F1 to use ‘medals’ system in 2009

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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. So we could see a situation where the driver with the most points *doesn’t* win the championship?

    How stupid is that?!

  2. Looks, like they got some things right: “The FIA will publish the weights of all cars after qualifying at each Event.” They should have done away with race fuel qualifying but this a big step in the right direction as far as I’m concerned.

  3. Hugo Bourgeois
    17th March 2009, 14:06

    Explanation of Max Mosley on Autosport.com shows nothing short of a blatant rigging of the sport. No more, no less. If the FIA is allowed to do this, they shouldn’t have fined McLaren for rigging it either!

  4. OK, so… they’re going to do this, and they won’t back down, so lets see the positive in this.

    If it works, we should see about 10 cars battling for the lead in each race. Can’t argue with that.

    1. Yes, on the bright side could you imagine races like Belgium 2008 with the new rules? There’d be so much more at stake.

    2. “If it works, we should see about 10 cars battling for the lead in each race. Can’t argue with that.”

      No offence but thats totally flawed logic. It assumes that a) the performance of the top five or so teams will be equal and b) the drivers previously weren’t trying for a win.

      We should be careful not to over-react, because at the end of this season, the driver with the most points is likely to have won the most races anyway, but it doesn’t seem right to make such a fundamental change like this after 59 seasons of a points-based champions and after the fans clearly voted against it.

    3. Ronan, that race was already incredibly entertaining under the old rules. There’s no need to throw the traditions of F1 in the bin just like that, and exchange it for mindless gimmickry.

    4. I agree. I’m just trying to be positive!

    5. Ok, fair enough it may be flawed logic, but can’t we at least hope that that’s what will come of this?

  5. Hugo Bourgeois
    17th March 2009, 14:08

    Moreover, we wanted to see more DRIVER profiling in F1, not more FIA profiling!

  6. What staggering arrogance ! Ecclestone clearly held some sort of RPG to Mosley’s head. It has to have been a blackmail job ! Ecclestone is determined to reduce a serious, intelligently run sport to the equivalent of trip to the travelling circus on a wet weekend in November or a friday night bingo session on Blackpool Golden Mile. With about that sort of level of brilliance and expertise….ie ZERO !

    Formula One Teams Association.. ?? Serious Fans….??
    Utterly irrelevant as far as Ecclestone and Mosley are concerned.

  7. this is diabolical.

    what about this £30m budget cap option to? If you promise to use a budget of under £30m you get a more aerodynamically efficient (but standard) underbody; movable wings; an engine which is not subject to a rev limit or a development freeze

    1. So there’ll be two types of car? Expensive ones with custome floors, fixed wings and frozen engines and cheap ones with standard (but better) floors, moveable wings and developed engines? Am I understanding this right?!

    2. that’s what it sounds like… i guess to persuade teams to run with cheaper costs. £30m is up to 90% cheaper. sooo.. it’s GP2 then?

    3. The FIA has the right to adjust elements of these freedoms to ensure that the cost-capped cars have neither an advantage nor a disadvantage when compared to cars running to the existing rules.

    4. Scott Joslin
      17th March 2009, 14:31

      Hmmm, a two tier F1!! They might as well just have a Manufacturers Championship and a Privatiers Championship!

      That line about the FIA having the right to adjust the equivolency is massively vague and open for coruption.

    5. This could get hopelessly contraversial and complex as the FIA seeks to find an update to the happy medium every year. In my opinion this is a much bigger story than the points thing.

      We could effectivly have two types of F1 car, how stupid is that?

      What was the point in changing the rules to encourage overtaking if a section of the grid are non-compliant to them next year?

      Could this not just result in a situation where the type of car more suited a particular citcuit drives off into the sunset?

      It could end up being (OK, not as big a difference as but) somewhat like GT1 and GT2 in sportscar racing.

  8. Methinks they’re trying to put all the eggs in one basket. Too much at once.

    Really would be a better idea to just see how this years pans out, and then take the next step.

