‘Most wins’ rule delayed to 2010 after F1 teams spot FIA rules blunder

A win will still be worth ten points in 2009 after all

A win will still be worth ten points in 2009 after all

The FIA has delayed the controversial new “most wins” championship system until 2010.

The surprise move came shortly after the F1 Teams’ Association pointed (FOTA) out that the last-minute introduction of a new scoring system broke the FIA’s own rules.

The 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system used last year will be retained for 2009.

A FOTA statement read (emphasis added):

Following the decision of the World Motorsport Council of the 17 March 2009 to change the way the drivers? championship is awarded, the Teams gathered and unanimously agreed to question the validity of this decision.

FOTA had made a proposal that was carefully based on the results of a Global Audience Survey, which allowed listening to preferences of the public, and all the Teams firmly believe that these indications should be properly taken into account.

The amendment to the sporting regulations proposed by the World Motorsport Council was not performed in accordance with the procedure provided for by Appendix 5 of the Sporting Regulations and, as per the provisions of the article 199 of the FIA International Sporting Code, it is too late for FIA to impose a change for the 2009 season that has not obtained the unanimous agreement of all the competitors properly entered into the 2009 Formula 1 Championship.

Since the change to the scoring system unanimously agreed by the Teams and proposed to FIA did not receive approval of the WMSC, no change can occur in 2009, and the Teams wish to reaffirm their willingness to collaborate with the FIA in order to jointly define a new point system for the 2010 season within a comprehensive set of measures aimed at further stimulating the attractiveness of the F1 Sport.

A short response from the FIA offered to defer the new rules to 2010, without making any reference to FOTA’s statement:

On 17 March, the FIA World Motor Sport Council unanimously rejected FOTA?s proposed amendment to the points system for the Formula One Drivers? Championship. The ??winner takes all? proposal made by the commercial rights holder (who had been told that the teams were in favour) was then approved.

If, for any reason, the Formula One teams do not now agree with the new system, its implementation will be deferred until 2010.

The claim the FIA “had been told that the teams were in favour” seems rather weak given FOTA’s recommendations for the sport issued several weeks ago explicitly stated it favoured a revised points system and not a wins-based solution.

However the International Sporting Code makes it clear that the FIA cannot change the sporting rules so close to the start of the new season:

199 (c). Changes to sporting rules and to all regulations other than those referred to in b) above are published at least 20 days prior to the opening date for entry applications for the championship concerned, but never later than 30 November each year.

(d) Shorter notice periods than those mentioned in b) and c) may be applied, provided that the unanimous agreement of all competitors properly entered for the championship or series concerned is obtained.

The FIA’s last-minute decision to impose the ‘most wins’ rule, ignoring FOTA’s recommendations, drew massive criticism from fans including a record number of comments on one article on this site.

Since then several F1 drivers have spoken out against the new rules and the haste with which they were brought in.

It looks rather as though Max Mosley, in his eagerness to put one over the teams, has overplayed his hand.

Score one to FOTA.

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142 comments on ‘Most wins’ rule delayed to 2010 after F1 teams spot FIA rules blunder

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  1. Kester said on 20th March 2009, 18:08

    Hopefully this can now be brushed under the carpet and they’ll decide that increasing the difference in points between first and second is a far superior idea.

    • KingHamilton said on 20th March 2009, 19:09

      THANK YOU FOTA! Could be the saviour of F1, seems FOTA works, and they seem to know what we want (which just happens to be what they want) and hopefully they can make the joke organisation of the FIA see the light. this must be embarassing for the FIA to say the least…..

      FIA 0-1 Rest of the World

      FOTA 20/3/09

    • ruud said on 22nd March 2009, 7:29

      rest of the world scored an away goal. fia needs to score 2 to win
      haha sorry fia, fota listens to us, the fans of F1

  2. Noel said on 20th March 2009, 18:10

    I think this is a result. There’s been a raft of rule changes this year. I felt this might have been a change too far.

    Bring on next weekend!

