I think everybody who works, or is involved in Formula 1, has a healthy respect for Bernie Ecclestone.
But I have to say my eyes rose more than usual at the commercial rights holder’s latest pronouncement – that he wants to swap world championship points for gold, silver and bronze medals as a means of determining the world championship.
"The FIA and all the teams are behind it and it will be done," Ecclestone told The Times newspaper. "Everybody understands gold medals and silver and bronze. Nearly all sports are done that way. The whole point will be, when they get to Melbourne for the first race, the guys will want to leave there with a gold medal. They don't want to leave with ten, eight or six points."
Nearly all sports? Golf? Tennis? Football? Rugby? I don’t think so, Bernie. But I can see the point he’s getting at, namely the fact that there should be a ‘premium benefit,’ if you like, for those who actually end up winning the individual races. And that should be significantly more than the current measly two point differential between finishing in first and second place.
"Everybody is happy with the idea, they are all very supportive," Bernie told Reuters. "I'm absolutely 100 percent sure it's the right way to go, it'll get them (the drivers) overtaking."
I have no idea why he thinks competitors will be more motivated to overtake simply because they’re going to get a medal rather than an extra championship point. But I do know one thing; if Bernie has decided it is going to happen, then it will happen. Thing is, though, I don’t believe for a moment that he is anymore convinced than the rest of us.