By Jayme Monsanto, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – The International Automobile Federation (FIA) announced this week that from now on, the F1 World Champion title would go to the racer with most wins instead of going to the racer with most points. The number of points would only serve as tie breaker in case of existing two or more first-placers in the championship with the same amount of victories.
Most of Formula 1’s supporters and drivers, in activity or retired, didn’t approve the measure. The main argument against it is that if a racer dominated the first half of the championship, the second half would only be a struggle of runner-ups, since the champion would be defined early in the season.
If the rules were like that since the beginning of F1, a lot of racing seasons would’ve had different endings, including last year’s, when Team William’s British racer Lewis Hamilton was champion, but Ferrari’s Brazilian Felipe Massa, despite having fewer points, had more victories.
There were 59 seasons in F1 history, and with the new rule, we would’ve had 12 different champions (as follows):
1958 – Stirling Moss instead of Mike Hawthorn
1964 – Jim Clark instead of John Surtees
1967 – Jim Clark instead of Denny Hulme
1977 – Mario Andretti instead of Niki Lauda
1979 – Alan Jones instead of Jody Scheckter
1982 – Didier Pironi instead of Keke Rosberg
1983 – Alain Prost instead of Nelson Piquet
1984 – Alain Prost instead of Niki Lauda
1986 – Nigel Mansell instead of Alain Prost
1987 – Nigel Mansell instead of Nelson Piquet
1989 – Ayrton Senna instead of Alain Prost
2008 – Felipe Massa instead of Lewis Hamilton
Brazilian three-time World Champion Nelson Piquet would have been directly affected, being champion only once.
As soon as the rule change was announced, racers and F1 supporters protested against it, and in Friday the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) made a statement in its official website, saying that “…it is too late for FIA to impose a change for the 2009 season that has not obtained the unanimous agreement of all the competitors properly entered into the 2009 Formula 1 Championship” and that “…the Teams wish to reaffirm their willingness to collaborate with the FIA in order to jointly define a new point system for the 2010 season within a comprehensive set of measures aimed at further stimulating the attractiveness of the F1 Sport”.
Because of FOTA’s statement, FIA announced that the rule change is going to wait until the 2010 season.
This year’s season starts with the Australian Grand Prix, in Melbourne, on March 29th. Brazilian Grand Prix is scheduled to happen in October 18th, in São Paulo’s Interlagos Autodrome.
To read the Complete FOTA Statement click here.