Double points on offer for F1 finale in Abu Dhabi next year

Yas Marina could see twice the drama when race returns to UAE

Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull leads the first lap of the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 3. Yas Marina Circuit could see twice as much drama when the track hosts the Formula One season finale next year as the race will offer double points. Christopher Pike / The National
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Formula One will next year award double points for the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi in an attempt to keep championships undecided until the very end, the sport’s governing body announced on Monday night.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said the change, after a season of record domination by Red Bull and quadruple champion Sebastian Vettel, was immediately applicable and would “maximise focus on the championship until the end of the campaign”.

Vettel, 26, won the last nine races of 2013 and wrapped up his fourth title with three events to spare. The Abu Dhabi finale is set for November 23.

The FIA also announced that the principle of a global cost cap had been unanimously approved, with the aim of introducing it from January 2015.

A change to the system of driver numbers was agreed, with drivers in future carrying their number through their career in Formula One rather than taking a new one every year depending on where they finished. The No 1 symbol will be reserved for the world champion, should he decide to use it.

The principle of a five-second penalty for minor infringements was also accepted for 2014, with teams to discuss how it should be applied.