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F1 - Double points for last race gets go-ahead in 2014

2014-01-23 16:11:35

Formula 1 will go ahead with its controversial plan to award double points at the last race of the season.

The proposal - the idea of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone - was raised at a meeting of the sport's bosses but no attempt was made to overturn it.

Ecclestone thinks the idea will help keep the championship alive for as long as possible after Sebastian Vettel's recent dominance of the sport.

The Red Bull star has won the drivers' title for the last four years.

Prior to Wednesday's meeting in Geneva, one leading team boss, who wanted to remain anonymous, told BBC Sport that "most participants would agree to ditch" the points proposal if they were given the chance.

Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton

If the new system had been in place for the last two
decades, three world titles would have been won by
another driver.


In 2012, Fernando Alonso would have beaten Sebastian
Vettel. In 2008, Felipe Massa (pictured above left) would
have denied Lewis Hamilton. And in 2003, Kimi Raikkonen
would have edged out Michael Schumacher.

He claimed Ecclestone and the FIA, which governs the sport, had "completely misjudged the predictable negative response from the public".

Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo also said last month that he was "not enthusiastic" about the plan, arguing it was "too artificial".

However, none of the teams chose to make a major issue of the plan at the meeting, probably because they felt it was not worth falling out with Ecclestone over.

Team bosses also discussed the introduction of a cost-cap in 2015.

Certain agreements were made, which will now go to a vote of the FIA World Council, the sport's legislative arm, on Thursday, but the teams did not agree on a figure for the upper limit of spending.

That topic will now be discussed at a future meeting.

F1 believes it needs a cost cap for three main reasons:

1) The barrier to entry is too high - it is unlikely any new team would want to enter knowing it would be four to five seconds off the pace with no chance of progress

2) The high costs mean there are no independent engine manufacturers in the sport, which means F1 is beholden to motor manufacturers, which tend to come and go from the sport at will

3) There is too little competition across the grid and an ever-reducing chance of a surprise result, such as a smaller team qualifying on the front row or getting a podium finish.

Introducing a cost cap of, say, £150m, would not reduce the costs of the smaller teams as many are spending less than that.

But it would carve in the region of £100m off the budgets of the top teams, like Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren.


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