F1 Commission agrees new 2010 points and double diffuser ban for 2011

2010 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

F1 teams will have to use smaller diffusers in 2011
F1 teams will have to use smaller diffusers in 2011

The F1 Commission has agreed on a second new points system for F1, amending the proposal they made in December.

A win will still be worth 25 points and the value of a second place finish has been slightly reduced – but the value of other lower-placed finished has been increased.

The Commission has also decided to make drivers who qualify in the top ten start the race on the same tyre as they qualified on, which they hope will “introduce a further element of strategy” and “improve the show”.

Revised points system

The revised F1 points system increases the points difference between winning and finishing second from five to seven, which the FIA hopes will “further encourage the ‘race to win'”:

1st – 25 points
2nd – 18 points
3rd – 15 points
4th – 12 points
5th – 10 points
6th – 8 points
7th – 6 points
8th – 4 points
9th – 2 points
10th – 1 point

However, as discussed here earlier, it also offers more points for drivers who finish lower down the running order, increasing the likelihood that championship leaders will be able to collect lower placed finishes to guarantee themselves the title instead of pushing for wins.

Read more on that and see how the new points system would have changed the 2009 championship here: Teams considering an even more generous points system for 2010

The ‘top ten tyre’ rule

With refuelling banned this year, the requirement for the top ten qualifiers to start the race on the fuel load they qualified on was to be removed. However the Commission has decided to continue handicapping the top ten qualifiers by making them start the race on the tyres they qualified:

Cars having participated in Q3 must start the race on the same set of tyres with which their grid time was set.
F1 Commission statement

Presumably an exception will be made in the event of rain during qualifying or the race.

Disappointingly, this means we will not get to see ‘pure’ qualifying in 2010, as the quickest drivers will be compromised by tyre choice.

As I’ve already said here, I think this is needless meddling with the rules which will at best have a minimal effect on the quality of racing in 2010.

More on that here: Stop the needless rules changes

2011 double diffuser ban

Double diffusers will be banned in 2011 if the Commission’s proposal is accepted.

This will cut the amount of downforce the cars can generate and reduce cornering speeds. Whether it will help cars follow more closely – and thereby increase overtaking – is a subject of much debate.

Double diffusers

Other changes

There will be a further reduction in the number of tyres a team may use at each weekend, with 11 sets of four now available instead of 14.

This is good news for Bridgestone, who will now have to supply far fewer tyres in 2010 than they were expecting. It may even be interpreted as an attempt to get them to reverse their decision to leave the sport at the end of this year by reducing their costs.

More on that here: Bridgestone to make surprise F1 exit

“Improving the show”

The F1 Commission’s proposal will now go before the World Motor Sports Council where they are very likely to be accepted. However it remains to be seen whether Jean Todt will be satisfied they have done enough to “improve the show” as he urged them to. Their statement adds:

Further measures for 2010 are also being examined.
F1 Commission statement

You can read the full statement here.

Do you think F1 needs to “improve the show”? Will these changes help? Have your say below.