Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Red Bull Ring, 2018

Analysis: The case for changing F1’s points system

2020 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

A new points system could be introduced in time for the 2020 F1 season, RaceFans revealed today. But is there any need for the sport to change its scoring method?

The current structure, which awards 25 points for a win down to one first 10th place, has been in use since 2010. But last year teams discussed the possibility of awarding points down to 15th place or even as far as 20th.

If points were awarded down to 20th place then, with just 20 cars on the grid at present, that could mean every driver who finishes a race would score points. But that’s not to say there won’t be more teams in future.

Already there are twice as many points-scorers per race as when the championship began. In 1950, points were only awarded to the top five finishers*. That was gradually extended to cover the top 10:

This meant points had a certain scarcity value. However the poor rate of reliability in the early years of the championship meant few drivers reached the finish and did not score. For example 1950 saw two races with just seven finishers, and all of those who did not score points were at least six laps behind.

Today’s F1 cars are vastly more reliable. That means there are far more drivers being classified as finishers (i.e. completing more than 90% of the race distance) yet not scoring points. Last year saw 134 non-scoring finishes:

A few decades ago it mattered less that finishing 11th and finishing 14th were both worth zero points as so few cars finished there. But as every race last year had at least 14 finishers, the case for awarding points to differentiate between those places has grown stronger.

All those unrewarded finishes could have a significant effect if they counted towards the championship. How much prize money F1 teams receive is based on their championship finishing position. Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe, whose team had the most non-scoring finishes of all last year, even suggested the current points system was a factor in the demise of former team Manor two year ago.

Outside F1 and the many FIA championships which use the same system, points are commonly awarded below 10th place:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Start, Suzuka, 2002
Suzuka 2002: The last time seventh place didn’t score
There is a certain amount of nostalgia for the ‘top six’ points system, which endured longer than any other, which is captured in a recent remark by Eddie Irvine in a BBC interview. “Now you get points for turning up to the race, which I’m really against,” he said. “So to get points in my first grand prix, when points were more special, I was super happy.”

Extending points beyond 10th place would create a new problem: if 15th or 20th place is going to be worth a point, how much should a driver get for winning? It needs to be high enough to encourage drivers to push for victory instead of ‘settling for second’. It also needs to be a figure which makes understanding the championship situation as easy as possible – i.e., a simple, round number.

The trickiness of balancing these competing objectives may make a compromise hard to achieve. One solution could be to offer a point for 15th and increase each of the current points places by five to make up the difference. In this scenario a win would be worth 30:

Go ad-free for just £1 per month

>> Find out more and sign up

Position1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th10th11th12th13th14th15th16th17th18th19th20th
Points302320171513119765432100000

Start, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2017
How to design a better F1 points system
Formula 1 has tinkered with its points system several times in recent history, and not always with the best results. Never more so than in 2014 when the sport introduced a double points final round, which was almost universally hated and dropped after a single season.

The points system is fundamental to F1’s character. Does it offer an incentive for drivers and teams to push to the absolute limit in the pursuit of result – creating the kind of spectacle we want to see – or to cautiously gather points from lights to flag and race to race?

As F1 motorsport director Ross Brawn admitted last year, it isn’t something the sport should change on a whim. “It’s a big decision to change it,” he said. “If we change it, it needs to be left alone for 10 years, we don’t want to keep messing with it.”

*In 1950 a point was also awarded to the driver who set the fastest lap

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2020 F1 season

Browse all 2020 F1 season articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2020 F1 season articles, F1 StatisticsTags , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 64 comments on “Analysis: The case for changing F1’s points system”

    1. I’m no Ross Brawn, but I have a couple of bold ideas.
      a). Reverse Points: Reward those who lift and coast the most. The battle to come home as slowly as possible.
      2). Socialist Utopia: Divorce the sport from the money. Pay all teams equally and then race for glory and sponsorship.
      d). The Draft: Taking turns. Each season a draft is held to pick drivers, designers, and engineers.

