Don’t want double points? Tell the teams that matter

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Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2013“At the final event of the championship points for both titles will be doubled.”

This controversial clause, added to article 6.4 of the 2014 Sporting Regulations last month, is to be debated again by the F1 Strategy Group in two days’ time.

Responses from fans to the rule have been extremely negative. In a poll of more than 800 registered F1 Fanatic readers 91% opposed the double points rule.

Critics of the rule described it as unfair, artificial and likely to make a mockery of the championship if it was decided the title in favour of a driver who benefited from it. Two wins at the start of the season will be worth less than one win and a tenth place at the end of it if the regulation is not scrapped.

The rule was proposed by Bernie Ecclestone after last year’s championship was decided with three races to go. Highlighting the knee-jerk nature of the plan, Ecclestone originally proposed offering double points for the last three races of the year, but amid opposition his proposal was watered down to a single race.

He now claims the scheme could not be dropped in time for the new season but might still be expanded to three races. This is obviously disingenuous and should not be taken at face value as he is the instigator and most ardent supporter of the proposal.

Emboldened by fierce criticism of double points from fans, journalists and past champions, and able to take advantage of Ecclestone’s political weakness, the Strategy Group could water down his plan even further and rid the sport of it completely.

In the six weeks since the rule was announced I have been inundated with emails, Tweets and Facebook messages from fans criticising the double points rule. I sympathise with this point of view and it’s encouraging to see major newspapers, media agencies and television news stations have picked up on the fans’ revolt against the idea expressed on F1 Fanatic.

I have had some requests to promote online petitions against the plan. Though well-intentioned, I feel they are flawed as the FIA, FOM and the teams have no reason to go looking at these websites in the first place and no reason to assume the results haven’t been rigged somehow.

If you want to make your point about double points to those who matter in the clearest and most effective way possible then contact them directly. Six teams are represented on the Strategy Group and some of them have already indicated their displeasure with the rule including Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Here’s how to contact the six Strategy Group teams on your favourite social network and by more traditional means:

Team Twitter Facebook Google + Email Post
Ferrari @InsideFerrari Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari contact form Address
Red Bull @RedBullRacing Red Bull Red Bull feedback@redbullf1.com Address
Mercedes @MercedesAMGF1 Mercedes Mercedes enquiries@mercedes-amg-f1.com Address
McLaren @McLarenF1 McLaren McLaren Address
Lotus @Lotus_F1Team Lotus Lotus Lotus contact form Address
Williams @WilliamsF1Team Williams Williams enquiries@williamsf1.com Address

It’s not unheard of for the rules of F1’s points system to be changed this close to the start of the season. The last such change occurred in February 2010. The vast majority of F1 fans are hoping for the same this year to eradicate the folly the sport embarked upon during the off-season.

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69 comments on Don’t want double points? Tell the teams that matter

  1. ken (@whatevz) said on 20th January 2014, 14:46

    Worst case scenario, Keith, you gotta prepare the points system for an F1 Fanatic Editor’s Championship.

    Otherwise personally, I may keep my own scores based on the 10-6-4-3-2-1, because 10 for a win is so clean and elegant and 6 numbers much easier to recall and calculate mid race on the fly, and of course, most important for me, it was the system used when I first got into F1.

    • Steven (@steevkay) said on 20th January 2014, 15:59

      I had started watching when F1 was doing points down to 8th place. The 6 points places are pretty easy to follow, and doesn’t devalue a win like the 8 place system does (since it’s only a 2 pt. differential between 1st and 2nd, whereas isn’t 4 pts. under the 6 place system).

      There’s a sense of… symmetry (not the right word, but the only one I can think of) in 6 points places: you have the podium (best of the best) and then the following three (best of the rest).

      Although, that said, I’m not complaining about the 8-place or current 10-place points sytems, since they’ve both produced very exciting championship battles.

  2. Michael Tomkins said on 20th January 2014, 14:58

    Emails, web contacts, and tweet of my own writing sent. I fully intend to stop watching F1 if this rule remains on the books. Sporting should be about fairness and equality. I have no interest in watching a cartoon mockery of a once-great sport.

  3. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 20th January 2014, 15:07

    I’ve mentioned it before but if it does happen, the only way to hit them is to boycott the race. If they get hugely reduced viewing figures for their double points extravaganza, they’ll realise that without the fans on board, they are screwed.

