After the controversial ending to this years season at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone proposed a radical change to the scoring system. Instead of the ranking system in place now, where the top 8 finishers all get points (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1), Ecclestone wants an Olympic-style gold/silver/bronze medal system where only the top 3 finishers score. That would focus the season more on the person who wins the most races, as opposed to the person who consistently finishes in the top places. It would probably also take the finesse and strategy out of the sport and destroy any incentives the smaller teams have.
The Formula One chief said he came up with the idea after McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton clinched this year’s championship by finishing fifth in the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix. Hamilton beat Felipe Massa by a single point this year, but under Ecclestone’s new system, the Brazilian would have won the title with six wins against Hamilton’s five.
Ecclestone says he’s confident his plan will be approved by the governing body, FIA, next month. He thinks his idea will encourage excitement and overtaking, since only wins will determine the championship and there won’t be any benefit in driving tactically in second or third place.
Ecclestone again claimed he has all the teams behind him on this issue, although that’s highly unlikely. At a recent press conference, he said “It’s going to happen, all the teams are happy. The reason this happens is that I get fed up with people talking about no overtaking.”
The current ranking system that offers points from first to eighth place was started in 2003 after Michael Schumacher dominated the previous year’s season, basically clinching the title with six races still left.
But former team boss Eddie Jordan doesn’t support the idea. “I think they [Ecclestone’s ideas] are a nonsense,” he told the BBC. “I can’t possibly believe he’s thinking straight, especially on this one. His focus must be on cost-cutting and nothing else, the rest is just dressing it up.”
Jordan added that he doubts that Ecclestone had the full support of all the teams – especially the smaller teams.
“The points are necessary,” he said. “I was one of the team principals who advocated the points should go down to eighth place because one point is as important to those teams as a win is to McLaren and Ferrari. He is tinkering with something on which he has lost the understanding.”
I tend to agree with Jordan, I really can’t understand why Ecclestone wants to change the points system. This years season came down to the last lap of the last race, it was one of the most exciting races I’ve ever seen, and he thinks they’re not trying hard enough, or there needs to be more excitement? Hopefully it won’t pass, but if it does, hopefully it’ll only last one season.