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. but it’s not a bad thing really…..kind off looking forward to it

  2. For all you Hamilton fans out there (of which I am not one), perhaps under this system he would have fought for the win in Brazil, rather than become WDC by driving a scrappy race to fifth? Isn’t that what we all want to see?

    1. I am a Lewis fan. But I really agree with you there. No more if this sitting back and having a chilled GP cos you know you have points in the bag.

      It’s something I really don’t wanna see. I wanna see all drives driving as fast they can 100% of the time.

    2. Sush Meerkat
      17th March 2009, 14:31

      call it a scrappy race if you will, but becoming champion on the last lap of the last race was edge of the seat stuff.

    3. That’s very true. I even missed him crossing the line cos I thought Massa has won the title.

      But if rules were in place like the ones being spoken about here, would it have really came down to that?

    4. “perhaps under this system he would have fought for the win in Brazil”

      If Lewis or any other driver gets to the point of the season when there is not enough races left for 2nd place driver to win all the GPs then they could do excactly the same for a potentially the last 8 GPs. Just trundle round any finish anywhere.

      Kieth i dont think ive seen a reaction on Fanatic like this before. Id love to hear what you think…?

    5. Ahhhh! stupidly i clicked “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” Schoolboy error!!

    6. Mussolini's Pet Cat
      18th March 2009, 9:38

      Are you saying the Brazil 08 wasnt the most thrilling end to a season ever??????????

  3. You emagine that massa gets a gift again from FIA. Sorry 2 gifts

  4. So 4 race wins and 13 DNFS could give us a worthy champion for arguments sake? what a joke.

    1. Scott Joslin
      17th March 2009, 14:45

      Not really, what if someone has 5 race wins and 12 points finishes they would win. You can argue it either way Matt. That’s an extreme reaction.

      Take the current points system, someone can finish 3rd in every race, never try to win a race, and then end up winning the championship on 102pts. Where as another driver has worked hard and won 10 races is a runner up – Is that promoting attaking races?

    2. Mouse_Nightshirt
      17th March 2009, 16:04

      Scott, what do you mean “never try”? Do you honestly think that drivers make a habit of “not trying” to win races?

    3. Scott Joslin
      17th March 2009, 16:07

      Mouse_Nightshirt – Lewis didn’t try and win in Brazil, or Singapour did he? He knew the numbers were on his side.

      The point I am making is it makes them more comfortable to play percentages and win a defensive championship rather than an always having an attacking one.

      I was not implying that they don’t try.

    4. Mouse_Nightshirt
      17th March 2009, 16:18

      There’s more to F1 than just the first two. Your point works both ways as well. Realistically, this system could lock out the championship much, much, much earlier. So then if, say, Felipe manages to win 10 races by race 14 or 15, what’s he doing to do for the rest of the season, he might as well not even race?

    5. Scott Joslin
      17th March 2009, 16:38

      Mouse_Nightshirt – If massa wins the first 10 races of the season – he will probably go on to win the other races because in which case he has such a car advantage that he is unstoppable. Your points system would only serve to undermine this performance advantage and artifically create a championship battle where in reality there isn’t one.

  5. Well. Whoever gets 1st most wins the season. Sounds fair to me. No more hanging back in 2nd place to take safe points. There will always be a fight for 1st. I think it will award the risk takers.

    Could work out, could fail. I’m sure we’ll see the back of it in 2010 if it’s pants. I’m looking forward to the changes.

    *bring on the hate comments*

  6. This is just ridiculous..

    Driver A consistantly is on the podium but only wins 4 races throughout the year.

    Driver B has a few DNF and placed 4 or lower in a few races but wins 5 races though out the season

    Am I to believe that Driver B is more worthy of the driver championship. I care to disagree in this case. The WDC should be awarded to the most consistant preformer for the entire season.. hence the most points.. what a joke

    1. Scott Joslin
      17th March 2009, 14:52

      I think to make simplified retrospecitve examples like this doesn’t prove much at the moment, I have given a example above on Matt Somers example how we can simplify the argument against the current points system promoting drivers to be risk adverse and just cruse round hoping other people retire.

