F1 To Use Medal System for 2009 Championship

James BroomheadAnalyst IMarch 17, 2009

It has been confirmed that the FIA are to adopt the controversial medal system suggested by Bernie Ecclestone to decide the Formula One World Championship from 2009 onwards.

In a press release, it was confirmed that it had selected the system that awards Olympic-style medals to the podium finishers at each Grand Prix. It was chosen ahead of a similar plan suggested by the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) which would award more points to the winner of each race.

That system would have seen 12 points awarded to winner, nine to second and seven to third, putting a similar emphasis on the importance of winning.

However, the FIA appear to have stopped short of fully implementing the system.

From early reports it appears that the only effect it will have is that the driver's champion will be the driver who has won the most races, rather than has the highest points tally. If two or more drivers have the same number of victories the 2008 points system will be used to separate them.

The same points system will be used to decide the championship standings from second down, as well as the manufacturer's title.

It also seems the FIA has decided against awarding physical medals to the top three drivers of each race.

The decision comes after an offseason when various ideas have been floated to encourage drivers to go all out for a win, rather than playing safe, preserving their car and settling for second.

Ecclestone favored the medals system, while FOTA recently devised the 12-9-7 points system, which increased the points difference between first and second by a point compared to the previous system.