Mercedes teams to oppose double points expansion

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Jerez, 2014In the round-up: Mercedes’ F1 teams are expected to oppose Bernie Ecclestone’s plan to add two more double points races.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Mercedes backed F1 teams likely to block double points move for final three races (James Allen on F1)

“The word among teams backed by Mercedes is that they will block any upgrading of the final three rounds.”

John Malone in talks with CVC over F1 stake (FT, registration required)

“However, Mr Malone has not made any formal offer and talks are at an early stage, two people cautioned. Any deal is expected to value the motorsport at more than $9bn including debt.”

John Malone set to take on Rupert Murdoch for F1 stake (The Telegraph)

“Formula One looks set to become the latest battle ground in the rivalry between media chiefs John Malone and Rupert Murdoch, after Mr Malone entered discussions to buy a major stake in the motorsport.”

Mercedes admits Brawn will be missed (Autosport)

Toto Wolff: “He was an iconic leader, and we are going to notice that he is missing when it is getting stressful on race weekends. His leadership and his guidance is something that was extraordinary.”

No pressure on Daniel Ricciardo, says David Coulthard (The Age)

“There’s going to be a lot more demands on his time, especially making his season debut in Melbourne. He’s an approachable, smiley character, and if he hasn’t done so already, I think he’ll really connect with the Australian people.”

1974 Hesketh Formula One (RM Auctions)

An early ex-James Hunt Hesketh F1 car is being auctioned.

Why F1 will be worth watching this year (MotorSport)

“It?s hard to believe that a turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 motors could sound better than a normally aspirated 2.4-litre V8s, but they do.”

Nico Goes “Full Attack” with 2014 Helmet Design (Mercedes via YouTube)


Comment of the day

A sharp analysis of F1’s declining viewing figures from @Coefficient:

For me, part of the problem with F1 is that people just don?t believe in it any more from a sporting perspective. Yes, there are die-hard fans who will never hear a bad word said and there are those of us who are fascinated by the technical aspects of the category. However, I feel that it is impossible for F1 to hope to maintain long-term credibility and gain respect as a sporting endeavour whilst the the results are to a certain degree fixed or pre-ordained.

I know it?s the same in football (and Bernie Ecclestone has long desired a similarly commercial product) where the Manchester Uniteds of the world thrash the pants off the poorer clubs but to all intents and purposes when the match starts it?s still two teams of guys running with the ball and the underdog still has a chance. Formula One’s wealthiest teams have massaged the sport into a situation whereby they are doomed to win and in doing so have removed the most fundamental aspect of any sporting event, i.e. the competition.

People aren?t fooled into thinking that each car/driver combination have an equal chance because the financial status of each of the teams is flaunted on the TV as presenters saunter past a Ferrari/McLaren/Red Bull hospitality unit in the paddock which is bigger than most normal people?s houses and then they stroll past the Caterham Transit van parked in the corner.

They rub our faces in it and as with most things like that it has started to wear thin, especially now that we all have to pay an enormous subscription for the privilege. They think we are lack the intelligence to be insulted by their false claims of equal competition and I think they might be heading towards a crisis on two fronts. These being, lack of fan interest/loss of viewership and collapsing infrastructure due to people being stupid with stupid amounts of money.

Don?t get me wrong, sometimes the category does offer up some stunning, edge of the seat races but they are few and far between and more by good luck than good management. This is plain to see in the post race celebrations as the racers that work in the teams are always openly more gratified and always pleasantly surprised after such events (as are the fans) compared with the majority of races where the cars come in two by two with the rich boys at the front and the less rich boys at the back.

Something else that is a concern is that if the incumbent audience start switching off, who will replace them? Of my group of friends I am the only one who has a strong interest in Formula One. There are a couple of others who have a passing interest and of the ones who aren?t interested I have tried to get them to develop an interest in it and it always comes down to one thing. ??Why can?t that guy at the back catch that guy at the front??? to which I reply ??because his car only cost one-tenth of the cost of the one in front to make so it’s not as good??.

