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: 634

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

  1. cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 23rd February 2014, 20:12

    @keithcollantine I think this vote would be more telling if you could run it to a different electoral system.. so perhaps a preferential system? With first and second preferences? We all know that double points is hated, but what’s the next best answer? Now that would be a question I’d like to empirically test..

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

      There is no “next best answer”.

      • cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 23rd February 2014, 23:55

        @hohum Without you stating your reasoning I can’t deduce what you mean, but I supposed that you mean that the only acceptable solution is no double points? That would be your first choice. If you had no other opinion, then you are not obliged to use your second vote (hypothetically)

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 24th February 2014, 13:14

          @cduk_mugello, my reasoning and the reasoning of 96% of F1fs is that the F1 championship has been designed to be a series of races of near identical distance and duration so that each race will be a roughly similar challenge for which the points awarded will be the same, need I go on to explain how an annual championship works on the average best results. Unless the challenge is different the reward should be the same, any variation on equal points for equal challenge is just wrong.

    • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 24th February 2014, 12:35

      Is the “next best answer” not Bernie’s “double points for 3 races” proposal? As we can see from the poll, it is also widely hated.

  2. CeeVee (@ceevee) said on 23rd February 2014, 20:32

    The object of the exercise seems to be keeping viewers involved until the end of the season, so why not make points awarded be subject to viewer voting? The drivers put on a show and the fans vote for the points winners. It doesn’t have to be the race winner so if, for instance, Maldonado demonstrates a spectacular shunt then he might attract a lot of votes even if he doesn’t finish the race. Of course you might get a lot of votes for Martin Brundle, even though he’s not racing, as viewers might find him more entertaining than the race itself.

  3. icemangrins (@icemangrins) said on 23rd February 2014, 21:27

    The double points idea might favour the Renault powered cars towards the end of the season when they find a way to extract everything from their power plants. Don’t be surprised if Seb wins the last three GP’s and win his 5th WDC when Ferrari and Mercedes cry foul

  4. As was mentioned on the Peter Windsor show, The championships which were very close in the past decade would actually not be close at all if it were for the double points and the championships which were not close would have no bearing of the double points systems, this makes the double points plan fundamentally pointless.

  5. Tommy C (@tommy-c) said on 23rd February 2014, 21:54

    The saddest thing about this is that for the first time ever, I actually kinda hope the championship is wrapped up early to ensure this rile doesn’t impact the championship. I can think of nothing worse for the championship than having a driver win simply because he was gifted an additional 25 points at the final race to turn around a 49 point deficit…

  6. Considering the complexity that comes with the new 2014 regulations and the challange given to the engineers and designers, it would be fair to reward championships points down to P12 or P14 I reckon. I guess with the current point system there’s room for rewarding few more finishing places. What do you think?

    • CeeVee (@ceevee) said on 24th February 2014, 18:43

      Why not give points to every finisher? With last finisher getting 1 point, next to last 2 points etc. It seems fundamentally unfair that a team/driver can finish every race in a season but end up with no points. This is perhaps straying somewhat off-topic but if we’re looking at how points are awarded why not consider all options?

  7. John H (@john-h) said on 23rd February 2014, 22:19

    Bernie – outstaying his welcome.

  8. schooner (@schooner) said on 23rd February 2014, 22:25

    I recall Horner saying something to the effect, “maybe the last 3 races should be double points to reduce the lottery effect of having only the final race at double value”. Want to reduce the lottery effect? Much simpler to scrap double points entirely.

  9. The problem is, when one team is dominant enough to win the championship before the last three races, chances are, they’re going to win the last three races. In 2013, the season that made Bernie come up with this idiotic plan, Red Bull scored a 1st and 2nd, a 1st and 3rd, and a 1st and 2nd.

    In 2011, Vettel was crowned champion in Japan– But won two of the next four races, and was on the podium for the third.

    If you want excitement at the end of the season, give double points at the beginning of the season– A plan I’m sure Toto Wolff would be strongly in favor of right now. ;)

  10. Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 23rd February 2014, 23:47

    I wonder how is the wording of the rules. I the current last race was cancelled for whatever reason, will the double points be moved on to the previous gp?

  11. dot_com (@dot_com) said on 23rd February 2014, 23:58

    Double points – absolute farce, whichever way you look at it. One race, 3 races, whatever, it’s ridiculous. It’s just ongoing – Bernie cares nothing for the sport, he just wants as much money out of it as he can get. Anybody with an agenda like that should not be in charge of Formula One, or any sport for that matter.

  12. Richard (@richardhk) said on 24th February 2014, 0:10

    All cars should be fitted with a radio-controlled engine cutoff switch.

    Bernie could then watch the race and simply stop cars as and when he wanted.

    This could lead to a very exciting end to the season.

  13. Sean Doyle (@spdoyle17) said on 24th February 2014, 2:47

    Late to the party here, but why not send a message even Bernie will understand?

    Sure, we will watch the last race, pen and paper in hand, and will boycott any and every company who airs a commercial for the race for, say, three months. The boycott would extend to six months if it was a channel a given viewer has to pay to watch?

  14. f1azzer (@f1azzer) said on 24th February 2014, 3:57

    Only read the first page of comments so far, but here’s another silly idea to consider, HANDICAPS, as in golf. You win a race you start the next race with a points deduction, say 3 points, you win another, 5 point handicap. Fail to finish, get one handicap level removed. Also, referees positioned around the circuit to penalise (1 point) infringements such as crossing the white line, i.e. leaving the track!! Failing to control your car, at a corner for instance and bumping or obstructiing another driver (2 points). Now we can see the good drivers moving up the charts instead of the bullies and those with a death wish (especially for their competition)
    p.s. I voted NO!
    P.P.S Apologies to anyone who already posted such an idea, like I said, I have only read the first page of comments so far.

    • Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 24th February 2014, 8:56

      Another golfing idea: an Order of Merit. Just rank them in order of how rich they are. Perfect for F1 today with all the pay drivers – but maybe it would be more appropriate for GP2.

  15. there is one thing we can do: totally ignore all the races that have double points!!! not watch them, not commenting, not going to the race!!! if enough true fans do it, it will be felt by FOM and thatll be money!!! theyll never do it again!!!! but it must be done well!!!! we have still some time to spread the word: TOTALLY IGNORE THE DOUBLE POINTS RACES!!!!!

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