Bernie still hoping for F1 medals
Bernie Ecclestone has been up to his old tricks again in the Singapore paddock today, after re-floating the idea of introducing a medals system to Formula One as a means to deciding the drivers' championship. The system was first proposed two years ago by Ecclestone and was even adopted into the 2009 regulations before being hastily withdrawn, but F1's Supremo still believes there is a need to make race wins, not points, decide the championship.
The points system was changed for this year to give a greater proportion of points for race wins and has given fans the enticing prospect of five drivers battling closely for the title with just five races remaining. However, Ecclestone wants the medals system introduced to make winning races even more important for the drivers, insisting the points system isn't working.
"If you look at the points system, it has made absolutely no difference," said Ecclestone. "If we had the old system it would be exactly the same position as now. Which is strange. Maybe they will wake up and think about my gold medal system now. Because Mark would have four gold medals now and two other guys with three, so the championship could go all the way to the wire."
2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton doesn't think a move to a medals system would improve the racing however. "At the end of the day we are pushing as hard as we can already to win the races. It doesn't matter if you give us a gold medal or you give us a trophy," said Hamilton on Thursday. "We want to win more than anything. So even if you gave us a gold medal we would still be doing exactly what we are doing right now. It would not make any difference whatsoever."
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner isn't hugely against Ecclestone's idea though. "There are merits to rewarding more to a winner, in the scenario we have now, but if you have a runaway leader like in the Ferrari days then there is a disadvantage," he said. "But, at the end of the day, it is the same for everybody, whether it is medals or points whatever they are."