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New championship deciding system retracted // The points system announced last week is overturned already

Published by Christine

This article was originally written for BellaOnline, but is republished here for posterity.

Early last week, the FIA announced some new regulations that would affect the 2009 season. It seemed very late to be changing things, particularly the points system. The World Motorsport Council met and decided that the driver with the most wins would secure the championship, regardless of how many points he had scored. Points would still be calculated in case of a tie, and for the constructor's championship.

There was a general outcry in the paddock, with many past, present and future champions suggesting that although the principal was good - to encourage drivers to fight for wins - this was not the way to go about it.

FOTA issued a press release over the weekend stating that the FIA's actions were actually illegal and they couldn't enforce this points system change on them. The Sporting Regulations do state that a change cannot be introduced so close to the start of the season without the teams unanimous agreement. They argued that they had not agreed to any such thing.

The amendment to the sporting regulations proposed by the World Motorsport Council was not performed in accordance with the procedure provided for by Appendix 5 of the Sporting Regulations and, as per the provisions of the article 199 of the FIA International Sporting Code, it is too late for FIA to impose a change for the 2009 season that has not obtained the unanimous agreement of all the competitors properly entered into the 2009 Formula 1 Championship.

The FIA then retracted the decision, saying that if the teams weren't in agreement, then the system could be postponed until 2010. Their retaliation was that the WMSC was under the impression the teams were behind Bernie Ecclestone's medals idea, and this was essentially the same thing. FOTA admitted that they had talked to Bernie about the idea but that no firm decisions had been made, and they were definitely not behind the system that the FIA was proposing.

Either way, for now, things will remain as they were, with the winner scoring 10 points, down to the eighth place finisher scoring 1 point. Bernie Ecclestone is confident the "winner takes all" system will be in place for 2010, though, and that it will be in the regulations early enough that teams will know what they're getting into.