FOTA to push for its points system
|By Jonathan Noble
||Wednesday, April 1st 2009, 09:29 GMT
The Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) will make a concerted effort to push through its favoured points structure for next season, despite it being rejected by the FIA last month.
FOTA had wanted to revise the current points system to offer more reward for the top three finishing positions, following examination of a market research exercise conducted with fans.
The proposal was put to the FIA, but the governing body opted against it - and instead chose a 'winner takes all' system where the world title would be handed to the driver with the most victories.
In the end, that system was also dropped after FOTA complained that the FIA could not change the rules so close to the start of the season without unanimous support of the teams.
With the FIA set to consult with the teams and F1 commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone about making a change to the points for 2010, Martin Whitmash, the head of FOTA's sporting working group, says the teams are keen to stick with their original proposal.
"It's FOTA's position that that's what we support, but there are some other bigger issues on the table at the moment and I don't think we'll be putting it to the top of our agenda," said Whitmarsh, referring to the technical controversies that overshadowed the build-up to last weekend's Australian Grand Prix.
"If anyone were to ask me, given that we did the audience survey we had a long and thorough debate within FOTA, it was the most considered proposal that we had and therefore we'd support it in the future."
Whitmarsh believes that the points structure favoured by FOTA was the best compromise between offering a bigger incentive to win, without getting the title decided too early if one driver is dominant.
"There's a feeling that winning or an incentive to overtake should be enhanced, and FOTA did a very professional job in surveying the opinions of the public and fans and they wanted a change," he explained.
"I wouldn't have promoted a change were it not for the opinion of the fans. But having gone out and done the audience survey, I felt that FOTA needed to take account of what we were being told and that's how the FOTA proposal was generated. It was a reasonable compromise.
"If you'd stretched out the reward for winning even more, you were in danger of finishing a championship halfway through a season. It's always a balance – you want that higher level of differentiation to create the incentive in each race, but if you stretch it too far you risk damaging the overall championship and its duration.
"The FOTA proposal was a good balance, but that wasn't accepted and that's someone else's opinion. Perhaps we need to look at that again."