On Monday, the FIA announced several regulation changes for the 2014 Formula One season and beyond.
Some are mundane, some should actually improve the sport, but one has caught everyone's attention and made a lot of people very angry: The attempt to manufacture exciting finishes in the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships by awarding double points for the final race of the season.
Lost in the (well-placed) anger—amongst fans and drivers—over the cheapening of every Grand Prix other than Abu Dhabi's is the fact that some of the FIA's announcements are actually good for F1. These include a tyre test to help Pirelli develop suitable rubber for next season; a team spending cap (to be introduced in January 2015); and five-second penalties for minor infractions (had that option existed in 2013, would Felipe Massa have ended his Ferrari career on the podium in Brazil?).
With the double points change, F1 is trying to keep casual viewers engaged further into the season. However, as the swift, negative reaction has shown, it is doing so at the cost of alienating the more devoted fans.
It is a knee-jerk over-reaction, and is not even necessary. In the previous eight seasons, the Drivers' title has been decided in the final race five times. In only one of the other three seasons (2009) would the double points system have extended the championship to the final round.
Besides, if the FIA wanted to make the championship more exciting to reach new fans, all they had to do was ask us. Here are five alternative rule changes that would improve F1 in 2014.
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