      1. f. The capitalist dream. Award 100 points for each participant who finishes the race. Then after the race you can sell and buy points. You can also pay to fia get some points from your competitors.
        j. the lottery extravaganza. Before the season two random drivers get bonus 100 points. They keep these bonuses until the end of their careers. The rest of the season all points for finishing are random.
        k. the social media blitzkrieg. All points are based on votes on facebook. You also get points for biggest crash, stunts and near misses on pits. Youtube, instagram and twitter followers also counts as points.

        1. 9′. the expected plot twist. One driver has an extra 100 points in the bag for the whole season, which he knows about, but can’t reveal to anyone until the last race is over, and so nobody knows who he is except him. At the end of the championship the ladder gets to be updated with this. -> ??? -> Profit.

      2. In all seriousness, I’m completely in favor of equal payments to all teams. It makes no sense in a franchise league to not split the bulk of the revenues evenly. Why make it easier for the winners to win more? Pay equal amounts, and let them all fight for the cup on equal terms.

        1. The unequal prize money distribution makes a lot of sense if you are one of those who gets more than others.

        2. Equal payments or payments for results has got to be the starting point. Forget ‘heritage bonus’ payments or whatever they are called. It’s a bit like saying that Real Madrid can field 13 players for half their matches because of the team’s history.
          I’m a big fan of American Football and one of the features I really like is the idea of drafting new, ex-college players into the NFL and allowing the least successful teams to have the first pick (I simplify). It’s aimed towards equality so that ‘the worst get the best’ and that helps them compete. I’m not sure you could draft the best newcomer drivers to the least successful teams with the added complication of pay drivers, but something like it might work.

      3. @MaliceCooper @socksolid @alfa145

        I have to admit, I loved all your suggestions! :O)

    2. Yes, points for everyone BUT:
      If we want closer championships, closer points, less gap between teams, the ability to win the championship with out winning races, as used to be the case. Then make the winner get 20 (assuming 20 cars or 30 if 30 cars entered) the second place gets 19 third 18 etc etc down to last finisher 1 point, except DNF and DNS score zero.
      Points become used in penalties, for shoving someone off, 2 points forfeit etc. For team infringements ie engine or powertrain, team championship points forfeit not driver penalties. If a driver gets a point penalty but has no score to date he/she will be on -1 point and his next point awarded will bring him up to zero. Very simple. This system will keep the championships very much closer.

      1. EmancipatedMonkeys
        31st January 2019, 14:57

        I sail competitively, and the scoring system for championships is first place = 1pt, 2nd place = 2pts, and so on. After a certain number of races, you get a ‘discard’, where you drop your highest score. The main benefits of this is that it is just as competitive at the back of the fleet as it is at the front, everyone always has a reason to fight it out to the very end. And while you might think only having a one point gap between first and second places means it isn’t worth fighting for the win, this isn’t the case at all – you’re scoring double the amount of points for a second a place. If you’re fighting for wins all the way through a championship, that extra point at the end can make a huge difference.

        It works really well for sailing, although I’m not sure how it fits in if someone has an unreliable car – an extra retirement above your ‘discard quota’ can really drop you down the field. Although to be honest, that fits in with the current trend to make cars super reliable anyway, engines lasting 6 races, gearboxes 5, etc (not something I agree with, takes the nervousness out of ‘certain’ wins that we used to get back in the day, but that’s another discussion…)

        Any other scoring systems from other racing sports people can think of that might work?

        1. As a fellow sailor and used to the low points scoring system, I find motorsport reluctance to even consider it rather strange. I guess amassing the maximum number of points system is so ingrained in the culture that a high point scoring system has become an institution.

          Whilst a much simpler system to decide the winner (the low points system) is much easier to implement, fairer and as you say induces competition right through the field.

          Am never at the pointy end of the fleet but always have a battle with those on similar points as myself.

          In a 20 race F1 calendar I would imagine worse race point drop after 10 races and than again after the 20.

        2. @emancipatedmonkeys, Very similar to the early days of F1 when drivers got to discard several race (low) scores, to compensate for bad luck like mechanical problems, punctures or being crashed into. A bit hard to follow but great for those who love the stats and permutations.
          PS. Congratulations on making parole, or was that your cousin.

