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 (1%)
  • No opinion (2%)

Total Voters: 624

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

  1. Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 23rd February 2014, 13:20

    I guess we’re stuck with it. It’ll be either one race or three. 3 would be the more interesting option. Wishful thinking says Bernie’s position will be weaker now he’s no longer a director of the various F1 companies, and the teams will stand up to him. More realistically, I can’t imagine F1 teams uniting behind anything, although the Mercedes-powered teams working together on the test programme was a pleasant surprise.

    There may be redeeming features – teams no longer giving up development of their cars around September (as James Allen has pointed out), or drivers trying to win each race, as Gilles Villeneuve once did, and not just driving for points.

  2. There are a few things wrong with F1 at the moment but Bernie is attempting to fix something that isn’t broken, and avoiding other more important issues.

    All races worth the same points, all races count towards the championship. Surely that isn’t too much to ask for.

  3. I ve voted no. but I see one more argument for it, teams will develop their cars till last race since more constructor points is worth more money …. having said that, I disagree with it in principle.

  4. None.
    Double points for any race is a stupid ideal….while you’re going to make different rules for making the end of the season more interesting, why don’t you just not count any points except for the last race? The moment you make one race more valuable than the others, the sport loses integrity. You manufacture an artificial unbalance; this is absolutely counter-productive to idea of racing as the entire sport is based on balance…balance of speed vs downforce, balance of power vs fuel and tyre economy, balance of settling for a lower place in the grid to save the car for the next race. Now, there is no balance in the races themselves…stupid.

  5. Robbie (@robbie) said on 23rd February 2014, 14:03

    BE would sure change his tune if rather than this concept ensuring viewership until the end, it diminished viewership by 96% from the start!

  6. Finlay (@fintard96) said on 23rd February 2014, 14:04

    Something like in IndyCar, where you have the ‘triple crown’ idea – win the 3 triple crown races and you get a lot of money (just in this case it would be extra points). This would be a better solution than having 1/3 double points races at the end of the season. You could have, for example, Silverstone, Belgium and Italy as the double points races but make them 50% longer than the rest; the first, last and middle races of the season double points and 50% longer; or make all of the remaining races that were on the original 1950 calendar double points (historically significant races), also 50% longer. These are just alternative suggestions that Bernie could consider. I am still, however, fully against the idea of double points for any races.

    • Finlay (@fintard96) said on 23rd February 2014, 14:13

      Thinking about it, double points at Monaco might stop drivers and teams doing a Rosberg. There would be an extra incentive to go that little bit faster to pass someone holding up the field and making the race boring. Just a thought.

      • But equally @fintard96, it could either allow a driver to win the championship earlier or just generally result in a farcical situation where no-one can pass (as it is after all Monaco) and not be able to recover from a poor grid position, but with twice the usual incurred cost.

        Honestly I think Monaco is the worst possible track to make a double points track, for the very reason that it is nigh-on impossible to pass on.

  7. StephenH said on 23rd February 2014, 14:08

    At this rate F1 is going to end up doing what they’ve done in NASCAR …

  8. Nigelstash (@nigelstash) said on 23rd February 2014, 14:10

    Stupid idea, full stop.
    It can only favour the big spending teams who can afford to develop the car right to the last race, Surely the drivers don’t want to be the one who won a championship on a gimmick. Would Vettel want to fight back from a poor start to the season, as it looks likely he will have to and i have no doubt he will, then win it because of double points in the last race? Surely he would be embarrassed. Still the drivers have the power to stop this.
    They should all agree now to ignore double points and should the title be decided at the final race, hand the trophy to the genuine winner. What’s the worst that could happen – would a top team sack a top driver when the whole of the F1 fan base sees them as a hero? Or are they all too scared of Bernie?

  9. Easy One! That One that isnt wwe! Abandon that rule

  10. Maciek (@maciek) said on 23rd February 2014, 15:12

    Kinda a foregone conclusion, this one. Perhaps not the most vital piece ever on F1F if I may be so petty as to point out.

  11. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 23rd February 2014, 15:15

    I was about to say something, but people have already made the point clear.

  12. SPIDERman (@spiderman) said on 23rd February 2014, 15:24

    if they want to increase the spectacle for commercial reasons…then i suggest they should start awarding points the whole weekend from practice 1 ,2 and 3 and to sweeten it up by awarding more points for qualification 1 ,2 and 3..
    This will ensure that by the end of the season.. all the teams will have earned a point of some sort ….

  13. I’ve just realised: Bernie Ecclestone has missed an absolutely golden opportunity which I think most fans would like/not be too against.

    Have a GP2-type weekend in Abu Dhabi, so two races – one of which a sprint race with (if we must) a reverse grid. It wouldn’t be ideal for the purists but I could watch that without wishing to vomit on my television.

    • Have a GP2-type weekend in Abu Dhabi, so two races – one of which a sprint race with (if we must) a reverse grid.

      both the fia & fota had questions about double races & reverse grids in there respective fan poll’s a few years ago & fans were overwhelmingly against both proposals.

      Speaking personally if F1 ever did adopt 2 race weekends, sprint races or reverse grid i’d skip that weekend.
      If they did it for every race i’d stop watching f1 just like i stopped watching the btcc when they adopted 2-3 sprint races about 10 years ago.

      • Pink Peril (@pink-peril) said on 23rd February 2014, 21:59

        V8 Supercars here in Oz tried the reverse grid a couple of years ago and it was not a success and was quickly abandoned. But last year they came up with something even worse, they stopped the races half way. Yep, they stopped for a ‘tea break’ and then resumed racing an hour or so later. It was an absolute farce which just killed off the race and frankly by the end of the season Mr Pink and I stopped watching altogether. When you watch a motor race, that’s exactly what you want to see. Not gimmicks and tricks – if I wanted that I’d go see David Copperfield.

  14. Yobo01 (@yobo01) said on 23rd February 2014, 15:44

    As someone already said, why fix something that is not broken? I mean, seriously, how can they not see it? We’ve had a lot of thrilling last races in the past few years.

    I mean, how could double points make races more exciting? I just don’t see it. If two or more drivers have a chance to win the championship at the last round it’s going to be exciting anyway, double points won’t really matter. If the championship battle has been one sided, it’s likely that double points would not change a lot. I mean, take Vettel in 2013 and 2011.

    So, this rule would only be effective if the leader has a lead between 25 and 50 points before the last race. How many times did it happen?
    Is it worth upsetting fans, journalists, drivers because of that? I say no.

  15. I’m against having double points for a race. But I definitely think we should bring back non-championship races. I’d love to see the cars back at Magny-Cours or Indianapolis, even with no championship points on the cards. That would be really great!

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