Ecclestone’s medal proposal shelved?

fiaBernie Ecclestone’s controversial proposal to introduce an Olympic style medal scoring system in Formula One was rejected by the FIA yesterday as the governing body announced a radical shake-up of the sport, but the FOM chief executive is still determined to win support for the idea.

Ecclestone was confident that the proposed scoring system – which would see drivers’ points scrapped and the title decided by the most wins (gold medals) – would be adopted by the FIA World Motorsport Council yesterday when it met to approve a package of cost-cutting measures.

“It s going to happen,” said Ecclestone in November. “All the teams are happy. The whole reason for this was that I was fed up with people talking about no overtaking.”

“The reason there s no overtaking is nothing to do with the circuit or the people involved, it s to do with the drivers not needing to overtake.”

“If you are in the lead and I m second, I m not going to take a chance and risk falling off the road or doing something silly to get two more points.”

“If I need to do it to win a gold medal, because the most medals win the world championship, I m going to do that. I will overtake you.”

However, the FIA shelved the proposals announcing that market research with public audiences would be carried out to gauge the appeal of the scoring system.

“Medals can’t be done in 2009 without a unanimous agreement and that may not be forthcoming, said FIA President Max Mosley.

Ecclestone is determined to pursue the idea of a medal scoring system and a readers’ poll was launched on his official Formula 1 website, almost immediately after the FIA World Motorsport Council meeting.

The Formula One chief executive affirmed his view that the medal system would help to increase overtaking and stamp out situations where drivers settle for second place to preserve the car.

“Formula 1 is the pinnacle of world motorsport and only the best driver should win the title,” Ecclestone said on his official website. “Being a Formula 1 world champion is not about being a consistent and reliable runner-up.

“It s about racing hard, taking chances and not settling for second best. It shouldn t be possible for someone to be crowned world champion without winning a single race, but that really could happen unless we change the scoring system.”

Ecclestone also said that he was not worried about the possibility of a driver wrapping up the championship midway through the season.

“I think that can happen under any scoring system if one constructor dominates with a superior car, but actually I think it is less likely under the gold medal system,” he said.

“With four or five races to go a driver who is three or four gold medals down could still win the championship, which is far less likely now if the difference between winning and second place is only two points.”