      2. That point system wouldn’t work. If you DNF’d, it would be extremely difficult to make up that point deficit. Say you’re level on points and DNF while the other guy wins, you lose 25 points, but if over the next 3 races you win and opponent comes second, you’ve reduced the deficit by 21 points down to 4. In your system, you would only make up 3 points rather than 21 in those 3 races meaning that instead of being only 4 points adrift, you’re 17. You could DNF in Melbourne and would need to win every race for the rest of the season to make up that deficit if the other person always finishes second.

        1. Remember you drop your worst result after 10 races. So your DNF points 21 (the grid plus 1) would be wiped after 10 races.

          That is the whole idea of the worst race result drop. You don’t carry your worst result forward after 10 races.

          Lets say you DNF the first race but won the next nine. Your points tally after 10 races would be nine (9×1) having dropped your 21 points from the first race as being your worst score.

          The driver that won in Australia and finished second in the next nine races point tally would be 17. drops his worst (a second) and scores the rest (8×2 +1).

          You do not spend the season having to make up points.

          Yachting has had this system for years and it works extremely well. It rewards the winner but allows for one off bad or problems to not overly influence the final tally.

          It rewards consistency.

          But as I said the culture in motorsport is to use the high points scoring system. Confusion would reign if the more equitable low points scoring system was used.

          1. The “low” pointscoring in sailing occasionally leads to a situation in the final race of a season where a boat with a better discard, who may be first or second in the points, will “take out” their opposition boat, usually in the form of covering them at the start and sailing them way off to one side of the course and as long as they do it legally then there is not a lot of recourse for the other boat except breaking free somehow. This can be very exciting or very anti-climactic.
            Consider this possibility of HAM and VET, one just behind on points but without a must-drop going into the last race. Can you imagine the shenanigans?

            Another thing to consider is that sailors are awarded “average points” if they are taken out illegally by another boat. This form of redress has (to my knowledge) never happened in F1 but would probably be needed, and protests for redress might become very common as there are far more race-ending comings-together on an F1 track than there are on a sailing course. The stewards decisions on who is to blame could become far more crucial and far more controversial. This might be a good thing depending on your point of view…

            1. That scenario happens in the high point scoring system as well.

              Remeber Senna and Prost in Japan? Two years running

              https://maxf1.net/en/japan-1990-senna-gets-his-revenge-on-prost-to-win-his-second-title/

    3. The number of points paying positions has always increased historically by 1 or 2 positions at a time. Going from 10 points paying positions to 15 all at once is therefore too great a step in my mind. Give points to the top 12 in the following fashion:
      1st – 30
      2nd – 22
      3rd – 18
      4th – 15
      5th – 12
      6th – 10
      7th – 8
      8th – 6
      9th – 4
      10th – 3
      11th – 2
      12th – 1

      1. 1st – 100
        2nd – 80
        3rd – 60
        4th – 50
        5th – 40
        6th – 30
        7th – 20
        8th – 10
        9th – 8
        10th – 6
        11th – 5
        12th – 4
        13th – 3
        14th – 2
        15th – 1

        Retro, but modern. Perfect.

    4. That’s the wrong direction. Reliability isn’t so high just because of technological progress, you could still make a car faster by sacrificing some reliability. So as long as typically more than 50% of the cars are finishing, we are giving away points for too many positions. We didn’t only have just 6 points-paying positions, we’ve also had void results, so the balance-change towards rewarding reliability was even more crass than the number of points-paying positions or the relative difference in points between better/worse positions indicate.
      Now, reliability directly leads towards predictability, and predictability is one of, if not the main problem of F1 today.

      1. I agree. I think the article misses one key point about those old points systems. Even if you had 10 cars finishing and 6 got points it made it rare occurance to get a points finish in backmarker car. It was exceptional situation when it happened and a moment you can be proud of. First points finish was a big thing for a team and a driver.

