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Exclusive: F1 defers decision over points system tweaks

Formula 1 teams have deferred a decision on a change to the points structure until later this year, Autosport has learned.

Valtteri Bottas, Kick Sauber F1 Team C44, leads Zhou Guanyu, Kick Sauber F1 Team C44, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W15, and Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-24

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Following a push by F1's midfield teams to extend the current points structure to cover the top 12, the topic was put on the agenda for Thursday's F1 Commission meeting attended by the FIA, F1 and all 10 teams.

For the change to go through, it needed support from five of the current teams. 

Several outfits were in favour of the change when quizzed at last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, while Red Bull's Christian Horner and Ferrari's Fred Vasseur also appeared to support the motion or at least be impartial to it, as the proposal doesn't affect the top teams.

But it has now emerged that at the F1 Commission meeting it was agreed that more time was needed to analyse the implications of the change.

With still plenty of time on the clock to make a final decision and adopt the new system in the FIA's 2025 F1 sporting regulations, it was agreed that there is no rush to make a quick call.

Instead, the matter will be investigated thoroughly and be put back on the agenda for the next F1 Commission meeting later this year.

Insight: The implications of F1's vote on a new points structure

The idea to expand the points system was put back on the agenda as a result of F1's competitive pecking order in 2024, which has seen a chasm between the top and bottom five outfits.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Barring incidents or rare reliability issues, the top five teams Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Aston Martin are set to swoop up most of the points on offer this year.

That means the rest of the grid is fighting over scraps and midfield teams aren't rewarded for beating their direct rivals unless they manage to reach the top 10.

The proposal, which would keep the points allocation for the top seven positions as it is now, but have a more gradual sliding scale to a single point for 12th position, would give the likes of Haas, RB, Sauber, Williams and Alpine more to fight for.

After five rounds in the 2024 season, the latter three teams have yet to score a point.

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon said the change would be "a plaster on a big cut", as it helps midfield teams score points but does nothing to address the disparity between the two halves of the grid.

"It's putting a plaster on a big cut, let's call it like this," said Ocon. "It's a way of helping the current situation.

"It would definitely work because we would have been scoring points [in China], but I would prefer to be able to race at the front and have every team closer."

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In a statement the FIA has since confirmed that the points tweak will be revisited at again at the next meeting.

"Commission members discussed a proposal for changes to the distribution of championship points, as described in Articles 6.4 and 6.5 of the sporting regulations," the FIA communicated.

"It was agreed that further analysis of proposed changes was required with a view to a proposal to be presented to the F1 Commission meeting in July."

It also said the commission agreed to introduce rear-facing cameras from June's Spanish Grand Prix, and that F1 is currently working on a venue and date for 2025's pre-season testing to be presented at the next meeting.

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