beginning – but now not any more.”

Chilton expects penalties (Sky)

“I think especially because they brought it in mid-season there is not testing to practice it, if you’re an engineer and you are constantly pressing the radio button to talk to your driver then it is a natural habit and I am sure someone up and down the pit lane will press the button and give some information that they shouldn’t and at this moment in time we are not sure what the penalty is.”

Magnussen not dissuaded by penalties (Autosport)

“I shouldn’t repeat what I did in Spa, because that was a mistake and I learned from that – only that one move though.”

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton Rosberg expects more tense moments (BBC)

“There’s going to be ups and downs, more difficult periods. It will continue to be intense and hopefully a great title.”

Smoky haze hits Singapore race (Reuters)

“‘In the event that the haze caused visibility, public health or operational issues, Singapore GP would work closely with the relevant agencies before making any collective decisions regarding the event,’ a Singapore GP spokesperson said.”

Singapore Grand Prix Betting: Hamilton Title Favourite Again, But Alonso Can Place At Marina Bay (Unibet)

My Singapore Grand prix preview for Unibet.


Comment of the day

A running theme of the team radio transcripts this year has been why we see so few from Ferrari. Fernando Alonso appeared to shed some light on that yesterday when he said they “have not used the radio for any performance related reasons”, but @Drmouse has some doubts about that:

I just think he’s playing down the possible impact. I’m pretty sure they do use the radio for performance just as all teams do. They will advise Alonso of optimum maps etc…

He is laying it down, and possibly trying to play mind games with his opponents.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Today in 1993 reigning F1 champion Nigel Mansell became CART IndyCar champion by winning the 1993 Nazareth Grand Prix. It was also his last race win in the category.

Here are the final laps of the race:

Image © Singapore GP/Sutton

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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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99 comments on “Double points likely to be dropped – Ecclestone”

  1. I know that it’s a controversial idea and everything, but I kind of like the idea of 3 car teams, it would mean that the more financially stable teams get to field another driver, and it would also mean a decrease in the amount of pay drivers such as Chilton, Ericsson and Maldonado, and it would of course be more competitive. Of course it presents problems such as the risk that if one team dominated, they would take up the whole podium, but there are things about this idea that I am intrigued about.

    1. If a three car team was consistently ahead à la Mercedes, employed team orders and continually got 1-2-3’s, they could outscore the other teams’ drivers at a rate of greater than 2:1 (25:12) and at mid-season both championships would be effectively finished.

      1. why would the WDC be effectively finished mid season?

        1. @sato113 through team orders and intra-team favourisation, they could make the life more difficult for the competitors.

          They could have one car (with a younger driver perhaps) which they sacrifise the strategy of to mess up the free track that appears through undercutting in pit stops etc.

          1. leaving 2 other drivers to fight out the WDC for the whole season, not half. You’re assuming this 3 car team is made up of 1 young driver to get in the way of other teams, 1 hopelessly poor driver who has no pace, and 1 good driver who will breeze through winning everything.

      2. Only top 2 cars would count for Constructors.

      3. @kodongo Do you ever watch WTCC?

      4. Or they could do like MotoGP, and any team that enters three competitors only gets points for the highest and lowest scorers. Like Repsol Honda in 2011.

    2. @dryyoshi I fear team orders with 3-car teams would be a nightmare, not just within the team but how the 2nd and 3rd car get used against the opposition.

      It’d be the end of several teams. A redistribution of prize money would fix the problems, but Bernie likes a couple of teams on his side.

      Bernie will pay less per car, is the idea. To me it looks like a means for FOM to pay out less, so the venture capitalists can take out more.

    3. What larger front-running teams would also do is push the teams at the back of the grid even further from point-paying positions. Barring mechanical failure, you could easily have the team that is fifth best of eight still struggling to find points finishes – what chance the seventh and eighth placed teams?

      Unless such a move is accompanied by a substantial change in the distribution of funds, I think it would very quickly become totally unsustainable for more than six teams to compete. Which leaves us with 18 cars, instead of the current 22.

      I would much rather the director was ‘encouraged’ to show more footage of other cars further down the grid, and the commentators make an effort to show people that Marussia fighting Caterham can be an interesting battle, just as much as any other inter-team contest.

