Date: 1st March 2011 at 11:16am
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If many thought he had gone mad with a few of his ideas before, not many will need convincing following this interview.

Usually when F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone once again discusses his medals idea, that tends to be enough to grab the headlines, however on this occasion the 80-year-old has well and truly surpassed himself!

When asked about his ideas to boost excitement in Formula One, Bernie said: ‘I stick to it – let?s have medals instead of points. Drivers want to win and they are not racing for second, third or fourth place. So let?s have a system where wins count. Last season it would have worked pretty well. Vettel and Alonso would have been even after the last race with five gold medals each, and the same number of silver and bronze medals. Vettel would have won the world championship because he had more fourth places? I call that a thriller!’

The medals idea has always received mixed reviews and while last season it could have worked (not that the points system didn’t), in previous years a medal system would have seen the title decided much earlier in a season.

But if his medals idea creates discussion, then his next idea trumps it.

Any more ideas? The formula1.com interviewer unwittingly asks: ‘Yes. Look at the races we have now. Overtaking is almost impossible because in the dry there is only one line good for maximum speed because of the rubber on the track. You have a completely different picture when it is wet. We always had the most exciting races in the wet so let?s think of making rain?’ Bernie responds.

Making rain? The probably confused interviewer asks: ‘Yes. There are race tracks that you can make artificially wet and it would be easy to have such systems at a number of tracks. Why not let it ?rain? in the middle of a race? For 20 minutes or the last ten laps? Maybe with a two-minute warning ahead of it. Suspense would be guaranteed and it would be the same for all.’

The interviewer wisely and very quickly then changed the topic of conversation.

Ironically this idea came after an interview with Sir Jackie Stewart over the weekend. The former three-time champion suggested that tracks need to punish drivers for mistakes.

The Scot suggested ‘the surface of the run-off areas was changed so that a car?s traction is reduced and a driver going wide loses ground either to the car he is following or allows the car chasing him to pass?’, this led to a comment on the VitalF1.com Forum which said: ‘It could be like wacky races!! We could have an oil slick on one corner and lots of drawing pins on another.’

I just hope Bernie isn’t reading this..