Double points: One race, three races – or none?

2014 F1 season

Start, Yas Marina, 2013The start of the 2014 F1 season is three weeks away, yet a fundamental question about how the sport works remains unanswered.

At the insistence of Bernie Ecclestone the rules were changed late last year to award double points at the final race of the season. The news prompted an angry response from fans when it was announced.

Over 90% of F1 Fanatics said they were against the plan. Fans’ objections to the plan have featured prominently in much of the media coverage of the controversial rules change.

Nonetheless Ecclestone is lobbying for the plan to be extended so the last three races of the season are all worth double points. Where do you stand on this debate?

For

Ecclestone’s reasoning for offering double points for races at the end of the season is that it will increase the chance of the championship being decided later in the year.

Last year Sebastian Vettel won the world championship three race before the end of the season. Ecclestone hopes that by making the last three races worth twice as much he can prolong the championship contest and sustain interest from television audiences for longer.

Against

The plan is fundamentally unfair. The races where double points are offered are not double the race length and do not feature double the number of competitors. There is no sporting reason for these races to be valued higher than the others.

This plan will arbitrarily give some drivers twice as great a reward for winning one race, and punish others them twice as severely for some misfortune. It threatens to undermine the outcome of the championship.

I say

This is the latest example of Formula One grappling with the conflicting demands of sport versus entertainment. In this case F1 has sacrificed sporting integrity for commercial reasons, and I have no difficulty understanding why so many fans are against it.

For those in charge of the sport, it is ludicrous to believe they can make the sport more interesting to potential viewers by introducing something which the overwhelming majority of existing fans strongly dislike.

It should not need pointing out that the previous, far fairer points system produced thrilling last-race championship deciders in many recent seasons – including 2012, 2010, 2008, 2007 and 2006. Had the latter races in these years been worth double points it would have diminished the spectacle, not enhanced it, because of the taint of artificiality that would have been introduced.

Formula One should abandon Ecclestone’s double points plan, not extend it.

You say

Do you think the double points plan should be kept – or extended to three races? Or should it be scrapped entirely so that all races are worth the same number of points?

Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Should some F1 races be worth double points?

  • No races should be worth double points (96%)
  • The last race should be worth double points (1%)
  • The last three races should be worth double points (2%)
  • No opinion (1%)

Total Voters: 633

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190 comments on Double points: One race, three races – or none?

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  1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 23rd February 2014, 12:02

    None. Nuff said

  2. karter22 (@karter22) said on 23rd February 2014, 12:04

    Easy one, didn´t think at all…. NO DOUBLE POINTS!!!!

  3. Ben Everard (@beneverard) said on 23rd February 2014, 12:04

    Keith, can you modify the pole so people voting “Yes” get marked as double points ;-)

  4. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 23rd February 2014, 12:07

    Bernie has obviously voted for double points on F1F looking at the vote…

  5. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 23rd February 2014, 12:08

    Either give all the races double points, or none at all

  6. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 23rd February 2014, 12:09

    Obviously the answer is “none”, but unfortunately with the way Ecclestone is going, there’s a much higher chance of getting 3 races with double points than none. :(

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 23rd February 2014, 12:14

      Also, I don’t understand why some team bosses think it’s too late to scrap the ruling, when the season hasn’t even begun? Theoretically they could scrap the double points rule the night before the Abu Dhabi race weekend, with the realisation that this rule is clearly the workings of someone who is quite obviously trying to bring the ship down with the captain.

      • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 23rd February 2014, 13:49

        @tophercheese21 You can’t blame renault power team to be in favor of such rule given the recent events … That makes the start of the season less relevant.
        Indeed I’m against it, but that should have been closed well before testing, now the teams worried about the start of the season will stick with it, very difficult to come back on that decision.

  7. Lopek (@lopek) said on 23rd February 2014, 12:10

    Give all races double points, then half everyone’s points at the end of the season to make for easy comparison for previous seasons. :)

  8. No brainer. None. Or, just for the difference’s sake, ALL. I’m good either way as long as it’s scoring system based on consistency.

  9. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 23rd February 2014, 12:16

    Well, the obvious answer is none, but if we must have double points, let us at least align ourselves to the FIA World Endurance Championship system where Le Mans is worth double points because it’s more of a test for teams and drivers. The only way I’d happy with double points would if we saw races like Monaco and Singapore, the more challenging tracks get double points, but even then we’d still need a asterisks next to the championship result.

    • Sam (@) said on 23rd February 2014, 12:48

      It’s more of a test because it is 4x as long. We lookt at Monaco that way but in F1 all GP should be looked at the same way.

    • Guelph (@guelph) said on 23rd February 2014, 13:25

      If they insist on double points I would have them at Monaco, Suzuka, and Interlagos and call them regional championship races.
      Maybe switch Monaco with Monza since that’s toward the end of the European season.

    • spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 23rd February 2014, 13:51

      @william-brierty

      the more challenging tracks get double points

      I can already hear endless debates about which track is the more challenging … :) I seriously don’t know how to turn double points into a good idea… Should just be discarded IMO.

      • @spoutnik double the length of the race – that is literally the only feasible way to lessen the impact.

