Bernie has been talking about the idea of medals rather than the current points system for a long time. It came to the fore when the Olympics took place earlier this year, and since then it has gathered steam.
The idea would be for the current points system to apply only to the constructors championship. For the drivers, there would be a gold, silver and bronze medal available for first, second and third respectively. It's unclear at this stage whether any more than the first three finishers will be rewarded, but those places will be really important.
Just like in the Olympics, if someone has one gold medal, they will beat anyone who doesn't, even if that other person has six silvers and three bronzes. The gold medal is the important one, and Bernie believes this will make the drivers fight for wins more often.
He said he's introducing this scheme because he is fed up of people saying that there is no overtaking out on track. He doesn't believe it is because of the circuits, or the aero regulations. He believes it is simply because there is nothing pushing the drivers to make up positions. Especially if you consider the Brazilian GP this year, when Hamilton only had to finish fifth. Although he struggled to make that position, in that incredible finale, but the point is he wasn't ever going to fight for the win because he didn't need to.
It's always difficult to compare what happens in one season to what would have happened if it was different, because teams tailor their strategies to the current regulations. However, if the medals table was in place during 2008, Massa would have won the drivers championship because he had more victories than Hamilton.
Personally, I don't like the idea. It's all very well saying that drivers aren't fighting for wins, but if you only reward the top three finishers, what happens to the rest of the field? That's seventeen drivers who have no chance of getting to the top and therefore lack the exact same motivation. I don't understand what's behind these radical changes of the support when we have just enjoyed two really spectacular and close seasons. We're already mixing up the regulations, I'm not sure any more tweaking is necessary.
However, I'd love to hear what you think about the idea, and whether it will improve the racing or not. Bernie still has to get approval from the FIA before this can come in - do you think he will succeed? Share your thoughts in the forums.