Should Liberty use NASCAR’s ‘playoff’ format for F1?

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Formula One’s takeover by Liberty Media has prompted expectations the championship is about to become ‘Americanised’.

NASCAR’s is America’s most popular form of motorsport and therefore an obvious place to look for inspiration. But as four-wheeled circuit racing disciplines go it could hardly be more different.

There is at least one element of NASCAR which could transfer easily to Formula One. It has the potential to address a drawback F1 has at the moment, and one which could become a more pressing problem under Liberty.

While last year’s F1 title fight went down to the last lap of the season this isn’t always the case. An early end to the title fight is bad news for promoters and broadcasters. But the one-off double points race introduced in 2014 to increase the chance of a final-round decider proved disastrously unpopular.

As the F1 calendar keeps getting longer so it gets less likely championships will be decided at the final race. One thing we know Liberty want is to keep expanding the calendar, so this perceived problem isn’t going away. Do NASCAR have the solution?


NASCAR’s 36-race season is split into two phases. The first 26 races are the ‘regular season’ during which drivers score points towards an overall championship position, much like in F1.

The top 16 drivers then enter a knock-out format over the final ten races. This was previously known as the Chase for the Cup but from 2017 is being referred to as the ‘playoffs’.

In the playoffs four drivers are knocked out every three races and points are reset each time drivers are knocked out, leaving four drivers in contention for the championship at the final race.

The obvious benefit of the system is it guarantees a four-way fight for the championship at the final round every season (NASCAR has also introduced further changes for this year including points-scoring during races which aren’t relevant to this debate).


Arguably the greatest strength of the playoff format is also a weakness. Setting up the same four-way shoot-out every year means every NASCAR season is the same story. F1’s championship structure, for all its faults, is less rigid and therefore better able to produce surprises.

The F1 title has been decided at the last race 29 times out of 67, including seven times in the last eleven years. Increasing that proportion by artificial means might create the impression of closer competition but would viewers be convinced? NASCAR’s declining viewer figures suggest not.

The role of luck is amplified: an engine failure during the playoffs is much costlier than one during the regular season. Drivers are routinely knocked out by rivals who have won fewer races than them.

This is a system designed to prolong an artificial sense of competition rather than crown the most deserving champion.

I say

An expected four-way shoot-out wouldn’t excite as much
I’m sure regular readers will know this isn’t the sort of thing I go for. But as an example of how Formula One might change given what we know and can reasonably assume about Liberty’s priorities I thought it was worth exploring. At its heart this is another question about whether F1 should be a ‘sport’ or ‘entertainment’.

Perhaps there is a way to satisfy both a desire to prolong the championship contest without compromising F1’s essential sporting core. But I doubt it. I feel drivers should be rewarded equally for their efforts in each round of the competition. When that is the case, it’s impossible to avoid a situation where a championship could be decided before the final race.

F1 has in the past tried to make the competition appear closer by fiddling with the points systems with little success, notably in 2014.

The best way to make the competition closer isn’t to just make it appear that way, but to encourage convergence in performance between the teams. This is a far more difficult problem to solve.

But it’s one which, encouragingly, Liberty have shown they are willing to try. In the meantime they should resist the temptation to make it appear otherwise.

You say

Would NASCAR’s playoff system be an improvement for F1? Should the championship be structured so the title is decided at the final race every year?

Do you agree a NASCAR-style 'playoff' format would be an improvement for F1?

  • No opinion (0%)
  • Strongly disagree (91%)
  • Slightly disagree (6%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (1%)
  • Slightly agree (1%)
  • Strongly agree (1%)

Total Voters: 337

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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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96 comments on “Should Liberty use NASCAR’s ‘playoff’ format for F1?”

  1. NO!

    1. +10000000000000000000

      1. +2kizzillion.

    2. There’s already one nascar – and it sucks. We don’t need another. If we wanted nascar that’s what we’d be watching, but we watch F1 because it is (granted used to be) BETTER!

      1. Nascars pretty good you know.

        1. If you like Nascar that is fine – it’s just a matter of opinion. People who like Nascar can watch Nascar, but people who don’t have other options, like F1. If you turn F1 into Nascar, the remaining options for a shorter multiple car race are limited. We need to keep them seperate so there is more choice for people who like motorsports.

