F1 links: Gold medal plan still on

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Just what the Doctor ordered

"Rossi appears not to take himself too seriously and remains a bit of a joker at heart – although he is deadly serious when it comes to winning races. One or two of the F1 drivers could take a leaf out of that book."

Ecclestone set on going for gold – Times Online

"Bernie Ecclestone, the sport's commercial rights-holder, confirmed yesterday that he is serious about dropping the points-based drivers' championship in favour of a medal-based title race, which he believes will make for more exciting racing." I still think it's a good idea

Lewis Hamilton steps off the podium and on to the postage stamp

"The Royal Mail is planning to honour Lewis Hamilton’s Formula One triumph with a commemorative set of stamps, The Times has learnt."

Honda burns record £147m in F1

"The Honda Formula One team has recorded the highest costs of any organisation in the sport, according to its latest accounts. Last year the team finished only eighth in the world championship but burned through £147m, with almost all the funding provided by the Japanese car company that owns the team."

Hamilton to race Hoy at Wembley

"Britain's triple Olympic cycling gold medallist Chris Hoy is to compete in a man versus machine race against Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton at Wembley." A nice PR stunt, but I'd rather see Hamilton going up against Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard, Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and the rest in the Race of Champions proper.

De la Rosa to test for Force India

"McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa is to drive for the Force India Formula One team today and tomorrow at the Barcelona circuit."

Bosch and Magnetti Marelli reveal KERS

"Several manufacturers of electronic devices or hybrid drive solutions are presenting their own KERS, designed to meet the Formula One regulations for 2009. Two of them, Bosch and Magnetti Marelli have disclosed the details of their respective systems."

These are articles I’ve found and bookmarked using Delicious. View my Delicious profile to see what else I’m reading and recommend other links to me.

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  • 88 comments on “F1 links: Gold medal plan still on”

    1. I still think this medal idea is too big a change away from what Formula 1 is essentially all about. You shouldn’t just revolutionise the basis of a sport after more than half a century.

      Giving 12 points for a win would be enough incentive, but it looks as though the wheels are in motion for the medals scheme. A real shame.

    2. This is disappointing – I’d prefer the season to concentrate on consistency. With the medal system its probable we’d have a champion with 6-7 brilliant performances and 10-11 retirements (pushing the car too much for the win).

      It also reduces the likelyhood of a final race showdown massively.

      Disappointed. :(

    3. Tom –

      I’d prefer the season to concentrate on consistency.

      Why? What’s so good about consistency? This is the part of the counter-argument I don’t get.

      F1 to me isn’t about racking up lots of seconds and thirds, it’s about winning, and the champion should be the driver who wins the most races.

      It also reduces the likelyhood of a final race showdown massively.

      I think it’s more important that the best man wins than we have a system that artificially creates final-race showdowns. Using that logic we’d end up having NASCAR’s horrible ‘chase for the cup’ system.

    4. F1 to me isn’t about racking up lots of seconds and thirds, it’s about winning, and the champion should be the driver who wins the most races.

      Okay, would you prefer the winner to score 5 wins and 12 retirements, or the winner to score 4 wins and 13 second places?

    5. I’m sure you could come up with any number of incredibly unlikely scenarios but I still think the champion should be the driver who wins the most races.

    6. On the Race of Champions story, the reason Hamilton can’t compete is because he’s at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.

    7. I still think the medals are a horrible idea. It just makes no sense at all.

    8. On the Race of Champions story, the reason Hamilton can’t compete is because he’s at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.

      There’s a saying where I’m from that goes: “If you want to, there’s always a way. If you don’t want to, there’s always an excuse.”

      A simple tweak to the points system (giving maybe 12 points instead of 10 for a win) would restore the balance between winning and consistency. We don’t need to sacrifice one for the other.

    9. Keith – do you think Bernie’s medal system will actually make much difference to the way drivers approach a race? Bernie says there will be more overtaking, presumably because anyone would chance a gold rather than go for a safe silver. Other than McLaren’s Interlagos strategy, how different would 2008 have been with a medals system?

    10. Other than McLaren’s Interlagos strategy, how different would 2008 have been with a medals system?

      Massa would have won despite relatively poor reliability and pitstop blunders. He might have been the best driver out there but the team has to be accountable.

    11. I really hope a medal system does’nt get introduced. As the first comment said you shouldn’t just change the system after 50+ years. If they want a win to be more significant to the standings just make the difference between 1st & 2nd points bigger.

      I wonder if we will soon have the suggestions of points for pole and fastest laps, sprint races, or weight handicaps for the driver that won last time out.

      They may work in other sports but to me it is not Formula 1.

    12. I agree the medals table system is an idea to be considered, however i would prefer the idea of re – introducing the old points system 10 – 6 – 4 ETC. Wasn’t it ecclestone that introduced the current point system?

    13. Its a bit counter intuitive because we’re so used to one particular system but i quite like the idea of medals. However could we not just ban pitstops? This would stop at least some of the tactical stuff.

    14. Another potential flaw with the system:
      Adrian Sutil in the Force India lucks into a third place early in the season after a safety car period. This places him higher than drivers who have raced their balls off to finish fifth or sixth in every race.

      After his third place, with the chances of another similar or better result extremely unlikely, he could coast for the rest of the year as his close rivals would have no chance of beating him in the championship.

      Is one third place worth more than 18 straight fourth places? I think not.

      The medal system might make it more exciting at the very front of the field, but I think mid-to-back of the grid racing could be stifled.

      Some drivers are fast. Some drivers are consistent. Its the drivers that are both that win championships. Consistency should be rewarded just as much as raw pace.

    15. Patrickl – It makes more sense to me than saying second place is 80% as valuable as a win, which is completely arbitrary. Winning is better than finishing second or anywhere else, so the champion should be the driver with the most wins. Makes perfect sense.

      Pete – If the safety car is artificially creating freak results (and we all know it is) then that’s a problem with the safety car rules.

      The purpose of the medals/points system is not to make up for deficiencies in other parts of the rule book, it should be to determine who is the most deserving champion based on their race results.

