Site logo

Ecclestone slams teams for double points criticism

NEWS STORY
07/01/2014

At the end of last year the FIA dropped the bombshell that double points would be awarded for the last race of the season from 2014. It attracted widespread criticism with four-time champion Sebastian Vettel saying that it "is absurd and punishes those who have worked hard for a whole season" whilst Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo added "I'm not enthusiastic. For me it looks too much artificial." One person who strongly disagrees with them is Bernie Ecclestone.

Speaking to me in today's Wall Street Journal, Ecclestone launched a stinging attack on F1's teams for criticising the controversial plan.

The decision was made in early December after a vote by the Strategy Group, a body comprising Formula One Management, six leading teams and the FIA with each having equal weight. "The people that were against it were some of the teams," says Ecclestone adding that the critics "don't know why it's a bad idea. They have no idea why."

This year's F1 finale is the twilight race in Abu Dhabi on November 23. Doubling the number of points available there makes the often-processional race worth twice as much as classics like the British or Monaco Grands Prix.

Ecclestone says he initially proposed awarding double points at the final three races but "it didn't go through so I said, 'I know, let's do one race' and everybody went along with it." He says he came up with the idea in a bid to end the domination of F1 by Vettel and Red Bull Racing which has won the title for the past four years running.

Last year Vettel wrapped it up three races before the end of the season and Ecclestone says that it dented interest in F1 from then on.

"It was a non-championship. It lost TV interest, it lost a lot. If the last three races were double points the teams would say, 'let's see about this'. If Fernando wins two out of the three, then even if Sebastian is second, the championship is still going to run until the end."

Alonso would have replaced Vettel as champion in 2012 had double points been awarded in the last race. Likewise, Lewis Hamilton would not have been crowned champion with McLaren in 2008 nor Michael Schumacher for Ferrari in 2003.

Ecclestone says the reason the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the last race is that the original date for the race clashed with the Islamic holiday of Eid in October. However, he adds that it may be replaced as the finale in future since the date of Eid changes.

"Abu Dhabi is the last race for religious reasons because when the race was going to take place they are closed. It is because of this holiday business which changes all the time."

He adds that the plan to award double points could be torpedoed if the teams and the FIA vote against it at the next Strategy Group meeting. However, Ecclestone says he is still driving for the scheme to be extended. "The idea is to move it to three races maybe before 2015." Time will tell whether that happens.

Christian Sylt

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Speed of a wombat, 10/01/2014 1:29

"If we are going to have double points for races then I prefer Bernie's earlier idea of a grand slam during the year which would spice things up.
My choices would be Monaco, Spa (European leg) Suzuka (Asian leg) and Interlagos (American leg). This would give credence to the history of F1 without being too Europe-centric and provide a wide range of tracks so that it wouldn't advantage one team. These tracks also acknowledge the drivers skill as well as being some their best loved tracks. As these races are relatively spread out throughout the season it gives teams a great opportunity to catch up as well.
I think this approach would be far better accepted by F1 fans as it wouldn't skew the championship as the current proposal which is just a knee jerk reaction to Vettel's dominance in 2013.
I would also go back to having points awarded to the top 3 in qualifying (5pts for pole 3 points for 2nd and 1 point for 3rd). This would give value to the crowds watching qualifying. Also think that 5 points be given to fastest lap of the race. This could add extra drama to the end of a race (especially if the leader is out of reach) with drivers having a qualifying style shoot out and giving the opportunity of the smaller teams snagging some points.
I know this is nothing more than wishful thinking but would love to hear what other fans think of this."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by GrahamG, 08/01/2014 15:35

"Doesn't this just about sum up current F1 "a bid to end the domination of F1 by Vettel and Red Bull Racing"
It was just the same when Ferrari were dominant, all sorts of daft ideas were floated by Ecclestone, reverse grids, swapping drivers between teams and so on. The truest words were spoken by Ron Dennis (I think) at the time - "basically all it shows is that the rest of us are not doing a good enough job".
Falling audiences at the moment are because F1 races have become a difficult to follow lottery based on tyres and aero not superior driver/car combinations
"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Paul RB, 08/01/2014 13:15

"If this is about a competitive sport then the double points decision is absurd on many levels, not least of which it seeks to dilute the rewards of excellence. If a team and driver (like them or not!) is head and shoulders above the rest, then they should enjoy the fruits of that excellence in a straight line through the season and not have their efforts "manipulated" against them. Another key point is that if double points for the last race are insuffiecient to level the game, what heppens then - change the points mid season to the "required" amount of races? Of course I did start by saying, "If this is about a competitive sport . . ." which it seems, increasingly, it is not, rather a desire to be a TV spectacular with prizes for all. Between Ecclestone and the FIA this propensity to keep tinkering around the edges looks more and more like fiddling while Rome burns . . .and we all know what happened there!"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by vins0n, 07/01/2014 11:58

"It's nice that someone can wield so much power that they can "launch a stinging attack" without fear of criticism from those in receipt."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2014. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  terms  |  privacy & security  |  rss