    3. No, and if this format is instituted I will likely never watch another F1 race again.

  2. I do not believe it will fit F1, since it would be way to predictable. This only works with equal or near equal cars, DTM and Indycar for example. But F1, no, it would only pave the way for Mercedes’ and Ferrari exit.

  3. I really like NASCAR. I think it’s an underappreciated motorsport and the drivers involved do not get the credit they deserve from the rest of the worldwide racing fan community.

    That said, the Chase for the Cup – in its current format – is the most ridiculous championship-deciding method in all of motorsport.

      1. I know this is just an excercise in exploration of a concept, and I’m hopeful that Liberty are more interested in simplification rather than complication of rules, and recent comments about stewarding for example indicate that. Sounds like Brawn gets that too.

        As to the question of entertainment vs sport…is it not both? Sport entertains us. All sport does, no? Perfect example, in NHL hockey right now, the Toronto Maple Leafs are doing really well this year for a team that has a lot of rookies. They are doing better than many expected for such a young team, and they’ve got a great coach. They’re a blast to watch and as one of the players said the other day, they’re ‘in’ every game. They’ve been winning more than losing but even the games they lose had them give the opposition a run for their money, and you can conclude at the end of each game you were entertained by watching some great hockey.

        F1 needs to just simplify, create a great product on the track which to me has any 6 or 8 drivers as potential winners on any given Sunday, such is the closeness of the racing, and the rest will take care of itself. All the gimmicks and points schemes in the world can’t mask a bad product for long. My advice to Liberty would be to first and foremost ensure a great and entertaining product on the track, and take that to the world with whatever their marketing gurus feel is best for their plans. No ‘fake’ or ‘alternative’ F1 please.

        1. Exactly that, where has this sport vs entertainment argument come from? I ask honestly because I only every hear it in regard to F1. Those who argue the ‘pureness’ of sport vs entertainment I’d say have not been paying attention since the first guy finished second and cried to the organizers about it. The SECOND you made a rulebook you’ve decided pureness is less important than ‘fairness’ and everyone needs restrictions. The points system didn’t grow from the earth and we found it, it was made up by people and any other system would be as well. How is one more ‘pure’ than the other? Both were made for the crowning of a champion in a way that entertains fans who can follow who’s leading. deciding you want the best to compete in multiple phases is NO different than teams falling away through the season as teams accumulate points and eliminate those who have not.

        2. “Fake” F1 is already here.

    1. NASCAR 101;
      Good old boys take their “enhanced” roadcars to a track to see whose car is fastest, people like to watch so races become regular events and start making money.

      Manufacturers notice that winning on Sunday means sales on Monday and start making “high performance” models for guys to race, more spectators, more money, more races.

      A racetrack owner takes over the series and makes loads of money, the teams want more as well, so do the drivers, everybody is making money.

      In order to make even more money, they cut costs by making 1 design race-cars, painted to look like different makes of road cars, attendance starts to fall.

      To compensate for falling attendance they hold more races and a gimmick called the chase to ensure the championship fight extends right to the last race. Attendance continues to fall.

      Can F1 learn something from Nascar ? Bernie thought so and had a new gimmick ready to go almost every year and they had the same effect as they had in Nascar.

  4. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    29th January 2017, 12:21

    Well, the only “advantage” I see is that if you try to go for second all the time, ala Rosberg at the end of the season, you take the risk of not getting into the final race.
    Also, a one-off as the problem Lewis had in Malaysia could disqualify a great driver “accidentally”.

  5. All these teams developing cars and being paid by sponsors, not to race. That sounds horrific in my opinion.

    1. All of the cars still participate in every race, they are just no longer eligible for the championship after they have been eliminated from it.

  6. Only if F1 wants to become a joke, like NASCAR.

  7. I understand the point you’re making Keith but simultaneously:

    “As the F1 calendar keeps getting longer so it gets less likely championships will be decided at the final race. ”
    “The F1 title has been decided at the last race…seven times in the last eleven years.”