      Loads more on this:

      Bernie Ecclestone is right: ‘Gold medals’ would make F1 more exciting
      A new answer to the points argument
      Prizes for places, not points
      Places not points revisited
      The argument against championship points
      Hamilton leads title race – with no wins!
      The leaders are losers

    16. still wouldn’t be able to believe f1 without a points system… have they considered the 1988 system where they used the best 11 results? wouldn’t that encourage overtaking and going for the win too?

    17. have they considered the 1988 system where they used the best 11 results?

      No, please no, that would be even more confusing. Who wants to go into the final round try to remember not only how many more points each driver has to score than his rival, but also how many points they have to drop depending on which position they finish in? Terrible idea.

    18. Lewis Hamilton steps off the podium and on to the postage stamp

      Instant gratification thy name is :-?

      I look forward to OBE declared for McLaren doctor Aki Hintsa for his invaluable service by fixing Ron’s back, Lewis’s neck and not to forget for clipping Whitmarsh’s toe nail painlessly, All these were crtical part of 2008 campaign

    19. One or two of the F1 drivers could take a leaf out of that book

      .”

      Keith – I should say all of the F1 drivers should take a leaf out of that book.Its good on Rossi that he doesn’t enter the World of the Uptights in F1. Rossi is rare case of an “Adored” champion.Part of the reason is that he doesn’t take himself too seriously, while racing is important to him, Having fun also matters. :)

    20. Is there any racing series that uses a system similar to Bernies “medal idea”? I can’t think of one by the way… From MotoGP over WRC up to IndyCar, F3 or WTCC – there is a points system in every championship.

      And that is the point: You can’t introduce a system in the most important championship in motorsport that has not been proven in any other racing series.

    21. Nick Caulfield
      18th November 2008, 15:50

      This year in Spa, Hamilton lost a win to a controversial penalty with Massa gaining it. In Valencia, Massa won but would have finished second behind Hamilton had a penalty been correctly applied. With either one (or both) of those changed, then Hamilton would have had the most wins but in the final record he is down as having fewer.

      The trouble with the medals system is that a single additional win renders any other results worthless.

      We have seen penalties which appear arbitrary and inconsistent – certainly have produced great volumes of discussion.

      The medals system would put too much power in the hands of the stewards.

    22. Pete – If the safety car is artificially creating freak results (and we all know it is) then that’s a problem with the safety car rules.

      I do agree with that Keith, and I’m behind you 100% on the need to change the pitlane closure rules. But at the moment, whilst safety cars can create freak results in one Grand Prix, with the medal system they’d have a far bigger impact. I don’t want freak results in a season long championship.

      The medals system would put too much power in the hands of the stewards.

      Probably the exact reason Bernie is so keen on the idea!

    23. I’d be VERY disappointed if this whole medal thing came through. It’s just not F1, in my opinion. You don’t change the basis of the sport in this way.

      By the way, Bernie’s argument is that many sports work with medals, but I can’t think of any sport that just adds up medals for individual wins to decide a championship. Most, if not all major sports series use a points system of some kind.

      I agree that the current 10-8-6 system isn’t all that, but then again, how good was 10-6-4 or 9-6-4 for that matter? And how many times would the championship have gone to an other driver or team based on the different points systems used, besides 2008? I don’t have a list, but I gather it’s only a handful.

    24. ITS A DONE THING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! bernie has just announced it! http://www.f1live.com

      + de la rosa testing for Force India, which could prove spanish newspaper right de la rosa might be going to Force India next year, but then who is going Fisi or Sutil????

      + Keith is the blog the only job you have or do you work somewhere else?

    25. So much for cost-cutting; medals cost more money than points do.

      Instead of medals, I think increasing the points the winner gets to 12 or higher will be better, giving the win more credit.

      Besides, if the prize is really going to be a medal, it’ll be a little unglamorous. I prefer trophies (even if some are really ugly).

      Striay – The article says “The matter has been discussed by FIA President Max Mosley, but the details are yet to be worked out. Ecclestone’s system will require ratification by the World Motor Sport Council at its December meeting.” The headline’s misleading.

    26. we’ve been over this before, the medal system just simply doesnt work.

    27. For many drivers, one of the highlights of their careers has been first championship points. With this system, no longer. The milestones to reach through racing would be reduced to first podium, first win and first championship.

      I don’t know about others, but I’d be quite sad about that.

    28. By the way, Bernie’s argument is that many sports work with medals, but I can’t think of any sport that just adds up medals for individual wins to decide a championship.

      How about the Olympic games ? That works well enogh for me, nobody ever complains about that. If the medals system does encourage drivers to stop pussy-footing around and sitting behind waiting for pit stops then I’m for it.

    29. I know you feel strongly about the gold medal idea keith, and it would be more exciting. But the reason i really feel consistency should be rewarded is 2003 for example. Fisichella, after his win in the rain, and being nowhere for the rest of the season, would have finished 8th, ahead of drivers like Webber, who really worked their asses off all year!

    30. I certainly don’t like the current system. 8 points is too much for a 2nd place. But what are the options?

      1. Go back to 10-6-4: Well; this season we would have had mostly BMW, Mclaren and Ferrari getting all points.

      2. Medals: A little too much on the other extreme of the spectrum. Imagine this; Alonso & Kimi would have finished higher than Kubika; which would have been unfair.

      3. Go for 12-8-6: Seems like a median to the other options; but then, aren’t too many points being distributed?

      Personally; with overtaking to be on the rise next season and chances of broken front wings also high; I would go for ‘Medals’ system.

      It is also consistent with the ‘High-Risk-High-Return’ theory which holds true in every situation.

    31. Seeing as a lot of the replies to this post are opposed to the idea of the medal system, would it be worth setting up an online petition against it?

      Perhaps I’m jumping the gun somewhat but I can’t stress enough how strongly against this idea I am. Formula 1’s popularity has grown year after year with a points based championship. So far as I can tell, the system has worked fine for 59 seasons and on top of that, we’re coming off the back of one of the best championships in the history of the sport. There must always be change and progress in sport, but this is too much. Its just not Formula 1.

      The FIA endorses these fan surveys claiming they want our opinions to count. Would a petition make any difference?

    32. sumedh – Kimi did in fact finish higher than Kubica.