    • Eduardo Colombi said on 20th March 2009, 20:14

      Let’s clean up the mess! It is time to change the directive board of FIA. That’s not all about the money, almost 60 years of traditions counts more than any money!

      Great to see that ridiculous decision going down!

  3. Gman said on 20th March 2009, 18:11

    Not so fast, Max…….

    Good for the teams, the fans, and pretty much everyone else!!!

  4. Kester said on 20th March 2009, 18:13

    Well it’s good on all counts apart from the added confusion it has caused.

    As Alonso said, the sport needs stability, not a raft of rule changes every few months.

  5. Lynn said on 20th March 2009, 18:14

    Good news, gives everyone a chance now, even the slow ones. I bet we won’t hear anything more about this mad scheme.

  6. But this is the only year when it might be a real improvement. It would be fine if we had it this year as long as it goes back to normal next year.

    When will they learn.

  7. matt said on 20th March 2009, 18:15

    Much though I wanted this, such a sudden reversal makes F1 look very week, especially after all the news items on the new system. If it didn’t make them look weak I would have thought that maybe it was all a massive publicity stunt or attempt to cover-up the budget rules. With any luck, Mosely will be out by the end of the year, and that may affect whether the wins rule ever enters the sport.

    • Mark Sinclair said on 21st March 2009, 4:51

      Why would you wish to see such an absurd system put in place. Are you a bureaucrat by any chance?

    • matt said on 22nd March 2009, 18:13

      I mean ‘much though I wanted the points system re-established.’

      I’m just a fan.

  8. Robert McKay said on 20th March 2009, 18:16

    The ‘winner takes all’ proposal made by the commercial rights holder (who had been told that the teams were in favour) was then approved.

    Oh, right. The teams agreed with Bernie’s idea. Except…they’ve proposed their own entirely different idea. Erm, what?

    Shut up Bernie, you’ve badly misjudged this one.

  9. Great summary Keith! I for one am happy to see this.

  10. bobmarshall said on 20th March 2009, 18:18


    I can now resume looking forward to this years championship (& I reckon it just makes the FIA, Max & Bernie look weak, which is brilliant)

  11. ccolanto said on 20th March 2009, 18:19


  12. Hallard said on 20th March 2009, 18:20

    Ha ha Max! Hoisted by your own petard! Hallelujah…

  13. Mouse_Nightshirt said on 20th March 2009, 18:21


    F1: 1
    Bernie & Chums: Nil

    A great change, and nice to see the FIA’s plans backfire on themselves!

    • Rachel said on 20th March 2009, 18:30

      I’m liking this!

      Keith – can we have a FIA v. FOTA scorecard kept to log the wins on each side since FOTA’s inception? Should give a good indication of the relative strengths of the two organisations – might even convince Bernie/Max to take FOTA more seriously (one can dream)

  14. Rob R. said on 20th March 2009, 18:22

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaahahaha. :D

  15. 10 6 4 3 2 1 is the way to go, its not that big a grid

  16. verasaki said on 20th March 2009, 18:24

    there are still 8 days for them to meddle in. why does that worry me?

  17. Derek said on 20th March 2009, 18:27

    That’s better, we could have seen the champion on wins, but third or fourth in points! Crazy!!

  18. d3cpo said on 20th March 2009, 18:28

    This is absolutely great news.

  19. Alex P said on 20th March 2009, 18:35

    how dumb do you have to be to try and change things the break your own rules. looks like the lights are on but nobody is home at the FIA.

    weldone FOTA

  20. I’m impressed with the calm, measured and unified approach that the teams took. There was a lot of “divide and conquer” about the FIA’s move, but they didn’t budge, kept their comments to themselves, and responded with the rules. they outmaneuvered Max and Bernie at their own game, and I can only hope that this is how things will be going forward.

    In the meantime, the focus should be on how to optimize the racing experience for fans. It seems that when this is done the drivers are on board and the teams adapt. As FOTA pointed out, their proposal was based on a survey. I believe the FIA and FOM have heard of them, and even commissioned them, but I doubt that they’ve ever read one.

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