Controversy alert: F1’s plan to redistribute points triggers debate

F1 is poised on the cusp of implementing another potentially divisive modification to its points distribution system. Since the early 2000s, marked by Ferrari and Michael Schumacher’s dominance, the system has seen significant changes, initially expanding from the top six finishers earning points to the top eight in 2003. By 2010, the system evolved further to include the top 10 finishers at each race, and in 2019, during the new and current Liberty Media era, a point was introduced for the fastest lap.

Currently, the struggle to earn even a single point for tenth place is becoming formidable, especially for smaller teams. Nico Hulkenberg of Haas equated his point from the Shanghai race to a victory due to its difficulty. He stated, “If none of the top 5 teams have a problem, the top 10 are already booked.”

Looking ahead, a new proposal is on the table to award points up to the twelfth position starting in 2025. This proposal will be reviewed at an upcoming F1 Commission meeting in Geneva. However, Nico Rosberg, the 2016 world champion, has already voiced his reservations, noting, “Formula 1 is a performance game,” and adding, “The midfield teams simply have to stretch themselves to get into the top ten.”

In recent developments, Liberty Media’s tweaked sprint race format debuted last weekend in China. Although Max Verstappen acknowledges improvements in the format for 2024, which include better weekend flow and more setup freedom for drivers, he opposes increasing the number of sprint race weekends from six to twelve. Verstappen expressed his concerns, saying, “I get it, I guess it sells better, better numbers on TV. But it’s also more stress on the mechanics and everything, to get everything tip-top every time.” He further cautioned, “Let’s not think that now we need 12 of these because it will take its toll on people.”

Fernando Alonso also shared his criticisms of the sprint weekend after facing a harsh penalty during the sprint in Shanghai. He humorously and angrily suggested, “Maybe it’s better to save the tyres and not do the sprint in future. There’s only an hour or two at stake and sometimes they penalise you on your license, so maybe it’s not worth going out at all.”

The debate continues as the sport navigates through these potential changes, highlighting the ongoing balancing act between tradition and innovation in Formula 1.

GMM

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