    33. McLaren doctor Aki Hintsa for his invaluable service by fixing Ron’s back, Lewis’s neck and not to forget for clipping Whitmarsh’s toe nail painlessly, All these were critical part of 2008 campaign

      are we talking an ingrowing toe nail?, or a black sock fluff covered nail?

      either way I concur, no way could he have concentrated on the pit wall while a grubby toe nail niggled in the back of his mind. GO ON LEWIS, WIN THE RACE FOR MARTINS TOE NAIL!

    34. This method would probably benefit Ferrari, as they’ve been fast but unreliable over the last few years. You can’t win the championship by winning 7 races and then not finishing in the other 10 – that’s ridiculous. Why not just incentivise the win with more points. I also think the lack of effort on Bernie’s part to save Canada has been appalling.

    35. @ Lee

      How about the Olympic games ? That works well enogh for me, nobody ever complains about that. If the medals system does encourage drivers to stop pussy-footing around and sitting behind waiting for pit stops then I’m for it.

      At the Olympics, athletes get medals for one event, e.g. the 100 meters, or pole vault or whatever, but not for a championship that runs for an entire season.

    36. Medals are a TERRIBLE IDEA!
      :(
      12 points for the winner would be much better
      :)

    37. Lustigson – Yes, but in the Olympic games, the athletes are representing their country, like the F1 drivers represent their teams. So the medals would just get added up, like in the Olympics.

    38. I’m for the medals system. Granted the final round was the most thrilling end imagineable, but in a medals system it would have been a winner takes all race between Massa and Hamilton and that would have been a much better way of deciding the title.

      The main arguments against seem to be that it would be unfair for someone to win 7 then DNF in 10 and win the title. But in all honestly, when does that ever happen?

      Also, the other argument appears to be that a freak result will mean someone finishes 7th instead of 10th in the Championship standings. Does that really matter? When does anyone discuss who finished outside the top 2 or 3?

    39. Adrian Sutil in the Force India lucks into a third place early in the season after a safety car period. This places him higher than drivers who have raced their balls off to finish fifth or sixth in every race.

      Actually we have an actual example from this season: according to Bernie medal system DC had a better season than Webber, despite even Red Bull claiming that they pretty much drove with only on driver the whole season.

      I’m sure you could come up with any number of incredibly unlikely scenarios but I still think the champion should be the driver who wins the most races.

      Not necessarily unlikely. Senna in 89 had 6 wins, a 2nd place, an 11th place, a disqualifaction and 7 DNFs. He was the fastest driver that year but he either win, blew his engine by pushing it to hard, spin or had an accident. And a win or wall driver maybe more deserving WDC than someone who pretty much just colect 2nd, 3rd and 4th places nearly every week (that season 3rd place Patrese, for example), but I do think someone that wins often and manages to be on good positions in most of the remaining races is more deserving even if he ends the season with one or tweo less wins then the first guy.

    40. As I see it, it’s easy to make any system look stupid with a suitably improbable example.

      The medals system is daft if you consider the unlikely scenario of one driver lucking into a couple of wins, then DNF’ing the rest of the season, while the remaining 16 races are won by 16 different drivers. One of those drivers has a mega season, and besides his 1 win, also has 17 second places to his name. But the medals system gives the WDC to the lucky guy with 2 wins and 16 DNFs, not the deserving guy with 1 win and 17 seconds. Under the points system, lucky guy would only have 20 points to deserving guy’s 146.

      The current points system is daft if you consider the unlikely scenario of 3 drivers battling for the win at each race (let’s call them Lou, Phil and Kim), while another (Heidi) chugs along behind them. Heidi gets 4th place in every race, never stepping onto the podium, but amassing a healthy 90 points. Lou, Phil and Kim slug it out meanwhile, with each scoring 6 wins apiece, but taking each other out in the remaining races (eg in a race Lou wins, Phil and Kim each score zero after a contretemps in the final chicane). The three winners each have only 60 points a piece, and Heidi wins by a country mile. You can make up your own scenario. Perhaps Phil wins 9 races with 9 DNFs, but Heidi manages to sneak a 3rd place in amongst all those fourths, and snags 91 points to Phil’s 90.

      But you’ve got to ignore the silly scenarios and look at the probable ones instead.
      Bernie says he wants to avoid a repeat of Interlagos where you have one driver fighting for the win, while another fights only for fifth place to secure the championship. I don’t actually see what’s wrong with that given that (a) Interlagos was the most heartstopping grand prix ever and (b) everyone watching either knew the situation or was told it by a commentator.

      What you do want to avoid is situations where drivers are happy to settle for second or even third place just to keep their points tally ticking away nicely, once they’ve realised that a win is out of the question or too much of a risk. The question is, would the medals system do this? Well, hell, maybe, so why not give it a go? Perhaps the reason why we haven’t (yet, as far as I know) heard angry screams from the teams about Bernie’s proposal is that it won’t actually make that much difference to their tactics or the racing.

      As someone (can’t remember who) pointed out in a post a few weeks ago, all systems are points systems, they simply award very different points to different positions. In a medals system with 18 races, you are effectively saying that a win is worth more than 18 second places, and a second place is worth more than 18 third places, etc. This means that (when there are 20 drivers), you get 1 point for coming last (20th), 19 points for coming 19th, 361 points for 18th, 6859 points for 17th, right up to 1,978,419,655,660,313,589,123,979 points for coming first. Of course, it’s easier to think of it in terms of medals.

      The two extreme points systems, therefore, are on the one hand the proposed medals system, and on the other, a points system which reflects all the finishing positions in a linear manner. That is, you award 20 points for a win, 19 for a second, down to 1 point for 20th (last) place. The current points system is nearer to the latter.

      Ultimately, I don’t think it will make a huge amount of difference to the racing or the outcome of the championship. But I’m all for change, so I’ll vote with Keith on this one.

      My one plea is that whatever system the FIA adopts, it is a very simple one. Awarding extra points here and there for qualifying laps, fastest laps, etc is just plain silly. You might as well scrap the racing altogether and bring in a panel of judges who award points out of six for style and artistic merit.

