Bernie Ecclestone talks some sense

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Bernie Ecclestone, Red Bull, 2008, 470150

Bernie Ecclestone is talking about getting rid of championship points:

What I want to see is the winner of the most number of races as world champion, and second places only to be used if the top two finish the season with the same number of wins. The constructors would keep the existing system.

And you know what? He’s dead right.

Ecclestone reckons, “the key word in motor racing is ‘racing’. And right now there are not enough overtaking manoeuvres in the sport because drivers are happy not to take risks and claim second place because it is only two points less than winning the race.”

I don’t think that’s true all of the time – but I do think it’s true in certain championship scenarios.

A good example is 2005. With four races to go, Fernando Alonso led Kimi Raikkonen by 103points to 76. With a 27 point margin Alonso needed only 14 points (three fifths and a sixth) to be sure of the title. The title was something of a foregone conclusion.

But if the championship was to have been decided by who won the most races, it would have been much more open: Alonso had six wins to Raikkonen’s five, so he would have had to keep beating Raikkonen to be sure of staying ahead.

I’ve argued this case quite a few times. Here are some examples looking at the 2006 F1 championship, other racing series (and again here), and why the current points system doesn’t work (and some more thoughts on that).

This discussion often leads to people suggesting all manner of different points systems. But I think all points systems are flawed because they over-reward reliability and consistency when the first and foremost thing that matters is winning.

That the current points system is ridiculous and was introduced as a knee-jerk reaction to stop Michael Schumacher winning championships in July hardly needs to be argued. Had it been used in 1999 Eddie Irvine would have been champion

Getting rid of the points system and awarding the drivers’ title to whoever won the most races would encourage teams to be more radical in their approaches to racing and make F1 more unpredictable. It would make the sport easier for non-fans to understand and more accessible.

Benie’s hit the nail on the head with this one.

59 comments on “Bernie Ecclestone talks some sense”

  1. Sorry Keith, I disagree. Drivers winning the championship on wins alone will put an end to nailbiting down-to-the-wire championships.

    Imagine how much less interesting (than they already were) Schumachers championsip-winning seasons would have been if they calulated it on wins alone. Especially when he had Rubens moving over for him on the occasions that he wasn’t quicker than his team-mate.

    This would also impact the lower teams – the midfield wouldn’t be as tight as it is now if the teams further down the grid weren’t fighting for that last championship point.

    I don’t see what was wrong with the old points system that simply rewarded the winning driver moreso than the one that came 2nd. If they need more points paying positions then simply start at 12 and work down.

  2. Paul Sainsbury
    19th March 2008, 13:35

    I would also love to see reward of some kind for pole position.

  3. It is hard to argue against consistency when it comes to points, but for it when it comes to engines and gearboxes.

  4. Robert Mckay
    19th March 2008, 13:48

    Cooperman, I think Bernie said the WCC would still be decided on points, so the midfield battle would be unaffected.

    But I this is a smokescreen, to be honest. Here’s a possible (unlikely, but still) scenario: Driver A wins 10 of 18 races, but DNF’s the other 8. Driver B wins 8, and finishes the other 10 in second position. It’ll take a  heck of a lot to convince me that Driver B isn’t the moral victor of that championship. To me, the champion is the best driver over the course of the entire season. A large part of any championship, by definition almost, is in consistency. Some will disagree, and that’s fair enough.

    What someone needs to do is to go through the statistics and find how many seasons over the past 20 years the driver who won most races won the world championship. That’d be interesting. I think most (not all, but most) will have the WDC as the driver with most wins from that year.

    I think Bernie is going a bit too far in the wrong direction here. All that is really required is as Cooperman says, to modify the gap between first and second. The main problem is that 2 pts is not enough – 4 points at least, I’d say, if not five (though 13 for a win sounds a bit odd), that should have the side-effect of more or less ensuring that the person who has most wins has most points anyway.

    But we know why the 2 points gap was introduced! It was deliberately intended to keep things closer than they ought to be, in order to stop people like Schumacher running away with it (didn’t work, anyway). It might have been a purely Max decision, but, again, this is prime F1 "have-your-cake-and-eat-it" territory – they want things close in the championship, but they want drivers going all out for the win, etc. It’s difficult to swing it both ways!

  5. I couldn’t disagree more. Consistency should be rewarded, drivers can win races by luck alone, however they can’t achieve consistency by luck.

