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Formula 1 News - March, 2009
New points system sparks more questions than praise

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Mar.18 (GMM) The FIA's decision to overhaul the points system for 2009 was not widely welcomed in F1 circles.

Although the principle is simply to crown the winningest driver world champion, rather than he with the most points, the F1 teams' alliance FOTA only wanted to increase from 2 to 3 points the gap between first and second places.

FOTA said its rejected proposal was based on a global audience survey across 17 countries, raising the question of why the FIA instead plumped for a variation of Bernie Ecclestone's 'medals' idea.

"It would be a shame if, while encouraging drivers to do what they are paid handsomely to do by winning races, the FIA has adopted its own flawed scheme purely to snub the teams and keep them in line," a report in the Guardian newspaper said.

It is a fact that, if the new system was retrospectively applied to the 2008 results, Felipe Massa would have won the title. "Are grand prix bosses out to get (Lewis) Hamilton?" the Daily Mail newspaper wondered.

Former driver, and now BBC commentator Martin Brundle told the Daily Telegraph: "What we may just have is some more exciting races, but whether it will generate a more worthy champion remains to be seen."

Another fact is that, again if retrospectively applied, the new points system alters the outcome of past world championships some 13 times.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, who last week said FIA president Max Mosley would have made a better British prime minister than Tony Blair, made clear he supports the new scheme.

"This is what I proposed, just without the second and third place awards," he said.

"What it does is make drivers bloody well go for the win, rather than settle for second. It will be real racing. It's good for the fans and the sport," added Ecclestone.

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