Double points finale up for debate - Mercedes chief

28 January 2014 04:01

Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff believes a controversial plan to award double points for the final race of the Formula One season in Abu Dhabi could still be overturned due to widespread disapproval.

Wolff was part of a meeting of team bosses who gave the proposal the green light at a meeting in Geneva last week.

The idea is part of a wave of sporting and technical changes to Formula One being implemented for the 2014 season in a bid to make both the race for the drivers' and constructors' world titles more competitive following a four-year spell of dominance from Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull team.

Wolff defended the decision to try and inject more excitement into the latter stages of the campaign to boost dwindling television audiences, but admitted there is still time for a compromise to be reached.

"I think the shitstorm we got afterwards was not something we expected," he said at a press conference on the first day of pre-season testing at Jerez in southern Spain.

"The reason was that for the last few years the audiences were not as expected, so we discussed ideas on how to keep the interest going until the end of the season.

"Was it the right move? Ninety-nine percent of our fans and spectators thought it was the wrong move so perhaps it is something to revisit.

"We had another strategy meeting and we decided to keep it for the moment. Our discussions are ongoing.

"There are some arguments (in favour). If for whatever reason we had one team having the same power (as Red Bull last season) then it adds a bit of spice towards the end of the season.

"Things need to be done when you see TV audiences dipping, you need to try out things."

However, one of Wolff's own drivers at Mercedes, Nico Rosberg, joined the chorus of voices speaking out against the idea.

"It is no good, but that's the way it is. Then again if it gets to the last race and because of this new system it remains exciting then I am sure all the spectators will be sitting in front of the TV.

"Right now we are saying it is too artificial but perhaps by the last race it will be exciting."

Meanwhile, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner suggested if the idea for double points is to go ahead then it could possibly be expanded to three races.

"I don't think it is any secret that I wasn't in favour of it," he said.

"I can understand why promoters want the championship to go to last race, but in two of the last four years it has gone down to the last race anyway.

"It might be best to look at three races rather than one to take away the lottery of one race."

Source: AFP