You see, to someone who has no knowledge of the category who is considering watching, the fundamentals need to be in place to attract them in the first place and they aren’t. People want to feel like they?re going to watch 24 racers fight tooth and nail on a reasonably level playing field but F1 can?t offer that so people don?t bother. It?s different for me, I?m dyed in the wool. I?ve been watching so long that I?ve grown up with it and its as much an addictive soap opera as a fascinating technical endeavour to me and for that reason I am more able to tolerate dull racing. F1 sells itself as a racing category first and foremost so people are just confused when there is no racing and give up. Two hours is a long time to sit starting at a foregone conclusion and a maintaining season-long interest/viewers is not going to happen unless people are given what they want.

The world has changed. With the internet etc… people are able to get exactly what they want more readily rather than be told what to want by the super-rich. Customers have more power and have grown very accustomed to that and if they aren?t satisfied they will look elsewhere. This is something that F1 has failed to notice.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Tom Watson and Ian Hayward!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Happy birthday to Hector Rebaque who is 58 today.

Rebaque was one of few Mexican drivers to compete in Formula One before Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez came long. After an unsuccessful stint with Hesketh in 1977 he entered his own car in the following two seasons, scraping a solitary point at the Osterreichring in 1978.

Halfway through 1980 he was drafted in alongside championship contender Nelson Piquet at Brabham in place of Ricardo Zunino.

He fared little better than his predecessor yet remained at the team in 1981, still very much a number two to Piquet. While his team mate took the title, Rebaque ended the year tenth, and was replaced by Riccardo Patrese.

After a brief spell in IndyCar racing, where he took a fluke win at Road America in 1982, a high-speed crash at Michigan led him to call time on his racing career.

Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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113 comments on Mercedes teams to oppose double points expansion

  1. obviously said on 5th February 2014, 4:25

    The fact that we are sitting here, debating double points, tells you all you need to know about why people are getting fed up with F1.

    I said few weeks ago, when Bernie had some other outburst about double points, that at this point it seems as if he is doing it just to shove it in our face and show us that he can do whatever he wants and we’ll still be asking for more.

    I can’t say I won’t watch F1 this year, because I’m thrilled with new technologies coming in, but if it weren’t for that, I probably wouldn’t bother any more. It seems that these days, following F1 takes more energy for putting up with ********, than it gives the pleasure from positive things like technology and great driving.

    And I can’t help feeling disappointed before the season has even started, because such a rare opportunity for having such a great first season, a fresh new start with so much new technology, is ultimately going to be ruined with double points idiocy.

    After that, I’m done with F1.

  2. HoHum (@hohum) said on 5th February 2014, 4:39

    I said right at the beginning; If the double points rule is supposed to stop Vettel winning another championship it would be better applied to the 1st. race.

    I don’t care about the self interested politics just drop it.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th February 2014, 9:14


      If the double points rule is supposed to stop Vettel winning another championship

      It isn’t, it’s intended to artificially prolong the championship battle until later in the season.

      • Robbie said on 5th February 2014, 15:33

        By somehow exclusively helping Ferrari, according to BE. Like the extra money and veto power wasn’t enough. While I agree that double points are meant to prolong the season’s Championship deciding race ideally until the very last, I’m sure the underlying reason, as pointed out by BE, is to stop RBR’s run. Certainly that’s what RBR’s line will be if they are indeed relegated to being a third place team now. We were already hearing it last year, even when they still dominated, ruing the fact that EBD was curtailed to affect them the most negatively. I think that double points is damaging enough, but if RBR snatches a 5th in a row because of it I fear for what knee-jerk thing might happen next. Only Ferrari gets double points in the last race or three? Nah…too obvious. They’ll just go back to (read continue to) resorting to different enforcement (or not) of different infractions depending on which driver you are, for which team, and in which position in the standings at which point in the season.

  3. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 5th February 2014, 7:19

    I tend to agree with some point on the COTD, but..

    One thing we have to get straight is that F1, has always been about money. I could be wrong, but no one has won the World Championship while moonlighting as a busker in Covent Garden. Its the ultimate capitalist enterprise. F1 has never ever been a level playing field, not even remotely close. You’ve alway had the big teams upfront and in certain years the midfield has also challenged at the front. So why do we keep harping about this? People have been avidly following the sport for years on end under the same conditions, so whats the issue? I dont want to see a spec series version of F1, its against the principle of the sport.