    Given that the calendar has been steadily getting longer over the last 10-15 years – we’re now regularly at 19/20/21 races as opposed to the 16 of the late 90’s – then statistically, it would appear that the reality of the latter does not bear out the reasonable assumption of the former.

    I actually think we need more analysis to understand why that might be the case. Is it simply reliability – increased reliability means that big “points-dropped” rounds don’t happen very often now for the main title contenders? Is it the scoring system? Is it the teams being ever more “2-by-2” and WDCs increasingly being inter-team battles?

    I don’t know. But it does suggest that a NASCAR play-off system is not needed, at the momeny anyway.

    Having said that, I do believe a straight 25 race championship would be a bit boring. I think the purists would hate the suggestion but at what point would it be worth splitting it into something like a two separate, distinct seasons of 12/13 races each?

  8. No way Pedro!

  9. It’s not even worth conceiving the thought.

  10. F1 has neither enough races, nor enough drivers to support this system.

  11. spafrancorchamps
    29th January 2017, 12:49

    F1 should introduce a Grand Slam format. Where drivers earn double points, in a tougher format. Ideally, during these Grand Slams, everyone drives an identical car. Or, you’ll have a reverse grid based on championship standings during these events, or a shootout system, or a sootout system combined with reversed grid. Do this at 3/4 yearly events. But don’t let F1 test it, let junior championships test it out first.

    1. This….I’m proud of ya. It’s as if Bernie has taken a new reincarnation. Trying to kill F1 and GP2,3.5,F3 everything.

    2. And bring back the Le Mans start and use musical chairs to set the grid.

  12. Strongly disagree. If you structure the championship so that it is guaranteed to be decided at the final race of the season then what exactly is the point of all the previous races? You might as well just have a single race, winner takes all! It’s a completely stupid idea.

    1. Ha that was my exact thoughts. All previous races would be for nought and mean nothing. You have to reward and recognise each individual race otherwise it’s useless.

      Plus what track would they use? Some cars would be given an advantage if it’s a mostly straight track or vice versa with lots of corners.

      Leave the points system and fix the other important issues.

      1. Well no…not that I’m defending the NASCAR concept at all, but it’s not accurate to say the previous races are meaningless. They set up who is going to be in the finals, so the previous races are therefore crucial ones.

  13. Voted slightly disagree because I’m not sure how it would work for F1, but I do know I enjoy the super 8s sort of the super league season, and the playoffs are always great fun (or agony) in football for the teams involved.

    Other sports build to a final, especially in the tournament format, but I don’t want to see anything artificial.

  14. One of the best things about F1 is that it isn’t always exciting. This may seem like a contradiction but let me explain. I never want to miss an exciting race. I don’t know which races are going to be exciting and therefore I watch all the races. All the races are as important as each other (drivers win the same number of points) so it is compelling to watch each and every race.

    Contrast this with the playoff system. Part of the reason why I believe it is important to have it in NASCAR is that there are 36 races in the season, so each race is less ‘relevant’ in terms of the whole season than a Formula 1 race. By going down the playoff route they artificially make the final race of the season the most relevant and essential to watch. I think this is a likely a necessary evil in their sport given the large number of races per season because it is not practically possible to watch every race, even at the risk of not watching a race and missing a compelling event. With Formula 1, there aren’t enough races within the current calendar to support a playoff because it is practically possible to watch all the races in a season. However if Liberty plan expanding the number of races to 25 or 30, then they will be diluting the importance and relevance of each race, so they may have to introduce a playoff system just to introduce a relevant race into the calendar.

  15. Let me make sure that I understand the NASCAR Play Off system correctly.
    A driver could win all 26 races in the first half of the season, but if he then DNF’s in the next three races, he is eliminated from the Championship. He could then go on to will all the rest of the races too, but still be unable to win the Championship.
    Is that correct?

    1. Yes. But it’s basically impossible to win all races. You’re lucky to get 5.

      1. @thetick Thanks for that, I’m sure you’re right in that one driver couldn’t win as many races as I suggested. But I wanted to see if my understanding was correct. It does seem absurd doesn’t it, that a driver could win all but three races in a season and still not be the Champion. It might never happen, but I think it shows that the system is somewhat lacking.

