Formula 1’s controversial double points rule could be axed for the 2015 season according to the sport’s supremo, Bernie Ecclestone.
In one of the most controversial rulings in the history of the sport, the FIA confirmed last December that the final round of the season would be worth double the points of the other rounds.
The thinking behind the plan was that this would keep TV figures and interest up towards the end of the season, as the championship would be kept alive for longer after a global viewership fall of 50m in 2013.
Despite facing a huge backlash from fans, drivers and teams, the FIA has not wavered to the pressure, and the race in Abu Dhabi in November will go ahead for double points as planned. Given the race for the title is likely to go down to the final round, double points may play a part in deciding the destination of the 2014 drivers’ championship.
Speaking in Singapore today, Ecclestone revealed that he does not foresee the double points round being carried over into 2015 due to the pressure from the F1 community, although he will wait until after the race in Abu Dhabi to make a decision.
“Probably not,” he said when asked if we would see it again in 2015. “We can’t see whether it has worked, so it depends.
“It just seemed to me the right way to keep the championship open. Otherwise for the last three or four races, people are running in non-championship races. I wanted it to be for the last three races and then people would believe it was still possible for somebody else to win.
“But they all say I’m mad, so we won’t do it.”
It remains to be seen just whether the decision to remove double points for 2015 will be ratified by the FIA and World Motor Sport Council when it meets in December to finalize the regulations for next season, but Ecclestone’s comments are certainly encouraging.
If there was even a shred of support for double points in the first place, the fact that the 2014 championship battle has been a very close and well-fought one has gone a long way to proving that, to quote John Surtees, this “gimmick” is needless.