    If Bernie is serious about making racing better, he should listen to Patrick Head. When qualifying puts faster cars/driver at the front of the grid, and slower cars towards the back, it stands to reason that there is going to be little overtaking in a race.

    I think the points system should be further extended (i.e. use the same points system that MotoGP uses)

  6. AH! This thread is off to a good start BOTH Cooperman and Paul have it right.  Wins alone are NOT the way to go as there are only two or three  drivers capable of Bernie’s version of Champion, they are the Ferrari, McLaren and this year maybe BMW drivers. All others would be excluded.  An exagerated example but certainly possible considering Bernie’s format……
    Driver "A" could go all out doing banzai drives and win 4 races but DNF 4 others. Driver "B"shows better control and race management and car care, finishes second 8 of the same races.
    Who is the REAL champion?  Consistancy has VALUE and should be rewarded properly.  Paul’s idea of points  for pol,  and I’ll expand that  to included points for fastest lap and maybe points for laps led is a BETTER measure of the REAL champion. Race wins only is a BAD idea, a VERY bad idea.

  7. WOW! This thread is lively this morning……..three responses
    posted while I was typing my last!  Good to see everyone active today. Cheers!

  8. They should also include a point for pole and another point for fastest lap too.

  9. I have to say Nik I think that is a very bad idea.

    In GP2 they give points for fastest lap. So in 2006 Lewis Hamilton won the championship a few hours after the penultimate round when they adjudged Giorgio Pantano had set the fastest lap of the race under yellow flags, stripped the point from him, and gave it to Hamilton.

    Do we really want the risk of that kind of thing happening in F1?

    Or imagine a scenario where, in the final round, a driver only needs one point to be sure of the championship. He wouldn’t even bother racing – they’d just send him out with a qualifying set up on.

    I’ll comment on some of the other stuff a bit later…

  10. Fastest lap and pole should get additional points, that would keep them racing to the end of a race not just cruisin round.

    Teams who have both cars finishing should get bonus points. 
     They changes these rules to stop Schumi the great, was always a bad idea to do that!

  11. I think increasing the points gap between 1st and 2nd as well as awarding points for laps lead would do the trick. Consistency would still be rewarded and there would also be more fights for the lead as there would be a reward just for leading the race.

  12. True, but I don’t we will ever get a point system we all agree on. But if there are more points there for the taking each weekend, other drivers could/would be fuelled up to stop that. In your senario, I could easily see Ferrari trying to stop that from happening. If the driver only needs one point from the weekend, does it matter if that is from pole/fastest lap or P8 ?

  13. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.  The only reason for changing the present system is that it’s not doing the job it’s supposed to.  So you must be saying that the wrong drivers won in the past.  Just who, exactly?  Kimi?  Alonso, Schumacher, Hakkinen?  Are you going to take Keke’s championship away from him?  How about John Surtees?

    Nelson Piquet’s championships were all won against very tough opposition and were nail-biting affairs – will you take his achievements away just because he didn’t win as many races as a couple of his competitors?  In those years he emerged as the victor, he was the best driver even though his car was no better than the competition – he earned his championships more than others who have walked most of a season’s races through having the best car.

    I’ve seen it suggested that Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve are the only two drivers who didn’t deserve to be champion.  Yet Damon was Schumacher’s only realistic competition for a couple of years and he ran him close.  He deserves his championship for hard work alone (just as his father did).  And Jacques beat the Shoe fair and square.

    You cannot propose to change a system that clearly does what it is supposed to.  If you are saying that it has failed, prove it.  Bernie is doing what he always does – trying to deflect attention away from his mismanagement of CVC’s affairs by creating controversy where there is none.

  14. This has certainly stirred things up a bit!

    I read Bernie’s comments the other day and to be honest I could see where he was coming from, but I can’t see it working in reality.

    Yes, it would be nice to see the guy who wins most races win the championship but at the same time consistency has to be rewarded as well as outright speed.  As races progress it is nice from a spectator’s point of view if the front guys are continuing to try to make passes for the win rather than just accepting second place.

    But from a strategic point of view, it’s also intriguing to see how different drivers cope with having to achieve only certain placings in the last few races – some like Alonso are very good at achieving what he needs, while others like Lewis seem to struggle with that approach and has always gone for the win.

    Perhaps it’s Bernie’s desire for Lewis to be champion which has prompted this change of direction for the points structure?