    4. Who else supports three-car teams? Vergne, Sainz Jr, Felix da Costa, Di Resta, Di Grassi and the rest of Formula E roster…

    5. It would work if they ditched the Constructors title as the basis of prize money. I’m not keen on introducing a convuluted “2 out 3” points rule.

      Just have it based on the drivers championship, with a more equitable split.

  2. You tell’em Keith!

    Censorship &%*###***

    1. What you hear (or don’t hear) is already censored by the FIA. If the team radios were open, we would see each message with a timestamp so we can see what they are talking about at what moment exactly. Same with replays, Toto Wolff’s smile in Monza was not in reaction to the lead change but was presented as such.

      Drivers and teams have entire conversations and all we receive is a decontextualised snippet at the whim and will of the director, often edited for maximal effect. Such as the FOM playing Lewis’ radio from his race engineer “I think it would be good to drop back to 2 seconds and save tyres to attack later” whilst omitting “unless you think you can do it now”. The TV message would make it seem that Lewis went against his team’s recommendations when in fact he was only taking one of the two presented to him.

      Messages such as “I can’t go any slower” or Fernando & Sebastien’s mutual bitching doesn’t add anything to the spectacle, it only detracts from it.

      1. Too true, doesn’t mean I have to like it, or that you have to believe it as the the whole truth, I particularly liked “I can’t drive any slower” because it highlighted the result of another stupid idea to “sex-up”” the “show”.

      2. @kodongo actually I like team radio and I think it makes the “show” a bit more interesting. I don’t like to see F1 as a cars race only, it would be very robotic. Those races are humans with character so getting an insight of what’s going on is cool.

  3. I’d still like it if the last event of the season – either in Abu Dhabi or wherever else – would be a double-header with two 300km races and double points in total during that particular race weekend.

    It’d still satisfy the end of the current double points farce – i. e. keeping the championship battles open for a longer period – but eliminate the unfair nature of the current rule.

    1. Definitely the best option @atticus-2, c’mon Bernie you still have time to announce this for 2015 and claim it as your own brilliant idea.

      1. Thanks, @hohum. :)

    2. Good point. Double the points, double the racing, and use a different track configuration for the second race.

      1. @formulales That is a great idea. I’m actually all in favor of double points if it meant double the racing.

      2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        19th September 2014, 3:56

        go in the other way, from anti-clock to clockwise?

      3. Use a different track configuration for the first race as well – one that’s a long way away from Abu Dhabi.

    3. Great idea! It’s not like they have to save the engine or anything, it’s the last race weekend of the season!

      Two free practices on Friday, quali on Saturday morning, race 1 on Saturday afternoon and race 2 on Sunday afternoon.

      1. Yeah, something along those lines. I’m pretty sure the timetable would sort itself out.

    4. @atticus-2 the second race should be reverse-layout!

  4. Bernie is really out of touch with today’s F1.

    1. Unfortunately Bernie can say the first thing that comes into his head and all the yes men that surround him scramble to get it done…

    2. Seems like someone wants to flex his muscles before he sits back down on his throne for another couple decades.

      Ugh, I shouldn’t have tried to visualize that.

      1. Another couple of decades? No offense, but how old IS Ecclestone?

        1. Almost 84, but seemingly invincible. I thought he was on the way out when I first started watching 12 years ago, so I have just come to believe he will be there forever.

        2. I imagine he must go through the same life extending procedure as Mr. Burns from The Simpsons on a daily basis.

  5. I love how in those pictures of the press conference you posted @keithcollantine, Kimi has fallen asleep!

    Either that or you caught him blinking, but I suspect the former…

    1. @bradley13 to be honest I reckon they keep making him to go to those because they know how much he hates it!

    2. Actually, I think it’s rather ridiculous that drivers, who (most of them) earn million of euros because of the fans and publicity, don’t have the decency to sit out these press conferences properly. If you can’t deal with press and fans, don’t be an F1-driver!

      1. But surely we only really want to watch them on track? Fair enough for post race interviews but these press conferences are very dull!

  6. The slightest chance of double points going is the best thing I have heard all week. If they can make the correct decision on that I will be thrilled.

    As for 3 car teams – problem. Imagine Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes build great cars, that is the top 9 spots taken up, leaving one team able to get points. Gradually more teams, such as Force India, would surely drop out due a lack of success. The idea is just digging the problem deeper really.

