Former F1 and motorcycling world champion John Surtees has spoken out against the FIA's plans to award double points to drivers and teams at the final round of the 2014 world championship.

"It must be purely a commercial gimmick," he said. "I think it's totally and utterly wrong.

"This means of trying to artificially change the results of championships or races is something which is not in the true spirit of what we should be trying to achieve," he added.

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Surtees was speaking about his life and career with NBC Sports' MotorSportsTalk, in a wide-ranging interview that covered his life-long love of motorsports, his transition from two- to four-wheel racing, and how it felt to drive for Enzo Ferrari.

Talking about the current state of F1, Surtees suggested that predicting who would come out in top in the 2014 season was a near-impossible task. "Very difficult to say, it would depend largely how the engine side develops," he said. However if pushed, he still felt that Red Bull had what it took to claim a fifth consecutive brace of titles.

"When you go along and see the complete way that the Red Bull team is operated and its structure, and you have a driver like Sebastian Vettel who has been superb in every area and the way he attacks his racing is something which is an example to all these young drivers I think, they must have a chance to be right at the top," he said.

He also felt that his old team Ferrari might be able to shrug off its 2013 doldrums with the technical revamp allowing a fresh start this season, although he was still wary of the potentially volatile Fernando Alonso/Kimi Raikkonen line-up at Maranello. "It's not the one I would necessarily have chosen, but just the same, they'll be there."

Surtees added that he didn't like how the "juggle" in senior staff at Mercedes had led to Ross Brawn's exit, but that he was by no means counting them out for success this season: "They have immense resources and some very good people, and two very capable drivers."

These days Surtees is more focussed on developing the future generation of drivers that will be needed to ensure F1's continuing success through his work with the Racing Steps programme, and he lamented how the current state of the sport was leading to more pay drivers rather than seats being awarded purely on the basis of talent.

"Nowadays that dreaded thing of 'bought drives' comes in and they're highly financed," he sighed. "I think the structure of motorsport is wrong, and there needs to be a system that allows talent to be able to progress without having mega bucks to support it.

"It's sad that in a way F1 does not necessarily, except in rare examples, take the very best drivers," he said, adding that the current world championship team was a notable exception to the rule. "Red Bull have also been fantastic for developing drivers and giving opportunities."

As for the graduates of the Racing Steps programme, Surtees pointed out that drivers are increasingly having to set their sights on a move to the US after being stymied on the Grand Prix ladder.

"They've got to look at perhaps feeding drivers perhaps into the American scene. One of our drivers will in fact be in America next year, and that is good from a point of view of taking the British challenge over there," he said, referring to Jack Harvey who has been signed by Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to race in this year's Indy Lights championship.