    Its turning into one of those ‘Glory or The End of’ years.

  9. Robert McKay
    17th March 2009, 14:10

    I’m with everyone else.

    I don’t know how they do it, I really don’t. This system makes the medals proposal look, well, palatable.



  11. So if driver A wins three races, but doesn’t even finish in the other races at all (points = 30), he wins the Championship against driver B with only two wins, but 14 second places (points = 132)?
    More realistically, it’s going to be a driver with say, four wins and not much else winning the WDC against a driver with three wins and loads of seconds and thirds in the season (45 points beating 110, perhaps).
    Overall, it’s stupid.
    Why am I not surprised?

    1. Scott Joslin
      17th March 2009, 14:33

      Perhaps using this logic then, Mclaren have a chance in this year Championship if they only need to luck in to a couple of wins!

    2. This is exactly the same as I thought. Maybe they should have gone back to the 1988 season style, where only the 11 best results count..or something like that?

  12. /facepalm/

  13. Stupid!

    *lost for words*

  14. Finally winning means something! Should hopefully see more people going for the win like Lewis/Alonso rather then settling for 2nd or 3rd. Wow, I guess its just a medal system, hope they still get trophies

  15. we have just seen what could have been the most open fought WC for years gone up in smoke.
    bmw/renault/teamB must be gutted Ferrari on the other hand laughing..

  16. Oh dear, that’s the sound of a large amount of knickers collectively getting in a twist. Yes, it sounds crap, but we’ll get used to it. However, can’t help but agree with PJA, this seems to be more about the tedious power struggle between FOTA, FOM, FIA, etc. etc. etc. I am sooooooooo bored with the constant machinations of all this, all the sabre rattling these old men seem to have to do just to make themselves feel important. Never mind the budget cap, give us a length of service cap! (I’ve just looked up the word “bernieecclestone” in the dictionary, and the definition is “something which has far outlived it’s usefulness”) Can we file for divorce from him?

  17. Very silly!!!! :P

  18. keepF1technical
    17th March 2009, 14:16

    Keith, I think you have somewhat complicated this debate by saying they have implemented the medals system. They have not.

    It is exactly the same as the last few years. The ONLY difference which COULD exist is the name at the top of the list being changed (potentially) to the driver with more wins but who is less reliable.

    Lets not pretend this is more complicated, it really isn’t.

    Clearly it is a snap decision and a bit half-measured (and unnecessary) by the FIA but isnt it actually in keeping with the fans desire?

    Also, a point (no pun intended) not raised before is the fact that if the points system were to keep changing year to year it is impossible to compare total points tallies from over the decades. Yes there have been subtle changes to scores, but to go from 10 to 15 points for a win would totally sway the totals beyond any possible comparison.

    and it might actually help Button this year… if he has a couple of inevitable reliability issues but wins hands down when the cars running…. I’m hoping.

    1. Dead right. This isn’t medals, and it’s not complicating things. For me, it removes the thing I didn’t like about the medals system – that someone could luck into a podium (or even a win) and get an unrealistic position in the driver’s championship. I doubt that it’ll cause any issues, as long as the stewards don’t get penalty-happy, and I’m prepared to believe that this is not “1984”.

      I personally think this is a more valuable system, because it rewards consistent winning, not finishing. There’s a line from an old satirical Australian comedy show that springs to mind – “Go out there and come third like a REAL Australian!”

  19. I think this just wipes away all hope for consistent race finishers. Look at Heidfeld and Kubica last season, they were the most consistent drivers in the field with Kubica even being in with a shot at the championship. Yet he only won one race.

    The championship should be awarded to the most consistent and talented driver, wether it be the most wins or the most consistently on the podium. The points system made this possible however the Medals system just walks all over it!

  20. Drivers are the ones that lose out as the teams don’t care so much if their driver comes 1st or 2nd just that they can accru the most points over the season via 2 drivers to win the Constructor’s championship….

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