    Also, wouldn’t it need the agreement of 3 teams leaving, plus 2 planned new ones not joining, which I don’t see happening any time soon. Marussia are getting somewhere in 9th, and Sauber may bounce back in a few years and has a history.

    I don’t see it happening and given that this is the same person who said double points may go I’m inclined to not believe that too. Also the fact that this is the same person who said:

    I think none of the drivers want it (radio). They are all happy it has gone.

    And yet, right there is an interview with Massa (who in my view is spot on) saying the stark opposite. And what Massa said about coded messages is exactly what I said – how do you detect them?!

    1. @strontium, I am for the radio coaching ban but like Massa feel they have gone from 1 extreme to the other, some points for consideration:
      1, drivers should be able to get help re-setting software failures.
      2, Practice, why have a ban when driver and engineer are working together to extract max performance.

      1. 3. Coded messages, let’s have a competition for the best 10 suggestions for coded messages @keith collantine.

        1. @hohum [Insert team-mate’s name] is faster than you.

          1. a little more originality please.

        2. “What are we having for lunch?”
          “We’re having hoagies, Nico, now forget that and focus on the race.”

        3. And the ENGINEER spake, saying, “First shalt thou select the Golf switch, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then press thou thy Overtake Button of Antioch towards thy foe, who being slower than thou in My sight, shall snuff it.”

          1. Hmm.. not sure, it may just seem a little bit suspicious, that one ;)

        4. “Ting tang walla walla bing bang this lap Valterri, ting tang walla walla bing bang.”

          1. The purple people eater has spoken.

          2. “Ooh eeh ooh ah-ah Felipe”

          3. Sorry! can’t get it out of my mind now.

          4. Damn, it was “My friend the Witch Doctor” must stop mis-remembering song titles or people might start to mis-underestimate me.

      2. Indeed @hohum, @strontium, seeing the “every corner coaching messages” gone is a good thing, it was really a bit comical to see so many great drivers get those. But for the rest it just does not make much sense, at least not to introduce it mid season.

        Now for next year, everyone will know more what to expect of their engines, the reliability will be better and if teams know it, they can give their drivers the tools to cope with it.

        1. I take it then that everyone does not want ‘flat out F1’ then anymore, as the direct telemetry feedback allowed the drivers to push harder than they otherwise could have. Of course they can monitor their own limits anyway, so perhaps we’ll see more variety on pace in the race.

          Personally, I think FOM should just not broadcast those messages. Bernie has clearly played it so as to abolish various radio snippets he does not like. For 2015 the drivers can learn about tweaking their engine etc. but losing the Williams display saddens me, as that’s a pure racing display – no wonder Williams held on to it for so long. Also no wonder you can drive the 2009 Williams in iRacing!

          I hope McLaren improves the new display, that one looked stale/pushing the wrong info.

    2. Massa is spot on here, on the other hand though I have a feeling he’ll be one of the casualty compared to top drivers, and as such that’d be the silver lining to the asinine move of doing this mid-season.

  7. CotD is just traditional. Alonso and Mourinho are 2 guys that don’t need to do anything to be part of the iluminati. If you are not outspoken someone puts words in your mouth. FI going for the new display doesn’t surprise me because it seems to be the only option as both radio and pit boards got a cut, seriously PIT BOARDS…

  8. Bernie wants 3-car teams! Finally Bernie is talking sensibly!

    But why stop at 3-car teams? Let’s go for car supplier with 20 cars!
    And let’s get rid of the last 6 cylinders and make the cars all electric.
    And let’s make the pit stop more exciting by drivers changing cars.
    And let’s get more fan interaction by voting for a power boost.
    And let’s get rid of all historic circuits and drive in city centres.
    And let’s get all the old F1 drivers back.

    Yeah Bernie is finally seeing the light!

  9. Also I’m surprised that Daniel Ricciardo is the most reliable driver out there. Of the people with more miles Ricardo is clearly ahead even though he’s on a redbull and that bull is renault powered. Ferrari looks bad. As I said in Shanghai. Ferrari is the 3rd quickest engine, after all in Monza the Marussias were unusually behing Caterham and Caterham runned a barn door on their car.

    1. Jenson Button ?

      1. @hohum I was thinking about the retirement in bahrain, that was a clutch problem whareas the Malaysian retirement was just to save mileage.

    2. @peartree Ferrari are just lacking on top speed, from their smaller turbo or ERS. I think Renault have the top speed but have other issues like drive-ability.

