Bernie Ecclestone is confident his plan to replace the current points system with Olympic Games-style 'medals' will be introduced in time for the 2009 season opener.

Bernie Ecclestone is confident his plan to replace the current points system with Olympic Games-style 'medals' will be introduced in time for the 2009 season opener.

The F1 chief executive revealed recently he wants the drivers on the podium to be presented gold, silver and bronze medals, rather than awarded ten, eight and six points respectively.

The change, he argues, will rid the sport of the situation of the 2008 series finale in Brazil, where Lewis Hamilton was able to finish just fifth and still be crowned world champion.

If Ecclestone's new system had been in place, the McLaren driver and Felipe Massa would have been tied on 5 gold medals apiece, setting up a dash to be first to the chequered flag and the title.

It is believed that points will still be awarded to the teams for the constructors' championship on the basis of the current system.

Drivers finishing races 'out of the medals', meanwhile, will not score points, but their finishing positions over the season will determine their championship ranking.

Ecclestone, 78, told The Times: "The FIA and all the teams are behind it and it will be done."

He insists that the system will ensure that the emphasis of the front-running drivers' approach to races will be on winning, rather than scoring good points.

"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 (will not) want to leave with ten, eight or six points," Ecclestone said.

The Times said the matter has been discussed by FIA president Max Mosley, but the details are yet to be worked out.

Ecclestone's system will require ratification by the World Motor Sport Council at its December meeting.

 

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