Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Red Bull Ring, 2018

Don’t extend F1 points beyond top 15 drivers – Steiner

2018 F1 season

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Formula 1 should not award points below 15th place if it does go through with plans to revise its scoring system, says Haas team principal Guenther Steiner.

Points are currently awarded to the top 10 finishers, but it emerged last week that may change under proposals being considered by the Strategy Group. The possibility of offering points to the top 15 or even top 20 finishers was discussed.

However Steiner believes F1 should ensure scoring points remains an achievement.

“I think down to 15 is OK,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “In my opinion nothing changes, you need to adapt to it.

“We all remember when it was up to six [finishers] then we went to eight then we went to 10. It’s just number but you need to make sure that how the points are given, it’s fair. The position you fight for, needs to be rewarded for it.”

A win will have to increase in value above the current 25 points if the scoring system is extended to cover lower places, Steiner added.

“There needs to be gaps,” he said. “If you finish 10th or 15th there needs to be a good gap. You have to start with a complete new set of numbers for the winner: 50 or 100, I don’t know, that’s not my job to do this calculation.”

Haas also races in NASCAR which has a substantially different points system. Drivers earn points based on their positions at two ‘Stages’ in the race prior to the finish. Most finishing positions are separated by one point, though a win is worth five more than second place. There is also an end-of-season ‘playoff’ structure which ensures four drivers always enter the final race of the season able to win the title.

Steiner said he finds NASCAR’s championship hard to follow and wants F1’s system to be simpler. “If you make it too complicated like NASCAR with the stage racing, it’s quite confusing to be honest. If you are not an avid fan of it, it’s difficult to follow.”

Awarding points for every finisher in F1 “would take away something which is attractive which our avid fans are used to,” Steiner added. “I think we shouldn’t take things away, we should add things and make it better.”

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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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42 comments on “Don’t extend F1 points beyond top 15 drivers – Steiner”

  1. Could there be a points system where the Top 10 get a larger amount of points, then a big drop off to (as Steiner suggests) the 11-15 spots?
    That way, getting a Top 10 finish is still held in relatively higher regard, but small points are available lower down to help differentiate teams/drivers more fairly who finish in the bottom half most of the time.

    I’ve just adapted the current system to showcase my thoughts:

    [Position] [Proposed] [Current]
    1 40 25
    2 33 18
    3 30 15
    4 27 12
    5 25 10
    6 23 8
    7 21 6
    8 19 4
    9 17 2
    10 15 1
    11 5
    12 4
    13 3
    14 2
    15 1

    1. Why do you rate a Top10 finish so highly? In your system finishing 10th instead of 11th worth more than 1st instead of 2nd. It is not logical.

      In your proposal, two 7th places worth more than a win and a DNF.

    2. Drop-offs are a major flaw in any scoring system. In your proposal, 10th place awards 10 points more than 11th, which is more than the difference between 1st and 2nd, or any two given positions, for that matter. If you’re a championship contender and your main rival is stuck behind you, that kind of system offers an incentive to underperform intentionally. If you can drag your rival out of the top 10, e.g. by driving a destructive race like Hamilton did in Abu Dhabi in 2016, you’re even going to be better off than a race winner whose rival finishes 2nd. I don’t think it gets any worse than that.
      For points systems, monotony is the key, and not just for the points themselves, but for the gap between them as well.

  2. I wouldn’t even take it down to 15, I’d leave it at 10.

    Scoring points should mean something, It should be an achievement & having a situation where 75% of the grid is scoring points takes away from the achievement.

    I mean look at how special it was when Bianchi scored Marussia/Manor’s first F1 points at Monaco in 2014 or going back further how special it used to come across when Minardi managed to grab a few points. If you take points down to 15th & everyone is scoring regularly then scoring a point no longer comes across as been a special achievement worth getting that excited over.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      15th July 2018, 14:13

      It’s difficult though because a good argument can be made either way. It was special when Marussia/Manor scored their first points but it was also a bit of a farce that the them and Lotus battled all season with the winner decided by who had a lucky race.

      1. GtisBetter (@)
        15th July 2018, 17:29

        I agree with this. At the end of a season the score of a team should somewhat reflect how they have preformed. A lot of time at the bottom it’s decided who manages to finish if top contenders take each other out. The “points should be an achievement” doesn’t make sense. They are not an achievements for the top teams. Or for the “best of the rest” teams. Just for the ones who are not good enough, but rely on luck to get some.

        The whole thing is mostly “special”, because points mean money for those teams, who already have a lot of problems. If your reason for keeping the 10 point system is so that we can create “special sport moments” where underdogs score points by luck and people consider it an achievement to finish a race in the points with 11 drivers, I doubt I can change their minds.

