Double Points Puts F1 in Disarray

Double points will be in place at the final race of the Formula One season. There is no reason for this other than to keep the championship alive for longer, and this is a complete shambles from a Motorsport purist’s perspective. It is completely unfair to have eighteen rounds of the championship—including Belgium, Monaco, Britain and Brazil—being half as significant as the incredibly dull Tilkedrome that is Abu Dhabi. It’s wrong, absolutely wrong and I can find almost nothing which can justify it whatsoever from a fair sporting perspective. It is impossible to put into words just how angry I am at the sport which I have followed for the majority of my life for introducing the biggest and least exciting gimmick to date: potentially awarding a tainted to Championship to Nico Rosberg or Lewis Hamilton, should it be decided by this rule.

How Double Points can work

Formula One is not the only series to feature double points. You only have to look at the FIA World Endurance Championship and at the IndyCar series for series which also used double points in 2014. However, the way that both these series implement the concept of double points does have some justification at least. In the WEC, Le Mans is a double points race. This is because Le Mans is the most famous endurance race in the world and the length of the race is no less than four times the length of every other race on the calendar. This makes it more than justifiable in my eyes to run double points in that case. Furthermore, Le Mans is not the final race on the calendar, meaning that the final race is a standard points race (using the F1 points system).

IndyCar uses double points in a different way. Three races are worth double the points of a normal IndyCar race. Each of these three races is 500 miles and at least twice the length of a normal race, giving it some justification. Each of these races is arguably the hardest on the calendar to win: the Indianapolis 500 (the most famous IndyCar race), the Pocono IndyCar 500 and the final round of the championship, the MAVTV 500. This makes it far less absurd than the way that F1 is using double points this season, though still somewhat questionable.

Why Double Points is Absurd

From the moment that the Double Points idea was ever brought up, many on social media platforms pleaded to everybody they could contact; teams, drivers and commentary teams to make sure that double points didn’t happen. Unfortunately, the teams failed to listen and the supposed “Formula One Strategy Group” introduced them anyway. This resulted in a massive backlash, with many disliking the idea of double points. After this, a new proposal was brought forward, to have double points for the last three races. They still didn’t get it, did they? Bernie Ecclestone, the teams, the FIA, and everyone else in F1: the fans did NOT want double points. End of.

They went ahead and kept double points for ‘Abu Double’ and proceeded to claim that there were far more important things to worry about, such as the engine sound being supposedly ‘too quiet’. This same “Formula One Strategy Group” thought that a megaphone in the shape of a Vuvuzela was the way to get around that. Unsurprisingly, the Strategy Group has since been looked at as a bunch of morons, and are still bringing in daft regulation changes mid-season. In what way is this fair in any way, shape or form? Say Lewis Hamilton was head of Nico Rosberg by 49 points heading into the final race, and lead for 45 laps but suffered a technical problem with a few laps to go, gifting the win to Rosberg. Rosberg would win the title because one race-ending problem for Hamilton cost him twice as badly. This is simply massively wrong from a sporting perspective. It would almost be like awarding double points on the last day of the Football League or doubling the score on the final hole at a round of golf just to spice things up a bit. It’s hugely unfair.

What Formula One Must do

It’s pretty simple. Scrap double points. How much money does that cost? Zero. Obviously, it’s too late to scrap them for this year, but certainly for 2015, we must never even have double points mentioned again. We have this situation now where one driver may luck into a title due to double points existing in Formula One and I do not feel that a driver should be branded “that guy who won a title because the rules were completely mad.” Formula One has had weird points scoring systems in the past, and thankfully they saw sense in the end and scrapped them.

For the first few years of the championship, a point for fastest lap was awarded. This got rather confusing when seven drivers were each awarded a seventh of a point for equally having fastest lap. Until 1989 only a certain number of races counted towards the championship, so some drivers had dropped scores. This meant that in 1964 and in 1988, the driver with the most points didn’t win the championship. Now while this is light-years away from a NASCAR-style Chase for the Cup, the fact that we have something so stupid like double points in Formula One solely to keep the championship alive longer is absolutely bonkers. The teams, drivers and other key figures didn’t do anything near enough to get rid of it for this year when they had the chance, however, and for that I’ve lost a lot of respect for the lot of them.

I plan to boycott the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and I do hope that you all plan to as well; I’ll go and find something better to do than watch a Drivers’ Championship possibly be awarded because you get fifty points for a win at Abu Dhabi and only twenty-five for winning at Interlagos or at Spa, despite the two being the same length. One saving grace is that for this year at least the Constructors’ Championship has already been decided.  Should the Drivers’ Championship be decided before then, which I honestly do hope it is, then I shall reconsider.

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