Martin Brundle has spoken in favour of Formula 1's new scoring system whereby the driver with the most race wins rather than necessarily the most points will be crowned world champion at season's end - but he urged the FIA not to penalise drivers for 'having a go'.

The sporting and technical regulation changes were announced following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council earlier this week [see separate story - click here], with the new means of determining the destination of the title designed to encourage drivers to attempt more overtaking moves, in the knowledge that second place - and the 'safe' eight points that go with it - will no longer be enough.

"What Bernie [Ecclestone - F1 commercial rights-holder] is fed up with is the fact that Lewis [Hamilton] can cruise around to fifth to win the championship in the final race, though of course what a race that was," BBC F1 commentator Brundle said on BBC Radio 2, referring to the nail-biting 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

"Maybe now we will get a couple of desperate young drivers who have to win the race, because second place isn't just a comfortable eight points anymore. All I hope is that if young drivers are challenged to go for it, they don't then get penalised for having a go, which we have seen in the past."

That last comment is undoubtedly an allusion to the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps last year, when Hamilton was demoted from first place to third following the race for having run over the grass in overtaking Kimi Raikkonen in the closing stages.

Though the McLaren-Mercedes star gave the position back to his Ferrari rival immediately afterwards, the race stewards nonetheless deemed that he had gained an unfair advantage from the manoeuvre - and imposed one of the most controversial penalties in the top flight's six decades of history.

Suggesting that the change is relatively insignificant compared to F1's new optional budget cap [see separate story - click here], Brundle went on to speculate about what the future holds for the sport once its ringmaster has to eventually hand over the reins.

"I think there are bigger issues F1 has to worry about," the former McLaren, Benetton, Ligier, Jordan and Brabham ace argued, "like the new ?30 million budget cap. To go F1 racing for the same price as effectively two Premiership footballers I think will debase the sport a bit. I'm more concerned about that.

"[The scoring change] is all a bit late in the day and random, and does it really matter? In the end I don't think it's going to make a lot of difference, frankly. Thirteen times in the past 59 years it would have changed the world championship outcome, but that doesn't tell the whole story, because statistics sometimes lie - you win a championship over a whole year, not just over one race.

"Bernie wanted to have a gold, silver and bronze medals system, which would have been a bit wacky. Maybe we will get a really weird result and maybe we are going to get some great racing - or maybe not. It's the usual politics going on - Bernie and Max [Mosley - FIA President] versus the teams. It's actually quite good sport in itself to watch that happening.

"Bernie likes people to compete for his attention. Goodness knows what will happen when he pops his clogs; he never answers that question. Bernie operates in his own way, and the commercial rights-holders still want him in place because he is one of the world's greatest negotiators. He might be knocking on 80, but he would still beat you or I into a cocked hat. It will all go bang sooner or later, though, and something new will have to rise out of the ashes."

Brundle was more enthusiastic about what lies ahead over the course of the rapidly-approaching 2009 F1 campaign, suggesting that as a result of all the new rules brought into place, the sport has been rendered 'extremely unpredictable' and fans are 'in for a classic season' .

"We've had two or three fantastic seasons of racing," the 49-year-old underlined, "and there have been a lot of changes in F1 this year that have made it extremely unpredictable - for example, the defending world champion Lewis Hamilton looks like he is going to be in a midfield car, at least to begin with, because McLaren have got it wrong somewhere. I think we're in for a classic season."



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