        Also the nascar system is not confusing if you have learned how to count and it’s also not hard to follow, cause the points and standing are shown.

    2. Perfect comment @stefmeister I have no idea why they’re even considering this. Top 10 only please

      1. Makes sense. It seems to me that in a 20 cars strong field, 10 cars in points is the limit! If F1 fields 30 cars, giving 15 cars points could be an option.

  3. scoring points upto 15’th position is only going to make racing worse:
    The reliable cars and defensive drivers would get an advantage, while the fighters (like Max) would get the short end.
    A few DNF’s and the championship is decided. Not my idea of progress

  4. Brigitta Gyimesi
    15th July 2018, 14:07

    Another attempt at the secularisation of F1 together with the idea of shorter and/or Saturday sprint races, standardised parts, reversed grid and whatnot. There has to be some differentiation between F1 and all the other forms of motorsport, and granting exclusivity to the point scorers is one factor.

    1. I don’t understand what you mean by the “secularisation of F1” – that sounds like a phrase that has been rather mistranslated, since I don’t think that you meant it to mean what it comes across as meaning.

      As an aside, it should be noted that shorter sprint races is something that F1 has already done in the past with some of the non-championship races it ran – the 1971 Questor Grand Prix saw two sprint races held with a combined grid of F1 cars and Formula 5000 cars, with the winner then being declared based on an aggregate race time.

      1. Brigitta Gyimesi
        15th July 2018, 20:18

        The key there is non-championship. As for secularisation, I meant making it so casual fan-friendly and showbiz-like that the experience gets diluted for those who appreciate the sporting aspect more than the entertainment part. I didn’t want to use the word Americanisation because I found it too narrow a term to use in the case of the points system.

  5. Sergey Martyn
    15th July 2018, 14:08

    I’ve read somewhere this hogwash: “When your emphasise is only on winning, unknowingly you are developing a fear for failure”.
    This could be OK for shrink doctors flogging the amateur dead horses at local competitions, but disastrous for the pinnacle of motorsport.
    Winning is not important as participating?
    Who needs all these meaningless points?
    The only improvements the current system needs are the points for a pole and a fastest lap.

    1. Sergey Martyn
      15th July 2018, 14:23

      Do you remember who finished 6th or 8th at British GP just a week ago? Will you recall who finished 12th or 14th an hour after the next race? So what is the point for an extension? Everybody knows Michael Phelps, Larisa Latynina, Jesse Owens, Usain Bolt, Paavo Nurmi and other great Olympic champions but who can remember the athletes who finished second or third behind them, not to mention those who weren’t on podium. Who cares? The point extension is the devaluation of the achievements – of both men and the machines.

    2. You are talking about meaningless points and yet want to give away points for the fastest lap. Funny…

    3. BlackJackFan
      16th July 2018, 2:41

      Sergey – 100% agree.

  6. tbh I’d rather see it go back to 10 8 6 54321

    1. Awarding over 54 thousand points for fourth position seems a little unorthodox.

      1. Brigitta Gyimesi
        15th July 2018, 15:42

        I quite like the idea, we would see unfamiliar faces on the podium more often as the top guns would fight to be off it. Maybe we could see the return of Alonso, who knows.

  7. Neil (@neilosjames)
    15th July 2018, 14:44

    I’m definitely on the side that wants it to just stay as it is…

  8. Before we talk about changing the points system, we need to understand what points mean.
    Every time we change the points structure (scores, number of places awarded a score) we are rewriting the purpose and value of scored points.
    On the one hand, we would like points to have rarity and exclusivity (top 6 awarded points) but on the other we would like some means of differentiating between the teams at the foot of the table (top 15 or 20 awarded points).
    It’s not an easy decision and there are many bad solutions. Any solution will upset one group or another.
    The easiest (least politically dangerous) path is to change nothing, which is what I expect to happen.
    Note: My opinions only – but I hope interesting to some.

  9. Well they’ve got 2 point systems currently so I don’t see why they can’t separate the points tables further considering the goals.

    Award constructors championship points to 20 places in order to reward the teams that are reliably finishing just outside the 10, that’s what matters to them anyway in terms of getting prize money. Keep the drivers championship points limited to 10 places to keep the special excitement of usually lower placed driver getting a top 10 points finish.

    The current system benefits unreliably good performances over consistently decent. I do think it would be a benefit for that to change.

    1. Very smart suggestion, @skipgamer, it gets a thumbs up from me.

    2. @skipgamer @phylyp but why complicate it unnecessarily? Just leave it as it is

      1. @strontium

        For the teams at the back of the grid. Getting lucky and scoring a few points shouldn’t decide where you finish at the end of the season for determining prize money. Teams that are consistently faster than other teams should be rewarded such.

