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F1 to ditch controversial double points rule

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F1 to ditch controversial double points rule
Nov 28, 2014, 1:58 PM

Formula One will scrap the double points rule for 2015, with a proposal to ditch the unpopular format expect to be confirmed next week.

Formula One will scrap the double points rule for 2015, with a proposal to ditch the unpopular format expect to be confirmed next week.

The rule, championed by Bernie Ecclestone, was introduced as a method of keeping the championship alive until the final race of the season, but was heavily criticised by teams, drivers and fans, who deemed the plan artificial and unfair.

In the end, the rule had little bearing on the outcome on the Drivers’ title fight with the battle reaching the final event by virtue of a close season-long tussle between Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Third place in the championship was similarly unaffected, with Daniel Ricciardo safe in the position regardless of how events might have unfolded in Abu Dhabi.

Last week Mercedes boss Toto Wolff told this website that “we need to change [the rule] for next year” and that he hoped “the commercial rights holder and the governing body are going to make the right decision.”

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 12.56.49

That has now happened and following discussions at this week’s meetings of the F1 Strategy Group and the F1 Commission a proposal to scrap double points is likely to now be put before the World Motor Sport Council, which meets in Qatar next week, for ratification.

It also appears that the sport's decision makers have also opted todo away with proposals to introduce standing starts following the deployment of the safety car, which had been mooted in mid-season as a method of making place changes more likely. Again the tactic was viewed with skepticism by drivers, with Nico Rosberg calling the plan "extreme" and that "it's going too far".

Daniel Ricciardo, meanwhile, said that the plan was "artificial" and could penalise drivers who had worked hard for position.

"If you're a leader, say by 10 seconds, the safety car comes out, OK you lose your advantage, but at least you can still keep your position,"  the Red Bull driver told the BBC. in June "If it goes to a standing start, the chances of not-a-great start are pretty high so you could go from first to even fourth."

Elsewhere, there was apparently less resolution on other more significant issues, with little headway being made on cost-cutting and talks stalling on the crucial issue of engine unfreezing.

Ferrari and Red Bull want to see a relaxation of the rules governing power unit development so that they can close in on dominant Mercedes and have called for the creation of a mid season development window next year to give them a chance to catch up. They are calling for up to 20% of the engine to be ‘unfrozen’. The 2014 champions are understandably reluctant, however, and offered a compromise 8% shift.

After this week’s meetings the teams appear to still be far apart in their thinking of the issue and the wrangling is now set to continue into next year.
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Series Formula 1