29th January, 2014

Bernie Ecclestone wants double points for last three races

The new format, which has been criticised by fans, teams and drivers, has been introduced for the final grand prix of the season in Abu Dhabi.
Now Ecclestone has written to the teams saying he wants to extend it to the two preceding races, in the USA and Brazil.
He needs unanimous approval for his proposal to go ahead.
A number of teams have reservations about it applying even to one race after the uproar it has caused.

Ecclestone's plan is designed to increase the chances of keeping alive the battle for the title until the final grand prix of the season, and thus maintain television audience figures. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel has won two of the past three championships with at least three races remaining.
But Mercedes co-team boss Toto Wolff told a news conference this week that F1 needed to think carefully about whether it was a good idea.
Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo made the same point in last week's private meeting of the teams, Ecclestone and governing body the FIA, BBC Sport has learned.
However, Di Montezemolo is said to have accepted that double points being awarded for the final race in Abu Dhabi would happen this year on a trial basis.
Wolff said: "Was it the right move or not? Ninety-nine per cent of the fans say it is the wrong move, so perhaps it is something we have to revisit.
"Everything is possible. We had another meeting and decided to keep it for the moment. Discussions are ongoing."
But he did admit F1 needs to be open to ideas to prevent the championship being decided too early.
Wolff added: "If we see the same power situation with one team, it adds some spice. Obviously there is a lot to criticise but when you see audiences dropping, you need to try out things. This maybe wasn't the right thing but we need to find out."
Defending champion Vettel has called the plan "absurd", saying it penalises drivers who have done well over the entire season.

And Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg said this week: "I'm sorry to say, but it's no good.
"But if you get to the last race and, because of this new points system, it remains exciting, I'm sure all the spectators will be sitting in front of the TV and will be excited and happy about it.
"Now we're all sitting here saying it sucks but maybe by the last race it keeps things exciting."
One team boss, who did not wish to be identified, said F1 chiefs had "completely misjudged the predictable negative response from the public", adding: "Let's hope it is overturned."
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told BBC Sport the plan had been approved because Ecclestone, whom he is close to, and the governing body "are very much in favour of it".
Horner added: "For Bernie, it's very easy - he wants to keep the championship alive and the TV ratings high and there's an opportunity. It's a lucky punch and I think it's too much emphasis on one race."
He did add, however, that "it would probably be better to look at three races to take away an element of lottery over that last race".
Ecclestone, 83, stepped down from the board of the company which runs F1 following his indictment on bribery charges in Germany earlier this month but continues to run the business on a day-to-day basis.

Source: BBC Sports
For more information visit: http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/formula1/25955560

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