British F3, Snetterton, 2017

‘Points for overtaking’ introduced in British F3

Formula Three

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The British Formula Three championship will award points to driver based on how many places they gain during some of its races this year.

The rules change is intended to encourage and reward drivers for overtaking. It is being introduced in the second of the three races the championship holds on each of its weekends alongside a revised reverse grid format for the same race.

The grid for race two will be set by reversing the finishing order of all the drivers in race one, providing they are classified and set a fastest lap within 103% of the best time of the race.

The race winner will receive 20 championship points compared to the 35 available in the other two races where the grid is set by more conventional methods. However in race two drivers will also be awarded one point for every position gained between the start and the finish.

The championship is administered by former F1 driver, Motorsport Vision chief executive Jonathan Palmer. “MSV has a history of being innovative to maximise the appeal of motorsport,” he said, “and with the full reverse grid system, coupled with a carefully derived points system, the BRDC British F3 Championship will produce some captivating racing for drivers, teams and fans to enjoy whilst adding to the learning value for drivers by giving them far more opportunities to overtake and reward them when they do.”

British F3 2018 event format

RaceGrid set byPoints available
1Fastest lap time in qualifying1st: 35, 2nd: 29, 3rd: 24 then 21/19/17/15/13/12/11/10/9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1
2Reverse finishing order of race one (classified drivers who lap within 103% of the fastest time only)1st: 20, 2nd: 17, 3rd: 15 then 13/11/10/9/8/7/6/5/4/3/1/1 plus one point per position gained during the race
3Fastest lap time in race one or two1st: 35, 2nd: 29, 3rd: 24 then 21/19/17/15/13/12/11/10/9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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43 comments on “‘Points for overtaking’ introduced in British F3”

  1. So if I fail to finish in race 1, do I line up at the back for race 2 or do I sit that one out?

    1. @chrischrill Drivers who aren’t classified in the first race still get to participate in the second race, they just line up behind the rest of those in the reversed part of the grid.

  2. The rules change is intended to encourage and reward drivers for overtaking

    So now we need “overtake points” to get drivers to battle on track? As if passing a rival, gaining a position and finishing higher up the field isn’t enough of encouragement for, well, a racing driver? Sounds completely absurd to me.

    Admittedly I am not following the British F3, so maybe I’m missing something.

    1. One would think that awarding points for finishing position would do the job; it rewards both fighting to overtake and fighting to defend.

      But experiments like this are probably good for minor local series.

    2. Surely this will lead to more banzai overtaking manoeuvres rather than race craft

      1. Maybe, but think how many points will be lost for not finishing race 2. You only gamble so far…

  3. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I think it’s great that new things are being tried out and the lower categories are the perfect “testing ground” for this; however, it feels a little contrived. If I need one point to win the championship, I can now deliberately line up behind my team-mate on the grid and “overtake” him to win it.

    I’d sooner see a bonus point for “most positions gained” in a race.

    1. If I read the article correctly, that is really the way it is being implemented @ben-n, as it effectively is the difference between start and finishing position. I still find it problematic though.

    2. @ben-n in your example, finishing one position higher WOULD get you one more point anyways… and people ALREADY play these games.

      Do you even follow motor racing at all?

      1. I have lived and breathed motor racing for over 20 years, as well as worked in it.

        Not interested in having a discussion with you if you’re not willing to be polite and point out potential errors in my post in a civilised way.

    3. Yeah, I guess we can be happy to see them try it in F3 – if it fails not too many fans will be upset, just the drivers, teams and their backers will feel cheated.

      I really am highly sceptical of this format, but on the other hand I will be watching those weekend racing wrap ups with interest to see how it works out in reallity. And what the drivers and teams think of it too.

  4. Not really into this with all gained positions giving a point. However if the overtaking is specifically rewarded, then bonus point or two could be awarded along with usual race points

  5. Also seems bizarre that a driver could arrive at the final race over 100 points behind the leader and be in with a shot of the championship…

    1. depends probably on the totality of points available.
      In football 100 points will be difficult to overcome, but a century for your last striker during the Ashes, or a triple and double 20 in darts could close out the game in your favour.

    2. Final race meeting perhaps, but not final race.
      I see your point, but its the same for everybody.
      You could have a stinker in the 1st meeting of the season and be almost 100 points behind and playing catch up.

      The way I see it, the idea is that win race 1, you start dead last in race 2, but as you’ve been penalised so hard, there is more opportunity for you to gain more points by recovering as many spots as possible. You can still score more points in race 2 than someone who deliberately slacked off in race 1 to get the race 2 pole (with the intention of winning race 2). This way you don’t have the contrived GP2 style battle to finish 8th in race 1 for race 2 pole.

      I think the real test of this will be how they police the race 2 grid to make sure people don’t manipulate their starting position by “fair” means or foul. (By fair I mean, gamesmanship that is not technically illegal – see Ogier in Rally Sweden last weekend).

  6. It actually makes sense, as it gives you all the excitement of a reverse order start but compensates for the advantage of those who get to start at the front without deserving it. So it’s actually an improvement of the reverse order grid idea.

    1. Hm, now that is a good argument @krommenaas

  7. What type of overtake, if someone has technical issues and is limping to the pits anyone that overtakes them gets a point? If so you can get lucky if someone’s tyre bursts you overtake them get points, they pit before a rival gets a chance for free overtake? All seems far to subjective and luck dependent. Confusing for fans, what’s wrong with the cars being awarded points for the order they cross the line in? Why try and reinvent the wheel. Its the same rubbish as reverse grids, BOP, DRS, Fan Boost. Keep it simple.

  8. Not a bad Idea, give points for overtakes, but remove DRS first.

  9. Bit disappointed by the negative comments here.. remember they are awarding overtaking points in the reversed grid race where faster drivers are already disadvantaged. So its like a chance to slower drivers/cars to start at a higher place but if they are failed to defend their position then the rival will take the extra point.

