Governing body makes dramatic rule change ahead of new season
17 March 2009

The 2009 Formula One world champion will be the driver with the biggest number of wins during the season, the sport's governing body has confirmed.

The FIA, which governs the sport, said it had rejected a proposal by FOTA to change the current points-scoring system.

Instead, it voted in favour of making the world champion the driver who wins the most races in a season.

A back-up points system will be used in case two or more drivers win the same amount of races during a year.

The constructors' championship remains unaffected by the changes.

"If two or more drivers finish the season with the same number of wins, the title will be awarded to the driver with the most points, the allocation of points being based on the current 10, 8, 6 etc. system," said a statement.

"The rest of the standings, from second to last place, will be decided by the current points system. There is no provision to award medals for first, second or third place. The constructors' championship is unaffected."

There would have been 13 changes to the drivers' world championship if the wins system had been in place since F1's inception. These are:

1958 - Stirling Moss champion - instead of Mike Hawthorn1964 - Jim Clark - instead of John Surtees1967 - Jim Clark - instead of Denny Hulme1977 - Mario Andretti - instead of Niki Lauda1979 - Alan Jones - instead of Jody Scheckter1981 - Alain Prost - instead of Nelson Piquet1982 - Didier Pironi - instead of Keke Rosberg1983 - Alain Prost - instead of Nelson Piquet1984 - Alain Prost - instead of Niki Lauda1986 - Nigel Mansell - instead of Alain Prost1987 - Nigel Mansell - instead of Nelson Piquet1989 - Ayrton Senna - instead of Alain Prost2008 - Felipe Massa - instead of Lewis Hamilton.

The governing body also announced plans to introduce a £30 million budget cap per team in 2010.

Although the cap will be voluntary, the FIA has stated that it will tweak the regulations to ensure those with restricted finances will be just as competitive as those spending unlimited amounts of money.

When asked what was included in the £30 million budget, Mosley said: "Everything except the motor home (if the team has one) and any fine(s) imposed by the FIA. All expenditure will be included, even the salaries of the drivers and team principal."

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