        In modern f1 if you give points to top 15 you make a points finish totally meaningless achievement because everybody will finish 15th or higher all the time. It makes it totally meaningless achievement to score points in f1. Top10 is already stretching it too far as a points finish is not really a special thing anymore.

        I get the idea that giving points to backmarkers might give them incentive to race for position but in reality in most cases the cars are pretty lonely towards the end of the race anyways so they don’t even have that many people to race against around them.

      2. @crammond

        you could still make a car faster by sacrificing some reliability

        I think that oversimplifies how sophisticated modern F1 is. It my hold true for engine builders, but only three teams build their own engines. That aside, it’s not as if we’re still in the days of teams drilling holes in their steering columns in the pits to shed weight.

        1. @keithcollantine

          Teams nowadays will have calculated expectations for runtimes and failure rates for everything (or most of) what they do instead of just creatively drilling holes, yes. When you can get a tenth for a 0.5% chance of a part failure, they’ll calculate the chance of wether that’s worth it. And that’s a thing outside of engines, too, e.g. thin suspensions have repeatedly been caught out by some curbs in recent years. Another topic is the general trade-off between cooling, which increases reliability of everything that has to be cooled, and drag.

    5. Until the F1/F1.5 difference is sorted out you are probably looking at the top 6 places being locked out except for flukes or retirements.

      The remaining handful of points for the last point positions hard fought but with a massive points difference from the top-6 points position. A season of continuous 9/10 positions, is relative to a fluke one off result.

      My vote goes for a change.

      1. @jarvf150

        Until the F1/F1.5 difference is sorted out you are probably looking at the top 6 places being locked out except for flukes or retirements.

        Which is the way it’s always been.

        This is why I don’t get where the F1.5 stuff has come from the last 1-2 years as it’s no different now to what it was in the past, If anything the performance difference between the top 3-4 teams & the rest is smaller now than it used to be. For instance i’ve been watching races from the 80’s/90s on F1TV where cars that finish on the podium are a lap or more down & where the top 2-3 teams have a 3-4 second a lap performance advantage over the rest with just as big a gap between the mid-field teams & the backmarkers.

        1. Well actually, I’m not sure I quite agree with you. I did a bit of analysis in 2017 and I will bring it up to date shortly. But it showed me that in 2010 for example, we had eight different winners from seven teams and that’s got to be healthier than 2018.

          1. @nickwyatt I wasn’t saying there hadn’t been seasons that were closer/more competitive but seasons like 2010 are an exception rather than the norm.

            For most season’s through F1’s history things have been broadly similar to the past few years in terms of having 2-3 teams at the front who get the regular poles/podiums/wins, Then a gap (Sometimes a bit bigger than now, Sometimes smaller) to the mid-field who are grouped fairly close together & then at times another gap to those at the very back.

            The only difference between now & the past is that reliability is better, Mistakes aren’t punished as harshly as they were in the past thanks to modern runoff & also you don’t have the pace management you used to where you would see drivers drop back/come forward depending on how much management they were having to do compared to those around them.

        2. Back then, the gap between the top teams and the backmarkers was indeed bigger than now, but in between you had an even distribution, and the pecking order would shuffle every season. The current situation where you have three teams close together, then an unassailable gap and then all the other teams close together, and this for season after season, is unique in the history of the sport I think.

          1. Yes, that sums it up, it’s quite predictable nowadays to have 2 different formulas, in the past it wasn’t always like it.

        3. I agree @stefmeister. The fact is that at present we have three teams with realistic chances of winning a title, not just the odd race (presuming Red Bull progress with the new engine). So 6 drivers potentially fighting for the title. That’s pretty open. As for the rest, I refuse to hear any complaints about unfairness until one particular team with relatively sizeable resources, McLaren, drags itself from the near the bottom of the grid. It should be up there battling with the other 3 top teams. Its experience shows that it isn’t just resources that matter.

          If people want other teams to win more races, I’d suggest a different approach. Make the cars more difficult to drive. The driver talent difference (including different talents for different conditions and differences in a driver’s individual performances from race to race) would then show.

