In his first interview since Monday, when the FIA passed down their new rule governing the F1 title, former Ferrari pilot Michael Schumacher responded to an Italian newspaper that he was concerned about the future of the sport with the passing of the new rule.
When asked about the points system, Schumacer claimed "the new method is not helping Formula 1...especially at this stage prior to the season."
Under the new points system, the overall driving championship is awarded to the driver with the most wins at the end of the season. The change had been rumored since the conclusion of the 2008 season, but had lost ground in recent months amidst the advent of KERS and the recently resolved saga with Honda bailing out.
The former 7 time world champion was not only concerned about the new rule in place, but also the implementation KERS in the series. Schumacher believed "KERS is a risk for all teams using it, with this restricted testing possibilities."
While Schumacher did approve of the vast amount of "questions heading into the season," he was worried the FIA had moved too many rule changes in before the season started. With less than two weeks before the season opener in Australia, Schumacher considered all the changes "astonishing, as in all the years...the [team managers] always said that would not be possible in a short term or so late before a season."
Earlier in the week, two-time champion and current Renault driver Fernando Alonso had also condemned the new change. No other mainstream drivers have spoken up, but it is expected after the last day of testing at Jerez that more negative comments will flow in.
With the 2009 season just around the corner, teams are now faced with redefining their strategy for many races. Fernando Alonso may be among these, as even though he had the best car at the conclusion of 2008, still only won two races.
The latest rule change is presumably the last in a myriad of off-season rules changes that have occurred. Tires, aero packages, electronics, KERS, and now the points system are all new for 2009.
With so much unpredictability heading into the beginning of the season, one has to wonder how this experiment by the FIA will work out.
Even Michael Schumacher expressed worry about the upcoming season.
"The picture to me in the moment is that there are several teams able to be in the front, besides us there are Renault and Toyota, and BMW and Williams as well - on the other hand, after Barcelona you clearly have to say that Ross' team was outstanding."