      1. @fastiesty Actually Ferrari’s turbo is too large, Rory Byrne pointed out as their weakeness, it appears like the turbo takes too much energy to spool and doesn’t go in sync with the recovery. Renault does not have more power, the reason why Ricciardo achieve 360 is because the redBull was extremely trimmed in Monza and Ricciardo had DRS and a tow, the mercedes were at the front therefore they didn’t had many chances to get drs, Renault’s drive-ability is solved, they are struggling with oil pressure which is a very serious reliability issue, apart from that Renault just lacks punch, their engine design is too conventional.

        1. @peartree I agree about Ricciardo. Caterhams also haven’t used a 5th component (here come the jokes that they didn’t go fast enough to need one..), along with the Mercedes teams. Perhaps Ferrari need that turbo cover after all… the oil pressure sounds like the reason why Vettel, Kvyat etc. are burning through ICEs.

          1. @fastiesty Luca Marmorini was fired because of that turbo design, that said Ferrari also blamed the turbo’s manufacturer. Regarding the fundamental oil pressure issue Renault has had to circumvent, Remy Taffin said that their engines were prepared to withstand that problem and the test for it was the SPA weekend where there’s the longest flat out section on the calendar and the highest range of G force compression.

  10. I think the plan is that the 3rd car will be for a rookie driver and will not score championship points but that really means that we only have 16 cars in the race with 8 cars as moving obstacles

    1. So no change then ?

      1. The change is that Bernie gets more profits and we get less F1 jobs and cars.. even a simple Premier League (!) distribution would give us a competitive 22-26 car grid, no one too fast or no one too slow (no one too fast unless some manufacturer decides to spend a billion dollars however).

    2. More likely the top 2 finishers would count towards the Constructors. Some teams would have rookies, some pay drivers and others 3 top drivers.

  11. “As for keeping [double points] for the last race, I don’t know. Probably not. We can’t yet see whether it has worked, it depends.”

    What Bernie is really means…..

    “So if hamilton loses, it has worked, if he wins, it hasn’t”


    Disclamer – this is a joke, please treat this comment accordingly and read with a jovial attitude.

    1. What Bernie really meant was, “Not even double points could give Alonso the championship and save Luca, so we will drop it”

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        19th September 2014, 4:10

        @hohum hahahaaaa great one!!!

  12. Oh man… I’m going to be so bullied. Truth be told, I’m excited about the radio ban. I’m also excited that Bernie wants to get rid of even more driver aids. To me, more driver responsibility means more driver accountability. I’d personally be willing to sacrifice a few radio messages and some technology for a much clearer picture of their talent. Of course, it might not play out that way at all, but I’m glad they’re giving it a try.

  13. Why am I not surprised that Massa seems to be the only driver doesn’t like the radio ban.

    “It’s something they could have done more professionally, not just speak too much with the old drivers. They always believe that now it’s too complicated and too easy for us, but they’ve never driven the car.”

    Haha what a silly thing to say. Sorry Massa, but you are the only driver that needs to be taught how drive, and specifically not to brake and accelerate at the same time… something that even a person who has never driven should know how to do.

    1. I agree with you. Telling drivers how to enter or exit corners is absolutely ridiculous.

      1. Telling drivers how to enter or exit corners is absolutely ridiculous.

        If you read what Massa says, even he agrees with that part of the ban @f1freek, he is upset about all the other techy information not being able to be transferred to the driver.

        Remember Williams also have the older, smaller display, so there will be a lot of information that won’t be readily available without scrolling several through “pages” of data, or not at all.

        1. @BasCB People see what they wanna see….

          I mean the transcript of what he said is right there, it’s right there! and still people read as prove that ‘Massa needs help’ instead of grasping the point he’s making… It happens all the time amd I’m not even sure people realize they are doing it half of the time haha

    2. Alonso is against it either.

    3. Hm, I think its one of the most logical and sensible statements from him in an Interview in the last 6 months in my view. Introducing this heavyhandedly mid season before the race where drivers will have most trouble learning everything with all the cornering and being a very long race is just plain stupid @maksutov.

      As for the braking and accelerating / pushing the gas pedal at the same time – it can be a viable way to get around a corner faster, but its not good when you have to save fuel.

