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Jacky Ickx: an ancient proposal for the title


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#1 sundance76

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 16:06

In the first '70, Jacky Ickx had a week column on Italian review "AutoSprint", and once made a proposal in order to change to the system of attribution of the F1 word title, eliminating every type of numerical score.
I enclose you the original pages, and then the translation in English, excuse the imperfections because I don't speak the English language perfectly (I'm Italian).
They are two articles, one of 1973 and the other of 1975.

1973:
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1975:
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1973:

It must... dedicate itself to the horse racing for F1!!

When this 1973 world championship ends, in spite of myself I was a mere spectator, I would think that the formula in the league, or in any way its principles (which date back 24 years from now ..), should evolve. If I believe those born before me, the drivers world championship, created primarily as a defensive measure of the organizers to encourage competitors to play all the time without being too pray Grand Prix, would not cause to all interested audiences. Older people from the sporting car (I am told) did not forgive the championship fight between drivers to replace the traditional struggle between brands. And it occurred to the general public (it says so on) Fangio domination between 1954 and 1957 to make it affect the race. All this, I repeat, I was told. Sure what I believe, moreover, is a formula that gave the first six points of each Grand Prix was valid at a time when these races were few in number; at a time when finish the race was a result in itself, and when the reliability of the mechanics had a deep meaning because it was the prerogative of all the manufacturers but that is no longer the case today.
In fact, the races are now numerous (and perhaps even too many), most cars use the same engine (Ford-Cosworth, n.d.t.), the problem of reliability of mechanical parts pushed to the limit is the same for all, and above all, the race car touches the ground now, the same way and almost equal level of cycling and football. No one can hide (like it or not) that this new social character of automobile competition ensures the lives and survival. Since then, if it is to “turn right”, it is to the great public who must think in the elaboration of the rules of the game. Now, nobody can ignore that when the race is multiplied and when the championships are multiplied, this great public does not come to an agreement more for null attention to the secondary places. The better example is supplied from the horses races where 3 horses classify themselves alone. And then it is the system of game to bet that maintains this triple one classifies. But to outside of the expert fans of the fields from race, only the winning horse and the second still holds the attention of the public. Why it would be different with the automobile?
And then we comprise immediately that a championship of the world based not more on a more or less clear table than points, but on the number of victories, the public would get passionate very more. We see what simply a such method would have given in 1973.
After the Grand Prix of Argentine, first score 1-0 for Fittipaldi. After that one of 2-0 for the same one Brasi them. But after the Sudafrica, the score would have been 2-1 between Fittipaldi and Stewart. After the GP of Spain, Fittipaldi would have carried its advantage to 3-1. But those of Belgium and Monaco would have carried Stewart at par, 3-3 with its adversary.
The Grands Prix of Sweden, France and Great Britain, would then have seen 3 left equal successive ones, leaving therefore this exciting 3-3 between the two antagonists. And then, with the GP of Holland and Germany disputed to 8 days of interval, Stewart would have taken the advantage it would have assured and it carrying the score to 4-3 and then to 5-3.
After that we would have still had still two left balanced to GP of Austria and Italy. But, the evening of Monza (when Stewart won the championship mathematically with 2 contests of advance payment, n.d.t.) the title it still would not have been acquired, because to such date Emerson Fittipaldi the number of victories of Stewart could still always balance and eventually to gain the title it with a play-off (in Italian “spareggio”) to the number of second places.
After the GP of Canada (penultimate and lacked from Fittipaldi), evidently, the 1973 world title would have been equally played before the end of the championship, but “suspence” it would be remained intact for according to place, Ronnie Peterson being come meantime equal to Monza the three victories of Emerson Fittipaldi, and Canada would not have changed null. It is not believed that this duel between the two pilots of the Lotus would have raised in public an alive interest for the GP of the United States (than in the moment in which I write these lines still has not been disputed) to the place of the total indifference today?
I remain convinced that for the automotive competition, us it is not alternative that to transform itself in an indeed popular sport or to be forced to scrape a living. So that he becomes more popular, the first measure consists in becoming simpler its formulas and its rules.
The International sport regulations recognize too many Groups and too many formulas details, and ones and the others are too much abstruse. The mechanism of the championships is too much complex, appeals to the journalists above all. At last, to consider (like ago present regulations 9-6-4-3-2-1) that 3 second places are worth 2 victories and that 3 quarters places are worth 1 Victoria are contrary to the human truth. Probably It was true in the time in which the various constructors they still pursued, for different ways, the reliability of the mechanics, but it is not more completely on the plan of the resonance of the result in the collective conscience.
The true law of the sport (civilized form of the combat of a time) is limited to win or not to win. This means that the beautifulst collection of second and thirds places will not never have the same value of single a Victoria, as well as for the contender how much for the public. When a truth is clear, it is a serious deficiency not to align itself. I do not hope more than to see in my age the reform of the several championships of the FIA (not only F1.), but it would astonish a lot to me if a day were not prevailed from himself, when the sport power is in the hands of the watching young people today.

