The 2009 world championship will be won by the driver who scores the most wins after the FIA unexpectedly announced it had decided to adopt Bernie Ecclestones inspired scheme rather than the tweak to the existing points system favoured by the teams.
Following a meeting of its World Motor Sport Council on Tuesday, Formula 1s governing body announced the system for deciding the world title would be changed with immediate effect but that it had rejected the Formula One Teams Association's suggestion for how to give greater rewards to the race winner.
Instead the world champion will be the driver who scores the most victories during the season, with any tie between two or more drivers to be decided by the existing points system.
Should the new system have been in place last year, then Felipe Massa and not Lewis Hamilton would have won the title due to the Brazilian having scored one more win.
All other positions in the standings will continue to be determined by the current points arrangement, as will the constructors' championship.
The WMSC accepted the proposal from Formula One Management to award the drivers championship to the driver who has won the most races during the season, an FIA statement read.
If two or more drivers finish the season with the same number of wins, the title will be awarded to the driver with the most points, the allocation of points being based on the current 10, 8, 6 etc. system.
The rest of the standings, from second to last place, will be decided by the current points system.
There is no provision to award medals for first, second or third place.
The Constructors Championship is unaffected.
"The WMSC rejected the alternative proposal from the Formula One Teams Association to change the points awarded to drivers finishing in first, second and third place to 12, 9 and 7 points respectively."
FOTA announced earlier this month, as part of its blueprint for the future of the sport, that it wanted to see the points gap between the first winner and second place increased by two to three points, with the current 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring system changed to 12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1.
That idea, which came following feedback from fans, had been expected to be pushed through on Tuesday, after Ecclestones earlier medal suggestion had received a lukewarm reaction.
However, while 'medals' will not be introduced as such the theory behind Ecclestone's proposal that the driver with the most golds/wins should become world champion has been adopted.
Ecclestone first floated a change to the points system after the end of last season, after Lewis Hamilton only had to race to a fifth place in Brazil to claim the title.
The medals idea had been discussed at the previous WMSC meeting in December, but the FIA put the plan on ice saying the plan needed to be put to fans.http://www.itv-f1.com/News_Article.aspx?id=45278