    41. Sure winning is more important than coming second. Sure winning should be rewarded higher, but second places should be counted when you try to rank the overall accomplishments. In my perception, a driver with 5 wins and 2 second places is not better than one with 4 wins and 4 second places.

      I’d rather see a driver who constantly fights for points (ie Lewis) win the championship rather than a driver in the fastest car who wins or simply gives up when he is out of the top 3 (ie Massa)

      The medal system does NOT promote racing either. Only a victory (or at the best a podium) counts so what’s the point of fighting for 6th place? At best we get more battles for the lead, but for all the other places drivers will lose the will to fight and rather save their engine/gearbox for the next race. Overall that will mean a lot less fighting on track.

      Would there have been any season where medals would have actually made the season ender more exciting? I’d say it’s more likely that the reverse is true. 2007 would have been a done deal before the final race.

      It’s just a poor example of “reactionary vision”. Ecclestone sees something he dislikes and his knee jerk reaction is to change things so this specific situation will not occur again, but in the end he breaks more than it repairs. Just like switching to the current points scheme in an effort to curb Schumacher’s lead. Which was completely ridiculous since it in fact made things only easier for Schumacher (just about the epitome of consistency). Just revert back to the previous point scoring system and you’ll get the same result with a lot less adverse side effects.

      The medal system will reward the driver in the fastest car. That’s what the constructor’s title is for. A good consistent driver who keeps fighting for the points doesn’t stand a chance if only wins count. Kubica would have been nowhere in this medal system. Now he was able to be a championship contender by fighting hard in his inferior car.

      Still one “lucky” win shouldn’t put a driver ahead of ones who another who has been performing at the same level all season. For instance Rosberg with one second place due to a safety car situation would rank just after Heidfeld who had a whole season of reasonably good results. Trulli would be punished for driving a solid season too, while Glock with only a few reasonable results would rank ahead of him.

      It’s just not a fair system. It’s based way too much on luck and not enough of commitment and actual skill. Especially for the mid fielders, but also for the top drivers.

      *steps off rant box*

    42. Hang on a minute amigos, I think the medal system would have been useful for someone like Michael Schumacher. At the begining of any season, he would have won the first 6 o 7 races in order to secure the championship and he would have taken it easy for the rest of the season. Medal system= failure

    43. The medal system does NOT promote racing either.

      Yes, it doesn’t. It does pretty much the opposite. As an example, why would Lewis seriously bother with Monza? He is 15th on the grid and has almost no shot of winning and it would took a lot to even getting into a podium. It would be better to just cut the losses, start to think on next weekend and play it safe (the same goes for every other time where for one reason or other he was suddenly in the middle of the pack like Magny Cours or Fuji). Even Massa, who is indeed a perfect driver for this system, had a very good race in Montreal where Ferrari didn’t fuel him and he had to do an extra pit, under the new system he would just cut his losses and get over whatever slower cars are ahead of him, there’s no differance for him at being 5th or 10th, the likelyhood for that extra 5th being decisive to the title is ver unlikely. It’s even worse at the smaller teams. Just look at Vettel after he win in Monza (which was avery deserving win and not just amatterr of luck) why would he bother at all for the remaining of the season? He had no shot of score the same podiums that Kubica and Heikki had and no real reason to fight for a 5th or 6th place anymore as he already would be as high as he could on both the drivers and constructors championships.

      A good race is not just about a good fight for #1, that’s always wonderful when it happens, but this rule wouldn’t change the fact that in F1 usually whoever has the best car for the weekend will probably have some decent advantage over the 2nd. Yes, if Lewis or Massa are going 2nd just 1,5s from the first they may go for it in the final lasps, but how often does this happen? I just look at this seasons results, guess what? It happened once: Spa, and Lewis and Kimi went for it like two crazy men on dry tyres in a wet track. The only other time someone had an actual shot to try something would be Piquet Jr in Hockeheim and even them I suspoect Renault who would still had zero medals till them with little perspective of getting into the top 3 again would just tell him that it would be best to have the silver medal than risking a spin or collision.

      On the other hand, Ferrari would have no reason for let his two drivers going for the win when they have a shot at a 1-2, better to have a clear #1 to score most of the wins. Also, we would have a much higher number of small teams going for crazy strategies to try to get into the top3. If it goes wrong and a 6th turns into a 16th it’s ok as 6th is nearly worthless anyway, if it goes right they get a unexpected 3rd place. I have nothing against a team attempting a different strategy, but it would be very annoying if instead of climbing positions everyone start to try to pull a Heidfeld in Spa or Barrichello in Silverstone.

    44. Patrick, good explanation. I have got another idea: imagine Michael Schumacher taking part in the next season with Felipe Massa as a team mate then Schumy leading most of the races and Massa well placed in secon position and out of the sudden Schumy allows Massa to overtake him and Massa goes on to winning most of those races would have Massa been a worthy winner?

    45. I think there are a couple other issues to consider.

      Medals makes sense to me for the top drivers as I think it promotes the best driving in each race just like how an olympic athlete puts in their all for one event. It might help Kimi with motivation too :) But the competition could become much narrower this way as only drivers with a good car are in the spotlight. Kubica drove consistently well, but would not be anywhere close to Kimi based on medals.

      As well, the spotlight would be stuck at the top tier and unintentionally ignore the rest of the field. Less attention would be paid on Webber out-scoring DC, but DC would get a blip of attention for getting on the podium.

      The larger problem I find is with the constructors. Medals do not reward things such as consistency (outside of Ferrari/McLaren) and doesn’t distinguish mediocrity either. Toro Rosso would be just as good as BMW for gold medals. We would also not be watching whether Force India was going to score a point during the season because they would be non-news under the medals system.

      I think the biggest downfall is that we would take away the biggest strength of the points system which is to flush out the character in the rest of the field by giving a way to measure them. I think the medals would make the top end more exciting, but it could make the overall competition more dull. Points system is the saving grace of football (it makes it fun to see who’s fighting for a UEFA spot or close to relegation) and it might help F1 middleclass to be interesting.

      Having said all that, I think the best compromise is to reward the podium winners with much more points, but keep the points for 4th to 8th.

