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Ecclestone: Blame Ferrari for double points

NEWS STORY
04/02/2014

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that he introduced the much-maligned rule to award double points for the last race of the season to help Ferrari catch up with its rivals according to an article in the City A.M. newspaper by Christian Sylt.

Last year Ferrari finished in third place whilst Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel wrapped up the title three races before the end of the season. Vettel has won the championship for the past four years running and has been one of the biggest critics of the double points rule.

F1 personalities and fans criticised it from the moment it was first announced in December. Vettel said it is "absurd and punishes those who have worked hard for a whole season" whilst Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo told reporters that he is "not enthusiastic. For me it looks too much artificial."

However, Ecclestone says that di Montezemolo "has not been against double points actually but he was talking about it and I said 'let me just tell you something. It is very simple why we got that. It is because you aren't performing. I said 'if you were doing what you should be doing there wouldn't be any need for it.' He said 'I know, I know, I know.'"

It would have seriously shaken up F1's results if it had been used in previous years. Michael Schumacher would have lost one of his five titles for Ferrari had double points been awarded for the last race in 2003. However, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso would have replaced Vettel as champion in 2012.

It hasn't just been criticised because it manipulates the results but also because it favours the finale in Abu Dhabi which is often one of F1's most boring races. With double points awarded it will be worth twice as much as classics like the British or Monaco Grands Prix.

As Pitpass recently revealed the rule cannot be dropped for this year and, in fact, Ecclestone is pushing to extend it. Last week it came to light that he has written to the teams saying he wants it to apply to the two preceding races, in the USA and Brazil.

Ecclestone admits that this is unlikely to happen as it requires consent from all of the teams. Nevertheless, some have already voiced their approval with Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner saying that the rule currently placed "too much emphasis on one race" and is the equivalent of a "lucky punch". He suggested that he would support extending it to "take away an element of lottery over that last race." Many would say the best way to do that would be to get rid of it entirely.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by gturner38, 07/03/2014 5:22

"Of course Horner is in favor double points for the last three races. His cars aren't going to score a point in the first four or five races, so they'll need all the help they can get once they sort out their issues. Even before testing got started, Red Bull could point to the last four seasons and the fact that they always get better in the last half of the year as reason to want those races to count for more.

Personally, I don't like the idea at all for F1. WEC does it for Le Mans, but the race is also 4 times the normal length and is clearly the focal point of the season. "

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2. Posted by TokyoAussie, 02/03/2014 8:28

"Double points for 1 race is actually a little worse than for 3 races in my opinion. The driver who needs the double points in the last race to win the championship will never be regarded as the true champion. If it were in force for the last 3 races, that dilemma would be a bit more blurred. In any case, the double points business is a crock of bull. "

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3. Posted by CB120, 06/02/2014 1:58

"Why should I pay top dollar to see a race (Canada) which doesn't count as much as the last one. In other words why are all races not equal? Maybe I should just stay home and watch it on television. Maybe BE is going to hold an auction to see who gets the last race? That would be a sure way to make a lot of money and kill the sport."

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4. Posted by LifelessDead, 05/02/2014 12:42

"I've got a very simple solution:

=> Double points for EVERY race this year!

...ok, the standings might nascar-ish, but on the other hand it's fair again."

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5. Posted by Paul C, 05/02/2014 1:17

"Bernie sounds like a very lame politician. He's blaming Ferrari just because they have been in F1 forever. They even have kept other teams in the sport through engine support. They'll never leave even though Bernie throws them under the bus. Ferrari needs to take Le Mans seriously again.

If there must be a double points race, make it Spa or Monza. Only these two end of the year races deserve it."

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6. Posted by vins0n, 04/02/2014 20:44

"Hopefully Vettel will take the championship at the last race because of double points"

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7. Posted by ligier26, 04/02/2014 14:03

"Sadly the "powers that be" in F1 don't appreciate that fans want to see a race and not artificial gimmicks to spice up the show. Who wants to see drivers asking "should I defend my position?" or driving slowly (Monaco 2013) because their tyres only last a few laps? We'd love to see genuine overtaking not an artificial push to pass and cars that can follow each other through corners. F1 is now too prescriptive. Why should everyone have to build a V6? Why are engines rev-limited instead of being a performance differentiator? Restricting revs etc increases reliability so the leading teams take almost all the points. Now we face confusing grid penalties if a team uses too many power train elements as well as post race penalties (and protests) for minor transgressions. Meanwhile money is syphoned off by vested interests so many teams are on a financial knife-edge; circuits don't make money either. If the smaller teams struggle to raise sponsorship why not allow their two cars to be sponsored by different companies and to race in different colours? Thank goodness Pitpass says what it thinks. After a lifetime of following F1 I cancelled my long-standing subscription to a leading F1 magazine precisely because they won't give an opinion. I'm off to watch "sports car" racing, club events and historics. Proper racing."

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8. Posted by Spindoctor, 04/02/2014 10:34

"Is anybody else getting as bored as I am with Bernie and his increasingly silly statements\outbursts?

I don't want to get into a row about whether or not Bernie has been good or bad for F1 historically, that's dependent on your view of what constitutes a "Sport". However, his comments about F1 (of which he is allegedly still 'boss') are tedious, tendentious, repetitive and deliberately 'controversial'.

In the case of this double points fiasco, which he continues to promote, he appears to be in a minority of one.
He keeps banging-on as though the idea had been delivered to him from above as the salvation of F1 on tablets of stone, despite the opposition of fans and teams...."

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9. Posted by banfwd, 04/02/2014 9:42

""However, Ecclestone says that di Montezemolo "has not been against double points actually but he was talking about it and I said 'let me just tell you something. It is very simple why we got that. It is because you aren't performing."

So... Bernie introduces the double points rule, because Ferrari is not fast enough... Excuse me, but how is that Ferrari's fault? Bernie, Bernie... Blaming Ferrari for this rule is ridiculous, you are the only one to blame! Why not blame Lotus or McLaren? Didn't know only Ferrari had chance against Red Bull last season. Bernie just fooled himself, badly."

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10. Posted by stangelj, 04/02/2014 9:27

"Ironically it looks like double points will favour Red Bull this year. After their disastrous test in Jerez they are clearly a step and a half behind the other leading teams. My guess is it will take well into the 2nd half of the season for them to catch up. They should be pushing for double points in the last 3 races... :-)"

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