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McLaren adds support to Ecclestone F1 medals plan.

Having asserted that the teams 'are all behind' his contentious proposal to introduce an Olympic Games-style medals system into Formula 1 [see separate story – click here], Bernie Ecclestone now has proof in part – with McLaren-Mercedes having pledged its support for the initiative.

Many of the sport's leading observers have rubbished the idea, and FIA President Max Mosley has cast doubt upon the likelihood of the alternative points-scoring format being approved ahead of the 2009 campaign – if at all.

Ecclestone appears to have found an ally, however, in the form of soon to be ex-McLaren team principal Ron Dennis, who yesterday announced that he is to hand over the reins of the multiple world championship-winning Woking-based outfit to understudy Martin Whitmarsh after almost three decades at the helm [see separate story – click here].

Though his young protégé Lewis Hamilton would have lost the 2008 crown had it been decided upon the basis of most victories – triumphing five times to Ferrari rival Felipe Massa's six successes – Dennis admitted that he broadly agreed with the F1 ringmaster's standpoint.

“Obviously Bernie still has very strong views about his medal idea,” the 61-year-old is quoted as having said by international news agency Reuters, “and he has voiced those opinions – but in essence I think his view is that the person that wins the most races should win the world championship.

“We don't disagree with that view, and if that becomes the objective then we'll make sure we win enough races to win the world championship. Our objective was to win the world championship within the points structure that existed in 2008, and that is what we did.”

Hamilton, though – who at just 23 became the top flight's youngest-ever title-winner when he pipped Massa to the laurels by just a single point at the end of a truly nail-biting season finale at Interlagos back in November – was less enthusiastic about the suggestion.

“We work hard as a team to win and be consistent,” the nine-time grand prix-winner stated, “and whether you finish first or third, it's got to be the driver and team that's done the best job over the whole year and not just who's won the most races.”


Related Pictures

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Ron Dennis (GBR) McLaren Team Principal, Norbert Haug (GER), Mercedes Sporting Director, Malaysian F1 Grand Prix, Sepang, Kuala Lumpar, 21st-23rd, March 2008
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(L to R): Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner with Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.
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(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1; Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner; Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team, with the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
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Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team unveil the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
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Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team unveil the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
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Otmar Szafnauer (USA) Sahara Force India F1 Chief Operating Officer.
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Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.
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terrell bryant

January 17, 2009 2:18 PM

This is funny because he never said he agreed with the medals idea, just the thought that the person who wins the most races should be champion. But once again these so called smart people are proposing drastic changes for a simple "problem". Why not simply change the points structure so wins are rewarded more? The problem with the medal idea is simply what happens if some wins the first 5 races but gets sidelined for every other race. Then no one else wins that many but is on the podium every race? In some sports the "best" teams or players don't always win championships. I don't understand the brain trusts that are running motorsports these days. They seem to be stuck on stupid



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