The 2014 Formula One race year is definitely shaping up to be a “Silly Season” due to all the driver changes taking place. It seems that 2014 may also be a “Silly Season” due to some very significant rule changes passed down by the FIA on 9 December 2013, after being approved by the Formula One Strategy Group and the Formula One Commission. Here is a recap of two of the more significant changes that are taking place.
Double Points for Last Race: The decision has been made to double the points value of the last race of the season creating a last race bonus opportunity for race teams fighting for the title. The hope is that by awarding a double points kicker in the last race that the championship will come down to the wire. The other races in the season will still be referred to as grands prix, with the season finale becoming a grand epreuve, a term used in early grand prix racing to denote those events with added championship weight. Concerns exist as to how this new rule will effect situations such as mechanical failure during the last race of the season. Under the new rules, mechanical failure during the last race of the season will be twice as damaging to the championship points as a mechanical failure that happens earlier in the season.
Introduction of Mandatory Cost Cap for 2015: This is without a doubt the single most important rule change to be made in quite some time. Race teams and the governing body of Formula One have six months to figure out just how the cap will be enforced, and what the spending limits will be for the first year and whether those spending limits will remain the same for future years going forward. We anticipate that race teams will be very passionate about expressing their concerns over how these cost restrictions should be implemented. Expect well-funded teams like Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull to be extremely expressive towards their concerns about leveling the playing field when it comes to money.