  7. It makes the championship easier to fix :)

  8. Even worse..

    What if the second place driver has more points but not enough wins. What would that say about this flawed medal system

    1. Scott Joslin
      17th March 2009, 14:52

      I would say he sound have gone the the win a few more times :)

  9. With reference to the ‘budget cars’ –

    “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.”

    Is this similar to the approach taken with the WTCC? where the weights / specs will be constantly changed because of ‘unfair advantages’. I hope not…

    1. About the advantage nor disadvantage… this is the exact kind of crap I have to deal at work as engineer ^^ The boss cames in and says we’ll do a software which automatically does this or does that and will be smart enough to keep the problems under control.

      Great words but absolutely futile if there’s no predefined plan to deal with the problems which will appear.

      The problem with the new score system is not that after 10 wins may be over, the problem is that after 5 or 6 wins it may be over too (we’d have to have a look at every WC winner’s wins)

  10. This is a load of rubbish

    So lets say one driver wins 5 races but retires from every other race due to an over tuned car or something. And another driver wins 4 races and finishes second in all other races.

    Driver no2 will not win the championship?

    Rubbish and an absolute joke

    1. Abso-*****-loutely… this is a farse… I was so looking forward to this season, BBC coverage, Brawn GP doing so well in testing, etc etc… and Bernie <3 Max clan simply stuff it up… and can you see why? Maclaren are testing the new set up badly, will take them a while to get the wrinkles ironed out – by which time, they won’t be able to win the chamionship… Why doesn’t FOM and FIA just ban Ron’s team???

      Oh, and I’m not a Maclaren fan… just damn obvious how much they’re hated by the management…


  11. Sush Meerkat
    17th March 2009, 14:29

    GREAT! /sarcasm

    I now get to explain to all my friends what the different scoring system means.
    “but Sush, Heidfield had more points than Massa”
    “but Massa has more golds!”
    “so Phelps should win the drivers championship?”

    1. Scott Joslin
      17th March 2009, 15:10

      :) – Who is Phelps racing for? Team Speedo?

  12. Robert McKay
    17th March 2009, 14:30

    Well. Whoever gets 1st most wins the season. Sounds fair to me. No more hanging back in 2nd place to take safe points. There will always be a fight for 1st. I think it will award the risk takers.

    Could work out, could fail. I’m sure we’ll see the back of it in 2010 if it’s pants. I’m looking forward to the changes.

    *bring on the hate comments*

    It’s not a case of “bring on the hate comments”. It’s a case of bring on the rational comments like d3cpo’s cirectly beneath yours that shows why “most wins” doesn’t make sense to most people and is simply too simplistic.

    1. Just got one question, Just had a look at the new regulations and they state that 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. After all 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

  13. Am I the only one here who likes these new regulations?

    Of course, a driver with 4 wins and 13 DNFs could win the championship against a driver with 3 wins and 14 second places. But how likely is that? There are really not that many championships that would be changed.
    Until last season it was possible that a driver with 17 second places wins over a driver with 13 wins and 4 DNFs…that would have been much worse (In fact, in 2003 Kimi almost won the championship with one victory compared to Schumacher’s 6!!!)

    About the budget-cap cars: One of the best ideas for the last few years: F1 is turning away from the spec series that it was getting closer and closer to…There’ll finally be some engineering freedom again.

    1. Christian,

      I can see where you are coming from with you explanation.. My concern is that this Medal system contradicts the principle idea of the WDC.

      Look at it this was. The WCC is based on the top preforming team of the season.. based on points. If your team’s car’s consistantly perfoms better than your rivals you are awarded the WCC.

      This same idea should be reflected of the WDC.. unfortuately with this rule change it isnt the case. I would be happy with the idea of a consolation prize for the driver with the most wins but I honestly dont think that wins alone should promote a driver to World Champion.. Consistance should

    2. About the budget-cap cars: One of the best ideas for the last few years: F1 is turning away from the spec series that it was getting closer and closer to…There’ll finally be some engineering freedom again.

