Brown: Bring back ‘dropped scores’ system

Jamie Woodhouse
Zak Brown, McLaren CEO

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has suggested that Formula 1 should revisit the old dropped scores points system in 2020.

Until 1978 in the Constructors’ Championship and 1990 in the Drivers’ Championship, this system meant that only the best certain number of results created the final Championship standings.

In its final year in 1990, only the best 11 results from the 16 rounds were used, seeing Ayrton Senna crowned champion on 78 points ahead of Alain Prost on 71, who would have had 73 if all his results counted.

And with the 2020 season yet to start due to the coronavirus pandemic, Brown feels such a system could be useful.

He pointed out the abandoned season-opener in Melbourne where McLaren withdrew after a staff member tested positive for the virus, as the perfect situation where the dropped scores system as it was known would have helped them if the race had have gone ahead without them.

“Given where we are right now, we need to make some sacrifices,” said Brown in the latest Sky Sports Vodcast.

“Speaking for McLaren, if we were not able to race, I would do exactly what I did in Australia and withdraw the team because you’ve got to put the safety of your people first.

“But if ultimately Formula 1 and the teams felt comfortable that the issue that we had was contained to just our garage and they felt it was safe to go racing I would not stand in the way.

“It would be unfortunate, but maybe we could have a discussion with Formula 1 where [like] back in the good old days, you could drop a couple of races.

“Let’s say we get back to 15 races, maybe we do something where your best 13 races counted.

“If you had something like that, we’re not holding back the sport but we’re also not being penalised.”

Formula 1 bosses are currently working to put together a new calendar for 2020 and remain hopeful of holding 19 races.

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