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Sebastian Vettel dismisses proposals to award double points in last race as 'absurd'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 10, 2013

By Jamie Strickland and Ian Parkes

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel

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Four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel has mocked plans to award double points at the final race of the 2014 Formula One season, branding the idea "absurd".

Vettel, who won the 2013 title for Red Bull after winning the final nine races of the season, also claims "drivers, fans and experts are horrified" at the proposal, which was announced on Monday following a meeting of the F1 Strategy Group and the Formula One Commission in Paris.

Teams and drivers had been conspicuously quiet on social media outlets since the news was announced, but Vettel became the first to break ranks in an interview with German newspaper Sport Bild.

"This is absurd and punishes those who have worked hard for a whole season," the 26-year-old German said.

"I value the old traditions in Formula One and do not understand this new rule. Drivers, fans and experts are horrified."

Under the new proposals, the winning driver at next year's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix would earn 50 points instead of the usual 25, a move designed to reduce the chances of the title being decided before the final race.

Should the double-points plan ultimately see the light of day, it is worth considering that a number of recent championship battles would have been altered under such rules. Fernando Alonso would have beaten Vettel to the 2012 title while Felipe Massa would have been champion ahead of Lewis Hamilton in 2008.

The double-points bombshell was one of several rule changes announced on Monday, which also included a plan to introduce a budget cap from 2015 and a new initiative for drivers to choose their own racing number – from two to 99 – which they would keep for the duration of their time in F1.

A statement from the FIA read: "The principle of a global cost cap has been adopted. The limit will be applied from January 2015. A working group will be established within the coming days comprising the FIA, representatives of the commercial rights holder [Bernie Ecclestone] and Team representatives."

The decision comes as a major surprise, although is much needed as costs have been spiralling out of control over the past few years.

At the height of the global credit crisis a few years ago, and in the wake of the withdrawals of major manufacturers Honda, Toyota and BMW, former president Max Mosley attempted to introduce a budget cap.

An initial £30 million figure was raised to £40 million – however, the decision caused such division with the teams that a breakaway series was threatened, but ultimately came to nothing.

Although three new teams entered on the basis the cap would be put in place, such a proposal eventually fell by the wayside as plans to police it could not be agreed upon.

It resulted in the FIA proposing the Resource Restriction Agreement in an attempt to cut costs, but again not all the teams would sign off on the scheme. Since then, the teams have been burning money at an alarming rate, notably so on the new power-trains to come into force from next season.

Although F1 is attempting to be leaner and greener by introducing 1.6-litre V6 turbo-charged units, replacing the 2.4-litre V8s of this season, they are proving highly expensive.

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