    6. If you want points for (almost) every position AND a position to be worth fighting for I would suggest the Fibonacci points system. In this system the points for every position is equal to the points of the two next positions.

      This system has close (but not quite the same) resemblance to the 10-6-4-3-2-1 system used in the past, which, imho, was the most elegant system used for the top six finishers, but not for the non points finishers.

      The problem with the used systems is that a non points finish is infinitely less worth than the one point finish, whereas the one point finish is only half of the two point finish when there are only two places between the non points finish and the two points finish, so between 9th and 11th in the current system. So half of the finishing positions are worth nothing compared to a single 10th place. I have always found this a bit unfair.

      1. Yes, it does seem unfair to not award points to all participants, in that all the participants are expected to put in a huge amount of effort so as to make the race a good race, yet we don’t recognise that effort of half the grid at the end of the race.

    7. Here is a crazy idea: Hand out 10 for 1st, 6 for 2nd, 4 for 3rd, 3 for 4th, 2 for 5th and 1 for 6th

      1. And go back to V12s?

        1. And open face helmets…

      2. As long as we cap the HP at 500– don’t want too modern a performance out of the F1 cars, after all.

        /sarcasm

    8. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      31st January 2019, 15:57

      Do away with the points system altogether.

      Whoever wins the most races wins the championship.

      If drivers finish on the same amount of wins then the most second places decide and so on down.

      Award prize money on finishing positions.

      I don’t care if this doesn’t reward reliability. So what if a driver enters one race and finishes second meaning they finish ahead of most of the grid who enter every race in the championship. Fo those who can get good money for finishing high up regularly then good for them but for me F1 is about winning.

      Having a points system is not a necessity.

      1. Problem with that is if a leader gets spun around on lap 1, he might as well retire from the race. He won’t win from there and cruising easily through the field to 4th is next to meaningless.

        1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
          1st February 2019, 10:50

          No. It will be worth adding to his tally of 4ths in case of a tie break on wins.

          The problem with a point system is 1982. Keke Rosberg won the championship with one race win. FIVE other drivers won more races than he did. Its just ridiculous he could be world champion. In fact he won by 5 point so he could have won the championship without winning a race. Even more ridiculous.

      2. That is essentially what Bernie suggested a fews ago –> the “medal” system!
        These would have been the 2018 championship standings:

        (P1-P2-P3-P4-P5-P6-P7-P8-P9-P10 results) (Rank after the current point system)
        1. HAM (11-3-3-2-1-0-0-0-0-0) (1.)
        2. VET (5-4-3-4-1-2-0-1-1-0) (2.)
        3. VER (2-4-5-1-3-1-0-0-0-0) (4.)
        4. RIC (2-0-0-7-2-2-0-0-0-0) (6.)
        5. RAI (1-3-8-2-2-1-0-0-0-0) (3.)
        6. BOT (0-7-1-3-6-0-1-1-0-0) (5.)
        7. PER (0-0-1-0-1-0-4-3-0-3) (8.)
        8. GAS (0-0-0-1-0-2-0-0-1-1) (15.)
        9. GRO (0-0-0-1-0-1-1-2-1-1) (14.)
        10. MAG (0-0-0-0-2-2-1-2-2-2) (9.)
        11. HUL (0-0-0-0-1-5-2-1-1-1) (7.)
        12. SAI (0-0-0-0-1-1-2-4-2-3) (10.)
        13. ALO (0-0-0-0-1-0-4-4-0-0) (11.)
        14. OCO (0-0-0-0-0-3-2-1-3-1) (12.)
        15. LEC (0-0-0-0-0-1-4-0-2-3) (13.)
        16. VAN (0-0-0-0-0-0-0-2-2-0) (16.)
        17. STR (0-0-0-0-0-0-0-1-1-0) (17.)
        18. ERI (0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-3-3) (17.)
        19. HAR (0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-1-2) (19.)
        20. SIR (0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-1) (20.)

        1. @banana88x It’s also how the current system works in the event of a tie on points.

      3. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk

        Do away with the points system altogether.

        I’m a big fan of this idea. And not just in F1, in all forms of motorsport.