    However, I disagree with the fact that only 6 teams get to decide the fate of the whole series, a more democratic process is required. Further to this, the CVC will need to reinvest in earning back in to F1. What they’re doing now is akin to killing its cash cow.

    Much has been made about teams struggling, but hasnt that been the case over the years? Ok I agree that more midfield teams struggle these days…but it is up to the teams to be creative and find funds.

    This is F1. It has been the same over the years….whatever the case..I love it!

  4. The motorsport article is not directed to f1fanatics but its a good propaganda for one of the most interesting seasons in prospect. I don’t think you need to advertise f1 more you need to make f1 available. Unfortunately its f1’s pop that is making it further more artificial and as corrupt as always, as cotd states football, f1, I’ll add nba for those rare souls who watch it, are some examples of fixed or staged “sports” in my view what bothers me is that none are openly viewed as what they are, all of the above are shows just like wwe, and what annoys me the most is people saying otherwise, to me f1 is all about the thrills and the machines, eagerly looking forward to Melbourne.

  5. mantresx (@mantresx) said on 5th February 2014, 7:45

    The more I think of it the more I come to the conclusion that F1 may not be for everyone, it is a highly technical sport and people have to know that their favourite driver, as skilled as he might be, can’t always win everything.

    The person who understands that and accepts it, will enjoy F1 in many levels that traditional sports just don’t offer. It’s a shame that the ones in charge can’t see it and try to change the rules of the game to appeal a market that is never going to be interested anyway.

    • nvHerman said on 5th February 2014, 13:33

      Well said @mantresx.

      I for one have long had to accept that my favourite driver (Jenson Button) is not going to win everything whilst a certain Mr. S. Vettel is still around.

      However, despite what many here might think, it does not drive me mad when Vettel wins (or Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen or Rosberg), as the sport has always been about the combination of the best drivers and car.

      I’ve been watching F1 since 1989, and it was ever thus.

      Just wish that Ferrari didn’t wield so much power and influence: that is the only unfair part of the competition, not the difference between the larger, more established teams and the smaller, newer rivals.

  6. I am probably not going to watch F1 this year after following the sport since the mid-sixties. It has become a contrived spectacle and the double points rubbish is the last straw.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 5th February 2014, 14:26

      @cynical, excuse me if I am cynical about your resolve, you are reading this blog because you, like many of us, are an addict. But I do sympathise, I may well give up on F1 also, but the chance to see 3-4 motor companies developing the most useable power with a fixed amount of fuel and also reduced aerodependence combined with (promised) durable tyres is to good to miss.

      • Robbie said on 5th February 2014, 15:42

        Well said @hohum I am in the same boat. I am too intrigued with the new regs to not watch, and I admit too weak in resolve to not give it a chance, otherwise I would have packed it in in the manufactured MS/Ferrari era. In fairness to @cynical he does say ‘probably’. And perhaps, just as some speculate about Brawn being drawn back at some point in the future, so will David.

  7. While I agree with COTD’s sentiment, I do not think that those bad things are anything new as it suggests. The financial difference has always been there in motosport, starting with Auto Union before F1 even started.
    I think one of the major culprits in F1’s current problems is progress. In the glory days of the past, the constructors had only a very basic understanding of aerodynamics (compared to today) and a lot of intuition went into design. This produced some of the weirdest cars ever seen (which is one of the reasons I like F1 of the 1970’s), but also gave every team a chance to hit a jackpot.
    Today, using CFD one can reasonably reliably judge the merit of a new idea, designs can be optimized to a degree that inevitably leads teams in similar paths. Budget cup or not, convergence in form seems the rule for F1 now, witness how glad we are to see different noses this year. It also means that aero is likely to stay the king, unless regulations change in a drastic matter (my fav suggestions: the flat floor must be under the whole body of the car, including the nose, wider tires, the front wing can consist of only one rectangular board curved in only one direction, with flat endplates allowed).
    Since there is no unlearning of what we know, we cannot expect F1 to go back to what it was. Rather, it has to find ways to adjust to the new environment (different level of knowledge, boy’s interest shifting from cars to computers etc.). And there most people seem to agree that Bernie/FIA/teams are doing a very poor job.