    46. If they want to change the points system just make a bigger gap between the points for first and second rather than adopting medals. The titles gone to the person whos won the most races all but twice in the last 20 years anyway so there isnt a lot wrong with the system. Besides, it would be nice to have a bit of stability in f1 for a change.

    47. No no no no no!!!!!

      It’s the worst idea EVER

      It’s completely CARP

      Why can’t they leave it alone for God’s sake

      If this idea comes to pass, then 2009 will be the last season I’ll be watching

    48. @Chris

      The titles gone to the person whos won the most races all but twice in the last 20 years anyway so there isnt a lot wrong with the system.

      And as I understood, with the old scoring scheme (of 10-6-4-3-2-1) Massa would have been wdc this year as well (or Hamilton would have had needed to become second in the final race to claim the championship). So that would largely solve Ecclestone’s problem too and it would still be a whole lot more fair.

      Wasn’t Ecclestone actually the one who came up with the current 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scheme? That would mean he wants to correct his previous mistake by an even bigger mistake?

      Anyway you look at it, it doesn’t make sense to start using medals to rank the drivers.

      On average it doesn’t matter much either, so the teams probably don’t really care (they still get their points anyway). So, I’m very afraid that this ridiculously poorly thought out system might actually make it for 2008.

      We can look forward to anther year of pointing out how the people who lead this circus yet again made the wrong decision. Just as with the poorly thought out (if not inherently malicious) stewarding system for this year.

      ps I was looking at who changed the point scoring system for 2003 and noticed that seasons outcome. Raikkonen came second with only a single win all year (and still only 2 points behind due to a whole lot of second places). With the medals Raikkonen would have been 5th and Schumacher would have been champion with still 2 races to go. Talk about a loss of excitement that this dumb system would have caused.

    49. I have a feeling Bernie is trying to distance F1 from all other motorsport and make it ‘unique’ in order to attract sponsors, moneymen, and supposedly new manufacturers, teams and drivers too.
      So he has to make it appear different, and what is easier to begin with than the points system? No doubt somebody has told him about the Olympics and other athletic events where all that matters is Gold, Silver and Bronze, and forgetting that behind these places its the fact that athletes are always looking to improve their Personal Bests and Team Bests as well, and that they are doing it for their country/town/family as much as themselves. Is Bernie going to be rewarding medals to the teams too? I think not. This is also the beginning of the movement away from a ‘team’ sport and concentrating on the drivers only, which won’t please the teams or their sponsors.
      Great to hear that Bosch and Magnetti Marelli are designing KERS systems. Surely MM are tied in with Ferrari already?

    50. In Olympics, it works because everything below Bronze is not counted at all; doesn’t matter if you’re 4th or 60th, you get nothing. However, here we have 20 odd drivers fighting for places and have to be ranked accordingly. Every place counts to your final position.

    51. I presume Ecclestone refers to this as a ‘medals’ system for convenience, and does not intend to ignore the positions fourth and below. That would be madness, because it’s not unlikely that the top three drivers in a season could have the same number of firsts, seconds and thirds.

      Assuming fourth and below are counted, this is an excellent idea.

    52. Instead of ridiculing a plan that probably wont come in (at least not this season)surely its worth discussing alternatives ?

      The point system works but it isnt flawless, currently drivers in good cars can hoover up 5, 6 and 8 points and stay in the title race without ever exciting the skin off a rice pudding.

      The reason the 10 6 4 3 2 1 was changed was because it gave MS too much advantage but hes not around anymore so id suggest something like 15 9 5 4 3 2 1 with another 2 points available for the most overtakes by someone finishing in the points – not including your team mate. This would give a real benefit to a driver chasing down a win or podium and even make a point worth chasing down if you’ve come through the field.

      Basically you need to incentivise risk taking

      So, for example, you could have a secondry column like goal difference in football which shows the number of overtakes and in the event of a tie on points the overtakes colomn decides position.

      Also drivers are competitive animals, if a Webber is 12th in the rankings but has the most overtakes, that gives him more credibility than a Piquet who mightve got a lucky 8 points but who only overtakes the pits.

    53. antonyob:

      I’m not too keen on the “most overtakes” idea. Drivers in the faster cars might play dirty and slow down intentionally, so they can get the 2 extra points. It’s far-fetched but anything can happen.

    54. chris y

      As we know, f1 teams will try anything to gain advantage and the law of unintended consequence means that whatever is changed could end up farcical.

      But if you start from the view point of incentivising risk taking then you just withdraw the rule if its not working. Otherwise we’d still have turbine driven f1 cars.

    55. antonyb:

      Alright, I see your point.

      Though I don’t particularly like the “most overtake” idea, I like 15 9 5 4 3 2 1, or at least 13 9 6 5 4 3 2 1.

    56. Keith, the plan with 4th and below is to count them only when there are no medals. Which is fine except that the further down the grid you go, the more (very occasionally) lucky drivers will get rewarded over skilful and consistent ones.

      The problem that there will be no incentive to race if there is no chance of equalling your personal-best place (or at least the place below it as an insurance measure). In fact, with the long-life rules (which are admittedly foolish), the incentive would usually be to park up the moment this fact was noted and not race at all.

      Luckily, some F1 drivers will carry on racing anyway simply because they love racing, which will mask the flaws in the plan. This is why my instinctive next paragraph citing Alonso at Singapore as an example when a good result would have been denied this way wasn’t typed – Fernando is the type to push harder when things look impossible. However, anyone feeling demotivated by the system (especially someone scoring a good result early and falling back because their team hasn’t kept up with the development pace – a common situation, especially with unequal finances, which is also a lousy thing) will not continue. The constructor’s championship is still supposed to be done by the current points system, but how much influence does a team have over a demotivated driver at the back of the circuit who could claim some phantom “driveability” problem or other technical fault when returning to the pits? Sure, they can fire the driver afterwards, but the damage to their wallets for next year and our enjoyment in this year is already done by then.