        1. The play-off system is an integrated part of most US sports and for them it’s not as big a deal as for Europeans. The regular season is just a way to get into the play-offs. They are tweaking it every year though. They added that you are automatically in the play-offs with 1 win and with the new scoring system, wins nets you play-off points which gives you a head start. But in the end it’s all decided in the final race. And most of the times the best battle and they usually all four are are deserving if they win.

  16. I’m not pro playoff nascar-style, but there is something else F1 should learn from nascar. Teams leave the competition where it belongs, on the track, and in everything elsewhere they stad as one as a series.

    This meams in the first place making sure the pie gets bigger through centralized marketing of the content, great event promotion and value for their consumers ie the(fans) great story telling that builds and imerses fans, great availabilty and accesability from drivers to fans both in the media and at the races and most importantly in terms of money: centralized merchandising for affordable prices. Nascar is simply feasting off merchandise, essentially getting the sport promoted for free by the masses while they pay for it….

    Secondly they act as one when it comes to deviant said pie. Total financial parity and May the best man/team win on the track.

    1. ExcitedAbout17
      29th January 2017, 18:58

      Liberty is fully aware of that, and therefore offered the teams an equity stake in the business.
      We see the same in the most successful team competitions around the globe.

      That said, liberty missed the sweet spot when offering the teams an equity share.
      IMO all teams should’ve been offered an equal share (only vary on how the teams pay for it).

  17. NASCAR, partly through all of their Chase format iterations, has driven away far more of their fan base than they have brought in. F1 could certainly use some tweaks, but the points and championship system are fine.

  18. Does the relatively homogeneous nature of the cars run by various nascar tears facilitate a playoff format ? If this is the case , unless f1 goes to a high level of common spec items in each car – a playoff format similar to nascar might not be appropriate and would likely result in unintended consequences.

  19. Nascar just announced a format change that seperates each race into different segments and has 2 different points systems. It’s takes care of some of the issues but it’s not very intuitive.

  20. Build up the calender to 25 races then make 24 of them irrelevant. Sounds like bernie is back…

  21. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    29th January 2017, 13:45

    Hell no.

    The chase was the final death-knoll for NASCAR, where it stopped being a sport, and started being the Motorsport equivalent of WWE.

    And just when you think it couldn’t sink any lower, the new ‘lets turn every race into the all Star race’ format is revealed.

    A slow hand clap for Brian France. You win the chase for the dunce hat.

  22. Stuart Becktell (@)
    29th January 2017, 13:49

    No. Maybe go back to the historical dropping of a race or two we had in the 80s so a mechanical failure doesn’t destroy someone’s championship. Playoffs don’t work in racing because every track isn’t the same. Part of the domination of NASCAR by Jimmie Johnson can be attributed to his skill at the last ten tracks.

  23. Absolutely No.
    F1 is actually a team event, so would it be 8 teams or 16 drivers. If it’s 8 teams them there is a good possibility that good drivers, those earning all or nearly all of a low teams points, could be out, and drivers that probably will not be around next season could be in.
    If it’s drivers then some teams could be running just one driver, is that fair against teams running two drivers. Unless it is just the top driver in each team. In that case some very good drivers would be out.
    I think that anybody who actually thinks this through, like Ross Brawn will probably do, will soon realise it’s a non-runner.

  24. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    29th January 2017, 14:02

    I’m just wondering: If only 4 drivers can win the final race, why do all the others bother to show up, or show up AND race (in case the answer is “contractual obligations”)?

    1. @omarr-pepper

      If only 4 drivers can win the final race

      That’s not the case. Anyone can win any given race, including the final one. “Only” four drivers can win the title at that stage. But everyone else is racing for results and prize money. Just like in F1, where half the grid can’t win the title anymore after 12 races, but they keep showing up.

      1. I can’t believe I’ve just defended NASCAR.
        I feel obliged to point out that my decision to switch off would come a split second after hearing that F1 could become anything like NASCAR.

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      29th January 2017, 14:55

      @omarr-pepper – I assume if it was used in F1, the Constructors points would be the reason they’d show up for the final races and go for it. This should only affects the drivers.

