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. I often feel sorry for the drivers.

    Also Can they only use one set of tyres in q3?
    Do they start on the same set of tyres or do just start on the same type as they qualified on?

    • Robert McKay said on 2nd February 2010, 11:39

      I interpret it as meaning you can do as many runs in Q3 as you like, with whatever set, but the set that gives you your fastest time will be what you must start the race on.

      I don’t know if that’s what it actually means…

      If that was the case then teams might refuse to use one compound in Q3 if they really want to start the race on one specific compound – you wouldn’t want to risk setting a better time on the set you didn’t want to start the race on.

      Having said all this, I’m still a bit hazy on the full implications of the “rule”.

  2. Arun.India said on 2nd February 2010, 11:56

    I am happy with the new points system.But the tyre change rule is stupid.I still feel the best qualifying system was the one with 1 hours time and each driver allotted some 15 laps and the guy fastest guy was in pole.

  3. If the F1 Commission had given Moses the commandments he’d still be on the mountain.
    Just imagine tennis or golf being ruled this way.
    It’s just senseless.

    • Tiomkin said on 2nd February 2010, 12:12

      It is exactly like Pro Wrestling. One match Tables and Chairs are legal, then in the next match no disqualification. We have tag matches with 2 against one is legal. And now we have F1 ‘improving the show’, with worn tires on the top 10 cars.

      Why not have specially made flat spotted wheels for the pole sitter? … My patience is wearing thin. (rant over).

  4. GeeMac said on 2nd February 2010, 11:58

    This top 10 tyre rule is completely unnecessary.

    Low fuel “Pure quali” as Keith put it would have provided a fantastic show. Now people who are new to F1 will be just as confused when we F1 Fanatics have to explain to them “Driver X isn’t really the fastest one out there, it’s really Driver Y. Driver X took a gamble and qualified on a softer tyre to gain a better grid slot blah blah blah…” It’s going to be just like trying to explain what “Fuel adjusted, Heikki was quicker than Lewis” means.

    • Salty said on 2nd February 2010, 12:12

      Spot on. And it really won’t hamper the top 10 compared to rest of field. No one is really going to want to run a full car on soft rubber. Make it to Q3 and just go with the harder compound. Do 2 flying laps to minimise wear. If P11 guy tries to run soft compound with a full tank, you can’t imagine the rubber lasting very long. Thus earlier than usual pit for tyres and advantage lost as now at back of pack.

      Pointless rule, but not a harmful one I think.

      • Agreed. Overtaking maybe interesting when the soft’s feel the strain (maybe around lap 10) and the faster drivers on the harder compounds try and overtake. All on full tanks, i can see interesting and fun times sliding against the barriers in Canada and Monaco.


  5. NomadIndian said on 2nd February 2010, 12:24

    I don’t understand. Last year after their survey, FOTA had specifically concluded that “F1 does not need over-fixing” There is nothing too wrong with it. Now they themselves make up/approve such senseless rules (tire-rule).
    Also, whenever a new rule is introduced why can not FOTA or FIA release a statement alongwith it that explains the objective of that rule change?

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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*

  13. 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!!!

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

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