“This is absurd and punishes those who have worked hard for a whole season. I value the old traditions in Formula One and I don’t understand this new rule,” he said.
The traditional round of drivers’ musical chairs includes Torro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo replacing his Aussie counterpart Webber at Red Bull; Kimi Raikkonen leaving Lotus to take over Williams-bound Felipe Massa’s drive alongside Fernando Alonso at Ferrari; Danish novice Kevin Magnussen joining McLaren to replace Sergio Perez as Jenson Button’s teammate; and Adrian Sutil joining Sauber after Nico Hulkenberg’s return to Force India.
Off the track, Jean Todt was elected unopposed for a second term as president of governing body the FIA, while Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone faced bribery charges in court.
Meanwhile, Formula One breaks new ground next year with the inaugural Russian Grand Prix at Winter Olympic venue Sochi.