Fernando Alonso warns against F1 points shake-up
|By Edd Straw, Jamie Klein, Jonathan Noble||Tuesday, July 17th 2018, 08:45 GMT|
Fernando Alonso thinks Formula 1 would lose one of its key attractions if it awards points all the way down to 20th place.
With F1's owner Liberty Media considering ripping up the current points structure for the top 10 finishers, Alonso fears that automatic scoring would take away the special moments that come when underdogs finish well.
He cites the fanfare around Jules Bianchi's maiden top-10 finish for the Marussia team at Monaco in 2014 as a classic example of why points should not be guaranteed for everyone.
"In F1 it has always been quite difficult to get points," said Alonso.
"The lead guys take points and it was kind of a reward, a big moment, when you score two points or something.
"I remember now - Jules - when he scored the ninth position in Monaco, it was some kind of miracle and that was a big moment for the sport.
"If everyone is scoring points now, then maybe we lose that unique thing in F1 that other categories don't have."
No decision has yet been made about the points structure, and Haas boss Gunther Steiner thinks it could be extremely hard to decide the exact system if the points pool is expanded.
"We need to make sure that how the points are given is fair, that the position you fight for is a reward for it," he said.
"I don't think if you have a maximum of 25 points now for the winner, you cannot do that [anymore], because there needs to be gaps between them.
"If you finish 10th or 15th, there needs to be a good gap, but you have to start with a complete new set of numbers for the winner, like 50 or 100.
"It's not my job to do this kind of calculation. Going to 20, I'm not for it, because at the moment to get into the points is a big event.
"OK, [if] we are going to the points when you are 15th, which is fine, but always being in the points, you take away something from the sport."
Steiner has experience of NASCAR, where points are awarded down to 40th spot, and he thinks that such a scenario does take away a major talking point that happens in F1 when small teams do score.
"You never speak about a team that got into the points, so you would take away something that is attractive, or which our fans are used to," he said.
"We shouldn't take things away from them, we should add things and make them better and not take stuff away.
"It's easy to talk about it, but if you make it too complex like we have in NASCAR with stage racing [where points are awarded at intervals during the race], it's quite confusing to be honest.
"If you're not an avid fan of it, it's difficult to follow."