F1 to use ‘medals’ system in 2009

Prost scored the most points but wasn\'t champion in 1988 - it could happen again

Prost scored the most points but wasn't champion in 1988 - it could happen again

The FIA has surprisingly announced it will introduce a variant of the medals system proposed by Bernie Ecclestone in 2009.

This comes despite the F1 teams association recommending a change to the points system which it claimed had the support of fans.

However the FIA will retain points to decide the other championship positions.

Many F1 fans on this website have voiced their disapproval of the medals system in the past. I still think the medals system has merit and have said so for some time, so I have somewhat mixed feelings about this outcome.

An FIA statement said:

The WMSC accepted the proposal from Formula One Management to award the drivers? championship to the driver who has won the most races during the season. If two or more drivers finish the season with the same number of wins, the title will be awarded to the driver with the most points, the allocation of points being based on the current 10, 8, 6 etc. system.

The rest of the standings, from second to last place, will be decided by the current points system. There is no provision to award medals for first, second or third place. The Constructors? Championship is unaffected.

The WMSC rejected the alternative proposal from the Formula One Teams? Association to change the points awarded to drivers finishing in first, second and third place to 12, 9 and 7 points respectively.

Here are the World Motor Sports Council’s decisions in full.

More on the F1 rules changes

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440 comments on F1 to use ‘medals’ system in 2009

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  1. Ronan said on 17th March 2009, 13:48

    This is a joke, right?

    • Sadly not.

    • Kovy said on 18th March 2009, 0:12

      I’m torn between supporting this, and not supporting.

      It will definitely make drivers in the top three positions race more aggressively for the lead, but if one of those top drivers ends up in the mid field (perhaps because of a tyre puncture), they won’t race as hard, as a point or two will make little difference to their title challenge.

      It’s good to have points still remaining, though, as it provides a little continuity with past seasons (mainly for the record books.)

      In the end, I think I would prefer the point system Keith pointed out, with 15 for a win, 10 for a second, etc.

    • Katie said on 21st March 2009, 0:05

      New medals system where championship winner is driver with most race wins is not being implemented this year after all. WHOOPEE

      Motorsport’s world governing body FIA made the climbdown late on Friday in face of opposition from leading drivers such as Lewis Hamilton and the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) who said it would challenge the decision.
      “If, for any reason, the Formula One teams do not now agree with the new system, its implementation will be deferred until 2010,” FIA said in a statement, effectively bowing to the demands.

      So all we need to hope for is that the powers that be see sense b4 next year.

  2. GQsm said on 17th March 2009, 13:50

    FFS
    What a farce. The sooner Bernie and Max are gone the better for F1, FOTA should be running the show.

    • Bernie is loosing his grip on reality. His persuit of TV ratings is turning this sport into a farce:

      “F1 is a happening, a show. If you want racing go to the horses”
      Bernie Ecclestone

  3. I hope they’re not starting the year as the plan to continue – with the majority of fans HATING THEIR DECISIONS!

  4. MattJ said on 17th March 2009, 13:52

    You’ve gotta be kidding me!!?

    FIA to FOTA and Fans: UP YOURS!!

    This is gonna be a mess

  5. RichP said on 17th March 2009, 13:52

    Have just seen this on BBC News. Can’t believe it. Ridiculous.

  6. Keirde said on 17th March 2009, 13:53

    That pretty much wipes away the excitement I had for the 2009 season. What an absolute joke.

    • Katie said on 18th March 2009, 12:29

      The new rule to award championship to the driver with most wins is ridiculous. The current point system was perfect, when will these people realise if it aint broke dont fix it. Where does this new rule leave the smaller teams with not much hope of wins, on the points system they still had a chance if they could consistently pick up points. I Can assure you that when it becomes clear half way through the championship that one driver cant be beaten, viewing will drop drasticly and interest in F1 overall is gonna drop. We are gonna lose the nail biting finishes over the last few races. These rules will encourage TEAM ORDERS and will also reward aggresive and unsafe overtaking tactics. Absolutely ridiculous. About time F1 got rid of the FIA and there idiotic, self motivated rule changes. its time to show them the F1 supporters opinion matters. After 25years I am considering giving up on F1 altogether.

  7. BaKano said on 17th March 2009, 13:53

    Unbelievable!

  8. maff said on 17th March 2009, 13:53

    But they are also keeping the points to fall back on in case two people have the same number of wins, rather than awarding and adding up silver medals etc… so at the end of the championship you could well have the driver with the most points not winning. If they were going to swap, they should have swapped completley.. not this confusing mish mash.

    • Katie said on 18th March 2009, 23:30

      Just had a look at the new regulations on the FIA website and they state that the championship winner will be driver with most wins, If two or more drivers have the same wins then it will be decided on a points system. So what if the driver with the most points is not one of the drivers with the most wins does this mean that technically he could claim the championship as his. This could be a possible legal technicality unless the full regulations go on to explain it in detail this could end in a court battle. It has become normal for races to be decided in this manner. About time FIA got a grip and realise that for us the fans F1 is about racing. Lets get on with it

  9. Hugo Bourgeois said on 17th March 2009, 13:53

    See, you shouldn’t do important decisions on St-Patrick’s day… they MUST have been drunk. Who actually thinks this is sensible? ARGH!!

  10. Pete Walker said on 17th March 2009, 13:54

    Its not quite the medals system – second place downwards in the championship is decided by points as it is now.

    For a minute there it looked like the voice of the fans was actually being listened to. What a complete waste of time these surveys are if the proposals they lead to (by the teams) are rejected outright.

    What a mess.

  11. GQsm said on 17th March 2009, 13:56

    hmm the autosport article says it is not based on a medal system but purely wins.
    The current points system is still in place for the constructors championship and should 2 or more drivers have a equal number of wins then it will go on the drivers points tally.

  12. SamS said on 17th March 2009, 13:56

    bunch of Jokers

  13. Do the FIA go out of their way to annoy fans of F1 or is it just a coincidence?
    Part of me believes Max and Bernie would introduce a medals system just because FOTA preferred a change to the points system, to remind them who really has the power.

    I am not looking forward to season as much as I was this morning that’s for sure.

    • Gman said on 17th March 2009, 18:33

      Same here- it’s going to change the dynamics of following the sport. The new deal may create a few more battles for first place, but the quality of the season overall will be diminished in my opinion.

  14. Do the idiots who run F1 actually realise that this is the exact opposite of what the people want to happen, I am absolutely furious – one of the worst decisions ever made.

  15. Ronan said on 17th March 2009, 13:58

    It’s NOT a medals system! It’s something much worse!

    “If two or more drivers finish the season with the same number of wins, the title will be awarded to the driver with the most points, the allocation of points being based on the current 10, 8, 6 etc. system.”

    “The rest of the standings, from second to last place, will be decided by the current points system.”

    So what’s the point of giving out silver and bronze medals if points determine a tie???

    Basicly there’ll be two championship tables, one for medals, one for points and the championship order will more or less depend on a combining of the two.

    No danger of F1 being dumbed down here! They’ve just pointlessly complicated things.

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