It looks like the winner takes all Formula 1 championship system won’t come in until 2010, because it needs sign off from all teams, due to the short notice of the rule change.
Rumour has it that the reason some teams won’t sign off is that Brawn GP could dominate the early part of the season, and seal the championship as a result, regardless of their performance in the latter part of the year.
So it looks we have a full year before winner takes all, but I don’t think the picture will be much different then. Honda developed their new car early to gain a general advantage for 2009, which could have turned into an unintentional significant advantage for Brawn GP under the new rules.
If winner takes all comes in for 2010, I think we could see teams developing their cars tactically. That might be abandoning a poor 2009 to get an advantage in the early part of 2010. But I think it could be a whole lot more interesting than that.
Teams might choose between going for the drivers title and the constructors title – because one rewards winning races and nothing else, the other rewards consistency.
Let’s take an extreme example. McLaren develop a very fast car, sacrificing handling; Renault do precisely the opposite; and Ferrari go for a good all-rounder. McLaren wins at tracks with long straights, Renault wins at tight and twisty circuits, and Ferrari gets on the podium everywhere. The drivers title is then between McLaren and Renault, while neither have a look in for the constructors championship, which Ferrari romps away with.
I’m still not entirely sure about winner takes all, but if it creates real tactical differences between the teams, then I’m all for it.
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