Double points may be axed by next month, says Ecclestone

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The much-maligned double points award for Formula One season finales may not be long for this world according to Formula One kingpin Bernie Ecclestone.

The British billionaire has told the UK’s Telegraph newspaper that the controversial rule could be scrapped as soon as next month’s meeting of the F1 Strategy Group.

But in doing so, he also revealed his own inclination for the rule.

“Personally, my preference would be for the final three races to be worth double points,” he said to the Telegraph. “But it may well be that the rule is cancelled altogether at the next [Strategy Group] meeting in January.

“I think it should be the final three races or nothing. The final three races would mean the championship is kept interesting for everyone – fans, press and television – right until the end.”

The Telegraph also says that such a rule was actually considered by the FIA in Paris before getting soundly rejected in favor of simply making the season finale only worth double points.

From the moment it got out of Paris, the scenario has triggered a negative response across almost all of Formula One with reigning four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel calling it “absurd” and former Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine dubbing it “insanity”.

Today, it was Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo’s turn. In a meeting with Italian reporters, Montezemolo said the rule “seems rather artificial and not very sporting.”

He then proceeded to call for a summit of all F1 squads at Maranello in late January.

“I think the time has come to all sit around the table with the other teams to discuss the overall approach to Formula One,” he said. “I want to talk constructively, without discussing anything to do with competitiveness but putting forward proposals in a transparent manner, without any under the table agreements.

“There should be more dialogue between the teams when it comes to discussing the problems affecting Formula One.”

Al Unser Jr. back in IndyCar after a decade away: ‘Life is very good’

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There’s been somewhat of a hole in Al Unser Jr.’s heart ever since he retired from racing in 2007.

It was a void, something was missing.

But now, after a decade away from racing, Unser has found the right medicine to fill that hole in his heart: he’s back in the racing game again.

No, he’s not driving again (although he does participate occasionally in vintage races), but the two-time Indianapolis 500 (1992 and 1994) winner is definitely back in the IndyCar world.

And he couldn’t be happier.

“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “Since I stepped out of the race car and retired from racing, there’s been something missing from my life, and it’s racing.”

Unser has hooked up with Harding Racing. The team competed in three races last season as a ramp-up for a full 17-race effort this season. While Unser’s official title with the team is “consultant,” he’s involved in so much more.

His main role is as a driving coach to 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Gabby Chaves. But he’s also involved in so many other areas, including helping the team obtain sponsorships and much more.

He then added, “I’m involved in every sense of the word except actually driving the car. And I’m happy about that because I’m too old to drive the car.”

Unser, who won CART championships in 1990 and 1994, is now 55. He’s so involved with his new job that he even moved from his native New Mexico and has relocated to suburban Indianapolis.

Not only is it a new start for Unser, it also is for Chaves. After running all 16 races in 2015 for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, he competed in just seven races for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016 and only three races for Harding Racing last season.

But he definitely impressed the team, with a fifth- (Texas) and ninth-place (Indianapolis 500) finish in the first two races and 15th (Pocono) in the team’s final run of the season.

That’s why when Harding Racing decided to go fulltime in 2018, Chaves was their pick for behind the wheel. And Unser was their pick to help guide him to potential stardom in the series.

“(Team owner) Mike Harding is definitely a person that when he decides to do something, he does it right,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “The potential for this organization is through the sky. We’re all working really hard here and we see the potential.”

And as for Unser?

“Life is good, life is very good,” he told IndyCar.com. “We’re back full force, eager and better than ever.”

Click here for the full story about Unser from IndyCar.com.