Date: 19th February 2014 at 11:23am
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Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey has condemned F1 plans for double points at the final race of the season.

Ecclestone and the FIA announced the idea of double points for the final race of the Formula One season towards the end of last year and the plan will be adopted in the forthcoming season as it has been approved by the Formula One strategy group.

This all means that the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a track with no history or soul is, points wise, twice as important as winning the likes of the iconic races such as Belgium, Monaco or the British Grand Prix.

In fact with 24 points available for finishing fourth, that would be worth just one single point less than a race win during any other race weekend of the season. With second place taking 36 points and third taking 30.

The proposal was met with anger from those in and around the sport, most fans and those in the media branded the gimmick as too artificial, whilst quadruple Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel said that idea was absurd and believed that drivers, fans and experts were ‘horrified’.

Since mid-December on VitalF1.com we have been running the front page poll: Double points for the final race of 2014?

94% of our readers branded the plan as stupid, 5% didn’t care and 1% thought it was a positive step.

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone however would like to see the double points plan extended to three races as it would extend the interest in the Formula One drivers and constructors championships for longer. However his plan has failed to receive much support.

In the media, very few have spoken about the idea in a positive light, Sky Sports pundit Damon Hill being the only notable person to back the plans.

However Newey shares the view of his quadruple Formula One World Champion.

‘It’s a personal view, but I’m not a fan of it at all, To me it just seems very artificial that third place [in Abu Dhabi] will now be worth more than first place at Monaco or another race. he told Autosport.

‘It’s a shame that in the drive to try to keep the championship alive to the very last race you take this artificial route to it. [It] just seems to me to be cheapening the sport.

‘It makes it just a little bit WWF to me.’


Despite the widespread condemnation from people inside and outside the sport, Ecclestone would like to extend the double points plan to incorporate the final three races of the season.

He told CNN: “The reason is simple – with the calendar as it is the championship could be over by September and if there’s another three races to go and a car that looks like it could win easy now – (the rival cars) if they win two or three races at the end, could win the championship (instead).

“Why should it devalue six races before the end? People will be following like hell to see who’s there at the end of the races. Win the last three and you can win the championship. It’s a whole different scenario.”


Ecclestone’s plan will need unanimous backing from the teams to get approval from FIA president Jean Todt, which reportedly appears vastly unlikely.

 

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