Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, have today revealed a further change for the 2014 season, where Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone will have access to a self-destruct button which he can deploy when he feels a driver is getting too far ahead in the championship, a move which they described as “an additional tool to help keep the championship interesting up until the last race.” The announcement follows on from their decision earlier this to award double points for the final race of the Formula 1 season after 2014 champion Sebastian Vettel wrapped up his championship with three races to spare.
“None of the fans were asking for these rule changes,” said Ecclestone from the FIA headquarters in Paris, “which told us it was exactly what we needed to do. We know that fans happily accepted that Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel were easily the dominant car and driver combination of the year and deservedly had the driver’s title in the bag with three races to go. We took that as a sign that things were working and that we hadn’t tried to piss off our key audience recently.”
The device, which will cause the back of a driver’s car to erupt in flames, will be deployed when the current championship leader looks like they may end up extending their lead of greater than 25 points – the current amount of points awarded for finishing first in a race.
“It’s a tool that will ensure that no driver or team should aim to achieve excellence, as we’ll just peg them back and antagonise their fans in the interest of television ratings, rather than sporting achievement,” Ecclestone added.
The addition of the destruct button comes on the back of a widely unpopular decision to award double championship points for the final race of the season, which in 2014 will be Abu Dhabi. Defending suggestions that the double points in Abu Dhabi would devalue other races in the season, Ecclestone said, “That’s absolutely rubbish. We all know that the other races weren’t worth anything to me anyway. Maybe if some of those other tracks bothered sending me all the gifts, cash and women that the United Arab Emirates do, I might attach equal value to their races too.”