      If you think about it, for the last 3 seasons, only 2 drivers have stood a chance of winning the Championship but they still all race!

      1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        29th January 2017, 17:13

        @petebaldwin yeah, absolutely right. I was quite drowsy when I was wondering.

  25. Good lord no. Easiest ‘strongly disagree’ on a poll ever.

  26. Now Whose dumb idea this is? Chase? Brawn? Or Keith’s?

    1. It’s Keith merely pondering if American company Liberty should or would take anything away from how American series NASCAR does things. It’s a debate article meant to incite conversation. Keith has his say and invites us to have ours.

  27. Even long time NASCAR fans can’t figure out the scoring, or point of, The Chase.
    The new dividing races into three ‘point scoring sections’ ? is even more ridiculous and confusing.
    Couldn’t be done any worse, Strongly Disagree.

    1. Sounds a bit like the all star race

  28. I voted strongly disagree but honestly, what would it change? It would still be very predictable as you know which cars will own it by race 2 or 3, that is if one team is dominant. In the end those two drivers will battle it out in the last race. It would also mean the last race is all deciding, you could literally be second all season long but win Abu Dhabi and be crowned champion.

    1. Indeed. IMO it’s a matter of principles. Give every GP the same value, the one who does the better job after all rounds should be the champion, it’s simple, logic and fair concept. Every other championship has it’s gimmicks, even f1 has it’s own format issues. For instances the tendency to get harder compounds the further we get to the end of the championship.

  29. No! This playoff has not worked for NASCAR as it had hoped. Did it raise interest in the sport? A little. Did it increase TV viewership? No. And every year, NASCAR has tweaked the playoff rules because someone important is either left out or openly complains about the unfairness of the playoffs. Now, the points are incomprehensible to anyone.

  30. The WCC would not be affected with that scenario. It’s solely to determine the drivers title. I think they should extend the season to 25 races. Allow 10 engines to each driver to rid the sport of dumb engine penalties. I also didn’t mind the final race double points.

  31. BSB does something similar and it just makes the first 3/4 of seasons a bit pointless.

    The basics of F1 have been fine for 60 years so leave them alone. The younger generation don’t need Gimmicks they just need a sport they can watch and get into. Currently they cannot as it cost to much to watch. Change that and almost every problem is solved.

  32. This question had me legitimately scared. Even within Nascar, which is an entirely different sport and as comparable to F1 as Baseball is to Water polo, it doesn’t work.

  33. No.

    That said, if Bernie comes up with an alternative championship the reason I’d support him using it wouldn’t be nothing more than because I wish him to fail.

    1. Evil Homer (@)
      31st January 2017, 13:51

      BE wont do that, as much as some don’t like him he did make F1 (and bust it up a little…..well, a fair bit!)!
      But simply he is too old too do a new formula, and despite what most say he is proud of F1 as its his legacy, and he keeps score by money (I quoted KC there) ! We won, lets hope F1 win a bit more now- 2017 Melbourne cant come too soon HAHA!

  34. Sergey Martyn
    29th January 2017, 16:48

    I’ve never followed NASCAR (except watching my son who got bored after 5 NASCAR computer races)
    When you win 26 races and have some DNFs thereafter what’s the point of all the previous races?
    Elimination system has some sense in qualifying but I still prefer 90’s one hour qualy when you stared at the empty track for about 50 minutes at 3 AM yawning aloud with the TV commentator and see some tense action at the very end.
    Just leave the bunch of crazy guys in howling machinery without all these ridiculuos restrictions for design, testing and dubious stewards decisions – then you’ll get not only the audience grow but everything you wanted to make F1 a succesfull commercial product. We don’t need artifical flavor enhancers – just pure racing without double points, DRS, other restrictions etc. Flat out, not saving fuel and tyres, no mandatory tyre changes. When I’ve visited Monza last year I couldn’t buy Kimi shirt because all were gone. Leave me alone – I know what I’m doing. That’s what we want from racing – leave them alone!
    We fans want no remorse battles for EVERY race for EVERY point – that’s why I became a die-hard fan of F1 back in 70’s NOT even being able watching it – I just read about the races in some automotive mags weeks about races have ended and when about 20 years later I was able to watch Dijon battle and other classic moments of 70-80’s F1 I experienced the same feelings just reading about all those races as a mid-seventies kid behind the Iron Curtain not being able to watch F1.