  10. Go back to top 6 for points.

    1. +1

      Scoring points must mean more than just participating

      Winning should be rewarding over 2nd place as well. I think the current difference is too small

  11. Damn, and I was actually hoping they would go back to 10,6,4,3,2,1.

    1. As i start watching F1 in the Sixties but never understood that point award. Back then there were 20+ cars I have even see 30+ (that was when they maxed the grid to 26) It’s if they never thought about the points at all only the winner counts. Later under Bernie you get money per point which is the reason the won’t chance the points awards.

      A Beter award is per circuit how shorter the track how less points are avaiable. So Monaco 10,6,4,3,2,1 (like the old way) while Spa as one of the longest
      longest -normal-shortest
      1 40 25 10
      2 30 18 6
      3 25 15 4
      4 21 12 3
      5 18 10 2
      6 15 8 1
      7 12 6
      8 10 4
      9 9 2
      10 8 1
      11 7
      12 6
      13 5
      14 3
      15 1

      1. The races are still the same distance, so the circuit length doesn’t make a difference.

  12. Just keep it as it is. The only change, if any, had to be made, should just be that pole position and the fastest lap of a race would be worth some bonus points (for example, 2 for the pole and 1 for the fastest lap), but the points-system itself doesn’t need any alterations. ”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    1. @jerejj I agree about keeping it as it is, and I disagree about qualifying and fastest lap.

      Qualifying means exactly that. Drivers qualify for the race, the advantage of being on pole is to start first in that race. Rewarding that with points makes little sense to me. As for fastest lap, always a bad idea because championship positions could be decided by somebody making a pit stop in the last few laps. Anybody can set a fastest lap, it’s quite meaningless

  13. I´m using this scheme for my own offline championships since I was young ( younger :D ), and it works perfect for F1 style:


    From 1st to 20th

  14. I don’t really care what the points system is, the problem is changing it. At least if it’s the same as it always has been then it’s fair because it’s the same for each competitor year in year out, you always aim for the same thing. Changing it is clearly contentious and lacks a big enough majority in support, therefore should not happen. No other sport (that I know of) changes their points so often.

    Every team currently knows to develop their car to be in the top half. Changing it benefits those who haven’t succeeded

  15. Awarding points below 10th place will be a drastic change. It will devalue and cheapen the accomplishment of a top 10 finish and it would create a fake “parity” of giving back markers a false sense of accomplishment. It’s a way to avoid dealing with the drastic financial inequalities in the sport. Cost/spending limits MUST be implemented and rigorously enforced. Not any easy task but it can be done. It’s the ONLY way to save F1. Anything else will just be a short term delay of the inevitable end of F1.

  16. In yachting we use the lowest number of points is the winner system. Each participant receives the point equal to their placing in a race.

    After 5 races each competitor drops the score for their worse race, after 10 races the worse two performances are dropped.

    A DNF, or a DNS, or a DSQ are scored as the total field number plus 1.

    So after 5 races in a field of 20 competitors, one could win 4 races plus have a DNF for a total score of 4 + 21 = 25. With the drop he has a total score of 4 points for 5 races

    The person finishing second in the first four races and winning the 5th for a total score of 8 + 1 = 9. He drops his worst performance points (2) for a 5 race total of 7 points.

    The low point scoring system rewards consistency and flattens out any bad race results.

    Count back is always on who has the most wins.

    Works well in yachting.

  17. This sounds like giving kids trophies simply for participating.

    1. What it does is to provide ranking positions for all teams based on their total season scores. Allows price money payments based on rankings.

      It is the very opposite of giving kids trophies for participation.

      1. Yup, rewards actual results not fluke 1 time points..

  18. Every position should matter, if you finish the race. Even fighting for 16th. Otherwise we just see teams retiring cars.

    Win should be worth 25-30% more than P2. Then go down from there. P20 then 1 point, provided you finish within certain time of leaders.

  19. The point system should be in Hexdecimal and only given to a righthanded driver if he exceeds the speedlimit by 2.5% after 2.4 laps having a yellowpainted helmet…

    How hard can it be to make the sport even more confusing – its all about selling the sport to the Fans isn’t it?
    If the fans understand it its good. The the Fans understand a exponentiel point scale, or a point scale where only top 10 gets points – no apparently not. So whats should be done: all cars get points if they finish. The winner gets points equal the starting no of cars (this season 20). And then we count one point down for each car crossing the finishline. Its simply it works.. my mom can understand it…so it might be good.
    With the old system you can think about this:
    Why punish a driver for being. Why is 20 as good as 11. Is it exciting to watch when HAM after 4 races have collected more points than Haas would have after a season. Is it fun to watch teams putting there cars in pit before end of the race just to spare the motorparts….

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