Sport Motorsport F1 to award double points for last race

F1 to award double points for last race

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Formula One will award double points for the last race of the season from next year, while drivers will be given permanent numbers as part of a series of rule changes.

Governing body FIA said in a statement on Monday that doubling the points for drivers and teams in the last race on the calendar will “maximise focus on the Championship until the end of the campaign”, as it becomes less likely that the title will already be decided.

This year, Sebastian Vettel locked up his fourth straight driver’s title with three races to go.

Drivers will also be allowed to choose a number between two and 99 to put on their cars for their entire career, unlike the current system where last year’s team placings determine the numbers.

If several drivers want the same number, it goes to the one who had the highest finish the previous season. The defending champion can choose whether to use No. 1 or his permanent number.

Other changes approved unanimously on Monday at a meeting of the F1 Strategy Group and Formula One Commission in Paris included a cost cap for teams that will be introduced from 2015, and new five-second penalties for minor infringements during races.

A cost cap has long been discussed in F1 to make the sport more affordable, although teams have been at odds for how it should be implemented.

The FIA said “the principle of a global cost cap” has now been adopted, but that the specifics will be worked out by June 2014.