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Complete and utter madness

NEWS STORY
06/11/2013

Hopefully it's tongue in cheek, but if not Bernie Ecclestone's latest idea to kick life into the world championship is his craziest yet.

Last year, Ecclestone, like race fans, was spoiled, the world championship going down to the very last race; and what a race it was, with Sebastian Vettel spinning on the first lap and then all that nonsense with the yellow warning lights.

Better still was 2010 when the German went into the last race fifteen points down on championship leader Fernando Alonso who was to see his title hopes disappear along in the exhaust gasses from Vitaly Petrov's Renault.

Better yet was 2008 when Felipe Massa took the title on home soil, only to lose it 38.907 seconds later when Lewis Hamilton crossed the line in fifth following a last lap, last corner, mistake by Timo Glock.

This year, the title was finally won by Vettel at a poorly attended race in New Delhi, though it was effectively decided several races earlier. While the German celebrated with do-nuts, F1 supremo Ecclestone pondered the damage that winning the championship title so relatively early in the season would wreak in terms of falling TV audiences for the three remaining races.

Of course it's not as bad as 2002 when Michael Schumacher won the title with six races remaining, but it's still pretty bad and, as Ecclestone well knows, bad for business.

As ever, much like Baldrick, Ecclestone has a cunning plan, however, we can only hope that he's joking.

The F1 supremo has suggested to Gabriele Cagliani of Expansion, one of the leading economic newspapers in Spain, that he envisages a new points system based on that of the ATP World Tour.

Under the scheme, some events are ranked as more important than others and therefore more points are awarded. While the current 25 points for the winner would be retained for most races, some events could be worth as much as 50 points for the winner and the season decider as many as 100.

The "last race of the season could be worth 100 points, which would introduce an element of uncertainty," said Ecclestone. While the 'traditional events' would continue to be based on the current system, a win worth 25 points, "the races that would "be worth 50 would be the historically important grands prix - like Monaco and England - while the Brazil race would have a value of 100 points."

As if that isn't bad enough, it is suggested that the powers that be could change the circuits' rankings, in other words, suddenly there are 50 points for winning Abu Dhabi rather than 50.

In our humble opinion, the only uncertainty such a move might create is exactly how many F1 fans would stand for what would widely, and rightly, be seen as a step too far in terms of the manipulation of the rules in order to 'spice up' the show.

If Ecclestone, who is in court today in London, is serious, he deserves 10 years hard labour for even pondering such a pathetic idea.

Though the idea is said to be "far from reality" we all know that Bernie always gets what he wants, and the money makers behind the sport know that winning the title early is not good for business.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by oldbiker100, 07/11/2013 10:38

"Forgetting for the moment that the scoring system is not one of the main problems with F1 at the moment, all the ever revolving Bernie is doing is suggesting a variation on a format that is used in several motor sports such as British Superbike, precisely to bring the championship down to the last race.

In BSB the top 10 riders after a set number of the races in the season qualify to race as part of the "countdown to the championship" or some-such title. This countdown is scored using the last 6, or maybe even more, races. All points are removed and they effectively start from scratch. Other riders still race and the point scoring system remains the same, but only the points gained by these top 10 riders count towards the overall championship.

Artificial it may be but it does seem to guarantee better crowd attendances and viewing figures and the teams seem to like it."

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2. Posted by Skidmarks, 06/11/2013 20:34

"@Cheesed flag
Quote!""Remember those days when Schumi got it all, and 80% of the race we were just seeing spots of his face. those dark days are coming back.
remember when we had private small teams, jordan, minardi.
Remember we are having more and more races per year.
an ATP shaped championship will allow to have small venues with small teams adding points with real fight
on the "grand slamps" we will see the big guns fighting without some small teams
i suggested exactly the same 10 years ago"

I'm not sure that I follow your points.
Yes I remember all the statements and I also lament that F1 is more business than sport, but what is an ATP championship?
Are you suggesting not allowing the small teams? Ten years ago the teams were not cash strapped and we did not have the minnows, just different tiny teams. Forgive me if I am thick, but what do you think would improve the show?

Much as I hate it, F1 is more show than sport and more business than show.
"

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3. Posted by chessedflag, 06/11/2013 17:59

"Remember those days when Schumi got it all, and 80% of the race we were just seeing spots of his face. those dark days are coming back.
remember when we had private small teams, jordan, minardi.
Remember we are having more and more races per year.
an ATP shaped championship will allow to have small venues with small teams adding points with real fight
on the "grand slamps" we will see the big guns fighting without some small teams
i suggested exactly the same 10 years ago"

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

4. Posted by JackTheCat, 06/11/2013 12:18

"For God's sake when will these people stop messing about and address the only issue which is that of too much aero preventing the cars following each other and passing each other! That is all that needs addressing to make racing proper again... well that and removing stupid endurance regs, silly fragile tyres and a lack of refuelling!"

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5. Posted by Skidmarks, 06/11/2013 12:14

"Sometimes, i think that he says these things just to get a reaction"

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6. Posted by BentleyBoy, 06/11/2013 11:59

"Poor old Bernie, is he going senile?
The answer to better racing is reverse grids. The winner of of the last race starts at the back etc. The top teams would still win but with much more action. and the lower teams have a much better chance of scoring points.
Job done...?
"

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