Mercedes boss says F1 should revisit double points
JEREZ, Spain (AP) — Formula One may need to reconsider its decision to award double points for the final race of the season after a fan backlash, according to Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff.
After Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel eased to his fourth straight title with three races to go last year, F1 tweaked the rules by doubling the points for the final race in a move aimed at keeping fans and TV viewers interested until the season’s end.
Wolff said after Tuesday’s preseason testing that F1′s strategy group had decided to maintain the double points at its last meeting.
But, Wolff said, “99 percent of spectators and fans thought it was the wrong move. So maybe it is time to revisit it.”
Wolff said that there were “some arguments for” the double points.
“If we have the same power situation you could add some spice,” said Wolff. “When audiences drop, you have to do something.
Several drivers agree with Wolff.
Mercedes’ driver Nico Rosberg said “it’s not good” as far as fairness goes, while acknowledging “maybe by the last race it keeps things exciting.”
Jenson Button of McLaren said on Wednesday he would “have the same points for every race” and compared the double-points scheme to “having more points at your home Grand Prix.
“It doesn’t happen so I don’t think it should personally but the rules are the rules,” he said.
Vettel had already criticized the decision.
Giving double points for the season finale is part of a group of sweeping changes F1 took this offseason, with most focusing on car design and engineering.
Wolff and the drivers spoke at preseason testing at the Jerez track. Testing continues in southern Spain until Friday, followed by two more tests in Bahrain. The season opens with the Australian Grand Prix on March 16.