What might the new F1 points system mean?

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If you have followed our new feature, Oversteer vs. Understeer, where our staff is assigned a topic and sides to defend then you are missing something fun. The topic this week seems more appropriate than ever with today’s announcement regarding an overhaul of the current F1 points system. Were we prophetic or was it just blind luck (bet on the latter) that we chose the points system to start our very first Oversteer vs. Understeer feature?

MONACO AUTO RACING F1 GP

As the world now knows, the F1 Commission has put forth a new point system for F1 in 2010. The system is designed to accommodate the increased number of cars/teams on the grid for 2010 and would a dramatic change from the current system which has stood since 2003.

The basic breakdown is: A whooping 25 points to the winner, 20 for second place and 15 for third. From there it drops to 10-8-6-5-3-2-1 for fourth through 10th positions.

My first thought is about what changes will have to be made to the earn-out portion of the Concorde Agreement if the points are spread that much deeper in the field? Right now, a team must score a championship point to receive financial support from FOM, but will this grander points scheme dilute that challenging notion? Will teams have a higher threshold to reach before getting any FOM cash?

The system also draws a further distinction between winning and placing second with a 5-point delta. The current system allows for a 2-point difference between winning and running second. I’ve seen many argued that this will promote a earlier finish to the championship; in their opinion, the 2-point system keeps the teams/drivers closer to the title and carries the championship nearly to the final race.

We’ll have to get the F1B Abacus out on this one to see what impact it would have — for instance, in 2009 when Jenson Button jumped out to such a race-winning start — but as it is mostly designed to accommodate an increased field, it will not lend itself to running the points retroactively very easily.

We’ll get math whiz SJ Skid on the project of determining if this is as dramatic as it sounds…the guy is a human calculator.

Your thoughts, F1B? And if you haven’t voted in our Oversteer/Understeer, you better get over there. I think this news calls for a finish to that close fight.

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