    Now, I am fully aware that going on a site called F1 Fanatics and suggesting for all to miss a race is rediculous and won’t happen so I’m not suggesting to not watch it. I’m suggesting to watch it in a way that doesn’t get recorded on the viewing figures. There are hundreds of dodgy streams, torrents etc. I’ve got Sky and I’ll torrent it instead to prove the point!!

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 20th January 2014, 16:35

      I keep posting this, but if you live in the UK then viewing figures are only recorded for 5,000 households who have special boxes to monitor their viewing habits. The 5,000 households are supposed to a representative sample of the country so that numbers can be extrapolated. Unless you have that box (assuming you are in the UK, although it may be that lots of other countries do the same), a boycott is quite pointless. Boycotting iPlayer could be worthwhile however.

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 20th January 2014, 16:48

        Ah right didn’t know that. Can they not judge what you are watching through Sky etc?

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 20th January 2014, 19:23

          I’m not sure about that. I looked into it before and all official viewing figures are only produced as I said and include sky. Perhaps sky also record what people are watching, but I really don’t know, and I imagine those figures would be kept internal anyway. So if you aren’t one of the 5,000 homes, I expect sky is okay to watch without adding to any viewing figures that matter.

  4. Breno (@austus) said on 20th January 2014, 15:27

    Hasnt Ferrari spoken against it? If so, they might just veto it.

  5. matt90 (@matt90) said on 20th January 2014, 15:52

    My letter ended up being far longer than the couple of paragraphs I anticipated. I just couldn’t contain my frustration, so went into a lot of detail over everything wrong with it.

    • TheBass (@) said on 20th January 2014, 16:50

      @matt90 That may have been counter-productive. If it’s too long, there’s a chance the guy reading it may get bored and simply delete it. Short and to the point will do wonders.

      Remember, the teams know (and agree with) everything wrong with it, they don’t need anybody else telling them that. They need to see that there are lots of people that care enough to contact them.

    • BJ (@beejis60) said on 20th January 2014, 21:26

      And it won’t ever be read by the multimillionaires running the teams…

  6. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 20th January 2014, 16:29

    It would be cool if any one of us got an official response from the teams.

  7. mantresx (@mantresx) said on 20th January 2014, 16:35

    This is a good idea and all but isn’t it a bit too late now? I’m sure the teams already know whether the rule will stay or not, remember what Boullier said?

    I think what we also need is that current drivers give their opinion, like Vettel did because team principals will listen more to them, too bad most of them are too “busy” (on holiday) to even bother commenting about it.

  8. mantresx (@mantresx) said on 20th January 2014, 16:42

    I see what you mean, sometimes it can be a little biased in here (after all an F1 fanatic is running this site!) but that’s the way most fans feel anyway so why not give them a voice?

    The double points, well I guess I could live with it but what worries me is that it could lead to other ridiculous ideas which would really bother me.

  9. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 20th January 2014, 17:30

    Sounds like a good use of Ferrari’s online Q&A with Stefano Domenicali, Alonso & Raikkonen.
    #askStefano #askAlo #askKimi
    Don’t expect a personal reply from Kimi.

  10. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 20th January 2014, 17:49

    Double points will be like a Tom and Jerry episode when the poor cat dances tap really hard for a long time, and then Jerry gives just a couple of taps on the floor but gets the dancing prize!
    Sorry for the childish comparison but it’s just like that.

  11. Create a hashtag, guys.
    At least on twitter, it would be easier

  12. Cornflakes (@cornflakes) said on 20th January 2014, 18:18

    I think it might be futile unfortunately. Just strikes me that this might be something Abu Dhabi has ‘encouraged’ (read: bought) to increase its spectacle.

  13. Schmorbraten said on 20th January 2014, 18:34

    Done! If this rule doesn’t get scrapped at one of these meetings in the next weeks, I’m thinking of compiling a list of contact addresses of F1 sponsors.

  14. BJ (@beejis60) said on 20th January 2014, 21:27

    I think Bernie did the classic salesman technique here. Offer something really ridiculous (three races with double points) and settle for something that you really would be okay with (one race with double points) while leading the people who were just duped into thinking they got one heck of a deal.

    • Mads (@mads) said on 20th January 2014, 21:44

      @beejis60
      Yep. That is certainly a classic Bernie move.
      It’s similar to the old Calvin and Hobbs story where Calvin asks his parents if he can set fire to his mattress, or get a chainsaw etc. and then he ask for a simple cookie. Annoyingly Calvin’s parents didn’t fall for it. Unlike FIA… But maybe Bernies endless vault of gold has something to do with just that.

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