Double points “isn’t really a big change,” says FIA prez Todt

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Judging from the reaction it’s generated, the FIA’s decision to award double points at Formula One season finales starting next season would appear to be kind of a big deal.

FIA president Jean Todt, however, thinks it isn’t much of a big deal at all.

The former Ferrari general manager has told a Spanish publication that he believes more talk should be centered on how to reduce the cost of racing in F1 and the new 2014 technical rules, not on what’s been called by some as the “Abu Double” in reference to the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“A lot has been said about the new point rules but it isn’t really a big change to be honest,” Todt told Spanish sports paper AS. “I believe it is far more important to talk about the reduction of costs in Formula 1.

“We will be saving 40% fuel because of the new [V-6, turbo] engine. A new point system is a very small change in the rules, but nothing more than that so I really do not understand why all these people are talking so much about such a little change in the sport.”

Upon first hearing these comments, I had two thoughts. Either Todt is, 1) blissfully unaware of the hornet’s nest his organization kicked over with double points; or 2) the comments are his way of telling everybody, ‘It’s happening. You’re wasting your time squawking about it. Deal with it.’

But if Todt believes that double points is “a very small change in the rules,” doesn’t that naturally lead the fans to ask why the FIA carried it out in the first place? And also, why they chose that instead of another, less artificial way to spice up the World Championship?

In any case, all the talk could be for nothing in the end. F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone recently remarked that the double points rule may be scrapped next month during a meeting of F1’s Strategy Group. We’ll see if that comes to pass.

UPDATED: INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama under red-flag race stoppage due to rain

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UPDATE: The INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is under a red-flag race stoppage after 19 laps due to rain and puddling on the racing surface at Barber Motorsports Park.

Cleaners and dryers are on the track to try and get some of the water off the racing surface. The low spots on the track, as well as the front stretch, have been particularly troublesome and led to several spinouts and at least two wrecks (Charlie Kimball and outside front pole sitter Will Power).

Power’s day is done after suffering irreparable damage to the left side of his car after hydroplaning on the front straight and running into the inside retaining wall.

ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS:

Although rain has been falling for nearly an hour and the Barber Motorsports Park 2.3-mile permanent road course is drenched, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is underway on NBCSN.

The start of the race was moved up from 3:38 p.m. ET to take the green flag at 3:08 p.m. ET.

Josef Newgarden is the defending winner of this race and also will start from the pole for today’s race.

While the race is scheduled for 90 laps, there’s a possibility that if the weather worsens or if lightning appears, it could potentially be shortened to just two hours.

As can be expected, all cars are on rain tires to maximize grip.

Catch the race live on NBCSN.