Massive drop in 2013 TV audience triggered double points rule 3 February, 2014 The reason for Formula 1’s controversial move to a double points season finale has emerged, after the sport lost 50 million television viewers late in 2013 when the Championship outcome was long done and dusted. That is the claim of Formula 1 business journalist Christian Sylt, even revealing in the Wall Street journal an almost 9 per cent audience decline in dominant World Champion Sebastian Vettel’s native German market. Formula 1 Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that the less healthy television numbers are due to “the less-than-competitive nature of the final few rounds” of 2013. The news also shows why Ecclestone is pushing so hard for the ‘double points’ concept to be trebled to the final 3 races of the season, despite the fan backlash. Mercedes’ Toto Wolff, however, likened the backlash to a “sh**storm” and said that the fans cannot be ignored. “Was it (double points) the right move? 99 per cent of our fans and spectators thought it was the wrong move so perhaps it is something to revisit,” he told reporters at Jerez last week. “[But] things need to be done when you see TV audiences dipping, you need to try out things,” Wolff acknowledged. (GMM) Subbed by AJN.