‘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

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

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

  2. 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!!

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

    This is absolutely great news.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. jamie said on 20th March 2009, 18:41

    haha shows that people do have input into formula one also the medal system was always not going to make f1,f1

  7. morge said on 20th March 2009, 18:45

    Huge PR sucess for FOTA. Serves Sir Spankalot right, he should have spent more time reading up on his own rules, and less time trying to destabilise F1.

  8. No other sport in the world would have so little respect for the fans to make such a fundamental change to the rules so close to the start of a new season and with so little consultation with the fans.

    I’m so glad this has been put off for the 2009 season, hopefuly it will be binned altogether.

  9. pSynrg said on 20th March 2009, 18:49

    Almost worth having the imposition in the first place, seeing removed in such a way!
    We really need to pay more attention to the rule book if this was in there all along. 30th Nov unless there is unanimous agreement from all competitors. Quite a big one.
    Hey, maybe the voice of the fans, drivers and teams does make a difference as much as it pains them to say it!
    Damn I can’t wait another week. Awesome!

  10. Great! No more confusion now.

  11. Oh Max, where r u?? where is your face? up inside your back?? LOL…. Glad some sanity existed when they formed the sporting regulations, without which we couldn’t get the first score for FOTA..

  12. Woffin said on 20th March 2009, 18:51

    *resumes excitement for F12009* :D brilliant news! what makes it even sweeter is that they were caught out by breaking the very rules they created. i can guarantee you the next time someone gets an unfair penalty from the FIA, this will be brought back up as a show of no confidence.

  13. _Ben_ said on 20th March 2009, 18:58

    Obviously I am glad about this decision but on the other hand how absolutley embarrasing is this for a F1 fan like me explaining to my mates…”Em the rules have been changed because the body running the sport is…..em….usleless and dense in their intake of fans (and teams!) opinions”

    What a horrible mess, the rule almost certainly won’t be put through for 2010, Indeed FIA 0 – FOTA 1 and may the score for FOTA rise.

  14. glad to see the unity in fota and the majority of the f1 community against those two autocrats bernie and max
    there is a simple soloution to the problem just revert back to the old point scoring system of 10 6 4 etc for the time being as there aren’t as many teams. The only problem was that the gap between first and second was too small.

  15. Tremendous ridiculous situation brought by Max Mosley.

    I sincerely hope this man fullfils his promise and leave FIA presidency ending this season.

    The only way to return to a sustainable and healfull future for F1.

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