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Mon 17 Feb 2014 03:39 PM

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Former F1 champ slams Abu Dhabi points decision

Jacques Villeneuve criticises FIA over plan to award double points for winner at final race of 2014

Former F1 champ slams Abu Dhabi points decision

Former F1 champ Jacques Villeneuve has criticised a decision to award double points at the final race of the Formula One season in Abu Dhabi later this year.

F1 chief say the move reduces the possibility of a championship being settled before the final race by increasing the number of points available to a driver from 25 to 50.

But Villeneuve, who won the World Championship with Williams in 1997, said: "It is a terrible idea. It shows that Formula One doesn’t know what to invent anymore to try and create interest. It is overly artificial.

"I am not sure what the purpose is other than for the Abu Dhabi organisers, who have spent millions, to keep the interest going until their own race," he said.

Governing body, the FIA, said in December that it is to award double points at the final race of the season from 2014.

The plan is one of a number of changes next season,  along with the adoption of a cost cap - details of which are still to be finalised - from 2015.

It said the decision to award double points, counting towards the drivers' and constructors' championships, at the final race of the season was made "to maximise focus on the championship until the end of the campaign".

If the new system had been in place for the last two decades, three world titles would have been won by a driver other than that year's world champion.

In 2012, Fernando Alonso would have beaten Sebastian Vettel; in 2008, Felipe Massa would have denied Lewis Hamilton; and in 2003 Kimi Raikkonen would have edged out Michael Schumacher.

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smith 5 years ago

Might make viewing more interesting although at what cost to safety? I wonder how drivers would behave /drive during the final race? Tactical team driving to safeguard their leading performer could happen with competitors being forced off the track.