Jacky Ickx, 1973 September 25



1975:

THERE WERE ONCE THE “GRAND PRIX”…

In my infancy (that is much time does not make) existed the “Grand Prix”. Listening to the conversations of the adults, when Stirling Moss and Jean Behra came to supper at our home (Ickx is son of a famous Belgian automotive journalist, nd.s.), I had made acquaintance with a sport world very defined where existed a “Grand Prix of A.C. of France”, a “Grand Prix of Great Britain”, a “Grand Prix of Germany”, a “Grand Prix of Spain”, that they were as many independent and complete elements, also if made part of the championship. Tizio was winning of this and that GP; Caio was winning of a third GP. In was only towards the end of the season that was worried to us of the ranking of the world championship, that it was a supplement more or less skillful to the single truth of the single classic races.
20 years have been enough in order to change all this. The Grand Prix in the traditional meaning of the term does not exist more. Even if the name is conserved for habit, not draft other that of seventh, ninth, thirteenth stage of the world championship.
We clearly say that the season of the Grand Prix has been transformed in a race to stages, in the kind of the cycling Tour de France or the Tour of Italy, than hard but 10 months and not 3 weeks. It has been arrived to this point, unfailingly, from both the parts. One of the truth apparently less known from the men today, is that exists a very defined limit for the faculties of interest, attention and mnemonic assimilation of the individual. Organized 6 or 7 Grand Prix per year and everyone of they will be a Event, before, during and after. Climbs till 12 (or more) and the attention does not follow more, and the memory still less.
Rethought therefore, to the Tour de France or the Turn of Italy. I do not see which sportman or fan it could say, also during the three weeks of the race, which have been first are, or the first three, or even the winner of every single stage. But, fortunately, the attention and the memory, with such limits, are leaned on the scale of classify daily general. Of forehead to an identical problem, and with the precedence very established of the cycling race in laps (in Italian “corsa a tappe”), it was unavoidable that the public stretched to assume the same position with regard to the season of F1, than the 15 individuality of race successively was cancelled and that they transformed themselves in elements constituent, anonymous, and nearly in any case interchanging, in a championship of the world hard of its oneness.
From part they, sure pilots have adopted the same way to see and, when they are in competition in one of the 15 G.P of the season, they fight not for the Victory in a race, but for the (future) ranking of the championship. In truth, the fact is relatively new. Jackie Stewart still fought for the Victory of the single GP, how much for the world title. Only after he that it is appeared what I will call the method of the “accountant” who consists in searching “points” instead of a “result”. In effects who plays for the result, very often finds itself to play for all or none, while he who plays trying the points, that is obtaining always a little more or a little than less, follows a surer way.
Nevertheless the sport loses to us in its purity, in its overhong, its intensity, all things that make its quality. And that, for this same fact, it is the satisfaction of the public (of which therefore they live organizing, manifacturing and pilots) that suffers some. Turns the things as you want: playing for the final general ranking, one does not give to the public of a Grand Prix this that attend and this that is happy to attend.
Nevertheless it would be thus easy to conciliate the today divergent interests, that they are represented, from a part, the Victory in a single Grand Prix and, from the other, the Victory of a World Title! On this argument, I have already spoken time ago on this columns and if us return on, today, is because the writing and the readers of Autosprint will comprise better, now, what this system would carry. It was dealt to renounce to the skillful way of the attribution of the points that resists the championship from its creation, and to simply replace it with the number of the victories:
The temporary ranking before the GP of England (’75) would give:
1 - Niki Lauda .................. 4 Victories
2 - E. Fittipaldi ................ 1 Victory, 2 second places, 1 third place
3 - J. Hunt ....................... 1 Victory, 2 second places
4 – J. Scheckter .............. 1 Victory, 1 second place
5 - C. Pace ...................... 1 Victory, 1 third place
6 – J. Mass ..................... 1 Victory (GP Spain suspended and halved score)
7 - Reutemann .............. ..2 second places, 1 third place
8 - Ickx ........................... 1 second place
9 - Regazzoni ................ 2 third places
It is not this a clearer and most expressive ranking than the official ranking “with points”? Our friend Niki Lauda would not be dealt in fairer way? And better protect? He can himself be very seen which he classifies simple and clear this system allows to introduce.
To who it opposed that from when the championship exists (1950-1974), the title it would have been attributed 22 times on 26 to the same driver, with both system, I will answer two things: first of all, for 4 times a driver has been private of a title that it deserved for the fundamental law of the sport, which for definition rewards the best one. The second one, is that if were applied now in then my module, would end automatically the prudent performances, sometimes full of precautions, and the temporary renunciations to the fight to which it is assisted in the contemporary G.P and that they constitute, to speak clearly, an erosion of the automotive sport.