      1. Yeah, especially during the EBD era.

  14. That settles it: the Radio Ban is a terrible idea. Bernie supports it.

  15. Lets have 3 car teams and minnow teams, they dont have to be exclusive.

    1. You couldn’t have both.

      There isn’t the garage/paddock/pit space for that many teams/cars.

      Additionally the ‘minnow’ teams could not run a 3rd car & leaving them with 2 while the bigger teams who can afford a 3rd run 3 your just pushing the small teams further down the order & making it harder for them to score points which will put them in further financial risk.

      1. Let any team who finished outside the 10 ten in the constructors the previous season run three cars. That might upset things a bit.

        1. And how are those teams who can barely afford to run 2 cars going to afford to run a 3rd?

          You need the extra car, engine, tyres & other components as well as an extra set of mechanics to run it on-top of the extra cost of transporting everything/everyone out.

  16. Why didn’t Germany arrested Bernie? :/

    1. Because he paid for a ‘get out of jail free’ card’

  17. Notice all mercs are still at 4 ICE and all but one Ferrari are at 5 ICE. Maybe Ferrari has this planned for their teams.

  18. The cars will be too hard to tell apart (that’s a big problem with Formula E as well) – they’ll need bigger numbers and drivers’ names, in places where you can see them.

    But I’m looking forward to seeing the pit crews showing off and changing the tyres on three cars in one lap…two’s impressive enough.

  19. “As for keeping [double points] for the last race, I don’t know. Probably not. We can’t yet see whether it has worked, it depends.”

    I know Bernie hasn’t actually been convicted of anything, but is there any other we can get this morally bankrupt poisoned dwarf out of our sport? How is he going to measure whether double points have worked? By gauging the level of disgust when it changes the outcome of the championship for no reason?

    Bernie: crawl back under the rock you came from and stop ruining our sport.

  20. Whenever there’s talk of running more cars it always send that the first team mentioned is Ferrari. Seeing as how they already get far more of the profits of F1 than any other team why not get them to run 24 cars? They might even win then!

  21. If the whole reason for dropping double points for 2015 and onwards is because of the overwhelmingly negative response, then why not just do the decent thing and drop it NOW?

    Don’t tell me that it’s too late to change the rules and regulations, they’ve already banned FRIC and restricted radio comms mid-season! Why is the double points rule seemingly exempt? Just get rid of it already!

    1. Things that fall on the technical side can be changed Mid-season.

      Double points falls on the sporting side & as per the regulations sporting rules cannot be altered for this season beyond a certain cut-off point which I think is the pre-season WMSC meeting.

      1. That should be the other way around really, shouldn’t it?

        Unless teams have illigal technical advantages that should get banned immediately, it’s rather unfair to give teams a set of rules and then punish the team who has done the best job by changing the rules mid season….

        Whereas changing double points or rules on how to referee track limits/wheel to wheel racing etc don’t hurt the competition as much. In some cases it might but mostly it wouldn’t.

  22. From that Rosberg interview the quotes that stand out most to me are:

    That is very natural, to think of ways around the rules.

    and about being booed:

    Of course it is not a nice feeling and it is a new feeling, as I have never experienced something like that before, but I understand and I hope with time it is forgiven and forgotten.

  23. There’s still time to drop double points for this season. That’s what I was hoping for when I saw the title of this article.

  24. Just imagine the 3 cars per team actually happening in 2015. Vergne or maybe even Kvyat to Red Bull, some rookies at Toro Rosso. Red Bull would be very happy with this rule, effectively having 1/4th (!) of the grid. McLaren could give Vandoorne a seat. Bianchi has to find a new seat and goes to Ferrari. That leaves us with Williams, Lotus, Mercedes and Force India. I can see Williams, Force India and Lotus trying some GP2 guy, but who’s going to occupy the 3rd Mercedes seat?

    1. Pascal Wehrleiner

  25. @keithcollantine Thanks for the COTD. Never expected that! :-D

  26. The bigger screens is the tip of the iceberg. The teams will roll out an amazing array of sensor and display technologies next year to aid the driver, with on-board facilities. This is F1, pinnacale of technology, right? So the people moaning about the driver getting too much aid should not rest on their laurels.

  27. Liam Radford (@)
    19th September 2014, 13:57

    About the double points system, I would rather that it was tweaked slightly, so that the winner would get 30 points, and the top 15 would score points.

  28. Bernie is like a child in a Candy Store, who just doesn’t which candy to pick.

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