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Is revised points scheme 'illegal'?

18 December 2009


The Formula One point system due to be introduced to accommodate the enlarged grids of 2010 could be discarded before the season even starts because critics claim that it was adopted illegally.

According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport magazine, the revised system - which awards 25 points for a win and allows the top ten finishers to score points - was introduced by FIA without being proposed by the F1 Commission, and against the wishes of the majority of team owners.

The report claims that the F1 Commission did not propose that the system be adopted, and could only have voted on change had a proposal been received from either the sport's sporting or technical working group. Although the former did discuss altering the allocation of points during its meeting on 4 December, the matter was dismissed after only cursory talks, and with only Team USF1's Peter Windsor appearing to be in favour of the change.

Despite that, however, the FIA's World Motor Sport Council published details of the revised scoring system when announcing changes to the F1 championship ahead of 2010, claiming that the revision was in order tom accommodate the extra three teams due to make up a 26-car grid next season. That move, according to the report, flies in the face of the Concorde Agreement, which requires that the teams and other interested parties have a say in decisions that affect the sport.

Auto Motor und Sport points out several absurdities in the new scheme which, while rewarding more drivers and giving substantially greater points for reaching the podium, still means that a win can be equalled by finishes of second and seventh, as under the 'old' system. The podium points have been multiplied by a factor of 2.5, fourth to sixth by a factor of two. Seventh place reflects the magnification of the top three positions, while eighth now gets three times as many points as before. Ninth and tenth now inherit two and one points respectively. Moreover, as spotted by Crash.net at the time of its introduction, the gap between sixth and seventh is a single point, while seventh to eighth reverts to two points.

It now remains to be seen whether the system will be formally adopted for 2010, but it seems faintly ridiculous that, should some of the newcomers that the scheme is designed to accommodate fall by the wayside, as much as half the field could end up being rewarded with points....


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