F1 crosses Mason-Dixon line with double points in final race

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Hot off the presses from another FIA meeting this week comes the new Sporting Regulation changes for Formula 1 in 2014. If you were looking for inspiration to “spice up the show” then adopting a NASCAR-style double-points finish is the best way to do it. NASCAR’s points system is littered with bonus points and a manually seeded points system that gives any calculator a workout in the race for the cup. While NASCAR hasn’t adopted a double-points system such as this, it does have wacky bonus points making today’s announcement very NASCAR-esque. Why not go south and adopt the Lucky Dog rule (oh, they already have) and while you’re at it, can we get Martin Brundle to say “boogity, boogity, boogity” when the lights go out at the start of a grand prix?

This merely means that Red Bull will not win 25 points for securing the race victory in Abu Dhabi but they will get 50 points launching their lead to 325 points over the rest of the field by season’s end. I know what you’re saying, “oh you purist snobs, pull your head out” but I caution you for chalking up any perceived outrage at this new regulation change as being a purist-fueled diatribe.

The double-points thing doesn’t work for NASCAR either so making it work for Formula 1 is twice as hard. If you’re going to try to prevent Red Bull from winning titles by making rule changes such as this, then we’ve completely lost the plot of F1. Let’s just start a race for the cup style system that throws out all points earned through the season, rendering the season nearly irrelevant, and just allow the top 5 teams to compete for the title starting a zero points after the summer break and starting with Monza?

Why don’t we usher in success ballast and just put 100kgs on the Red Bull so Marussia can compete with them? Formula 1 would be much better off if it wasn’t nearly decapitated annually by its own pragmatism. This will apparently maximize the focus on the championship until the end of the season.

I quote Sting when he said that men go crazy in congregations, they only get better one by one. Here are your new regulations:

Following a meeting of the F1 Strategy Group and the Formula One Commission in Paris today, the following items have been unanimously approved:

• Cost cap

The principle of a global cost cap has been adopted. The limit will be applied from January 2015.

A working group will be established within the coming days comprising the FIA, representatives of the Commercial Rights Holder and Team representatives.

The objective of the working group will be to have regulations approved by the end of June 2014.

• Pirelli Tyre test – Bahrain, 17-19 December, 2013

The F1 Commission agreed to a change to the 2013 Sporting Regulations, on safety grounds, allowing the Formula One tyre supplier to carry out a three-day test in Bahrain from 17-19 December, 2013. All Formula One teams have been invited to take part in the test and six have accepted: Red Bull Racing, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Force India and Toro Rosso.

• Driver numbers

Drivers will be asked to choose their race number, between 2 and 99, for the duration of their career in the FIA Formula One World Championship. Number 1 will be reserved for the current World Champion, should he choose to use it.

If more than one driver choses the same number, priority will be given to the driver who finished highest in the previous year’s championship.

• New penalties

The principle of a five-second penalty for minor infringements was agreed. In what form such a penalty will be applied will be discussed with Formula One’s teams in order that a new regulation be introduced for 2014 season.

• Points for the last race

Double drivers’ and constructors’ points will be awarded at the final race of the Formula One season in order to maximise focus on the Championship until the end of the campaign.

These changes are immediately applicable, given the mandate assigned to the FIA President at the last World Motor Sport Council meeting, held on 4 December in Paris.

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