F1 Championship Point System to Change

For years now the F1 Championship has been functioning on a points system: The drivers will collect points based on where they finish in the race during the course of the season and the person with the most points wins. It seems a flawless system – until you look at it a little more closely.

At first glance a person would assume that a driver would have to almost always win in order to come out on tops. But that is not necessarily the case. A person could finish in the top five consistently and, with a bit of luck, the other drivers finishing in the top five could always be different. Not only is it theoretically possible to win the F1 championship without actually winning a race – it has happened in both Formula 1 and other motor sports where the points system is used. The points system also allows drivers to play it ‘safe’, since they do not have to push the envelope to gain a win if they are in second place with a good number of points already behind them. Because of this, there is often no over-taking when cars should be fighting to be at the front. The exciting and crowd-drawing ‘edge’ to the sport is lost some, since spectators find themselves wondering why the drivers don’t even try to overtake.

Now it seems that is all about to become a thing of the past. The 2009 Formula One season is set to get off to a flying start with a medal system. Commercial F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has decided that the best way to stop drivers from sitting back and taking it easy is to erase the points system altogether. He has suggested that the FIA award the top three competitors in each race with a gold, silver and bronze medal. By the end of the race season, the driver with the most gold medals will receive the championship trophy while silver and bronze medals will act as tiebreakers. So far it seems that both the FIA and the various F1 teams are more than ready to support the change. Indeed, the concept has already been given the go-ahead for the 2009 Formula One season.

The change will put a new spin on a lot of current racing strategies. It will also throw into perspective current driver capabilities. It is interesting to note, for example, that Massa would have won the 2008 championship instead of Hamilton if the medal system had already been in place. Or would he? Perhaps both would have been pushed harder to succeed and their true abilities and talents would have shone through. One thing is for sure: racing fans can certainly look forward to an exciting 2009 racing season!

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