Following a meeting by the Formula One Commission in Paris on Monday, a couple of rather interesting rule amendments have been agreed by the teams and the FIA, which will be officially ‘rubber stamped’ by the World Motor Sport Council in the next day or so.
Firstly, there is a minor amendment to the new points system, so rather than the top 10 being awarded 25-20-15-10-8-6-5-3-2-1, there is now a greater gap between 1st and 2nd place and this is meant to encourage drivers to push to overtake and get wins, rather than settle for a second or third place and only lose a few points to a close rival. The new scoring system will be as follows: 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1.
I think this will incentivise drivers a little more, but do not see it having a major impact at the majority of races for those at the front. If you apply the new points system to last year’s results then you will get very little change. Button’s winning margin would have been comparatively bigger under the new system and the title would still have been decided at Brazil.
The big difference in the points system is that now the top ten are rewarded which means that the racing will be more competitive in the middle of the pack. Running in 12th last year meant you were nowhere and a driver would probably not be as motivated as he might be, but this year, he will have a sniff of a chance of a point and that will make a big difference.
The second rule amendment concerns the use of tyres:
- Reduction of the number of dry weather sets allowed per team from 14 to 11
- “In addition, to encourage teams to run during the Friday practice sessions, one set has be returned before the start of the second practice session, and two sets before the start of the third practice session” FIA statement.
- Top 10 starters to begin the race on the same tyres they set their best qualifying lap on
These tyre rule changes will force the teams to be far more strategic. They have the dilemma of having an odd number set of tyres to be shared between an even number of drivers. The approach to the Q3 Top 10 shoot out will also need to be thought out carefully. Do teams go for pole on soft tyres and then have to use the same soft tyres with the maximum fuel load or use harder tyres in qualifying and restrict their ability to get high up on the grid?
It’s just another little addition to make the 2010 season even more interesting!