LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Mexican driver Sergio Perez went against the flow of popular opinion on Thursday by backing a controversial rule change for Formula One to award double points at the final race of the season.
Red Bull’s quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel has called the change ‘absurd’ while irate fans have flooded social media and message boards with opposition to what many consider a needless gimmick.
Perez, announced as a Force India driver after losing his place at McLaren, begged to differ.
“For some it will be right and for some it will be wrong, but I see the positive. I think it will create a much better final race where things can completely change for everyone,” he told reporters at a team presentation.
“I see it positive...I am OK with the rule.”
Force India scored 77 points in total last year, finishing sixth. With a win in Abu Dhabi next November now worth 50 points instead of 25, there is the potential for teams to make sudden and big jumps up the table.
Formula One’s governing body has also decided to allow drivers to choose their racing numbers in future and keep them throughout their grand prix careers, with the exception of the number one reserved for the reigning champion if he wanted it.
Perez said he would go for the number 11, if available, and also approved of that change.
“Ever since I was a kid I always wore the 11, in karting. Actually my email has 11 in it as well,” he grinned. “A lot of things have to do with 11 so I identified myself with that number.”
The number two might be less popular, since no driver wants to be second best, but Perez thought somebody would go for it regardless.
“There are strange characters in Formula One so for sure someone will pick the number two because they identify themselves with that number,” he said. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by...)