  15. I could argue this point either way…  On one hand I want drivers fighting all-out for the win, but on the other hand I don’t want the championship decided too early because there’s not enough races left for them to win.

    The 12-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 idea sounds promising, maybe even giving more of an incentive for being on the podium: 14-10-7-5-4-3-2-1.

    However… I think we need to stay away from the bonus points for everything under the sun… this is what NASCAR does… they have a 10 point bonus for winning the race, a 5 point bonus for leading a lap, 5 point bonus for pole, and then award points all the way back to 42nd place or something like that.  The last bit of that led to teams driving 3 wheeled cars at 20mph around the track just to move up to 41st place.  Of course they’ve made all sorts of rules to prevent all these ways of manipulating the system… but it is all still a mess and very difficult to follow.

  16. Quite agree, Scootin159 – can you imagine the national papers trying to explain to the layman every possible scenario that would make driver A or driver B champion at the end of the season if they also had to factor in pole position, points led, fastest laps, the number of laps he led, etc. etc. – it would blow your mind!!

    Just defending Damon Hill (can’t help it, sorry!), I did read somewhere a few years back that on the points system we have today Hill would have won the ’94 championship so to take away his ’96 title would be a little harsh! I think that if things were to change, F1 would do what it normally does and leave the past alone – ignoring the fact that they haven’t applied the movement in goalposts to previous years!

  17. Hes right about the drivers not wanting to take risks to win when theres only 2 points between first and second. I think they should go back to the old points system of 10,6,4,3,2,1. I believe it was only changed to 8 points for second because of the Ferrari dominant era and as Ferrari were going to win every race it made the championship a bit closer.

  18. Cooperman – you can see it in the third chart on the 1994 season statistics.

  19. Cheers Keith – this site’s like a tardis of F1!

  20. I agree with the masses here (I think). I don’t like this idea as I don’t think it would mix things up that much. Points are transparent and easy to understand. Yes, f1 is about winning but a big part of technical excelllence is consistency.

    Perhaps the current points system isn’t quite right but it generally speaking provides excitement. And what is f1 if it isn’t entertainment?

  21. The system is flawed, but we can’t decide only on wins either. We need a consistent and sensible system. As has been suggested, more points to the winner could do the trick.

    Now, points for pole? This is NOT nascar. And they have restrictor plates only to create overtaking. False overtaking. We don’t want to go that way.

  22. The system is flawed?  How?  Can no-one tell me what’s wrong with it?

    I suppose the point is that sometimes the guy with the most race wins doesn’t become champion.  Well, so what?  Let him get a more reliable car next time or not crash so often.

    The present system takes into account all the various aspects that a real champion needs – and that is more than just speed on a particular day, it includes luck, being in the right car (so rewards good sense in picking teams), consistency, perseverance in adversity – an endless list of necessary ingredients.  And that is why it invariably picks the right guy.

    The winner of each race gets his due – a chance to spray some champagne, the plaudits of the crowd, a nice trophy for his mantelpiece.  That’s enough and all he deserves.  But the champion has stuck to it through race after race and proved that he is more than just a race winner on a particular day – he can keep going even when no better than a third or a fourth is all he can hope for.

    The system ain’t broke – don’t fix it.

  23. I can’t agree with just basing the championship on the number of wins alone – that way the title race will be even less interesting because it could be over pretty quickly if you have a dominant car.The best driver isn’t always in the fastest car although often he can make a difference.

    However I agree that the current system focusses too much on consistency – Kimi Raikonnen only won once and was two points behind Schumacher in 2003.The champion should have to win throughout the season to have the rights to the overall title.The other thing is that I don’t think it’s right to have the top eight scoring points when 15 – 17 cars are classified as is often the case these days.Nothing was wrong with the 1991 points system and it shouldn’t have been changed.

    The other idea I have – all these gearbox/engine penalties should apply to the constructors championship.I don’t like the idea of moving a driver down 10 places because of something that failed which he had little to do with.Perhaps a system whereby if there is one engine failure before the race the highest scoring driver’s points are lost , and if there’s more than that all points are lost.For gearboxes perhaps four points to be lost for each failure would be fair…

  24. Taking points away for reliability failures is a really bad idea – points should only be awarded, not taken away. You lose out on qualifying positions and points because your car breaks down – fine.
    Getting rid of points also means that people who aren’t in contention for the title have nothing to drive for. I agree with Clive – there’s not much wrong with what we’ve got now, and more often than not the “winningest” driver wins the title.

