Ecclestone lauds F1 championship changes

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone praised the decision to determine the sport's champion by race wins instead of total points, saying it will encourage overtaking and "real racing."

Governing body FIA revised the scoring system for F1's championship yesterday, with the number of Grand Prix victories now deciding the championship rather than accumulated points.

"What it does is make the drivers bloody well go for the win rather than settle for second," Ecclestone said today, according to "It will be real racing, which is good for the fans and the sport."

With the new system, Ferrari's Felipe Massa would have been crowned 2008 champion over Lewis Hamilton of McLaren because he led 6-5 in race wins. Hamilton won the title by one point.

The Formula One Teams Association expressed disappointment and concern that FIA's decisions were made "in a unilateral manner."

The 10 teams had wanted to modify the points totals to better reflect the importance of winning a race.

"Everything that is proposed, the teams always say forget it - it is just par for the course," Ecclestone said.

FIA also approved further changes to cut costs in the face of the economic crisis, including a voluntary budget cap on teams.

"We are going to restrict teams that want to be covered by that cap to £30m, but we are going to try to help them with technical advantages. Then some of the big teams will ask why they are spending £300m," Ecclestone said. "In the end the truth of the matter is we should just have a cap for everybody, although maybe £30m is a bit too low."

The season begins at the Australian Grand Prix on 29 March.