Formula 1′s controversial new double points rule for the final race is due to a drop of 50m TV viewers towards the end of 2013.
That is the belief of F1 business journalist Christian Sylt who perhaps even more astonishingly revealed there was a 9% drop in TV audience in Germany, the home country of Sebastian Vettel.
Bernie Ecclestone himself admitted the much reduced TV figures was due to the “less competitive nature of the final few rounds” after Vettel had wrapped up the title in India and dominated the final nine races.
This, Ecclestone continues, is the reason why the 83-year-old would like to see the double points applied to the final three races rather than just the last year, which takes place in Abu Dhabi.
However the original one race plan has been far from embraced by fans who took to social media to express their unhappiness at the rule.
Mercedes business boss Toto Wolff described the reaction from fans as a “sh**storm” adding the fans opinions should not be ignored.
“Was it (double points) the right move? 99 per cent of our fans and spectators thought it was the wrong move so perhaps it is something to revisit,” he told reporters at Jerez last week.
“(But) things need to be done when you see TV audiences dipping, you need to try out things,” Wolff acknowledged.
While Ecclestone backs the controversial double points idea, he does not have the same opinion on the biggest rule changes occurring in 2014, the move to V6 turbo engines.
Last week in an unusual outburst, Ecclestone blasted the FIA & teams for wanting the new engines saying his fears about poor reliability and a quieter noise were well founded and if they wanted to concentrate on fuel economy they should “race in Le Mans”.
However former Austrian world champion and now Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda has hit back claiming: “I don’t understand what Bernie said.
“The decision to go with the new engines was taken jointly, by everybody, five years ago. To criticise now makes no sense,” said Lauda.
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