      The medals system only works for events where everyone has the same motivation to win, which generally restricts it to single events. This is why the Olympics only dishes out medals in the finals, using the “X to go through” rule or standard knock-out procedures beforehand. At each stage, they use an appropriate incentive for the competitors. F1 is a 17-race event and as a result, some fluidity in the performances is to be expected. Medals do not account for that fluidity. It is also more likely to take an inherantly below-average situation and make things a lot worse. Points would be at least as bad for the Olympics as medals for F1. (Note that “X to go through” doesn’t work very well in NASCAR, except for some of the NASCAR devotees. To outsiders, it looks like everything before the elimination events doesn’t count for much. The reason why it functions at all is because many drivers don’t seriously expect to make the Chase anyway and a fair number of the rest assume they will).

      Granted, the system would make calculating the end result much, much simpler. But simplicity is only a virtue when combined with encouraging sport

    57. The stupid thing is that for most drivers the medal system doesn change a single thing. Only the drivers who work hard all year and get consistent results will get beaten by poorly performing drivers with a lucky result.

      It will make a lot of seasons a lot less exciting though. Now drivers stay close in points, but if only wins count things can end a lot sooner.

      It’s the most stupid idea and it doesn’t solve anyhting that a point based system can’t.

      I’m shocked that ecclestone is so shortsighted. Didn’t he try his medal system on old season results? Why must F1 always be an experiment for bad ideas (grooved tyres, less progressive point system, rotating stewards)

    58. Another thought: there’s another reason why the Olympics medals system works, at least in most of the sports that take place in it. The performances generally count in some way towards the wider sporting framework. If it’s something like swimming, you will get an entry time from your Olympic competition, even if you don’t qualify for the Olympic final. That time can be used to access better-quality competitions and quicker heats in those competitions. This is important because the closer your rival’s performances are to your own, the better you will perform.

      In sports like boxing where the ranking system is more complicated, you still rise and fall on the pecking order according to your success. The Olympics is the highest-ranking amateur-only boxing match in the world, to take an example. Doing a halfway decent performance in that can make your reputation.

      In F1, reputations are, for the most part, made over much longer periods of time. There are occasions when a driver has a seminal inspirational moment that demonstrates their ultimate talent level, but usually it’s an accumalation of several good performances that raises reputation. You can’t easily use a performance in F1 to get access to competitions elsewhere, and even if you could the typical driver contract prohibits all but the most stage-managed of non-F1 racing duties. So the lack of an implicit incentive scheme would count against an F1 medal system too.

    59. Alianora, I see where you are going with this argument:
      During Q1 5 cars are eliminated. In Q2 another 5. Leaving 10 cars to race for 3 ‘medals’. Why should the other 10 cars even bother to race, since the chances of them getting into the top 10 are very slim, even in dramatic weather conditions.
      The cars are being made more reliable, the aim is for them to have equal power, so 10 out of 20 drivers would do just as well to go home and have more practice sessions before the next ‘race’.

    60. DG – I think that’s completely wrong. The current system gives drivers in lower places less incentive because they know if they don’t finish inside the top eight they won’t score points. But if we swap points for a simple ranking based on positions then ninth, tenth etc… places will have a greater tangible value.

      For example, as far as the points system is concerned this year, Sutil and Fisichella tied on zero points. But if we use positions to rank the drivers, Fisichella finished ahead because he had a tenth place finish but Sutil’s best was 13th.

    61. @ Keith (60) – You’re absolutely correct. With the medals system, it is NOT the case that places below bronze are ignored. EVERY place is important, down to the last finisher, and in that way it is superior to the current points system, and will benefit the slower teams. However, we haven’t yet heard how the system will be implemented, so we’ll have to hope the FIA doesn’t make its usual cock up.

    62. I am a big Lewis fan and I can see that he’d have lost this years title if it had gone on Bernies new medal scheme. Fair enough…we can see that Ferrari have probably gone crying to him again to change stuff for them.
      However, I actually think the medals plan is a good one. Provided we get full time ex drivers as race stewards….the reason? To allow drivers to overtake (which is what the medals scheme is supposed to encourage) whilst not being hauled back by amatuers for manouveres seen by them as illegal.

      By all means…bring in medals….but let the drivers race eh?

      Unless it’s a McLaren overtaking then dock them all medals at the start of the season for daring to overtake a red car!!!:)

    63. I was originally dead against the medal system, but think of it another way;

      the driver with the lowest ‘score’ at the end of the season is the winner.

      Forget the round, shiny (actual) medals for a second and think of what they repesent:

      Gold = 1
      Silver = 2
      Bronze = 3

      This system runs all the way down to the last place man, so…

      18th place = 18
      19th place = 19
      20th place = 20

      Simple. Add the ‘scores’ up at the end of the season and the driver with the lowest, wins.

      That’s how the medal system works.

    64. … sorry, I should add:

      “that’s how the medal system works for those outside of the top 3

      Obviously the winner of the championship will still be the one with most 1st places.

    65. Harrison – That’s not how it works. In your example, a driver with a win and a third would occupy the same rank as a driver with two seconds; under the medals system the driver with the win would be ahead.

    66. Keith, but this is already used and Fisichella was listed ahead in most end of season sheets (including FIA oficial ones), but almost no one notices because no one cares for the guys that scored zero points and no one would care for the guys with zero medals. So it doesn’t matter that Webber was competitive most of the year he did still get zero. And ranking drivers with zero points by best result has always create some complete absurd results like Tarso Marques beating Alonso in 2001.

    67. May be; we should have a medals+points system.

      Points being awarded from 4th to 8th. And points being considered only if; there is a tie in all the 3 medal counts.

      So, for drivers who never stepped on podium; they will be graded by the points system. But of course; they will all be ranked lower than any other driver; who got a podium.

    68. sumedh

      thats the system we’ve got!

    69. No antonyb; we have a complete points based system.

      Under this medal+points system; a driver would 18 4th places would be ranked higher among all drivers who didn’t finish on the podium.

      Under pure medal system: such a driver would be regarded equal to all those who didn’t finish on the podium

    70. oh yeh doh! been looking at this too long!!

    71. Ok so I dont like to judge something untill I see it my self. So Here is the breakdown of what would be the final places “if” we had the medal system in this year. The way I see this working is, he who has the most gold wins, then silvers then bronzes then we go to the highest non meadle position and then the one after that. This is the break down of the final standing and then what “if” we had the meadle system in place. Let me know wha you all think.

