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

Loading ... Loading ...

An F1 Fanatic account is required in order to vote. If you do not have one, register an account here or read more about registering here.

Debates and polls

Browse all debates and polls

Image © Red Bull/Getty

Advert | Go Ad-free

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

  1. Sven Örup said on 23rd February 2014, 16:28

    If they absolutely want to prevent the championship from being decided to early why not have an escalator in points for every race.
    Lets say every race is worth 10% more points than the previous one. It would be fair to the promoters and the teams doing the best job developing the cars over the season would be rewarded.
    Also every race would mean more in the points table than the previous one keeping interest up during the season.

  2. Zain Siddiqui (@powerslidepowerslide) said on 23rd February 2014, 16:28

    Why did you even put up a poll?

  3. infernojim (@infernojim) said on 23rd February 2014, 16:38

    This is the plan that shows up just how ridiculous Bernie’s become. 5 years ago Bernie pushed hard for a medal based system to counteract the possibility that someone could win the championship having not won the most races in a season (as Hamilton had in 2008). Now, he proposes a plan which could hypothetically enable someone who wins only the last 3 races of the season to beat someone who wins 6 or even 7 “standard” races. That he can’t see how ludicrous the suggestion is only goes to highlight how ludicrous Bernie himself has become.

    Sport is there to provide people an opportunity to compete at the highest level and let the best man or team win. Goals scored in the last 5 minutes of a football match aren’t weighted more highly than those scored in the first, they don’t give the gold medal in the 100 metres to the person that runs the last 10 metres the fastest and you don’t pass your a levels just by getting the last 5 questions right, having messed up the rest of the test.

    Last year was unprecedented domination, and doesn’t warrant a knee jerk reaction to “fix” the sport. Sometimes you just have to sit back and applaud excellence, and then it’s up to the competition to up their games and make a better fist of it next year.

    I’m excited by the fact that this year already looks like having a mixed up grid, new technology, less reliability, new winners and so much more. I don’t need artificial nonsense to keep me excited and neither does anyone else.

    If you want increased audiences Bernie, maybe you should start listening to what we have to say for a change…. Of course if you want to chuck a few million bribe my way, let me know…

    • The greatest irony in Bernie’s plan is that in those seasons where one driver begins to dominate – such as 2011 or 2013 – they usually continue to dominate. Vettel would have won by an even greater margin had double points been implemented in 2013 (albeit winning later, but still before the last race) and in 2011 the case would not differ drastically.

      Ecclestone is clearly failing to recognise is that the issue is not when the championship is wrapped up, but the inevitability of the occurrence. If one driver is dominating then the audience will be turned off irrespective of whether he is to win with five races to go or two.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 23rd February 2014, 22:18

      Actually Bernie could bung us all $100,000 to get unanimous support for less than the insignificant $43m. payoff he gave the banker.
      Please call me Bernie.

  4. ColdFly said on 23rd February 2014, 17:21

    We can all win: last race gets ‘double points’ (Bernie happy); but there are 2 races that weekend – Sat & Sun (fans happy). And we could even start the 2nd race in reverse order (Chilton happy).

  5. SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 23rd February 2014, 17:22

    Of course no race should get double the points as no race weighs in double than any of the other races. Skewing the unequal treatment further to offer double points to the last three races does not make it right. But I guess even to strike down the ‘double points for the last race’ rule the strategy group has to come to a unanimous decision which looks highly unlikely given the FIA acting as puppet of Bernie. As much as I dread this, all that could happen is at best the last race alone retains double points or at worst we get a trident of double pointed races.

  6. PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 23rd February 2014, 17:42

    I still don’t understand how this is going ahead. It’s madness. The whole idea makes no sense, in sporting terms or just any terms really. I’m still clinging on to the fragile self-hope that it’s all just a ruse, and it wont go ahead, even if it is written into the regulations.

  7. f1freek (@f1freek) said on 23rd February 2014, 18:10

    Dammit! Bernie is voting for that 2%!

  8. Adz76 (@adz76) said on 23rd February 2014, 18:17

    Long time reader / lurker. I signed up so I could vote, regardless of who wins and for how long they win no race should ever be worth more than any other within a championship.Sport is about a fair and level playing field, double points does not play by these rules.

  9. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 23rd February 2014, 18:25

    I still stand where I stood when it was announced. 0 races should be double points in F1. And in series where double or extra points are awarded (WEC or IndyCar) at least it is justifiable. Bernie’s stupid plans are unjustifiable in its current state.

  10. astevo1989 (@astevo1989) said on 23rd February 2014, 18:41

    Why not give extra points for pole to make cars push in quali 3 and extra points in the race for fastest lap so the teams push for that rather than making the last race extra points and therefor worth more than any other grand prix! Makes no sense

    • GT Racer (@gt-racer) said on 23rd February 2014, 19:30

      Why not give extra points for pole

      Because that would risk the championship been decided on Saturday after qualifying which takes away the incentive for some to bother watching the race.

      and extra points in the race for fastest lap

      Similar to above it could risk the championship been decided mid-race should someone get fastest lap & then it rains preventing anyone beating that time.

      Another problem with points for fastest lap is that often the fastest lap doesn’t really mean anything as its more down to what state your tyres are in late in the race than pure performance.
      Pit for fresh tyres with 2-3 laps to go & your pretty much guaranteed fastest lap & the only teams who would do that are those towards the back with no chance at finishing in the points.

  11. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 23rd February 2014, 18:45

    Easy! None, no race should be valued more just because it is placed at the end of the season.

  12. Pretty conclusive. :-)

  13. Estesark (@estesark) said on 23rd February 2014, 19:21

    Keith, I’m sure you didn’t really need this poll to find out what we thought :)

    I’d take double points for a double-length race, but if that was the case, I would much rather have it somewhere other than Abu Dhabi. Spa would probably be my pick.

  14. Maciek (@maciek) said on 23rd February 2014, 19:55

    Since by his own claim, given his age, Bernie’s lucidity fails him at times, maybe someone can pull a fast one on him: the points for the last race could just be printed in a font twice as big as the others and he’d think they’re worth double.

  15. oweng (@oweng) said on 23rd February 2014, 20:11

    It’s a disgusting proposal that cheapens the sport.

    It’s just as ridiculous as having a rule that caps anyone’s championship lead at 20 points.

    Has anyone in a senior role in F1 other than Ecclestone come out and said its a good idea and offered reasons why? Who in power had voted for it or agreed it?

    As much as I love watching F1 I would happily take part in any properly organised boycott of the watching of any double points race.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.