  8. timi (@timi) said on 5th February 2014, 12:07

    Great COTD. Would have been nice to maybe suggest a tactic the FIA could use to improve the racing/regain viewers? A mini complaint essay is fun to read, but without trying to actually help, what’s the point.

  9. kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 5th February 2014, 12:12

    Bernie is a master strategist; and he is doing what he has always done –
    Moot a bad idea. Moot an even worse idea. Wait. People then unconsciously pitch the ideas against each other. They split into camps for and against. One of the ideas – usually the first one is adopted. People think they have “won”. They are “happy”. In reality, Bernie wins. Again. Genius!

    • Robbie said on 5th February 2014, 15:49

      I don’t think your comment is inaccurate. BE, not for the first nor last time, has created heady debate which creates attention and headlines. But I do find this scheme to reek of desperation if the overwhelming need to see the viewership remain pensive until the last race outweighs the fact that whoever wins and whoever loses the WDC will be perceived to have only had that happen due to the assistance of double points. We’ll have the excitement of a last race dash for the WDC, only for it to be empty of integrity.

  10. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th February 2014, 16:21

    “The word among teams backed by Mercedes is that they will block any upgrading of the final three rounds.”

    Is that really the best idea? A single double-points race puts all the emphasis on the final Grand Prix. And if a title contender should suffer from a mechanical failure or get taken out by someone else’s mistake, they take twice the punch of losing points. If double-points were applied to the last three races, it would at least give a driver a chance to recover. I suppose Mercedes might think that this opens the door to making double-points a permanent fixture, but at least it would make the final few races a bit more balanced.

    • I agree 3 races might be slightly better than the final 1 race, but it is like picking your poison…I’d much rather neither, and yes perhaps Mercedes is concerned about the slippery slope of this being a permanent fixture and opening the door for all kinds of goofy points arrangements meant to mask fundamental problems.

  11. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 5th February 2014, 16:40

    In the James Allen article linked in the Round Up the most interesting item is that Bernie admits he came up with the double points to help Ferrari. As Allen says, an “astonishing claim”. Bernie also says he told LdM that he was doing this because Ferrari wasn’t performing and that LdM acknowledged despite his public claims that he is against double points. Not surprising that the Mercedes teams would be against double points and expanding them to three races just on general principal, then Bernie throws out a tidbit like that.

    • I don’t think this is an ‘astonishing claim’ given the favouritism Ferrari gets and has been getting since the push for MS/Ferrari to end their WDC drought. What is astonishing is that BE would expect new teams to be interested in joining Ferrari1, or existing ones to stay. What is astonishing is that BE would think this points debacle couldn’t just as easily see RBR snatch a 5th in a row for no other reason than he offered them up a chance at a lottery win in the end.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 7th February 2014, 1:33

      He mentioned Ferrari for the glitter. What Bernie said was aimed at every other team that are unable to stop dominance of a certain team.

  12. Dafffid (@dafffid) said on 5th February 2014, 22:03

    Keith (or anyone) – if after the last race points are equal and the championship comes down to most wins, and the number of wins is equal – will the last race count as a double win?

  13. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 5th February 2014, 23:03

    I would like to cancel double points for the last race as well.

  14. I’m looking forward to the forthcoming season – where reliability may be a big factor. A chance for the occasional underdog victory?

  15. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 6th February 2014, 16:23

    @coefficient you are not alone in this buddy. I guess we (hard core F1 fans) are the extinguished breed this days. Imagine what would all those who watched last year’s season, and at the same time are not technical freaks, think about totally changed situation in 2014 (that is if the results of Jerez testing are taken in to account). Imagine Force India beating Red Bull and Lotus, and Massa racing wheel to wheel against Alonso, and Magnuseen takes F1 rookie title against Rosberg in the last 50 point’s Abu Dhabi race?!? This kind of scenario can only be appreciated by the die hard fans only :).

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