Formula One is introducing double points for the final race this year, 2014. The idea is that if one driver, such as Sebastian Vettel, dominates the championship, as he has done for the last 4 years, there is now more of a chance that one of the other drivers can overcome their deficit in the final race. Thus livening up the championship, and thereby helping the final few races to draw crowds, viewers, and thereby make money.
The idea of double points for the last race has been dreamed up, so it goes, by the F1 ‘supremo’, or overlord, Bernie Ecclestone. And while everyone else in F1 may think that this double points scheme is a bad idea, they are probably not brave enough to say this directly to Bernie. Why bite the hand that feeds you?!
But I am just a blogger, so I can say what I like….
And I say that DOUBLE POINTS FOR THE FINAL RACE IS A TERRIBLE IDEA. It could prove disastrous for F1.
The problem, very simply, is that this system makes it possible for the best overall driver to not win the championship. Whoever might normally, by the previous system, have established the most points over the whole season, and thus be deemed, fairly, to be the most successful, could now be usurped by a driver would would normally come second or third overall.
So, for 2014, there is the possibility that there is a nominal championship winner as well as a driver who is understood by all to have essentially won. That is, there could be a driver who can hold the championship dish aloft, and be named 2014 F1 World Champion, and there could be another driver who we all consider to be the real winner. In such a case, the record books would thus say one thing while everyone knows that, in reality, this is not the true or real picture. In such a case, to win the championship would be a sad burden for the driver to carry, because they would know in their hearts that they were not the true champion. That confused and paradoxical state of being is the worst thing that could happen to a sport such as F1. Whilst life may be unfair, conflicted, and wrought with paradoxes, people traditionally look to sport for fairness, simplicity, and meritocracy. Sport and competition are so often a metaphor for how people would like life to be.
It is very likely that the 2014 F1 season unfolds in such a way that this possible pitfall is not a clincher. But there is just the faint possibility that it does not. If the championship is very closely contested for the last few races, as they quite often are, there is the chance that the final race will loom in people’s minds as a travesty; an almost arbitrary joke of a finale to an otherwise competitive season. Reckon on that!