Report: Double points for F1 finale gets green light

3 Comments

The “Abu Double” is still on, as the BBC’s Andrew Benson reports that the controversial rule of awarding double points for the Formula One season finale – currently, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (pictured) – will remain intact for the upcoming season.

According to Benson, the matter was raised in a meeting of the sport’s leaders in Geneva, Switzerland, but no attempt was made to overturn the rule.

The subject of the 2015 cost cap was also brought up in the summit; however, per Benson’s report, while some agreements were made, the teams couldn’t hash out a figure for an upper limit of spending under the cap at that time.

In December, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone had noted the possibility of double points being thrown out, even though he himself preferred that the final three races of the season be worth that much as he believed it would keep observers interested to the very end of the championship.

Ever since the double points decision was handed down by the FIA, a largely negative reaction has ensued across much of Formula One, with current drivers such as four-time defending World Champion Sebastian Vettel and past drivers such as former World Champion John Surtees and Eddie Irvine denouncing the measure.

However, there have been some figures that have supported double points, including Force India’s Sergio Perez and, naturally, FIA President Jean Todt, who recently wondered why there’s been so much focus on the rule and not as much on F1’s new technical regulations for 2014.

Williams to wait until new year before making 2018 F1 driver decision

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Williams will wait until the new year before making an announcement regarding its Formula 1 driver line-up for the 2018 season.

Williams holds the final vacant seat in F1 for next year, with Felipe Massa retiring at the last race of the 2017 season in Abu Dhabi at the end of November.

The Brazilian’s departure has opened up a seat alongside Lance Stroll for 2018, which looked poised to be taken by Robert Kubica, over seven years after he last raced in F1 before injuries sustained in a rally accident appeared to cut his career short.

Doubts emerged about Kubica’s comeback following a test with Williams in its 2017-spec car in Abu Dhabi after the final race of the season, leading to Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin becoming the favorite.

Besides Kubica and Sirotkin, ditched Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat is also an option, but Williams has now confirmed it will make no decision on its line-up until the new year.

Sirotkin first entered the frame in F1 in 2013 when he became a development driver at Sauber, with Russian backers SMP Racing pushing to get him a race seat for the following year.

Sirotkin missed out on a full-time role at the team, leading him to focus on racing in Formula Renault 3.5 for 2014 before spending two years in GP2, where he finished third in the standings in both seasons.

Renault struck an agreement to sign Sirotkin in a junior role in 2016, leading to a number of practice run-outs over the last two seasons, but he was passed over for a 2018 race seat when it signed Carlos Sainz Jr.

Williams emerged as an option for Sirotkin following a successful maiden test with the team in Abu Dhabi alongside Kubica, with talks now set to continue over the holiday period.

Sirotkin has not taken on a full-time race program this year, making just a single competitive appearance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with SMP Racing in the LMP2 class.

Sirotkin has also been involved in the development of the team’s BR Engineering-designed LMP1 car for the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship season, and is likely to secure a seat should he miss out on the role at Williams.