Surtees: Double points rule totally wrong
10 January 2014 – Former Formula 1 World Champion John Surtees has described as "totally and utterly wrong" the recently approved regulation to award double points for the final round of the season from 2014 onwards.
The 79-year-old Briton, who also carved a highly successful career on two wheels, reckons the decision brings an unneeded "artificial" element to racing, and in turn takes the sport further away from its roots.
"It must be purely a commercial gimmick. I think it's totally and utterly wrong," Surtees told NBC Sports.
"This means of trying to artificially change the results of championships or races is something which is not in the true spirit of what we should be trying to achieve."
Surtees went on to discuss the potential pecking order for the new campaign, but he was tentative about making any clear-cut predictions given the significant rule changes coming into play.
"[It's] very difficult to say," he added. "It would depend largely how the engine side develops.
"When you go along and see the complete way that the Red Bull team is operated and its structure, and you have a driver like Sebastian Vettel who has been superb in every area, they must have a chance to be right at the top.
"Ferrari, with the opportunity to develop the new engines and going back to V6s, there's a chance for them. I'm not quite so sure how the relationship with [Fernando] Alonso and [Kimi] Räikkönen will work. It's not the one I would necessarily have chosen, but just the same, they'll be there.
"Mercedes, also. I don't like what I've seen happening at Mercedes, this juggle that's taking place and people like Ross Brawn going. But just the same, they have immense resources and some very good people, and two very capable drivers.
"McLaren's last year with Mercedes [engines] will be trying to lift up their game.
"It's going to be very interesting, and the first race everyone will eagerly watch how things develop."