  25. Let me clarify a few things Vertigo.What I meant there by points being taken away as opposed to any drop in grid position would only affect the Constructors Championship – but leave the Driver’s Championship completely unchanged , the drivers will still be able to score points in that.

    As it is at the moment both the driver and constructors  lose out as a result of a car failure , and I don’t think that’s fair on the drivers.

  26. Thanks for the clarification Francois, but I still don’t think it’s a good idea because it devalues the Constructors Championship – should the drivers be deducted points if they accidentally plough the car into the wall because it’s technically their fault, not the team’s?

  27. A 12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1 system would allow for a wider points spread over the first 4 places with the winner getting the largest margin.  And how about bonus points for consecutive wins, say, 2 bonus points for 2 in a row, 3 points for 3 in a row, etc?

  28. Bonus points are for nascrap.

  29. I would leave the present points system alone – reason? – bernie suggested it – it may have flaws – but it works we know how it works – joe bloggs reading his sat/sunday paper knows it – and really haven’t we had enough changes recently – and the threat of more maxism’s to come

  30. I suggest a solution where the points system is scrapped and it doesn’t matter who wins etc.
    After each race, the public phone in and vote for their favorite driver – the driver with the least votes retires for the season – at the end of the season there should only be 2 drivers who can then race for the championship. This would also be a big hit with Max as it also cuts costs.
    Ooh I’ve just realised; this is the system used by numerous TV shows (Xfactor, Dancing on Ice, Strictly this and that) and the winners of those have no relation to talent !!
    …………..Well it was only a suggestion :)
    p.s. I can see Bernies eyes glaze at the thought of all those £ calls.

  31. How about going back to what they did in the 70’s & early 80’s when more GPs were added. They only counted the best 9 scores during the season.

  32. In 1982 Keke Rosberg won the WDC wit only one race win.

  33. Pedro Andrade
    19th March 2008, 22:05

    The main point I want to argue is: if there weren’t points to fight for, only wins, why would any team other than Ferrari and McLaren (or even BMW or Renault) spend millions of dollars to sustain a F1 operation that’d certainly lead them nowhere? And if that happens, would spectators like to watch 4 or 6 car races? Indy 2005 was enough…

    I agree with the majority on this one: wins shouldn’t dictates championships. If you want to make a win earn more, make a bigger points gap to the second place, like in the suggested 12-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system. I believe the 8 first cars should still be the ones who get points, because otherwise, with reliability getting stronger and stronger, it gets harder for the small teams to score even small points.

  34. You hit the nail on the head Pedro. If the winner was decided say 10 races in the season, whats then to say that some of the teams – particularly the perenially cash strapped ones – wouldn’t just stop showing up to races? Why spend all the $$$ travelling to the track, paying the drivers & teams etc for nothing?
    I don’t think it’s a good idea at all, and to my knowledge no other sporting category awards championships this way – probably for good reason. I like the idea of a bigger haul of points for the winner to reward actual winning of a race a bit more, but I also do like the ‘bonus point’ for pole. I don’t think that one extra point would be too complicated for people to follow, and would see greater competition – by whatever strategy – to be on Pole thereby leading to some interesting races, shuffling the pack up a bit.

  35. Peril and Pedro, I think you’re not clear on something – I’m not saying only drivers with wins should be ranked in the championship. What I’m saying is instead of ranking drivers by points, rank them by results.

    This would in fact be better for drivers who rarely compete for wins because it would recognise the value of ninth over tenth etc… which the current system does not do.

    Clive is quite right to ask ‘is the system broken and if not should it be fixed’? I think the current system is quite fair but does risk throwing up a questionable result: look how close Kimi Raikkonen (with one win) came to beating Michael Schumacher (with six) in 2003.

    Ranking drivers by results is not invulnerable to an odd result such as this, but I think the kind of scenario Robert suggested is far less likely than what almost happened in 2003.

    I’m not surprised a lot of people don’t like the idea – changing the championship system is like tinkering with the DNA of the sport. It would transform what teams prioritise when they go racing – and I think it would do it in a positive way, by luring them away from conservatism and towards risking a bit more in pursuit of victory.

  36. No point system mentioned above is perfect nor would asure further coompetition. At the end of the day every season is a different story and drivers adapt their strategies accordingly.  Also the level of spectacle and competion is more related to the level of the different cars and drivers more than to the point system.

