A change in the way that world championship points has been ruled out for 2019, after a vote failed to get the consensus required for it to be introduced next season.
The F1 Strategy Group discussed awarding points down to 20th place, with a possible compromise of just the top 15 receiving points.
The sport’s new owners Liberty Media had previously proposed changing the current system so that the top 15 finishers all score points, rather than just the top ten as at present.
A new system would help some of the mid-field teams who struggle to finish in the top ten, given that the first six positions are usually locked out by drivers rom Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull leaving just four points-paying positions open.
Profit sharing is decided according to the share of championship points a team picks up during the season, meaning that the current system is weighted toward the top teams and leaves the small squads struggling financially.
When F1 started in 1950, points were given to just the top five finishers, plus a bonus point for the fastest lap of the race. That was changed to the top six in 1960, with the end of the flying lap bonus.
The current system was introduced in 2010, with the focus on encouraging drivers to go for all-out victories. The winner received 25 points and second place took 18 points, with third place netting 15 points. A single point goes to the driver and team in tenth.
That will still be the case in 2019, after teams failed to reach a unanimous agreement to introduce a new system next year.
“If everyone had agreed it would have been introduced for 2019. But not everyone agreed,” FIA race director Charlie Whiting told Speed Week on Wednesday.
Because of the importance of the sport’s historical statistical records, no one wants to keep tweaking the system to invalidate year-on-year comparisons.
“It would be an important decision, so if we changed it then it would remain for the next ten years or so,” commented F1 director of motorsports Ross Brawn.
The strategy Group did reach agreement on extending the race weekend curfew by one hour for the 2020 season. It means team have less time allowed in the garage to get ready for Friday and Saturday practice.
It means the curfew will now be nine hours long, having been six on its introduction in 2011. Teams have two ‘jokers’ they can use during the year when exceptional work needs to be undertaken.
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