The Changed F1 Rules: Has FIA Lost Its Senses?

The FIA, the governing body of World Motor Sports, has decided to impose new rules regarding the championship title. According to the new rules, the driver with the most race wins in the season will be awarded the drivers’ championship. In case there is more than one driver with the same number of wins, the title will go to the driver with the most points, based on the current system. The 2nd and the 3rd position will be awarded according to the current system with the constructors’ championship being unaffected. The aim as provided by the Council, is to make it easier for new teams to enter the F1 circuit as well as to allow new teams to work on lower budgets should they so choose. Hence, the next season would witness a clear conflict of choice between budgeting and technology: Where teams could either exercise their liberty to spend and yet adhere to orthodox technology or be able to innovate but within the constraints of a budget.


These rules have come as a surprise to one and all. It has been subjected to severe criticism with the legendary Michael Schumacher finding it absolutely senseless to award the title to a person with lesser points but with more number of wins. Supporters of the view claim that it is the most logical thing to have happened to world racing. According to them, what is essential is the need to prove both consistent competitiveness and victory in order to be a deserving candidate title. It is a balance between risk and rewards since now drivers would take more risks to reach the chequered flag first, thus resulting in more thrills for the audience who has been tortured with dull sights of sports car parading around the track without any breath taking incidents.


However, there is a huge likelihood that a driver would focus on the first 9 races to secure his position and then lay back and enjoy the rest of the season, ruining the second half of the season. The risk involved cannot be justified. It might just end up turning the race at its head which is not always a good idea. It is also highly possible that this move might not actually result in a boost to the interest of the fans. The point system is not low on nail biting finishes either. The last race of the precious season saw a dramatic end when Hamilton’s last minute overtake on the last corner of the last lap helped him secure the title.


The loss of the bosses over the teams is now evident from the fact that in the face of widespread protest against the rules, the FIA has decided to defer its implementation to 2010. However, after this huge loss in the implementation of such rules, it is highly unlikely that the rule will be resurrected in the beginning of the 2010 season. All I would like to say to this is that “all’s well that ends well”.


Ridhi Kabra

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