  35. Nonsense idea. NASCAR is junk, their format and points system is junk.

    Further, F1 looking at a bigger schedule is silly. 24-26 races are far too many races and will take the prestige out of hosting an F1 race. There are takeaways from NASCAR, but a racing that much is silly — especially considering the relative weakness of the bottom of the grid from a financial standpoint.

  36. Absolutely not, extremely disagree! Of all the things in F1 that could be improved there is no need to look for things that do not need fixing.

    Been a fan of “stock car” racing (now known as NASCAR) since I was a kid. It was my gateway racing series that led to Indy car racing and ultimately F1. Still watch some NASCAR, but have not even tried to figure out the ever-changing mechanics of points required to actually win the chase. I just look at the races and enjoy them or not. If the broadcasters show who is ahead in the standings, that can be useful, but I still don’t try to cypher the chase regs.

    Sometimes simpler is better and for F1 this would be one of those times. If those concerned about explaining F1 to new or potential fans, try asking a NASCAR fan to explain exactly how the chase format works.

    1. This doesn’t even need a poll !

  37. HELL NO!!! it won’t make the sport any more exciting. “Americanizing” in that way or any other gimmicks will kill the sport. People say that F1 needs new “fans”, what happened to the times when you found something new and decided to research or learn the rules of it. Look at football(Premier League, La Liga, etc) there is no need for gimmicks and there are more and more fans attracted to the sport.

    F1 needs more content on the internet thats all.

  38. More races mean more points proporcionally, I don’t quite understand why the champioship will be decided sooner.

  39. I’d have responded more positively if you’d asked if vomit on toast would make a good hangover cure.

  40. This hypothetical racing format would show a complete misunderstanding of F1 and its problems. The reason F1 is unpopular is because F1 management wants it to be unpopular. Changing the format won’t fix the problem, all it will do is annoy more than 90% of fans (at the time of starting writing this comment it was 93% of 150 fans strongly believed the American format would not be an improvement).
    The impression I had when F1 races were broadcast on Free to Air TV in New Zealand (where I live) was it was very popular even though races were mostly broadcast after midnight. Then F1 sold the rights to a Pay TV and instantly became unpopular and has steadfastly remained unpopular ever since.
    Notice the event and the effect: F1 demands viewers pay a to high price to watch, which drives viewers away. If F1 wants to be popular then they need to start with a decision that affects the cost to watch races. No decision regarding cost to watch = no change in pathetically low viewership.
    If F1 wants to be popular then be popular, do what popular people do: Be accessible, be seen, tell everyone where you’re going to be, be friends with popular people, be friends with experts on the subject, make it obvious you want to be popular.
    [culls lots of comment because I’ve said it so many times]
    For the 2016 season the last thing mentioned on the top radio station’s sports news was F1 race results … [culls more comment].
    Changing the format of F1 won’t fix the fundamental problem…[culls more comment].

  41. 100% NO!

  42. Good grief! It this really a serious proposal? Just imagine how interesting F1 should be if someone like Lewis Hamilton was eliminated from The Chase as early as midsummer? Now let’s take it a step further and say, which is perfectly possible, that that first cut also eliminated Alonso, Hülkenberg and Perez. Then the second cut saw Vettel, Verstappen and Ricciardo drop out so that in the end the title was a shootout between Bottas, Ocon, Stroll and Ericsson (who lucked out at Monaco same as Panis in ’96 and then at Spa same as Hill did in ’98). Some people REALLY do need to have their heads examined!

    1. No. This is Keith pondering if Liberty would or should follow a NASCAR type format as fellow Americans observing how an American series does it. He’s just asking for debate and conversation. And as we see he has brought out of us that over 90% strongly disagree with gimmicky points systems in F1.

  43. I really enjoy watching NASCAR but HELL NO!! Its a really convoluted and artificial way of doing things. That and it can be confusing at first for new viewers. You dont wabt to be confusing new fans. Thats a big no no. The only thing they should take from NASCAR is the trophy presentation after the championship deciding race.