Jacky Ickx, 1975 July

Edited by sundance76, 26 April 2010 - 16:17.


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#2 Cirrus

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 17:55

Isn't this pretty much the same as the "Medal System" that BCE was promoting a year or so ago? I seem to recall that someone took the trouble to work out all the championship tables using this system, and the winners were nearly always the same (I'm prepared to be proved wrong, though).

#3 Thundersport

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 22:47

Total nonsense.

#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 22:59

I think Moss wins '58 instead of Hawthorn, Clark '62 instead of Hill... is that right?

What others would have changed? '50? '61? '67? I don't have anything to hand to check these.

#5 Tim Murray

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 23:51

1958: Moss
1964: Clark
1967: Clark
1977: Andretti
1979: Jones
1981: Prost
1982: Pironi
1983: Prost
1984; Prost
1986: Mansell
1987; Mansell
1989: Senna
2008: Massa

(done from memory, but I think those are all that would change)

#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 06:59

He wrote in '75 that there would be four changes...

Anything subsequent to that is irrelevant to the discussion, as far as Ickx's article is concerned.

#7 Tim Murray

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 08:08

Ray, you didn't make it clear that it was Ickx's statement you were trying to verify. I thought your question followed on from Cirrus's question in post 2. Anyway, I'm sorry you had to waste time reading the 'irrelevant' entries on my list, but I stand by it. The championship would have changed hands three times (not four) between 1950 and 1974 if the 'winner takes all' system had been used.

The list here matches mine.

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 10:17

Yes, I see now I didn't make that clear...

And it's altogether wrong of me to say your list, therefore, has any irrelevancies.

#9 Tim Murray

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 10:49

Thanks, Ray. :up:

#10 Murl

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 06:01

1977: Andretti
1979: Jones
1981: Prost
1982: Pironi
1983: Prost
1984; Prost
1986: Mansell
1987; Mansell
1989: Senna
2008: Massa


In terms of post-75 changes, I don't see anyone on that list that would cause me to think it is an inherently flawed way of finding the champion.

A lot of moral victories would be recognised.