Teams question new points system

PoliticsFOTA question FIA’s new points system; Hamilton says changes are a “shame”

The Formula One teams have called into question the validity of the FIA’s decision to introduce a new points structure this season.

On Tuesday the World Motorsport Council approved a last minute change to the regulations which will see the 2009 F1 World Championship awarded to the driver who scores the most wins.

The teams have been vocal in their critisism of the new system having proposed alternative ways to spice up the Formula One show earlier in the year.

The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) went one step further today and called into question the FIA’s authority to change the regulations this late in the season without their unanimous support.

“Following the decision of the World Motorsport Council of the 17 March 2009 to change the way the drivers championship is awarded, the Teams gathered and unanimously agreed to question the validity of this decision,” the teams said in a statment.

“FOTA had made a proposal that was carefully based on the results of a Global Audience Survey, which allowed listening to preferences of the public, and all the Teams firmly believe that these indications should be properly taken into account.”

The teams cited Appendix 5 of the F1 sporting regulations and Article 199 of the International Sporting Code that together details how the FIA is not allowed to make changes to the regulations this late into the season without the unanimous support of the teams.

FOTA continued in their statement: “The amendment to the sporting regulations proposed by the World Motorsport Council was not performed in accordance with the procedure provided for by Appendix 5 of the Sporting Regulations and, as per the provisions of the article 199 of the FIA International Sporting Code, it is too late for FIA to impose a change for the 2009 season that has not obtained the unanimous agreement of all the competitors properly entered into the 2009 Formula 1 Championship.

“Since the change to the scoring system unanimously agreed by the Teams and proposed to FIA did not receive approval of the WMSC, no change can occur in 2009, and the Teams wish to reaffirm their willingness to collaborate with the FIA in order to jointly define a new point system for the 2010 season within a comprehensive set of measures aimed at further stimulating the attractiveness of the F1 Sport.”

Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton meanwhile said he was dissapointed with the FIA’s decision to change the points system.

“I think it’s a shame what’s happening to Formula 1,” the McLaren driver said. “It’s hard to believe that these recent decisions will improve things
for the trackside spectators and TV viewers, who should always be our
number-one priority, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

“Whatever the points system, I know that all Formula 1 drivers will
always race our hearts out. For the first time in recent years we have the teams, drivers, sponsors and fans all working together for the good of our sport – now we just need the governing bodies to listen to us and help us.

“Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport and that’s what we all love
about it; we should all be working together to maintain that.”