  37. What would have been so terrible about Kimi taking the championship in 2003?  It might have woken me up from my Schumacher boredom, at least.  If the guy got that close with such a disparity in race wins, he was obviously doing something right (and Schumacher was getting something equally wrong).  If Kimi had won, he would have deserved it.

    The fact remains that he didn’t win then and the system was vindicated.  It picks the right driver every time (except when it picks Schumacher :D).  You and Bernie are suggesting a radical change to a system that has not produced a single champion that we can point at and say, "He was the wrong one."  This is to avoid a hypothetical situation where it does pick the wrong guy, according to you, Keith.  Yet you can’t give me an example of the system ever getting it wrong; 2003 doesn’t count because, no matter how close it came, it still picked the right one (much to my chagrin).

    You know that changing regulations invariably leads to constant adjustments later in an attempt to make the new system work as expected.  F1 really doesn’t need more of that.

    As for Bernie imagining that his system will create more overtaking and make drivers go for the win more, that is just an insult to the drivers.  Does he think they don’t try already?  If they don’t, they won’t last long, that’s for sure.

  38. Pedro Andrade
    19th March 2008, 23:55

    Keith: Like Robert Mckay said on  comment #4: "Driver A wins 10 of 18 races, but DNF’s the other 8. Driver B wins 8, and finishes the other 10 in second position. It’ll take a  heck of a lot to convince me that Driver B isn’t the moral victor of that championship." Of course it’s a tad far-fetched, but it’s a possibility.

    Even now, the championship is decided by results, which manifest themselves by the way of points. Even when no points are scored between two drivers, they are not ordered randomly on the classification table. The driver who has the best set of results wins the championship: there can’t be any other way! Even in Bernie’s system, an unfair year would probaby come.  For example (and I don’t want to start a Kimi vs Alonso fight, it’s my personal opinion), Kimi came close to having more wins than Alonso in 2005, and if he had clinched the crown it would have been unfair (again, in my opinion).

  39. Clive, Changing regulations only leads to constant adjustments later on when the wrong decision has been taken in the first place. By your reasoning the endless tweaks to the points system over the years surely proves it is fundamentally flawed?

    I can’t give a "concrete example of the system getting it wrong" mainly because the current system has only been in use for five years. I’m pointing to a near miss and giving a warning.

    I agree with you about the Ecclestone thing though – I did say so in the post!

  40. True, you did, Keith – I just couldn’t resist giving the guy another swipe.  ;)

    It’s also true that the current system has been tampered with endlessly by the FIA – but that’s just the FIA trying to manipulate the championship.  The basic idea of points for places is so robust that it defeats even the FIA’s idiocies and the changes made weren’t genuine attempts to fix something that wasn’t working.

    I am not particularly bothered with how many points we award for each position since it has been demonstrated that the idea of points works so well, regardless of the fine details.  What bothers me is the suggestion that we give the championship to the guy with the most wins – that seems to me to be ignoring the matter of consistency altogether.

    The races are about first to the flag but the championship adds the element of perseverance and consistent performance.  To me, it looks like a fair balance between the two.  The very fact that occasionally we get a champion who has won fewer races than others illustrates this point.

    Keke won one race in his championship year while others won two or even three.  The problem was they couldn’t do it throughout the year whereas Keke just kept on harvesting the seconds, thirds and fourths in an inferior car.  He earned his championship and it would have been a travesty if one of the others had snatched it at the last.  Keke was mighty.

    It was also, strangely enough, one of the most exciting and nail-biting championships ever.

  41. however points are given, it’s the same for everyone…
    and keith do you think they aint going to race when a point is needed…and go for that fastest lap…then i would go for victory and let my teammate stel your one point with a fastest lap :)
    sounds fun to me :)

    fastest lap pole and most laps in the lead (2points maybe) and why not a point for everyone that was in the lead for a lap?

    The more points awared the more excited it can get…picture last years season finale with this included and all the possibilities:)

  42. If Bernie wants more overtaking then he should just make a policy, any overtaking manouvere made by a driver he will receive £2,000.

  43. Lets apply it for past seasons and see what happens
    First off, The 50s 1950 Farina Champion, he and Fangio both have 3 wins, Farina wins with a 4th place.1951 Fangio Champion and most wins, 31952 Ascari Champion and most wins, 61953 Ascari Champion and most wins, 51954 Fangio Champion and most wins, 61955 Fangio Champion and most wins, 41956 Fangio Champion and most wins, 2 ½ (Shared a car with Luigi Musso in Argentina)1957 Fangio Champion and most wins, 41958 Hawthorn Champion, MOSS HAS MOST WINS WITH 4!1959 Brabham Champion, he and Moss both have two wins and a 2nd, Brabham wins with two 3rd places. 
    So far little change but Moss gets a well deserved title!

