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

2010 F1 season

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.

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

  1. Dr. Mouse said on 2nd February 2010, 12:29

    OK, I am now sick of it.

    Rules should be frozen at a predetermined date, something like a month after the end of the season. There should be no rule changes after that, to allow teams, drivers, fans, marshals etc. to know what’s happening.

    Although I personally think that there are FAR too many rules and restrictions in the sport, and that they stifle innovation, I doubt this is going to change. What I want to see is a couple of seasons of NO rule changes, allowing teams to develop their cars within a known set, able to draw on existing data. It would also have the side effect of making the sport cheaper for the teams (something the FIA want anyway), as they can allow their cars to evolve rather than (effectively) starting from scratch every year.

  2. antonyob said on 2nd February 2010, 12:37

    two words: deal with it.

    No single change will be a silver bullet, the designers will always find somewhere else to be crafty. Broadly i think the rule changes work and i dont know why Keith has such a bugbear about qually shootouts being “pure”. Its the race that matters and if re-using qually tyres mingles the field a bit then its a good idea.

  3. Very good news! Many points for all drivers!!!

  4. Umm I’m going to speak out even though I can already see the table and chairs being thrown at me. I think its a good idea…

    1 team may only do one lap to look after his soft tyres but then another team may use hard and put in a few laps before hand to bring them up to temperature. Without this rule you would have the following:

    All teams going out like last year with the fastest car getting pole. Thats what you think you may want but if the fastest car gets pole, you pretty much guarrenteed pole position car wins (albeit any technical problems). I may be wrong but I think wait and see how it turns up. I would rather see Force india do something different to the rest of the teams with their tyres to secure pole and then see a bit of a race on Sunday.

  5. David B said on 2nd February 2010, 12:45

    To me point system now is better than before, even if my best ever is 9 (or 10), then 6, 4 and 1 to the sixth. Consider than now with three sixth you get almost like a win, while with the very old system you needed ten…! I don’t like systems that award the very lowest positions.
    Regarding tyres costriction during Q3 I absolute agree with Keith. What does it mean??? What is is worth?
    At the end…the diffuser ban. Ok, but why not this year, when they had time to do it?

  6. F1Yankee said on 2nd February 2010, 12:55

    what do you guys think of this tire proposal?

    equal numbers of soft (red line), medium (white line) and hard (green line) provided at the beginning of the weekend, to be used as the teams see fit – scrubbed tires, mixed sets, etc.

    soft tires to last about 25% of the race, medium about 50%, hard 75-99%.

    no mandatory stops, but tire wear will force at least 1 stop naturally. if someone wants to try for a full race distance, good luck to them.

    no tire warmers of any kind.

  7. Is it only me that thinks that KERS could of been potentially succesfull?? It was just the rules behind it that i feel made it a waste of time. I think they should bring back KERS in this format –
    1- Only 30-40 seconds worth of KERS per race
    2- KERS not allowed to be used when defending position.

    Obviously there would be grey areas with this ruling ie.. when is someone defending and when is someone attacking within a pack of cars. But im sure something could be put into place that would clarify the rules and promote a lot more overtaking!! I think they missed a trick with KERS for sure.

    • PeriSoft said on 2nd February 2010, 16:15

      Why not just have a guy with an ‘engine kill’ button up in the control room, like in go-kart tracks?

      Then we could do away with the last vestiges of the outdated idea that the fastest car/driver combination should win the race, and have motorsport how God intended – random results calculated to create as much false tension as possible.

      *rolls eyes*

  8. So they get rid of refuelling, one of the reasons; to make things simpler to understand no fuel compensated pole etc. Then thats all thrown away by making top 10 qualifiers race with the same tyres!? Okay so fuel loads have a bigger effect on car performance then tyres worn by a few quick laps, but we’re back into the situation where the average television viewer is bombarded with statistic on tyre wear etc. This doesnt improve the show!!!!!

    I know this is a very simplistic view on it, but think about people who aren’t as clued up on the sport as people on this site, it easier for my cat to understand the offside rule then it is to understand these fiddly complex rule changes!!!

  9. qazuhb said on 2nd February 2010, 13:20

    And what if the weather forecast says there are 80% probabilities of rain for sunday? If you qualify on the harder compound you can lose the pole by a few hundredths, and if it rains you are at a huge disadvantage… So you use softs for Q3, and toworrow the race starts dry… you are pointlessly (and harmfuly) screwed!

  10. Platine said on 2nd February 2010, 13:29

    The points are ridiculous!

    How can sixth get almost a third as many points as a win? 4 7th place finishes equals a win, are these people stupid? How did they decide on the increases in points between positions, how can the difference between 4th and third be the same as that between 3rd and 2nd, 5th to 4th is same as 8th to 7th!! the points difference between positions should increase exponentially, something like

    0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 15

    As for the tyres, it will I suspect force teams into set predictable strategies, always using certain compound for optimising grid position and length of first stint to retain that track position etc. eg quali on softs, light first stint to get enough lead pit and retain P., meaning they actually race less, its all maths and sims. Just let them quali and race, the show is great already. Also, a team can gamble on it raining, ripping up tyres in quali knowing they with have inters on the grid anyway, just seems so ill thought out.
    Despite fears over financial disaster, we are shaping up for a cracking season with several teams as real contenders, and an awesome driver line up, they need to stop trying to be clever, especially as their ideas are so lame.

    I hope these will be modified and its a publicity thing (they cant ever have been seriosu about the medals). Could the conditional quali be to help muddy the waters for bookmakers sake, pure quali maybe too simple, they lose their edge. Is betting on F1 that significant, anyone?

    On the bright side, this season will rock anyway!

  11. Platine said on 2nd February 2010, 13:32

    Basically, the points massively reward a win, and reward mediocrity well. Sitting in P5 making sure you finish is much better strategy than pushing for podiums, ridiculous. Surprising with these points Heidfeld dosnt have a seat.

  12. wasiF1 said on 2nd February 2010, 13:38

    Thankfully they have stopped the mandatory tyre change,but now they should have get rid of the top 10 rule.

  13. HounslowBusGarage said on 2nd February 2010, 14:07

    The FIA statement says the proposals will go to the Council for approval “within the next 48 hours”.
    I can’t actualy see who serves on this “F1 Commission”. Does anyone know?

  14. Flyguy said on 2nd February 2010, 15:34

    Just a hypothetical thought, but whats to stop the top 10 from setting their ‘best laps’ at the start / middle of Q3 and then piling into the pits to change onto fresh rubber in the last seconds ?

    Would they then start on those fresh tyres ?

  15. I think the rule states that it’s taken by the tyre you set fastest lap, not the tyre you used last. So if driver takes run #1 on softs and run #2 on hards, sets better time on softs he will start on softs.

    The tyre rule is near the rule used in 1997-2006. Back then teams had to choose from two options whether to use “soft” or “hard” tyre. I don’t remember too much complaints on those days.

  16. antonyob said on 2nd February 2010, 16:35

    you dont remember much whingeing cos there wasnt sites like this for people to whinge on. whatever the rule change people would still moan

  17. I was under the impression that a driver can use both compounds to set a fast time on. Therefore it is up to the driver to be quick on both types of tyre. I think that they will then have the option of choosing which tyre they will start the race on as long as they take up a position on the grid that corresponds to the time they qualified with their chosen tyre.

    A driver may feel that it is better to start two places back on the harder tyre, rather than take a chance on the softer tyre.

  18. We want turbos said on 2nd February 2010, 18:28

    I know the times get quicker and quicker during qually, but if you do a quick Q3 run on softs come in to the pits and throw on the hards to finish Q3 wonder if that would be quicker than running you lap on hards at the last second, if anyone follows what I’m saying?

  19. Fredrik Andersson said on 2nd February 2010, 19:20

    The tire rule are stupid and will destroy the race. Please take that one back.

  20. East Londoner said on 2nd February 2010, 19:24

    I could probably see a situation where the top ten start the race, and all pile into the pits at the end of the first lap to get fresh rubber. That would be a stupid thing, but may lead to great races, until Ecclestone realises ‘ F1 is getting exciting! I must do something about it.’

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