‘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. francois said on 20th March 2009, 19:09

    They really don’t seem to know their own statutes and regulations do they? I’m quite glad this will make Bernie and Max appear very foolish.

    In fact I’d bet a certain Alianora has more of a clue about their rulebook :)

  2. Damon said on 20th March 2009, 19:11

    10-7-5-4-3-2-1 ?
    I kinda wished the silly ‘most wins’ rule would be held. Why? Because it might have caused an upheaval against Max and Bernie.

  3. Martin Bell said on 20th March 2009, 19:15

    I posted here a few days ago that the timing of the rule changes smacked of incompetence. Not knowing your own rules on implementing changes, however, I’m struggling to find a word for. Please help!

  4. Ace ! Now lets leave it over there in the long grass and forget the ‘commercial rights holder’ thought it ever knew better than the teams and the fans.

  5. Spiffy said on 20th March 2009, 19:27

    This news compelled me to open up Photoshop…

  6. Arthur954 said on 20th March 2009, 19:41

    Excellent news ! It might mean that if teams and drivers stay UNITED, they can build a better future for the sport.
    If the teams stay united, Bernie and Mo cannot get away with their schemes.
    How many divisions do Bernie and Mo have ?

  7. bwells said on 20th March 2009, 19:50

    Great news… I was excited for the new season before and now I’m truly going to explode! There was so many flaws in the “wins take all” system… changing the points awarded would do the exact same thing… but you could even go more extreme and award more for winning… maybe 14-10-8-6-4-3-2-1… that would make winning more attractive… :)

  8. Pete Walker said on 20th March 2009, 19:50

    Fantastic news. Hopefully the new technical regulations will lead to a compelling championship race and F1 will show the world just how unnecessary this meddling is.

    On every site, blog and forum I’ve visited, the reaction to the most wins rule was overwhelmingly negative. Hopefully these voices will continue to be heard over the next twelve months and the rule will never see the light of day. It really would be a giant middle finger to the fans.

  9. I like the change. More competition will bring more excitement.

  10. garyc said on 20th March 2009, 20:04

    Well played Spiffy! But remember everyone. It’s Friday afternoon and Max will be busy in the dungeon. His stooges probably issued the climbdown.

  11. Obster said on 20th March 2009, 20:05

    What a weird rule that was!

    With all the overtaking penalties handed out last year-it could have been a farce of a season with perhaps several all important wins being overturned by the stewards.

  12. mkh1 said on 20th March 2009, 20:07

    YAY! Looks like I will be watching this season afterall.

  13. lexis said on 20th March 2009, 20:08

    It’s time for Mosley and Ecclestone to leave F1.

  14. Santiago said on 20th March 2009, 20:11

    “Changes to sporting rules and to all regulations other than………”

    Has the maFIA won? Now everybody is congratulating themselves for a victory?, BUT HOW ABOUT THE BUDGET CAP?. Does anybody speaks about it?.

    Just a question, does anybody think that those multimillioners made that money because they are stupid? I have the bad feeling that this is what they wanted, and something hidden is all around.

    Time will say….

  15. Hounslow said on 20th March 2009, 20:15

    Nice one Spiffy.
    And I think it’s revealingly stupid of the FIA to break their own rules.
    Remember what happened when Max survived the ‘no confidence’ vote? He came back filled with venom and with dreams of retribution.
    Now he’s been wrong-footed by the FOTA upstarts, I predict he will take his revenge on them for daring to make him look foolish (even though he is foolish).
    On principal, he will move against everything that FOTA want or propose. He will probably even try to drive the Manufacturers out of F1, believing that teams of garagistas will be easier to rule, even though it could fatally damage F1.
    Max is such a ****.

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