  44. I wish there was an emoticon that conveyed NO! 10,000 times!

  45. Worst Idea Ever.

    NASCAR sold their soul to become the WWE of motor sports and has been trying to polish that turd for nearly fifteen years now with declining ratings and even more “sport killing” changes coming to their “Racing Entertainment” product.

  46. Then what’s the point of having x number of GP’s they are GP’s for a reason and it’s F1’s dna and history that would be severed.

  47. No….just…no!

  48. I think a more relevant way to make the season go to the end is to look at the double-points Abu Dhabi race and make it legitimate. And the way to make it legitimate is to make it a double header with qualifying and race on both saturday and sunday. And to not make it to two absolute identical races you could do it on a track who can alter layouts between saturday and sunday. This I think is a more relavant way to do a season final than a playoff.

  49. I think the poll emphatically answers the question.

    F1 may have many problems, but the race format isn’t one of them. Don’t fix what ain’t broken – AGAIN.

  50. I am a huge fan of both NASCAR and F1, but not a fan of the play-off format. I think it works ok for NASCAR for a number of reasons:
    – the sport has traditionally been about the show (which I am ok with, it’s great fun to watch when you get into it)
    – it’s a REALLY long season, so it’s necessary to keep some interest at different stages
    – it’s US focused and competes directly with other season-long sports have play-off formats
    – there are a lot of teams who can win and are more or less evenly matched anyway – as opposed to F1 where it would be odd to have the two Mercs and two very inferior cars still in contention at the last round

  51. Before I was an F1 fan I was a NASCAR fan. I have loved NASCAR and attended 8 races since 2006 and have seen its steep decline since 2012 due to its leadership making horrible changes year after year. Tracks have taken in some cases 50% of their grandstands out as crowds don’t show up anymore.
    If Liberty changes the format in F1 to what NASCAR has that WILL, hurt this sport possibly kill it. NASCAR in 10 years will be irrelevant. No one will watch and crowds will be down to 35,000 at some tracks. Liberty should do research on this.

  52. No. No, no, no, no, no! The whole idea of a “playoff” in motorsport is ridiculous and artificial. NO. I get tired of the perennial NASCAR vs F1 comparison; they are two entirely different types of racing. No one compares F1 to WRC, and why would they? They are different types of racing, on different circuits, in different conditions, with a different format. The same for NASCAR and F1.
    While I will admit that there is a great deal for F1 to learn from NASCAR in terms of fan involvement, they are two different racing disciplines and their formats are not, and should not be mirrored. I think the scoring system in F1 is about as good as it can be and see no reason for modification…especially to a forced, artificial “playoff” gimmick!

  53. No gimmicks in my F1 please.

  54. NASCAR is the WWF of motorsports. F1 should stay far away from anything format wise that NASCAR does. What F1 can learn from NASCAR is to pay enough money down the field so everyone can survive.

    Not sure if this still happens, but years ago, there were several teams set up not to even try to win races, but just to enter several NASCAR events a year close to their location and their whole goal was just to qualify and start the race. Then, they’d have a mechanical issue sometime early in the race and drop out. They didn’t hire pit crews or even own enough equipment to do a pit stop. Not exactly ideal for F1 either, but at the time NASCAR would have 48-50 cars enter every event to try to get into a 43 car field because there was money to be made, even at the back of the pack. Meanwhile, how many F1 teams have folded or been sold and the only new team to come in is HAAS.

  55. Evil Homer (@)
    31st January 2017, 14:02

    No, NASCAR fine in US but we like our F1 worldwide (but over the last few years could change back some of these new circuits for some old school Europe circuits please, Sir! :)

  56. Clash of American and European sporting cultures. American sports almost always use the playoff approach to decide who the champion is. European sports tend to favour league-style sports in which you accumulate points as you go along, and whoever has the most points at the end of the season is the winner. Ever wondered why football has not made much pro headway in America, and why American football bores the rest of us to death?
    If F1 is to conquer America, it has to look at playoffs, ugly as they sound to most of the rest of the world. And Liberty are calling the shots now…

  57. If F1 has double points, do it at Monza. Turn it into a 500km race over three hours. And keep it mid season.

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