Formula 1

Formula 1 drops controversial double points rule for 2015

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Formula 1 has dropped several controversial new rules for the 2015 season including double points.

The introduction for the final race in Abu Dhabi was hugely unpopular among fans and team bosses alike but fears it would ultimately decide who won the championship were rested as Lewis Hamilton won at Yas Marina with Nico Rosberg failing to score after hitting ERS problems.

The news that it has been dropped for 2015 will likely be welcomed by most involved in the sport but it is hard to deny it did exactly what it was supposed to.

Intentional effect

We had a championship battle that went all the way to the season finale and even as Rosberg fell back down the order, kept us interested knowing that should Hamilton retire, the German would have only had to finish fifth.

It also kept a number of battles up and down the grid active for the final race meaning even as the Mercedes title showdown was resolved more serenely than expected, there was still plenty for those watching to keep an eye on.

Other proposals dropped

For 2015 two more proposals have also been dropped. Standing restarts after safety car periods were set to be introduced, however, following concerns from teams it has been scrapped, also restrictions on radio messages from engineers to the drivers are reportedly not going to be enforced.

The standing restarts idea also received a largely negative reaction from fans and also the drivers who claimed it would potentially be dangerous as cars could be on different stages of their tyre life and also because of the usual heightened risk of collisions at the first corner and throughout the first lap.

On the contrary, restrictions on radio messages was largely welcomed as it put more emphasis on the driver to drive and make decisions in the car without receiving help from those in the garage. There was, however, some thoughts as to how the limits would be enforced and what kind of messages should be allowed in case of a potentially dangerous car failure.

Rulemakers narrow-minded

While the scrapping of both has very little impact on the current state of F1, I do think the decision to end double points without further consideration of how it could alternatively used does show how narrow-minded the sport's rulemakers are.

Indeed I believe they could have been part of a much larger restructuring of how F1 works and could have solved several of the sport's biggest problems right now.

F1 in demand

Currently there is a demand by countries to host an F1 race, Mexico and Azerbaijan are confirmed in the next two years while India wants back in after losing its Grand Prix last year and now reports that Denmark and Qatar are also joining the queue.

This means that the sport is almost guaranteed to be reaching 23-25 races in the next five-to-ten years and this jump comes further to the dismay of the accountants at F1's smaller teams.

Also there is a need to improve the 'show' in F1 with TV viewing figures dropping and a need to try and capture the next generation of fans (regardless of what Bernie E says).

Time for major overhaul

Therefore my proposal to overhaul the sport is to introduce a season of two parts.

Every team would receive a base level of the sport's income, then any historical and/ or other sweeteners to the top teams added on top, then there is a basic season consisting of 18 races, all of which pay a smaller fee, and are worth the same value of points as a regular Grand Prix.

After the 18 races, the Constructors' championship is determined and the additional bonuses in the prize pot handed out and that is resolved.

End-of-season series

From there, in the case of a 25-race season, a seven-race series, with the top 15 drivers in the championship standings is created with double points at each race to determine a world champion. In addition a prize pot for the top ten drivers in the the end-of-season series is devised.

This means the smaller teams, likely at the back, would have a smaller season, those races in the final seven either pay a higher race fee or are based on other factors i.e. Monaco for the prestige, the spectre of a champion having his victory tarnished by double points is largely taken away and another issue, drivers wages, could be solved as they receive prize money for the end of the season shoot-out.

Further rules could be placed on the basic 18-race season to try and reduce costs. Restricting car upgrades to every three races and then only one certain parts of the car could mean more factory lockdowns could be introduced to reduce the burden on employees working flat-out all year round.

The hardened fans would of course watch the whole season but the show of the final seven races would attract more casual fans and perhaps interest them in the whole season, its a basic idea that can obviously be adapted to altered to improve the sport further but it is this kind of fundamental change in how F1 works that can make it more sustainable for the future.

Your thoughts

I would like your thoughts on my idea and how you would set about making the sport more sustainable for the future and how to improve the show, write them in the comments below or tweet me @BenIssatt. It needs some blue sky thinking to change F1 for the better, and if Bernie and Co. won't do it, maybe we could do it for them! 

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