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. Owen G said on 2nd February 2010, 19:46

    I find it utterly bizarre that the pinnacle of the sport handicaps it’s front runners. Why does it do this? Do any other sports do the same?

    And so what if the fastest car gets pole and wins the race? Surely that’s the entire point of the sport?

    Why have a points system at all? Let’s scrap that and give all drivers a pat on the back and a certificate of participation.

  2. “And so what if the fastest car gets pole and wins the race?”

    Well, it gets to be boring after a while. And people then start complaining that it was the car that won the races and not the driver, and then we have huge debates about whether or not someone is a worthy champion. Mix it up fer Chrisakes!

    • to be honest it would be more fare for the drivers if they all drove the same car but that would just ruin the concept of the sport.

    • Owen G said on 3rd February 2010, 7:29

      Why do the rules have to change if someone dominates?

      Did football change when Man Utd won all those titles in the 90s, or Liverpool in the 80s?

      The onus should be on the other competitors to get better and make a challenge, not rely on a handicap system to help make it closer.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd February 2010, 7:52

        Why do the rules have to change if someone dominates?

        Did football change when Man Utd won all those titles in the 90s, or Liverpool in the 80s?

        The onus should be on the other competitors to get better and make a challenge, not rely on a handicap system to help make it closer.

        Couldn’t agree more.

        Unfortunately the FIA does tend to over-react when one team dominates – when Williams dominated in 1992-3 they responded by bringing in in-race refuelling.

        When Schumacher dominated in 2002 the responded by ruining the points system and began changing the qualifying format every 12 months.

        You’re dead right – when one person or team dominates it doesn’t mean the sport has failed and needs improving, its means their rivals have failed and need improving.

  3. Rob R. said on 2nd February 2010, 22:52

    I’m really looking forward to the awesome spectacle of drivers possibly wrapping up the title by finishing 9th of 10th…. can you imagine the tension?

    Also, does anyone else foresee a farcical situation where teams try to claim that they set a time on a different set of tyres than the ones they actually did, in order to gain an advantage?

    • yeah thats accually something that could happen but i doubt we will find out if it does

      • Rob R. said on 2nd February 2010, 23:11

        I think we will because there will be accusations from the other teams, then the stewards will have to review the tapes. And it might not be possible to determine because there are only so many cameras…

  4. CeeVee777 said on 2nd February 2010, 23:00

    some ideas for rule changes to ‘improve the show’

    Mechanics have to be blindfolded during pitstops.

    The wheel changers have to hunt for the wheel nuts in a pool of brown sludge.

    The leading team has to change drivers between the cars half way through the race.

    The distance between the grid positions is proportional to the time difference between the qualifiers.

    After five races any driver not having world championship points is given a half a lap start on the rest of the field.

    There are no blue flag rules, if you can’t overtake the car in front then tough.

    There is a mandatory interlude half way through the race where a viewer phone in decides the restart order.

    There will be a prize offered for one viewer to take the place of his nominated driver for the next race.

    I think that ought to increase the interest of viewers and ‘improve the show’

    • We want turbos said on 3rd February 2010, 0:34

      Lmao sounds like Simon cowell got involved with the last few. How about the drivers got to change his own wheels? Or one of the teamates has to crash at a precise time that…. Oh wait a minute… Sounds familiar!

    • sykes said on 3rd February 2010, 9:07

      “The leading team has to change drivers between the cars half way through the race.”

      This used to happen all the time with Schumacher and Barrichello.

  5. So who will be providing the tyres in 2011 if Bridgestone go ahead with their pullout?

    Good Year or Michelin coming back? Can’t see it being Michelin after their farce of the unsafe tyres.

  6. willy

  7. I’ve just heard an interview with Ross Brawn where he thinks the idea to keep the top ten qualifyers on the same set of tyres as those they qualified in, is ok…

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