F1 world title rule scrapped

Formula One's ruling body backed down today and agreed to put off a new points system for the sport until next season after the teams objected.

The Formula One Teams' Association said FIA's decision this week that the championship will go to the driver with the most race wins instead of highest points total was invalid, prompting the governing body to reverse course.



"If, for any reason, the Formula One teams do not now agree with the new system, its implementation will be deferred until 2010," FIA said in a statement just hours after the teams announced their objection.



The U-turn came just over a week before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on 29 March, heading off any possible team boycott.



FIA said that it made its decision on Tuesday under the impression that the teams wanted the switch from the established system of giving the title to the driver with the most points.



Such was the strength of criticism from the teams and drivers, including world champion Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, FIA may not be able to implement the change next year either.



"It is too late for FIA to impose a change for the 2009 season that has not obtained the unanimous agreement of all the competitors properly entered into the 2009 Formula 1 Championship," FOTA said.



The teams said their proposal to award more points for victories would make the sport more attractive. They want to reopen talks with the ruling body over a compromise for next season, showing no indication that they would accept the winner-takes-all system.



The teams want to award 12 points rather than 10 for a race win, making individual victories more worth chasing.



"FOTA had made a proposal that was carefully based on the results of a global audience survey, which allowed listening to preferences of the public," FOTA said. "All the teams firmly believe that these indications should be properly taken into account.



"The teams wish to reaffirm their willingness to collaborate with the FIA in order to jointly define a new point system for the 2010 season within a comprehensive set of measures aimed at further stimulating the attractiveness of the F1 sport."



Hamilton, who would have finished second behind Felipe Massa had the new system applied last year, Alonso and record seven-time champion Michael Schumacher have both criticized the change.



Hamilton clinched the title after an overtaking maneuver on the final bend of the final lap of the final race.



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



"It's a shame what's happening to F1," Hamilton said in a statement provided by his McLaren team Friday before FIA backed down. "It's hard to believe these recent decisions will improve things for the track-side spectators and TV viewers, who should always be our priority.



"Whatever the points system, I know that all F1 drivers will always race our hearts out."



Schumacher had already expressed his astonishment that the change was announced less than two weeks before the start of the world championship.



Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone had pressed for the change, which reflected an earlier idea of his to award gold medals for race wins and give the title to the driver with the most medals.



He said it would encourage overtaking and "real racing."



"For the first time in recent years we have the teams, drivers, sponsors and fans all working together for the good of our sport," said Hamilton, apparently also concerned at a budget cap that could handicap bigger teams including McLaren. "Now we just need the governing bodies to listen to us and help us."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
This weekend's 'Big Hero 6' by Disney Animation Studios
arts + ents
News
i100
News
Budapest, 1989. Sleepware and panties.
newsDavid Hlynsky's images of Soviet Union shop windows shine a light on our consumerist culture
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
News
In humans, the ability to regulate the expression of genes through thoughts alone could open up an entirely new avenue for medicine.
science
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee