6 November 2013
F1 points to adopt ATP approach?
Is Bernie Ecclestone about to serve up a new means of determining F1's number one? Or is it a load of balls?
The lull between grands prix, allied to Sebastian Vettel's recent domination, has given some cause to exercise themselves in the pursuit of an alternative to the current F1 scoring system.
According to Spanish publication Expansion, Bernie Ecclestone believes that the sport runs the risk of resembling the world's leading football leagues, with only a handful of competitors capable of coming out on top at the end of the season, and could be ripe for a shake-up in the way success is rewarded.
Although his oft-repeated 'medal system' – based on the Olympic ideal of awarding gold, silver and bronze to the top three, but awarding the overall title on the number of wins rather than points – eventually bit the dust, Ecclestone is reportedly considering another alternative to the current 25-18-15-12-etc format, based on the formula used by international tennis.
In that, not all tournaments are worth the same number of ranking points, making the four grand slams the highlight – and most valuable – of the year, and then tiering the multitude of tour events according to their difficulty.
While the system appears unworkable in F1, where the same 22 drivers and eleven teams turn out for races that cover roughly the same distance, the report suggests that some events could still be worth 25 points to the winner, but that others could be worth double that – with the season finale offering a massive four-fold increase to ' introduce an element of uncertainty'.
The majority of races would remain at the current level, although the story lumps Italy and Belgium in with the masses, while singling out Monaco and Silverstone as 'historically important' enough to warrant a 50-point haul to the winner. Brazil, as the current finale, was automatically given the 100-point jackpot, although that would change according, particularly if, as suggested, 'F1 would be able to charge the circuits that distribute the most points at a higher rate'….
Tennis, of course, has a revolving ranking system rather than an annual championship running within a calendar year, and players carry their ranking points over a shifting twelve-month period, so that as players approach, for example, the All-England Championships at Wimbledon, they would count all points accrued from the same point the previous year, then replace and update their 'Wimbledon' tally once the tournament is over.
That would be a boost to both Lewis Hamilton and, particularly, Jenson Button, who would be able to carry over their winning totals from Austin and Interlagos respectively – at least for a few more weeks – but would it really be enough to allow anyone other than Vettel to occupy the number one slot?
Should F1 adopt a new scoring/ranking system or is the current format – one steeped in history regardless of the points on offer – still the best for determining the sport's number one? To have your say, simply let us know what you think in the comments section below....
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