Throughout the 2009 season there have been so many talking points and controversial moments in F1, most of which occurred away from the racetrack, that it is all to easy to forget that Bernie Ecclestone almost ruined the season before it started.
His desire to introduce a new scoring system of ‘medals’ rather than points was supposedly in place at the start of the season, and caused some confusion before the Australian Grand Prix way back in March.
The idea was to award drivers with a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal for finishing on the podium (instead of points), and then the driver who held the most Gold Medals at the end of the season would be the winner of the Championship.
Luckily FOTA stood up to Ecclestone and the decision to implement this new scoring system was shelved and the traditional points system was reinstated.
Even Mr Ecclestone must be looking back now thankful that has happened, even though Jenson Button has sealed the title with a race to spare, and did so without winning the race at Interlagos, indeed without winning since Turkey back in June.
The Brit had the most spectacular start to the season, winning six of the first seven races, leaving his competition behind, and although teams have improved their cars and matched or improved upon the Brawn Car, Button has kept his head and finished the season with a consistent and steady hand.
Finishing in all but one of the races (when second time driver Romain Grosjean crashed into him on the opening lap in Belgium), is an achievement in itself, not only for Button, but for the Brawn team, who can boast only one retirement from either driver over the season, but Button has also managed to finish in the points in all of those races as well.
And his drive at Brazil was a spectacular way to answer his critics Championship which has seen many question Button’s ability to see out the Championship.
They will be left looking back on the facts which all point towards Button being the worthy and deserving Champion if the whole season is considered.
Where the new Medal system would have failed is obvious…after winning so many early races, the title would have been as good as over by June. Under Ecclestone’s proposed system, even if Button had failed to register another point after his victory in Turkey, he still would have been crowned Champion in Singapore, a month earlier.
Surely he must now recognise that the points system is the only way forward, and although it can lead to a scenario where a driver aims to finish a race in fifth place at the end of the season to win a Championship, it is the only way to ensure the most consistent driver over the course of a season will win.
Jenson Button is a deserving Champion in a finishing table that reflects the best drivers over the whole season, with team-mate Ruebens Barrichello following in second with Red Bull drivers Vettel and Webber behind him.
Nobody can argue with the points system after this season, which was no doubt being scrutinised to the maximum with regards to points and the ‘fairness’ of the system.
Well done Jenson Button