        1. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk @keithcollantine

          I too recall this past conversation and the issue I had with it then, I still have.

          In short, you can sit out (or hang back and save your engine) at races that don’t suit you or your car, because you do not need to collect spare points. And such a system would rewards teams/drivers who push risky behaviors and designs. For example, turn up your engine to party mode and win race 1, get a new power unit and take penalties in race 2, party mode race 3, etc. Only show up where you expect to do well and where your close competitor is not expected to do well. Because if you can get 6 or 7 or 8 wins, you’re basically untouchable even if you have only really raced in 8 races.

          I also think it could lead to earlier team orders as splitting wins within the team would be more damaging to either driver’s chances versus an outside threat.

          1. @hobo what you describe could do wonders for the show though.

            Plus if you make the points count in the event of equal wins (and not second places), everyone will continue to collect as many as possible.

            1. @afonic – Have to disagree with you here. If they made the change to a “medals” system with most wins = WDC, then the only logical thing to do would be to go to 2nds on a tie-break, then 3rds, etc.

              If you used points as a tie-breaker, not only would that be confusing switching from almost 70yrs of points systems to a wins system, but with points still existing in the background. But you could also end up with a WDC with fewer points.

              I know a number of people said that should have happened in 2016 because HAM had more wins though fewer points than ROS, HAM should have won. But I cannot get onboard with that, and I suspect that would cause more problems than it’s worth.

              I don’t like the medals idea, but if they go that way, just eliminate points entirely.

    9. GtisBetter (@)
      31st January 2019, 16:15

      If the problem is that it’s unfair that 0 points team get no money, you fix that by giving all teams a fixed amount money based on the final standings, regardless if they scored points or not. Though i think in reality there already is a system that decides the 0 point teams on their highest finish and you just make it visable with a point system for every place. All in all, i don’t mind what they do on this one.

    10. Totally for this. I have no interest in the positions out of the points. If you are 19th or 11th is utterly irrelevant. You may as well retire if you’re 15th or behind with few laps remaining.

      This would suddenly open up the other half of the grid and would make it relevant. I’d happily ignore the bore fest at the rest meant anything.

    11. The problem with adding points for lower finishing positions is that you have people in more positions fighting for points. The more people who are racing for points, the more difficult it will be for faster drivers to lap them.
      At the moment most drivers in 15th position at half race distance will already know that they’re not in the running for points and not hold anyone up. If you change that so they are fighting for points then every second they lose allowing cars to lap them becomes much more important and they become more difficult to lap.

      1. I think that’s a valid point.

      2. If you’re leading the race and have difficulty lapping a back marker then you deserve every second you lose.

        Give points to every car in the field that finishes so that all cars are competing for something, not just making up numbers.

        Do away with blue flags and make the leaders work for their overtakes wherever they occur.

        Then we would see racing throughout the field and throughout the race

      3. The more people who are racing for points, the more difficult it will be for faster drivers to lap them.

        I think there’s very little chance of that being a problem. F1’s blue flag rules are already very stringent compared to other series and drivers on the whole obey them. Cases like Grosjean in Singapore last year are very much the exception.

    12. If a driver from one of the leading teams had a problem with a part of his car that was resource-restricted (eg gearbox) and found himself down in say 14th place as a result, would the prospect of scoring a couple of points be enough to keep him out on track, rather than retiring from the race to save engine, gearbox or whatever?
      If it is enough, I’d say it would be worth changing the points rule to keep the entertainment going. But I’m not sure it would be enough of an enticement for a team late in the season, with very few components left.
      The other thing that occurs to me is that the less successful teams stand to gain most if some of the front runners drop out of the race and so at the foot of the team table, positions can change dramatically as the result of a ‘fluke’ race. If we extend the point-paying positions downwards, the effect of ‘getting lucky’ will not be so pronounced as the lesser team would have already won points for finishing in twelfth or fifteenth.

