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GP Week : Issue 87
GPWEEK OPINION >> about the battle at the top of the points table between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. "That's great for us because they do take points off each other," he said, with reinforced optimism. "If there was just one guy winning all the races, there would be a massive margin in the championship." That seems so prophetic now, but Jenson and Lewis need to be aware -- as I'm sure they are -- that they are now in that precarious position. McLaren is managing them admirably so far, but the team's record in this area is not good. See Hamilton v Alonso. See Senna v Prost. On camera chemistry and on message press conferences mean naff all. It all changes when the visors come down. Jenson is calm and mature. Lewis is less predictable, more mercurial, and Jenson knows this. It's McLaren form (and more than a little irritating, actually) to always thank the team at every opportunity. But at this time, it's crucial to mean it. Only so much of the radio messages during the race are broadcast, and as FOM has no bleep button, anything with swearing is cut. When Vettel retired from the Turkish Grand Prix, he told his team: "I'm going home now. F**k you." Button and Hamilton need to keep it friendly all the way through to Abu Dhabi. And with a title to play for, that's easier said than done. on's best decision ... ever the point of Points for All? obliged to find a replacement. That means only 15 starters for the next two races at least. It could hardly be a greater contrast to the 41-strong Moto2 grid, where at least it makes sense to stick with the points- scoring system that has been in place since 1993, by which first to 15th are rewarded. In MotoGP, all you have to do to finish in the points is to finish. Nice for the lesser riders, who can get into the history books quite easily. Too easily, perhaps. It is high time this system was made a bit more sensible. At least for the MotoGP class, the points system needs a bit of tweak. Or quite a big tweak. Points should surely be a little harder to come by ... and the same should remain true if and when grid numbers are restored, hopefully by new multi-level 1000cc regulations in 2012. There have been various systems over the years, sometimes allowing riders to drop their worst scores ... which merely confuses the issue. But it all began in 1949 with only the first six rewarded, up to 10 in 1989, to 15 until 1991, and then back to 10 for 1992 only. So it can certainly be changed without betraying history. One idea is from GP statistician Dr Martin Raynes, who suggests that points should only be paid to riders who have actually beaten somebody. If there are, as at Silverstone, only 13 finishers, then only the top 12 should get points. Too complicated? Well, just pay points to the top eight then, or the top ten. It's silly giving them to everybody. 21