Keeping Score: SWG tweaks points and qualifying tire rules

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The Sporting Working group of the FIA met last week to discuss several F1 related issues including the points system and now it appears some of the competitive issues as well. Mr. Noble at AUTOSPORT has done a yeoman’s job of running down the story on just what measures might be taken if they are ratified by the FIA.

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The first suggestion early this week from AUTOSPORT’s Noble-penned story was in regards to the points system. You may recall that we discussed the original concept of changing the points system to accommodate the increase of teams/cars int he series for 2010 and allow for points further down the grid.

The old system awarded points from 1st to 8th accordingly: 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1. The teams had agreed to change that system with deference to the new teams to: 25-20-15-10-8-6-5-3-2-1.

According the Mr. Noble, it now seems they have approved another tweak that would allow a great delta between 1st and 2nd place than the originally recommended 5 points. The new points recommendation is as follows: 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1.

I have yet to see any recommendation for a point or pole position or fast lap although Fernando Alonso was keen on the idea.

Alonso, like many, feel that the additional points would be good motivation for drivers to be as competitive as possible–something commercial rights boss Bernie Ecclestone thought gold medals or short cuts might do as well.

The 7 point spread between 1st and 2nd instead of 5 points would give added motivation for drivers or so the logic goes. But the points are not the only tweak to the regulations the SWG has come up with.

It appears, according to another nice story by Mr. Noble at AUTOSPORT, that the group feels a change in the tire regulations will increase the “show”. Quoting Mr. Noble, the specific recommendation is as follows:

It is understood that the majority of teams present voted in favour of a rule that will require the top 10 cars that make it through to the final session of qualifying to start the race on the same tyres that they set their fastest Q3 time on.

As Noble points out in his article, this is intended to create a tactics dilemma that could play into the hands of all teams. Do they sacrifice race pace for a one-off hot lap during qualifying only to be hobbled by worn tires at the start of the race while seated in a prime grid position? Will they choose a more durable tire compound to start the race but from a little further back on the grid?

Those questions would complicate the tactics of F1 racing while the ban on re-fueling will add weight and additional tire wear to the calculations as well. These are just recommendations and it will still need approval from the Formula 1 Commission.

Will this improve the show? Is it too big of a change considering the titles and records of the past? Are we mitigating the past history of the sport when we dramatically overhaul the points system? Is this a good idea to hobble the top ten qualifiers in the hopes of forming some artificial competition? What do you think? Post below.

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