Formula 1’s introduction of double points for the season finale has been harshly criticized by Caterham owner Tony Fernandes.
Ahead of talks in the next F1 Strategy Group meeting to discuss expanding double points for more races, Fernandes has said he thinks the sport is taking the wrong approach. He believes that rather than trying to introduce artificial ways to keep the championship fight open, F1 should be addressing the rules to make the racing more competitive at each grand prix.
“The double points, that is a fake fix,” said Fernandes. “What’s better is to solve the issue and make the racing more compact so a Sauber, a Lotus or a Force India could cause an upset.
“That’s what people like to see, what people like to watch, and that is what is missing in Formula 1. We spend all this time on engines and KERS and whatever, but the gaps between the haves and the have-nots has made racing boring.”
Fans reacted angrily to the decision to impose double points for the season finale in Abu Dhabi on websites like this one, but their calls have so far fallen on deaf ears, with teams and Bernie Ecclestone appearing unmoved.
While world champion Sebastian Vettel immediately described the rule as “absurd,” other F1 drivers’ reactions to the rule change have so far been more ambivalent. Valtteri Bottas reckons the possibility of extending the championship battle will be good for fans.
“Sometimes it can be good for you, other times it can be bad for you,” said the Finn (LEFT). “From the fans’ point of view there is a bigger chance that the championship will be decided in the final race and that’s exciting, so I don’t see that as a bad thing.”
Bottas’ compatriot Kimi Raikkonen shrugged the change off in a video interview published by Ferrari last week.
“For me it doesn’t matter. It’s the rule and like it or not, it isn’t going to change,” he said.
Sauber driver Adrian Sutil suggested that the impact of double points would be felt right through the field, as teams in tight battles for positions further down the constructors’ standings could also see their seasons changed by a good score in the last round.
“If you have to decide when to put on all the good parts, you now want to put all the parts on at the end of the season,” Sutil said. “The question is, are you able to time it that well? It’s always a little risk.”