      Points Medals G/S/B/Higest Non
      Hamilton 98 Massa 6/4/3
      Massa 97 Hamilton 5/2/3
      Raikkonen 75 Raikkonen 2/2/5
      Kubica 75 Alonso 2/1/0
      Alonso 61 Kubica 1/3/3
      Heidfeld 60 Kovalainen 1/1/1
      Kovalainen 53 Vettel 1/0/0
      Vettel 35 Heidfeld 0/4/0
      Trulli 31 Rosberg 0/1/1
      Glock 25 Glock 0/1/0/4(x2)
      Webber 21 Piquet 0/1/0/4(x1)
      Piquet 19 Trulli 0/0/1/4(x1)
      Rosberg 17 Barrichello 0/0/1/6(x1)
      Barrichello 11 Coulthard 0/0/1/7(x1)
      Nakajima 9 Webber 0/0/0/4(x1)
      Coulthard 8 Nakajima 0/0/0/6(x1)/7(x2)
      Bourdais 4 Button 0/0/0/6(x1)/9(x1)
      Button 2 Bourdais 0/0/0/7(x2)
      Fisichella 0 Fisichella 0/0/0/10(x1)
      Sutil 0 Sutil 0/0/0/15(x1)
      Sato 0 Sato Out after round 4
      Davidson 0 Davidson Out after round 4

      To me this makes the most scince cause if you to a meadle systme and base it on points you could still have someone with less gold and less points if you do a 1-20 play. That is my 2cents. I would love to hear what you all think

    72. Well it looked better before I hit the submitt so I hope you can get what I was going for.

    73. Another way to see the meadal system for this year would be this.

      Massa +1, Hamilton -1, Riakkonen NC, Alonso +1, Kubica -1, Kovalaine +1, Vettel +1, Heidfeld -2, Rosberg +4, Glock NC, Piquet +1, Trullie -3, Barrichello +1, Coulthard +2, Webber -4, Nakajima -1, Button +1, Bourdais -1, Fisichella NC, Sutil NC, Sato NC, Davidson NC

    74. Another way to see the meadal system for this year would be this.

      Massa +1, Hamilton -1, Riakkonen NC, Alonso +1, Kubica -1, Kovalaine +1, Vettel +1, Heidfeld -2, Rosberg +4, Glock NC, Piquet +1, Trullie -3, Barrichello +1, Coulthard +2, Webber -4, Nakajima -1, Button +1, Bourdais -1, Fisichella NC, Sutil NC, Sato NC, Davidson NC

      So, Heidfeld, Trulli and Webber hard worker guys that had good seasons by getting results very often got punished, while Rosberg who got a 3rd place thanks to a crazy race with lots of DNFs and a 2nd with a big hand of slow stewards and DC who only scored in races where the safety car played to his strategy got the big benefits.

    75. Keith, the separation by position already gets used as a tie-break. This is why Hamilton could not settle for a sixth place, because the positions would have been used as a tie-break. Fisichella technically finished ahead of Sutil in 2008 whichever system is used (I say technically because that far down the list, the points or lack thereof and the general ambience of the intra-team battles are generally considered more important than the resultant positions).

      However, I think DG took my point further than I intended. In the first race there is incentive for everyone (because they haven’t got a benchmark). In any race when a driver looks like meeting or exceeding that benchmark, there will be incentive, even if the benchmark was a 20th place finish. So it’s not necessarily the case that the bottom 10 will have no reason to race. Unfortunately, neither is it necessarily the case that the bottom 10 will have reason to race either (at least from the driver’s perspective).

      While every place is important, they only become important some of the time. This is as opposed to the current system, where the top 8 places are always important and the ones below rarely are.

    76. Indeed Jess, that shows that for most drivers it doesn’t really matter if the medals system is used or not. Only the consistent workers get robbed and the lucky people get the rewards. Completely ridiculous.

      What does it solve? Nothing. We would get a lot less fighting because for the top contenders saving the engine becomes more important than the off chance that they might get a lucky win after something went wrong. Forget any overtaking races from the top drivers in the future.

      Will we get more fighting for the lead? No. Why not, because there just isn’t a possibility for the drivers to do so. Otherwise they would be fighting for the lead already (like they were in Spa, Hockenheim etc)

      Why mess up the whole system just so you can “fix” a problem ONLY for the no 1 spot and in doing so damaging the system for all drivers behind? When will the madness end?

      Just change the points back to the way it was before they screwed it up and you have the same result, but in a fair way. Where it actually measures the skill and not the luck.

    77. Only the consistent workers get robbed and the lucky people get the rewards.

      The ‘luck’ factor isn’t the fault of the points system, it’s the fault of the safety car rules, which I think everyone is agreed needs fixing. It’s not a reason not to use this system.

      Will we get more fighting for the lead? No.

      I don’t think you can say that conclusively until you’ve seen the system in a real world scenario. This year at Hockenheim Massa had too much to risk trying to keep Hamilton behind – the reward for keeping Hamilton back would have been greater under the ‘medals’ system, so we might have seen a bit more action there. And there’s the example of Hamilton at Singapore that’s been mentioned before.

      There will always be misgivings about a new system, because no system is perfect. But ‘medals’ trumps the alternatives because it makes the driver who does the most winning the world champion. That’s the most important thing a championship system has to do, and ‘medals’ does it best.

    78. To Keith,

      I agree about there is no perfect system, but points racing is a part of racing, sometimes when I others have bad days you either capitalize or you go for the safe bet. I dont think it is pretty but I wont say it is wrong, Sometimes the best thing to do is take the safe road and it can work out. On a personal note I will again reserve judgement untill I see something in action. But if there is another year of the stewards problem, I may not be back for the next year. So lets hope for a great year of fare and competitive racing in F1. (and Le Mans and NASCAR and NHRA, IRL, Grand-Am) LOL, sorry I could not resist, I love racing.

    79. The ‘luck’ factor isn’t the fault of the points system, it’s the fault of the safety car rules, which I think everyone is agreed needs fixing. It’s not a reason not to use this system.

      The safety car issue only adds to the problem. With medals, most drivers will basically be ranked on their single best season result. Not on their overall season performance. That’s just plain wrong whichever way you look at it.

      There will always be misgivings about a new system, because no system is perfect. But ‘medals’ trumps the alternatives because it makes the driver who does the most winning the world champion. That’s the most important thing a championship system has to do, and ‘medals’ does it best.

      Why should the driver with the most wins have to be champion? That makes no sense. The driver who performed BEST over the whole season should be champion. Just counting the most wins doesn’t necessarily have to get the same result.

      Obviously it just about has for the the last 20 seasons (as someone said earlier). So because your golden rule hasn’t been fulfilled twice in the last 20 seasons we need to toss out the whole system? Let alone that there is no sense in that golden rule anyway.

      I really don’t see why getting two second places isn’t just as good as a win (if not better). A ranking system that properly takes into account all achievements over a whole season is superior in any way to just counting wins.

      I’m shocked that you don’t see the unfairness in this medals system. Or that we really don’t actually need this system.

      There realy is a fundamental reason that no sport uses the “most wins wins” system. Every motor sport event uses points. Even soccer counts draws in the rankings.

      Then there is the inherent loss of close championships. Look at 2003 where medals would have decided the championship two races before season end instead of the nail biting season finale that we actually got. I can’t be bothered to check all seasons, but it seems logical that medals will end seasons a lot sooner than before (and in unspectacular fashion) and thus actually rob us of excitement rather than that they bring any extra.

      Apart form the fact that it would heap more ridicule onto F1 once again.

      Why fix something that aint broke? Just give the No 1 spot two more points and you have the exact same “fix” with much less destructive side effects.

    80. remember when this used to be racing?

    81. I’m not sure why this medals issue has provoked such a storm. As several commenters have pointed out, if the medals system had operated in 2008 the outcome would have been very little different.

      Only Rosberg and Webber would have jumped 4 places (in opposite directions), but their lowly positions make this relatively unimportant. The front runners would only have moved one place, or none at all.

      There seems to be a desire to ensure that any system is ‘fair’, by reducing the benefit of lucky or undeserved results. Unfortunately, there is no system that can do this, except for a panel of judges deciding subjectively how to rate each driver’s performance. Not even Max would suggest that.

      However, there is a way to reduce the impact of good/bad luck, and it has nothing to do with any rule changes. The teams wouldn’t like it and Bernie would hate it. You simply increase the number of races in a season. The longer the season, the smaller the impact of random factors on any one driver.

    82. I’m not sure why this medals issue has provoked such a storm. As several commenters have pointed out, if the medals system had operated in 2008 the outcome would have been very little different.

      Indeed so what’s the point to begin with? Especially since the only differences that it does make are faults.

      It’s not just Rosberg and Webber. Trulli, Heidfeld and Coulthard move 2 or 3 places in the wrong direction as well.

      Increasing the number of races doesn’t help (unless you are thinking about massively increasing the number of races). That’s essentially the biggest flaw in the medals system. For many drivers it would still largely be only their highest single race result that counts. So at best you’d have a few more drivers with a lucky result.

      Indeed with the points system having more races would rule out luck the more races you have. To get rid of luck in the medals system you’d need to have hundreds of races.

    83. @Patrickl – I think the problem with the points system as Bernie sees it is for example that a driver with 9 wins and 9 DNFs finishes behind a driver with 17 fourth places and 1 third place. Bernie thinks a win is worth more than 2 fourth places. In fact, he thinks 1 win is worth more than any number of second places, and believes that a medal ranking system would encourage more drivers to go for gold rather than settle for a few safe points. I’m not sure it will make much difference to the racing, but I don’t think it will be a disaster either.

      My point about luck is simply the greater the number of races, the less the element of luck, whatever scoring system is used. If the season had just one race, then the outcome would be hugely effected by luck. e.g, one slip by the mechanic with the refuelling rig would ruin your entire season, not a small fraction of it. If you have plenty of races and still have a problem with the refuelling rig at each race, that’s not back luck – it’s a problem with the rig or the mechanic.

      Every race you add to the calendar reduces the effect of individual random incidents. I don’t see how the medals system is particularly prone to anomalous results in this way.

      Medal proponents would disagree with you that the only differences that a medal system makes are faults. They say Massa winning more races is more important than Hamilton’s larger collection of lower placed finishes. They say Rosberg’s podiums are more important than other drivers’ much larger collection of lower placed finishes. I’m not sure I would disagree with that.

    84. @John Spencer

      Well true, the current point system favors consistent drivers too much, but who changed the points from the previous 10-6-4-3-2-1 to the current scheme?

      Medal proponents would disagree with you that the only differences that a medal system makes are faults. They say Massa winning more races is more important than Hamilton’s larger collection of lower placed finishes.

      Massa being behind Hamilton is not “fixed” by the medals system. That problem stems from the fact that they screwed up the points scheme. The medals system changes the ranking too much. That’s the fault. Rosberg shouldn’t be 4 places up. Webber not 4 places down.

      Try the current season result with the 10-6-4-3-2-1 points and you get a much more reasonable result.

      BTW I don’t think someone with 9 DNF’s should be champion even if he has 9 wins.

    85. A large part of the reason why Massa is behind Hamilton in the points system is because Massa made errors in more races. Granted, these were usually smaller errors than Hamilton’s, but they ended up counting for a lot. The best fix would be for Massa to make fewer mistakes.

      It was a rather error-strewn championship this year, which is why I thought Kubica should have won it. But no manipulation of the championship will make that happen because of the way his championship eventually faded.

    86. I hate the idea, I think it will completely demoralise the smaller teams like Force India or Honda, there’s hardly any chance of them racing if you only score for a top 3 finish. I’ve been trying to find an online petition against the move but alas my search has been in vein could anyone help me? Thanks!

    87. how about giving different points to drivers and manufacturers. say, 10pts to the winner, 3pts to the 2nd, 1pt to the 3rd. manufacturer points are exactly the same as the present system.

    88. Mr Ecclestone is a control freak and I’m glad he has had to lose face re his stupid medal idea. In 100 meters one man runs a race, in F1 the driver is just one part of many pieces (driver,car, engineers, pit crew) that come together to get the end result – the two can’t be compared.

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