  44. Woah, sorry about the crap formatting there! Lets try and do a little better

    Next stop, the 60’s
    1960 Brabham Champion and most wins 5
    1961 Phil Hill Champion, he, Moss and Von Trips all have two wins. Hill wins with two 2nds (same as Von Trips) and two 3rds.
    1962 Graham Hill Champion and most wins 4
    1963 Clark Champion and most wins 7
    1964 Surtees Champion, CLARK HAS MOST WINS WITH 3!
    1965 Clark Champion and most wins 6
    1966 Brabham Champion and most wins 4
    1967 Hulme Champion, CLARK HAS MOST WINS WITH 4!
    1968 Graham Hill Champion, He and Stewart both have 3 wins, Hill wins with three 2nd places.
    1969 Stewart Champion and most wins 6

    So this leaves us with Jim Clark a 4 time World Champion!

  45. Much better

    The 70s
    1970 Rindt Champion and most wins 5
    1971 Stewart Champion and most wins 6
    1972 Fittipaldi Champion and most wins 5
    1973 Stewart Champion and most wins  5
    1974 Fittipaldi Champion, he Reutemann and Peterson have 3 wins each, Fittipaldi wins with a 2nd place.
    1975 Lauda Champion and most wins 5
    1976 Hunt Champion and most wins 6
    1977 Lauda Champion, he and Andretti both have 4 wins, Lauda wins with six 2nd places.
    1978 Andretti Champion and most wins 6
    1979 Scheckter Champion, JONES HAS MOST WINS WITH 4!

    So Alan Jones is a Double World Champion, Frank Williams and Patrick Head always have held him in very high regard. 

  46. The 80s 1980 Jones Champion and most wins 5
    1981 Piquet Champion, he and Prost both have 3 wins, PROST WINS WITH TWO 2nds!
    1982 Rosberg Champion, Lauda, Watson, Prost, Arnoux and Pironi all have two wins, Prost, Watson and Pironi all have two 2nds. PIRONI WINS WITH TWO 3rds!
    1983 Piquet Champion and most wins, PROST HAS MOST WINS WITH 4!
    1984 Lauda Champion and most wins, PROST HAS MOST WINS WITH 7!
    1985 Prost Champion and most wins 5
    1986 Prost Champion, MANSELL HAS MOST WINS WITH 5!
    1987 Piquet Champion, MANSELL HAS MOST WINS WITH 6!
    1988 Senna Champion and most wins 8
    1989 Prost Champion, SENNA HAS MOST WINS WITH 6!
     The 90s
    1990 Senna Champion and most wins 6
    1991 Senna Champion and most wins 7
    1992 Mansell Champion and most wins 9
    1993 Prost Champion and most wins 7
    1994 Schumacher Champion and most wins 8
    1995 Schumacher Champion and most wins 9
    1996 Damon Hill Champion and most wins 8
    1997 Villenueve Champion and most wins 7
    1998 Hakkinen Champion and most wins 8
    1999 Hakkinen Champion and most wins 5

    WOW, how about the 80s! So Rosberg loses his only title, Lauda loses his last one, Piquet loses all three! and Prost loses 2 and gains 3! (Making him the first 5 time world champion since Fangio) Senna gains 1 and Mansell gains 2. I think most poignantly Didier Pironi wins the title in the Turbulent 1982 season.

  47. And finally….The Noughties!
    2000 Schumacher Champion and most wins 9
    2001 Schumacher Champion and most wins 9
    2002 Schumacher Champion and most wins 11
    2003 Schumacher Champion and most wins 6
    2004 Schumacher Champion and most wins 13
    2005 Alonso Champion, both he and Raikkonen have 6 wins, Alonso wins with five 2nd places.
    2006 Alonso Champion, both he and Schumacher have 7 wins, Alonso wins with seven 2nd places.
    2007 Raikkonen Champion and most wins 6