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 23rd February 2014, 18:09

        @spoutnik – Well obviously the best option is to discard it, but I personally would be more comfortable with it if there was some effort to proportion points with driver/team effort. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean the most challenging track, I meant the more challenging races, and in that respect, Monaco and Singapore could be worth more. However that is me simply trying to find a way of rationalizing this madness: it’s like trying to translate David Beckham’s autobiography into a F. Scott Fitzgerald novel…

        @vettel1 – We might need refueling or MotoGP style car changes for that!

    • DC (@dujedcv) said on 23rd February 2014, 15:52

      Le Mans gets 2x points because it is the world’s most prestigious car race and it is 4x long as most other races in the championship. And besides that, no F1 race stands out that much to be given double points – despite the fact that some tracks like Spa are different, all races are run at the same distance and time.

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 23rd February 2014, 18:17

        @dujedcv – What about the Monaco Grand Prix? Is that not prestigious enough? I get your point, Le Mans is twice as long as some endurance races and four times as long as most, but other than some attempt to align points with driver/team effort, there really is no way of rationalizing double points. Personally, I would be more comfortable if there was double points for the Monaco or Singapore Grands Prix than the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix…

        • astevo1989 (@astevo1989) said on 23rd February 2014, 18:36

          The reason why there is double points is the reason why abu dhabi is now the final grand prix because of money! The f1 boss’s wont change it because they’ll lose there fat pay check!

          • pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 23rd February 2014, 19:52

            yup.

            Maybe we can petition the EU/US to freeze the FIA’s bank accounts? It worked so well in Ukraine.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 24th February 2014, 7:58

            @astevo1989 – Yes, I think the conveners of the Abu Dhabi GP are much less than chuffed in having only hosted one championship decider, and have really pushed the boat out, financially, to ensure that they do this year. Go on, Lewis, get the job done before Abu Dhabi!

  10. I’d rather it was none, but if we have to do it due to the sheer stubbornness of Bernie, I’d rather that it was three races scattered throughout the season – say, Monaco, Spa and Abu Dhabi. That way it’s three different types of track and gives the possibility for it to shake up the championship without it allowing a last-three-race push for the title.

  11. VMaxMuffin (@vmaxmuffin) said on 23rd February 2014, 12:22

    Definitely none. Don’t support this at all. If they made the last race some sort of special 600km endurance race (with one fuel stop allowed half way to allow for the requirement of double the distance) then I think it would be acceptable (although I still wouldn’t support it because the race is at Abu Dhabi… Interlagos would be another story!) but there’s no way that would happen – it would be too tough on both cars and drivers.

    To be honest I’d like to see another poll for “if I had to choose between 1 and 3 races for double points”. Judging by how it’s going so far, most people would rather 3 races (4% have voted 3 vs 2% for 1) which is what I’d expect, because at least then if someone has bad luck in one of the double points races or something then they would have more of a chance to get back.

  12. Bobby (@f1bobby) said on 23rd February 2014, 12:26

    None. Or All. So none.
    It’s maddening that one man has so much influence over the sport.
    Can Bernie charge double the ticket prices for these races too?

  13. StefMeister (@stefmeister) said on 23rd February 2014, 12:29

    No races should be worth double points, It cheapens the championship & F1.

    Still could be worse, Could be like the new nascar championship system where they feel points championships confuse fans so need to be de-emphasised.

    Utterly absurd how entertainment & the feeling that every yearthe championship by rights should go down to the final race is now seeing ridiculous gimickery introduced to achieve it at the expense of the essence of the

    A series championship should be run to the same points system at every race with the winners been the team/driver that scored most over every round, Any attempt to add/create artificial excitement via the points/championship system cheapens it & in my opinion anyone who wins a championship based purely off double points/the nascar chase system is not as worthy a champion as someone who gets the most points over a season where every race is equal in terms of points haul.

  14. Beto (@chebeto) said on 23rd February 2014, 12:32

    I mean, giving double points at the final race is cool and all, but why stop there? Why don’t we give bonus multipliers for different stunts? You could give a multiplier of x1.5 if you finish the race with a back flip like Fittipaldi in 1993 or of x2 if you touch a DHL publicity with the bottom of your car like Webber in 2010. We will have a million different possibilities for Championship outcomes and TV ratings wil go through the roof. I have a ton of other cool ideas like this, like ramps to take shortcuts and buttons in the car that release oil. If you are Ecclestone or from the FIA give me a call. Think about it. Gimmicks=Profit!

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 23rd February 2014, 15:57

      I was thinking that super KERS should be a power up on the race track, as soon as a driver has collected it, he must use it within a lap. There should also be an oil spill power up so that the driver can get rid of cars behind him.

      After the race, all drivers who got 3 stars get to spin a bonus wheel which gives them some sort of multiplier on the points total for that race.

      Now this sounds like Bernie’s idea of F1

  15. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 23rd February 2014, 12:33

    None. No one race is more important than the rest. They should all have the same points allocation or it makes a mockery of the whole championship. Winning the first race is not worse than coming third at the last race so they should be rewarded as such. A win is a win, they should be treated as such.

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