Nick Heidfeld on Wednesday was among a number of drivers to comment on the late change to the points system ahead of the 2009 season.

Nick Heidfeld on Wednesday was among a number of drivers to comment on the late change to the points system ahead of the 2009 season.

Despite some quarters welcoming the move to guarantee the winner of the most races the drivers' title, the more widespread reaction to the 'gold medals'-style regime has been negative.

"It's a matter of taste, but my taste is not for that," BMW-Sauber's Heidfeld told Germany's SID news agency.

"I like the old way better. With points it is comprehensible. There is not only one or a few races (in a season), but 17 or 18."

He said the new system is not straightforward, given that while the 2009 champion could have fewer points than the runner-up, the rest of the standings will be ranked by regular points order.

"I find that silly. The basis should be the same for all," Heidfeld added.

His German countryman Nico Rosberg slammed the new system as "nonsense," while Brawn's Jenson Button - tipped by Bernie Ecclestone as an outsider for the title because of the change - warned the rulemakers that their scheme could backfire.

"I understand the logic behind it and it's interesting," the Briton said. "It's an incentive to try to win but it also looks risky to me.

"After 9 races you could get a driver who's already won the title and can take the rest of the season off, while the driver in second is only 18 points behind," he remarked.

When Ecclestone first proposed his radical 'medals' idea, reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton made clear he did not back it because "the team who is most consistent" should house the title winner.

At the Jerez test on Wednesday, he insisted: "I have no opinion on this."

 

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