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

  1. Hounslow said on 17th March 2009, 14:11

    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?

    • Scott Joslin said on 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!

    • Jay Menon said on 18th March 2009, 4:36

      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?

  2. SonyJunkie said on 17th March 2009, 14:11


  3. Jesper said on 17th March 2009, 14:12


    *lost for words*

  4. TommyB said on 17th March 2009, 14:12

    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

  5. 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..

  6. Martin Bell said on 17th March 2009, 14:13

    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?

  7. Spud said on 17th March 2009, 14:14

    Very silly!!!! :P

  8. keepF1technical said on 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.

    • Toby said on 17th March 2009, 23:35

      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!”

  9. 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!

  10. 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….

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

  12. Martin Bell said on 17th March 2009, 14:18

    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?

    • 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.

    • Sush Meerkat said on 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.

    • 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?

    • Adam said on 18th March 2009, 0:43

      “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…?

    • Adam said on 18th March 2009, 0:47

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

    • Mussolini's Pet Cat said on 18th March 2009, 9:38

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

  13. skova265 said on 17th March 2009, 14:20

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

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

    • Scott Joslin said on 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?

    • Mouse_Nightshirt said on 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?

    • Scott Joslin said on 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.

    • Mouse_Nightshirt said on 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?

    • Scott Joslin said on 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.

  15. 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*

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