      Yes, but FIA retain the right to adjust the elements of the freedom. So say BMW go the budget capped route, design an amazingly fast engine…. FIA will just change their rules to ban it because it creates an unlevel playing field. And then BMW have wasted a large amount of their small budget making their amazing engine and therefore have no money to look down new avenues.

      Atleast with the uncapped budget FIA are NOT allowed to change the rules mid-season because you gain an advantage. They can only ban illegal designs, so stick within the rules and do what Toyota/Williams/Brawn did, design a legal diffuser or what have you that gives an advantage and your sorted. Whereas with a budget capped team your constantly on a see-saw, FIA are at will to say what you can and can’t do and you (with your small, limited budget and shrunken team) have to comply straight away.

      Uncapped but sensible budgets… the way forward.

  14. This is ridiculous!!

  15. theRoswellite
    17th March 2009, 14:35

    ????????????????? Autosport claims no medals????????????????

    Gosh, for a second there I thought FOTA might bring a little reason into the policy making arena.

    This is good actually, it just returns us all to the reality of the FIA being……………REALLY………….the guy (singular) in control. I can’t imagine how the gentlemen at FOTA must feel. Do they laugh or cry.

    I hope the general public appreciates the fact that the FIA has chosen to change the point system for WC after two years in which the championship came down to the last race, and even the last corner! I guess it wasn’t dramatic enough?

    I can’t help seeing Bernie Mosley’s (the two headed monster) hand in this. I don’t think he had an answer for the folks and fans at Ferrari who felt “cheated”. I certainly felt for Felipe, but I didn’t feel he was cheated in any way.

    It will certainly be ironic if the ’09 WC is decided with perhaps as many as three races to go, Button as champion, but Massa ends up with more points. Let the wailing begin.

  16. I can’t believe this… we had what was building up to be one truly exciting season, probably more exciting than years and now they go and ruin it… why?

    Now all a team like Brawn has to do is plough all their effort into the first half of the season, if they can keep their advantage and one of their drivers winning then by half way through the season it’ll all be over, then they can cut right back and concentrate on doing the same in 2010. This really didn’t seem on the table anymore with everyone except from Bernie pretty much ruled it out as stupid? There is still just under 2 weeks for them to see sense before the season starts though.

  17. I have two words, “Mickie Mouse”

    Couse that is the feeling what i get from this decision….

    so mayby this year the driver who has the most points is not the worldchampion i guess that man will be very unhappy (who ever it will be)

    but for me the driver with the most points is the real champion (even if it’s not my favorit)

  18. Hmmm. Initially I thought this was daft.
    However, look at it from a different perspective.

    You still have the same points. Therefore most teams will stick to the same race strategy as before. Getting points for Force India is priority for example.

    However, if the possibility of a win comes into play in the GP, the reward for going for the win will be greater for the driver.

    Get a win and you’ll move up the drivers table.

    This encourages top \ midfield teams to risk more in the GP if they feel they can win the race.

    Either way, we’re stuck with the system so we might as well go with it. As long as we stop the “Massa would have been WDC last year if we used this system”. You drive each season related to each points scoring system.

    1. Scott Joslin
      17th March 2009, 14:58

      Horah – someone with a calm perspective on things!

  19. Sorry Keith but this is not Medal system.

    The keep the same scoring system with the exception for the winner.
    Wins the championship the driver with more race’s wins.

    I would say that will be an incentive for not finishing 2nd or 3rd doing maths instead of racing.

  20. I absolutely don’t like this system because consistency is not a major factor anymore.

    Theoratically a team who uses 8 engines in a sort of qualifying mode can win 8 races and get penalties for every other race because he is already a champion.

    Why fix a system that isn’t broken. Only because the FIA was not happy with Hamilton being champion while Massa won the most races. If the FIA was consistent in its ruling (in Valencia) Hamilton would have won the most races and be champion.

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