Double points for F1 season finale

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Double points for the final race make it more likely that the 2014 F1 Drivers title will be decided at Yas Marina. Picture: Nelson Almeida

Formula One will award double points for the last race of the season from 2014, making it more likely that the title fight will go down to the wire, while drivers will be given permanent numbers as part of a series of rule changes announced on Monday.

World motorsport’s governing body, the International Automobile Association, said doubling the points for drivers and teams in the last race on the calendar would “maximise focus on the Championship until the end of the campaign.”

This year's finale in Brazil was a bit of an anti-climax as Sebastian Vettel locked up his fourth consecutive Drivers’ title with three races to go.

Next year, a win at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be worth 50 points instead of the usual 25, making it less likely that the title will already be decided.

The reigning champion will still be given No. 1.

But now drivers will be allowed to choose a number to put on their cars for their entire career, unlike the current system where last year's team placings determine the numbers.

The FIA said drivers would be allowed to pick any number between 2 and 99. If several drivers want the same number, it will go to the one who had the highest finish the previous season. The defending champion can choose whether to use No. 1 or his permanent number.


Other changes approved unanimously on Monday at a meeting of the F1 Strategy Group and Formula One Commission in Paris included a cost cap for teams that will be introduced from 2015, and new five-second penalties for minor infringements during races.

A cost cap has long been discussed in Formula One to make the sport more affordable, although teams have been at odds over how it should be implemented. The FIA said “the principle of a global cost cap” had now been adopted, but that the specifics would be worked out by June 2014. - Sapa-AP

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