The Reuters global sports blog
This year’s Formula One title will go to the driver who wins the most races rather than the most points.
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement on Tuesday it had agreed to the proposal from Formula One Management to introduce the system.
“If two or more drivers finish the season with the same number of wins, the title will be awarded to the driver with the most points,” the FIA said.
The allocation of points will remain the same as last year’s 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 sequence.
If that all seems topsy-turvy, it’s nothing compared to what’s been going on at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya this week.
The last big pre-season test involving all the teams before the first race in Australia on March 29 has turned the world on its head for Britain’s two drivers and forced a hasty re-assessment of their prospects.
Jenson Button, who last year trundled around in an under-powered Honda that should have been put out of its misery long before it got anywhere near a track, was as bright-eyed as I’ve seen him since he won in Budapest three years ago after his new Brawn turned out to be quite an eye-opener.
The Briton completed an impressive 130 laps on Wednesday, lapping comfortably a second faster than anyone else. On Thursday, his Brazilian team mate Rubens Barrichello went even quicker.
Not bad for two supposed has-beens whose F1 careers looked as good as over only a few months ago.
World champion Hamilton, whose car was the envy of most of his peers in 2008, hit the tyre barriers on Wednesday and ended up last. He was just as slow on Thursday. So not many smiles there.
Button scored three points last season to Hamilton’s 98 and had been dismissed by all and sundry. So much so, that Graham Sharpe of bookmakers Williams Hill had another pot shot at him last week when Brawn finally emerged from the remains of now-departed Honda.
Formula One has never let the truth get in the way of a good story and the recent, somewhat feverish, speculation about Danica Patrick is a case in point.
Lewis Hamilton delivered the goods as the sport’s first black world champion and the next big breakthrough has to be getting a woman back onto the starting grid as a driver rather than parading in a swimsuit while clutching a pole with some man’s racing number on it.