McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh is confident that the Formula One Teams' Association's proposals for a new points system represent the best compromise between encouraging close racing and prolonging title battles.
Whitmarsh, who chaired the sporting regulations working group as FOTA worked on its vision for F1, said that the fan survey confirmed a desire for race victories to be rewarded more strongly than under the current 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system. But he added that FOTA also remained keen to keep championships close and exciting rather than seeing a multiple race winner clinch the title before the end of the season.
"At one stage I know there were at least eight different proposals on the table," Whitmarsh told reporters at today's announcement in Geneva.
"There's a balance considered by the teams. There was a view from the audience survey that they wanted a greater recognition of winning to encourage overtaking etc, and we felt that we had to take those comments on board.
"However, if you commit to a very large difference in the points allocated to each driver then you can of course bring about an earlier conclusion to the championship.
"We've witnessed two seasons that had fairly exciting finales based on the existing points system, so I think before you change that you've got to be very considered. With all of the different proposals we simulated what would have occurred in the last few years before we put something forward.
"Something which enables a championship to be finished with three races to go is not a good thing. But we then felt that having committed to an audience survey then we shouldn't ignore it, because I think we're proud of the work that's being done, funded by FOTA, but you have to take account of what you're told, and that's what we did."
Under FOTA's new system, Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton would have ended 2008 equal on 113 points each, but Massa rather than Hamilton would have been champion due to his greater number of race wins. The three-way 2007 title showdown that saw Kimi Raikkonen beat Hamilton and Fernando Alonso would not have been altered had FOTA's 12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1 points distribution been in place.
Whitmarsh said that FOTA had not yet discussed its points suggestion, which it hopes will be implemented immediately, with the FIA, but is confident that it is a compelling proposal.
"There's been a lot of work done and it's been a considered proposal that all the teams have put forward," he said. "We obviously wouldn't have done so unless we think that it's a positive thing to do and we'll see from here how it goes forwards."