Bernie Ecclestone... medallion man


There have been whispers, indeed, on the grid at Interlagos he even talked publicly about it, but most of us dismissed it as just another 'wind-up', Bernie being Bernie.

Sadly, however, talking to The Times, the organ through which he likes to feed information, and non-information, into the public domain, Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that he is looking at scrapping World Championship points in favour of medals.

The F1 supremo believes that a championship in which drivers battle for gold medals - with silver and bronze going to the runners-up - will stimulate more excitement than battling for World Championship points, an idea that most fans will probably consign to the same mental trashcan as some of his and Max's other initiatives, such as grooved tyres and pit stop strategy as opposed to on-track racing.

"The FIA and all the teams are behind it and it will be done," he told The Times ominously. "Everybody understands gold medals and silver and bronze. Nearly all sports are done that way.

"The whole point will be, when they get to Melbourne for the first race, the guys will want to leave there with a gold medal," he continued. "They don't want to leave with ten, eight or six points."

When Michael Schumacher and Ferrari were winning everything in sight, Ecclestone and the FIA came up with all manner of ideas to stop the steam-roller - correction, improve the show - including introducing a new points system which meant the difference for a win and second was just two points. Now, the F1 supremo believes a championship based on medals rather than points will encourage drivers to go for the win rather than settle for second.

"The need for it was highlighted at the Brazilian Grand Prix at the end of this season when Hamilton only had to finish in the top five to win the title, not win," explained Hamilton. "So this will encourage overtaking."

What with medals, night races, the end of F1 in north America and its demise in its European heartland, what with the sport being squeezed for every last penny and its birthright sold to the highest bidder, maybe it is F1 fans who should be calling in the divorce lawyers, citing cruelty to them and their sport.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 18/11/2008
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