The 2014 Formula One season which gets underway in Australia in March will be the first to use the double points system awarded in the final race on the calendar.
Since it was announced by FIA in December, there has been widespread criticism from a number of drivers in the sport, including that of the defending champion Sebastian Vettel who believes it is ‘unfair’.
Despite the negative feedback given from certain teams, the new points structure will still come into place during the 2014 campaign as voted for by the Strategy Group, which consists of six teams and the FIA.
The final race of the season, in which double points will be awarded, is the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The changes have been made to make the last contest more interesting and to give drivers the chance to make a big difference on their campaign with a good result. Last year Vettel won the World Championship with three races to spare, with the new structure in place, a repeat of that will be unlikely.
If the double points system had of been used in the 2012 Formula One season, Fernando Alonso would have won the title and not Vettel. There would not have been wins for Lewis Hamilton in 2008 or Michael Schumacher in 2003 either.
Bernie Ecclestone, president of Formula One Management, has defended the change and believes it will help there to become more interest in the sport and in the finale in Abu Dhabi.
Despite the changes, Vettel still starts the season as the clear favourite with Betfair to make it a fifth consecutive World Championship. His main challenger could come from Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton goes into his second year with the constructor.