7 Comments

Bernie’s Bonkers Medals idea

Bernie Ecclestone, commercial supremo of Formula One has caught Olympic fever. He wants to do away with points down to eight place, awarding instead Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for places one to three – but only counting Gold medals towards the Championship.

For some years now the points have been 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points for 1st to 8th places respectively. Previously, points were only scored down to 6th place with 9 points for a win, 6 for second, 4 for third and then 3, 2, 1 for the last three points.

The old points system was extended because mid range teams still had to put in hundreds of millions of dollars each year yet hardly ever finished in the Top 10 and so got no reward for their efforts with everything going to the Top 3 teams each year mostly.

Giving out medals is stupid. How many Silvers equal a Gold? How many Bronzes? How do you convert them? Ah, yes, you give them a numerical value… Bernie ought to come out with it and be honest: he just wants to reward Ferrari and McLaren! Sod the rest of them.

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7 comments on “Bernie’s Bonkers Medals idea

  1. I don’t know if I’m in favour of the “medals system”, but I do think you’ve missed the point of it. The point is that you can’t convert a silver into a gold or a bronze into a silver. One gold is worth infinitely more than one silver. Indeed, one gold is worth more than eighteen silvers. The idea is to completely get rid of the “how many 2nds equal a win” calculation that drivers and fans continue to make, and bring the focus on the win which is where it should be.

  2. Actually I do get the point of it – it will now be possible for someone to win the Championship before season’s end, just like in Golf where you can win a match 7 and 6, which basically means 7 holes (medals) ahead with 6 left to play, or 3 and 2 meaning 3 holes ahead with 2 to play. In golf when the scores get to this point the players all go back to the clubhouse, there’s no point in playing all 18 holes since the outcome will be impossible to change so why put one’s life or the team’s budget further at risk?

    With the current system, domination by a single team or individual is far less likely and seasons last longer. If the matchplay system is adopted, teams will leave the sport since nobody in thse tough times wants to spend £250 million to come equal last. Spectators will also leave venues unfilled as who wants to pay £150 to watch a race where nothing is at stake any more because the Championship was already won three races ago?

    TV viewing figures will go down because the races will cease to be interesting as overtaking is almost impossible and the winner of the race is often known from the first corner or after the first pit stop – certainly after the second. At least now there is some tension to see who gets into even 8th place!

  3. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but under the points system drivers and teams can wrap up the championship long before the season’s ended. Remember Schumacher in 2002? Wrapped up by France, with six races to go. None of the teams pulled out for the rest of the season (with the exception of Arrows who were forced to pull out due to financial difficulties).

    You are right that teams do want to spend £250 million to come equal last, but you have forgotten that teams can also come equal last under the points system.

    Also, under the medals system there would still be tension to see who gets into 8th place. In fact, there could even be tension to see who gets into 19th place as all positions would help determine the championship order.

  4. Nigel Mansell also wrapped up the Championship by August. Yes, the teams did continue with the Championship that year, but did the fans? TV viewing figures certainly were less than they could have been.

    Anyway, you’re still missing the point. Why will there be just as much tension for coming 8th in a medals based system when teams will win no medals and gain no points for five positions they currently receive something for? Remember, it is only the teams who score points in the Championship who receive a cut of the TV revenues in the following year.

    What would happen if we got another season in which one team was dominant, like McLaren’s Senna/Prost years when they won 95% of the races, or the Williams years when they were the only team to join if you wanted to be World Champ?

  5. Apparently, when Bernie first made his statement about his medals idea, he claimed that he had the backing of all the teams.
    Well, guess what, Bernie has lied again!
    According to Mario Thiessen, of BMW, that is not the case, and the first time that it will be discussed will be at this week’s FOTA meeting. I can’t imagine them going for it.
    This is classic Bernie.

  6. Publicity seeking again. Keeping F1 in the public eye in the off season I suppose. Maybe he felt miserable because of his impending divorce and thought he’d mess with a few other people’s heads just to lighten his own load. It’s a crazy idea anyway.

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