FIA's New Invention: Goodbye To Former Greats With A New Points System?

Antony Herbert@LeeUwishWritingAnalyst IIIDecember 11, 2009

HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY - JULY 23: David Coulthard of Great Britain and Mclaren gives Michael Schumacher a piggy back after the practice session for the German F1 Grand Prix at the Hockenheim Circuit on July 23, 2004, in Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

News has emerged today that there are plans for a new points change, one that looks likely to replicate the tally of points that series such as touring cars and Moto GP sees.

Due to the extended field of twenty-six the point’s positions looks to increase its substance back to tenth place, but the major change is that instead of ten points for a race win, the winner will be likely to receive twenty-five big ones.

This can be seen as slightly logical with the sports expanding waistline of teams and drivers and it arguably could give drivers more inspiration to fight for the win rather than settle for second best. The gap between first and third for example would be ten world championship points, miles away from the four point gap currently in place.

Yet this new point’s scheme, aiming to bring Formula 1 into a new era would have a detrimental effect to the past eras of Formula 1.

When Fangio won five titles his overall points tally was never going to be that high due to the lack of races the drivers had to compete in. Compared to the twenty first century it is unrealistic to compare point’s totals.

Yet it is the likes of Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard in the most recent era that would lose out. These were two drivers who dominated point’s proceedings for at least a decade, leaving them both in the top five of the all time point’s scorers.

So such a transformation in the points system makes me wonder if it wouldn’t just be easier to scrap the history books altogether. Under the new rule change a driver who wins ten grand prix would already have 250 points in the bank, and would be a quarter of the way to reaching Michael Schumacher’s tally and half of the way to reaching Coulthard’s. What is the point of statistics therefore if they are not a true reflection of talent?

Of course the most race wins accomplished will become our point of intrigue when distinguishing who is the most able talent, but this detracts away from consistent drivers such as Coulthard and Rubens Barrichello who never won World Championships but were able to create credible driver standings with their constant often celebrated performances.

Surely then the points change would make a mockery of the statistics if one driver having a good season can come that far in reaching the seven time world champion who redefined the sport with his domination. Mathematically drivers such as Hamilton, Alonso and Kubica, although fantastic drivers, could overtake Schumacher’s total in a matter of two or so years. Such a triumph seems favoured heavily towards the lucky current talent and will make for confusing reading when you see that someone such as Hamilton could achieve a higher total in the space of five years than Schumacher received in his entire career.

The system is obviously more appropriate than the medal classification advertised by Bernie Eccleston before the 2009 season. That idea demolished the idea of consistency and instead could have left the sport with power hungry drivers making catastrophic mistakes all in the name of victory.

However if something is not broken then why should it be fixed?

The only visible issue with the current system is that second place is too close in points to the winner, allowing for drivers to guarantee damage limitation if they can finish as close to the race winner as possible. A driver in the best car does not have to win the race to win the title. The long term objectives in this instance still stay in place if a second place finish is achieved.

What is to stop the sport from reverting back to the old points system then where the gap between first and second place is more extravagant whilst at the same time does not gift victors a ridiculous tally of points.

Sadly it does look likely now that another point’s overhaul could take place and those of us who remain faithful to the sport will have to make do with a new system that over compensates the victors and demolishes past seasons efforts and drivers.

Maybe Michael Schumacher could be swayed into coming back for a season or two just to give his total more of a chance of sustaining itself.

It is for the likes of Bernie Eccleston to decide if he wants to ignore the sports illustrious history, or whether he is more concerned with bull-dozing the sport into this new vision that the FIA may have.  

The New Points System in full:

Winner - 25pts

2nd - 20pts

3rd - 15pts

4th - 10pts

5th - 8pts

6th - 6pts

7th - 5pts

8th - 3pts

9th - 2pts

10th - 1pt


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