FIA decides driver with most wins will be champion

FIAThe FIA has decided that the driver with the most wins in the season will become the world champion in 2009 in a radical departure from the previous rules.

Motor sport’s governing body met today in Paris to discuss a raft of measures designed to improve the sport but the one expected points-system change did not come to pass. However, the sport will tonight be reeling from the aftershock of the championship-deciding decision, which would have seen Felipe Massa crowned last year instead of Lewis Hamilton.

The drivers’ championship will continue to use the points system, in the event that two or more drivers win the same number of races and for the lower classification, and the constructors’ championship is to remain unchanged.

“The WMSC accepted the proposal from Formula One Management to award the drivers’ championship to the driver who has won the most races during the season,” said the FIA in a statement.

“If two or more drivers finish the season with the same number of wins, the title will be awarded to the driver with the most points, the allocation of points being based on the current 10, 8, 6 etc. system.

“The rest of the standings, from second to last place, will be decided by the current points system. There is no provision to award medals for first, second or third place. The Constructors’ Championship is unaffected.

“The WMSC rejected the alternative proposal from the Formula One Teams’ Association to change the points awarded to drivers finishing in first, second and third place to 12, 9 and 7 points respectively.”

In further controversial moves, the FIA also announced an optional €35m budget cap for the teams for 2010. The budget cap would allow the teams who accepted it more technical freedom, in a veiled threat that standardised parts will be made mandatory for the other teams.

FOTA, the F1 teams’ association whose proposals have been largely rejected by the FIA, released a statement this evening in response.

”Fota would like to express its disappointment and concern at the fact that these have been taken in a unilateral manner,” said FOTA president Luca di Montezemolo.