    So in summary, it certainly makes the great drivers more noticeable by Championship victories.
    7 – Schumacher (=)
    5 – Fangio (=) and Prost (+1 {+3,-2})
    4 – Clark (+2) and Senna (+1) (Two of the Icons of the Sport)
    3 – Brabham (=), Stewart (=) and Mansell (+2)
    2 – Ascari (=), Graham Hill (=), Fittipaldi (=), Lauda (-1), Jones (+1), Hakkinen (=) and Alonso (=).
    1 – Farina (=), Moss (+1), Phil Hill (=), Rindt (=), Hunt (=), Andretti (=), Pironi (+1), Damon Hill (=), Villeneuve (=) and Raikkonen (=)
    0 – Hawthorn (-1), Surtees (-1), Hulme (-1), Scheckter (-1), Piquet (-3) and Rosberg (-1)

    I can’t understand why Bernie is fired up about this now. It wouldn’t have changed a championship since 1989, 18 years ago!! 

  48. Love it Rabi,

    How about every overtaking move gets you a discount on your superlicense!

  49. the point system must be changed

  50. You surely opened a great thread this time Keith, but You and Bernie got it wrong.  Mark in post #47 has put an end to this discussion: "I can’t understand why Bernie is fired up about this now. It wouldn’t have changed a championship since 1989, 18 years ago!! "  18 years,  …… ‘it ain’t broken’, period!

  51. Well bernie may be out with his rethink on the points system – but with the news of a return to bbc – no adverts – HD broadcast – dolby sound – wide screen – also bbci for downloads to youre ipod/mobile – hasn’t he done wel for us all – only question who will present it for the beeb? – suggestions(murray is to old – but could be an occasional guest with a memories of previous  seasons spot) – what say you?

  52. Lets look at this scenario,
    Schumacher comes out of retirement, wins the first 2 races then goes back home.
    kimi takes over wins 3rd race and 17 times in second place
    Masa wins one race and 16 times in  third place
    Alonso wins one and 15 fourth places
    ….all other drivers win one race each and score some points..

    With just 2 wins and 16 no shows, Schumacher is world champion.

    However, we should never forget that a thousand 2nd places will never give u a 1st place

  53. Well, i don’t think that Kubica gave up on first and tried to settle for second on Australia after the start. He was slower than Hamilton and that was it. The reason for the fact that a guy in a pole wins more races is because of the clean air in front of him! If they change the race awards system, it should be only to increase the difference of points between first and second! Maybe the "only wins count" system gives nice races, or maybe the same boring ones, because the second can’t follow the first anyway, but it is unfair. It penalises the guys like Rosberg or Heidfeld or Kubica or in fact, everyone else who is not in a Ferrari or a Mclaren!
    I believe that we can count on the fact that wins are prestigious enought and that we always remember the winner and forget the second best. That should still give some
    motivation to the robots, sorry, drivers of these days…

  54. What about a point for those that overtake the most cars? Will make the efforts of the minnows worthwhile, (could even get to a reasonable place in the championship if you got the point every race) and would reward front runners if they get penalised to the back of the grid. Also for TV coverage, as the race gets more "settled" its another story to talk about  and gives some potential airtime to the smalller teams

  55. I don’t really like the idea of rewarding for getting pole, since that practically guarantees the race win anyway…  points for overtaking sounds good, but you’d have to be really careful – or I can see McLaren keeping Heikki in the pits, whilst Lewis "passes" him on the track, to take the win and the bonus point!

    What about, 10 for a win, if you were on pole. If you weren’t on pole, it’s 12. That creates a bigger difference from 2nd to 1st place!

  56. Good point Kirk, maybe overtaking your team mate shouldn’t count as it would be so open to abuse. For all the nitpickers out there, the points would be awarded at the end of the race, so you can’t yo-yo back and forth each lap racking up "positions"

  57. To Clive: Well said. Enough said. I’d advocate, do not fix what’s not broken just as well. Only, perhaps the 10,8,6… could be changed back to 10,6,4… I guess people, as you said, will not mind it too much since Schumacher is gone.

    To 48 Mark: Well said. Do not mind people from me country mate(India that is) and what they say though. More then 3/4th of them started taking an interest in it cos a)Nowadays it is fashionable to be associated with it and b)Force India (sic reasons i tell you) etc. More than a fair few of them do not have an idea what goes into it. It is quite sad that a large number of our populace is like that. Again, on the other hand, there are a lot of great people as well, but i do not want to bore you with that.

  58. So, if you followed a small team and they didn’t any points, it would make for many thousands of unhappy bunnies.

    I agree with the guys who say "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it"

  59. didn’t get any points

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