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Author Topic: Ecclestone expects gold medal plan to be in place for 2009  (Read 1344 times)
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« on: December 04, 2008, 03:12:04 PM »

LONDON -- Bernie Ecclestone is unhappy with the way the Formula One drivers' title was settled, and he says awarding gold medals to race winners is a way to create more drama.

The suggestion by the Formula One boss comes after Lewis Hamilton clinched this year's title by finishing fifth at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix. Ecclestone said Wednesday he does not like the idea that "someone can win the world championship without trying to win the race."

Under the proposed system, which Ecclestone said should be approved by the sport's governing body next month, the driver with the most gold medals during a season would win the title. In that format, Felipe Massa would have won the title this year because he beat Hamilton 6-5 in race wins.

"It's going to happen," Ecclestone said. "All the teams are happy. The reason this happens is that I get fed up with people talking about no overtaking."

In the current system, the winner of each Grand Prix race earns 10 points in the championship standings, with second place worth eight points and third place worth six. Each of the top eight drivers in every race earns points.

Ecclestone was asked if it didn't seem unfair under his system that someone could finish second in every race during the season and lose the title to a rival who got lucky and won a single GP.

"You'll have to try harder next year," he said.

Although the new system is designed to generate excitement, Hamilton's title win featured one of the most riveting finishes to a season.

Hamilton, of McLaren, lost the fifth place he needed for the title when he was passed by Sebastien Vettel with two laps to go, but he managed to overtake Timo Glock on the last corner of the last lap to become F1's youngest world champion. The 23-year-old Briton beat race winner Massa of Ferrari by a single point in the overall standings.

If the new scoring system was applied retroactively, there would be as many as 12 different winners in the 58-year history of the championship. Keke Rosberg, for instance, would not have won his 1982 title because he finished first in only a single race.

The medal system will be discussed at the World Motor Sport Council meeting in Monaco on Dec. 12.

Former Jordan team boss Eddie Jordan said he did not believe the teams were in favor of the change, contending it would harm smaller outfits and favor the likes of Ferrari and McLaren.

"The points are necessary," Jordan told BBC Radio Five Live. "One point to a team down there is as important as a win is to the likes of McLaren and Ferrari, and we must never forget that. Having been in that position, two points against no points is a huge difference.

"Drivers like Massa, who started at the very bottom and worked his way up, know how important those points are at the back of the field."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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