Formula One chiefs have ruled that as of this season the coveted drivers' championship title will be awarded to the driver who wins the most races, and not whoever collects most points.
Had the new rules been in place last year Britain's Lewis Hamilton would have lost the title to runner-up Brazilian Felipe Massa.
The decision is one of several made overnight in Paris \at a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council called to help reduce costs and increase interest in the championship.
The rest of the standings will be decided by the current system and the Constructors' Championship is unaffected.
This year's 17 race championship starts with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 29.