He’s at it again. F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has renewed his push for an Olympic-style medals system to be used to decide the winner of the drivers’ world championship.
This despite an absolute belter of a season in which we still have five very realistic contenders for the drivers’ crown. For some reason this isn’t enough to satisfy Bernie, who says he’ll be pushing for a medals system – where the title goes to whoever wins the most races – to be introduced in 2011.
“If you look at the points system, it has made absolutely no difference,” Ecclestone told the media today. “If we had the old system it would be exactly the same position as now, which is strange.
Well, maybe it’s a little strange, but it’s still exciting, isn’t it? Anyway, Bernie continued:
“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. I hope that’s what happens.”
But do we really need such a system to ‘spice things up’? This year’s world championship is fantastically balanced entering the final five races, with any one of five drivers capable of leading the standings after this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.
Speaking in March 2009 Ecclestone explained the reasoning behind pushing for the introduction of a medals system, saying he believed it would increase competition for first place.
“The idea is to get people racing. Somebody that’s second has got to try and win rather than thinking that if he happens to win he’ll only get two more points – it’s not a big motivation to try and get past someone.”
But with the difference between first and second now seven points that’s not the case any more. Maybe Bernie missed this year’s Turkish Grand Prix. Maybe he didn’t see the Red Bulls collide disputing the lead of that race. That’s proof plenty that drivers are doing their all to win grand prix. With the increased gap between first and second they have to if they want the championship.
A medals system in 2010 would have Mark Webber leading the way on four wins with Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso close behind on three victories. Following them would be Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel, both on two wins. Not too surprisingly that’s the current championship order, suggesting that wins are already all important to being champion.
Will Bernie get his idea implemented? This is the third time he’s tried now, and apparently Mr Ecclestone has never asked for something three times without getting it in his entire life. We shall wait and see.
But what do you think of medals now that the issue has raised its head again. In light of this year’s championship, would they be a good idea? Let us know in the comments section.