    1. Yes, that’s also what @krommenaas mentions above, and it’s indeed a good point @rahulm; as a way to mitigate some of the issues with a reverse grid I do agree it makes some sense. I still think it complicates championship fight because position isn’t enough; if a driver, at the end of the season is 2nd, a win isn’t enough to win it, but their opponent, leading the race, has an issue, now not only could you win the race, but also the championship due to the ‘place gained’ bonus; maybe ‘helping’ the guy in front get a problem then becomes just that more enticing, so a too-risky maneuver is encouraged. On the other hand, maybe I’m too worried and it would only lead to trying a challenging move that otherwise wouldn’t have been enough?

  10. So if I’m in the best car, should I purposefully qualify at the back of the grid?

    1. Do you remember those race when Vettel or Hamilton started last or from the pit lane. In a few laps they were in 5th, 4th, or 3rd.

      1. So that’s a yes to @shimks then, unless one can start from pole gus maia?

    2. Well yes, that is the logic! But to “qualify” last for race 2, you must win race 1, which surely must be everyone’s objective! Also its F3, the discrepancy between best / worst car is must less and more down to setup.

  11. Oh my, this is so silly. It’s as if e.g. in basketball you were awarded points for scoring points.

    Let’s simulate potential situations:

    A. You are one of the slowest drivers.
    Race 1 – You finish last (=meaning last to classify to race 2).
    Race 2 – Normally: You would start last and aspire to advance position and finish better.
    But here: You start from the 1st spot, which means you can’t overtake anybody, and even if you have a better race (one that would normally allow you to improve finishing position), you’re disabled from scoring any points whatsoever. You’re just doing a qualifying run for the 3rd race.
    By defending your position, you hinder others from scoring points on you, but that’s what you do in a normal race anyway.
    Race 3 – it looks all is kinda normal here

    B. You’re the guy in the middle.
    Race 2 is a very awkward thing here. Let’s assume there are 21 cars on the start – in the reversed grid, and you are car no. 11, which means you’ve got 10 slower cars ahead of you and 10 faster cars behind you.
    Statistically speaking, you will overtake all slower cars and get overtaken by all faster cars at the same time, so your finishing position will remain the same (no points awarded for gaining ground).
    Potentially, however, you are able to finish better or worse. This sounds fair.

    C. You have won the 1st race.
    Race 2 – you start from the last position. You can’t finish worse than your starting position and even if you take a backseat in that race and don’t try to overtake the guys directly in front of you (those who are near your pace), you should eventually overtake all the slowest cars together with your bunch and score points.

    I’d love a computer (video game) simulation of this to see actually possible outcomes, as I’m not very familiar with reversed grid races and what results they bring.

    1. Good approach @damon, I think this nicely illustrates some of the issues I too have; sure it is a way to combat some negatives from a reverse grid, but it seems to lead to rather complicated considerations for those at the back and front of the 1st and 2nd race (or maybe, for those not quite at the front who don’t have a clear track?).

    2. @damon there are still classification points , so in your case A where you say that guy is disabled from scoring points is not true. He can still score 20 points (instead of 35 in conventional race) if he can finish on top.

      1. @rahulm
        Oh, thanks! I missed that.

        After more consideration, I’ve arrived at a very INTRIGUING conclusion. One that makes me look more favourably at this than I had thought.

        I concluded that ‘overtaking points’ are not only absolutely logical and appropriate for reversed grid races, but are actually the only logical and appropriate award system for such races.

        I will present my analysis later. Stay tuned.

  12. This sounds like something NASCAR CEO Brian France would come up with.

  13. I’ve seen publicity stunts that made more sense than this one.

  14. Instant points for a instant culture. Shame. Maybe an insta-tweet can be made for each ‘overtake’ to satisfy my short attention span also?
    Anyway, what’s to stop two or three drivers colluding to swap positions to gain points, or am I missing something here (probably)?

    1. Ah ok, so its not actually ‘points for overtaking’, more ‘points for overall positions gained’. My bad.

  15. Really don’t like it to the point where I probably won’t bother watching it.

    I’m getting so tired of everyone feeling like they have to come up with silly gimmicks with each one been slightly more stupid than the last. Put the cars on the grid in the order they qualified & just let them race to earn points dictated by where they finish.

  16. Here’s a proposal for a points system: The first 6 drivers get 10 – 6 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 points, the starting grid is always decided in a qualifying session. You can do this throughout all series from F1 to F4, though the non-spec series (currently only F1) also has only the top 65% of your results counting (14 out of 21 this year) and the other 35% (7 races) are void results to discourage overt concentration on reliability rather than speed.

  17. Oh dear.. *facepalm*

  18. But… why? Surely they try to overtake anyway?

    Reminds me a bit of the way the BBC constantly redesigns its weather page for no particular reason other than because they want to change something.

  19. I don’t know if the fans here remember this, but I had suggested this idea in the forum around 2 years back, and it resulted in a heated discussion. The only difference is that I had suggested this for Formula 1.

  20. Awful idea. Over-complicates the scoring and devalues qualifying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

  21. There’s already a system for awarding points based on the total positions gained during the race. It’s called THE FINAL CLASSIFICATION!

    1. But…we need something to hold our interest until then – flat out racing can’t do that anymore. So we need interim gimmicks to keep the fake drama going amongst the commentators. And Sprinklers!

  22. Won’t this penalise the faster driver / car combos? If you’re out front theres no-one to overtake!

    1. Only happens on the reverse grid race 2; so if you win race 1, you start at the back for race 2 – so really it’s an opportunity to collect more points, and negates the disadvantage of starting at the back.

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