Dou­ble points ditched, stand­ing restarts stalled

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

Strat­egy group calls time on dou­ble-points last round but can’t agree on fi­nan­i­cal re­lief for strug­gling teams

The widely loathed scheme to award dou­ble points at the fi­nal race of the sea­son has been dropped after just one year.

The strat­egy group of lead­ing teams, F1 com­mer­cial boss Bernie Ec­cle­stone and FIA pres­i­dent Jean Todt voted to ditch the idea two days after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff af­ter­wards de­scribed the move as “the right decision”.

The strat­egy group also over­turned a plan to in­tro­duce stand­ing re-starts after a safety car pe­riod – some­thing it had put for­ward it­self ear­lier in the sea­son but which was again met with be­muse­ment.

After closer ex­am­i­na­tion, it was de­cided that the move was not work­able.

Much of the strat­egy group’s dis­cus­sions, which lasted 10 hours, were fo­cused on the fi­nan­cial plight of the smaller teams. Lo­tus, Sauber and Force In­dia’s push for a more eq­ui­table split in the sport’s rev­enues has grown in force in re­cent weeks.

They won an ac­cep­tance from Don­ald MacKen­zie – the co-chair­man of F1’s main share­holder CVC and ef­fec­tively Ec­cle­stone’s boss – that more should be done and they needed more in­come. But so far no agree­ment has been reached as to how to do that.

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff pro­posed that the 48m euros of prize money that would have gone to Marus­sia if it had sur­vived should be shared be­tween only the smaller teams, rather than be­tween all the teams ac­cord­ing to cham­pi­onship po­si­tion as the teams’ con­tracts dic­tate.

But that idea went nowhere at a meet­ing shortly after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and the same goes for a pro­posal by Bernie Ec­cle­stone for the big­ger teams to give up $25m of their bud­get to help the smaller ones.

The strat­egy group also agreed that, if a buyer can be found for Cater­ham or Marus­sia, the teams could run with their 2014 cars, de­spite the new 2015 nose reg­u­la­tions.

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