f1.com: Driver with most race wins to become 2009 champion
Formula One racing’s governing body, the FIA, has approved a change to the points systems for this year’s drivers’ championship, which will see the title awarded to the driver with the most race wins. The rest of the standings, from second to last place, will be decided by the current points system.
Of course, the FIA may have decided on it, but this is Bernie Ecclestone's idea. In case everyone isn't aware, in the old days F1 gave the winner 10 points like now, with the second-place finisher getting 6, the third place 4 and so on. Bernie wanted this system changed some years back when one Michael Schumacher kept winning the championship. Bernie felt that a more equitable distribution of points would make for better competition. Now Bernie thinks rewarding winning more would make for better competition.
See how this works? I confidently predict that in about a year and a half, Bernie is going to say that the system of emphasizing wins isn't working, and we need to switch to a more equitable system.
The more I think about the new system, the more I disagree with it. Jarno Trulli and Rubens Barrichello were already pretty vocal in their displeasure, and I think they're right. I'd only like to add that the new system will, in all likelihood, have one large consequence which will probably lead to calls to scrap it within the next few seasons.
Prioritizing wins so heavily practically forces all teams to nominate a "number-one" driver. If a team gives both its drivers an equal chance to win, neither of them will win the world championship. Historically, any given F1 season usually has two teams vying for the championship. If, in this situation, one team concentrates on getting its #1 driver the greatest number of wins possible, and the other team lets its drivers split the wins, obviously the first team will win.
The most concrete result of this policy will be that Heikki Kovalainen will never win another Grand Prix as long as he drives for McLaren. Realistically speaking, he can only win if Hamilton crashes or has absolutely no chance of winning.
Overall I believe emphasizing wins will force all teams to strictly adhere to a number-one driver policy, which will lead to an explosion of team orders. It will simply become an accepted fact that one driver is always the number-one and one is always the number-two, and the number-two is not allowed to win if there is any way of getting number one the win.
Given that just a few years back F1 was all about getting rid of team orders, it seems damned odd to institute a policy that forces teams into them.