      1. If a driver from one of the leading teams had a problem with a part of his car that was resource-restricted (eg gearbox) and found himself down in say 14th place as a result, would the prospect of scoring a couple of points be enough to keep him out on track, rather than retiring from the race to save engine, gearbox or whatever?

        @nickwyatt I’d say yes, in the majority of cases, though of course a hypothetical like that is going to depend on the exact championship circumstances.

        1. @keithcollantine Yes, of course. But what I would like any change in the points scoring rules to avoid is drivers ‘playing the percentages’ as much as possible.
          I think most spectators want to see racing; flag to flag with as much competition and dedication as the drivers can muster. I would hate to watch a race in which a driver who is tootling around in Nth place subsequently retire because there were no points for finishing in that position. I would much rather see this driver hacking and scraping his way from fifteenth to twelfth to gain those extra N points for himself (or herself) and their team.

    13. I’m truly astonished by some of the “ideas” presented here– it seems to be a mix of “Nostalgia is better” and “let’s kill F1”. No one with an actual understanding of game theory appears to have chimed in (my game theory is woefully inadequate).

      The first question to ask, is why change the scoring system? What’s the goal?

      Is it to make it more competitive in the midfield / back of the grid? Is it to make it easier for non-winning teams to compete with the big three? Or is it simply change for the sake of change, aka “rearranging the deck chairs while the ship sinks”?

      Do we want to reward reliability? In that case, I’ve suggested that 2nd be worth 20 points, move 3rd-10th up one notch, and hand out a point for every car that finishes. Then take away 1 point for each penalty point accrued, and penalize the *constructor* 5 points for a new power unit and 2 points for a new gearbox.

      This would also make second a much stronger finishing position than it is now. It might even encourage less reckless driving.

      Too often, changes in F1 have been made as kneejerk reactions to a perceived problem, only to create more problems. If the solution doesn’t take into account the nature of F1, it will fail.

      Pit stops, for example, currently cost more than 20 seconds. Even if we have tires made out of paper mache, the teams will take a one-stop strategy even if they lose a second a lap for 19 laps, because they’ll still be 1 second ahead of a second pit stop. You want more pit stops? Make them viable, or make them required (refueling). Making artificially fragile tires just means the drivers drive more carefully maintaining the temperature window for as long as possible.

      Pick a goal. Determine what change you want to effect. THEN consider rule changes that will nudge the sport in that direction. Anything else is a waste of time.

    14. I like the current points system more than any of the others I’ve seen in my F1 life (10-6, 10-8 etc) … just seems to have the right gaps between positions, with points given to enough finishers to allow a bit of ‘sharing the wealth’ while ensuring a ‘points finish’ retains a little bit of prestige. There’s always that carrot for the cars in 11th and 12th to aim for at the end.

      I’d also like some way of rewarding 11th over 20th, but… that’s less important to me than retaining what I see as the best points system we’re likely to get.

    15. Let’s see: Take the current system (I really, really like it) and multiply by 2:
      50-36-30-24-20-16-12-8-6-4-2.
      Now add 100 points for the winner. 100 points is a nice round number, fan friendly, and it makes it very easy to count points through the season in win-equivalents. And I think two seconds actually equal a win and a DNF, and if you crash while second, you lose as much as you stood to win by getting first. I hate banzais.
      Now make that 24-8 area more progressive: 30-25-21-17-14-11-9-7-5
      Now extend the tail: 5-4-3-2-1 to award points down to 16th place. Even the worst backmarker must be able to snatch 16th place once in a while to justify its existence…

      We are left with:
      100-50-36-30-25-21-17-14-11-9-7-5-4-3-2-1. It is not the medal system, but it makes it really difficult to blow the championship if you have the most wins. Well, maybe if you only have 1 more win, but otherwise…

      Nice numerical extra: the championship would be decided between the 2-3 drivers to reach 1000 points, assuming that there is more than one. Not every champion would reach the magical 1000 figure.

    16. There have been suggestions that teams should be allowed to field more than two cars, which then brings up how points should be allocated. One option is to average the results of each team, so a team that fields three cars has to have three good results to get good points. I think this would work best if points were awarded for each place. It may also require points be awarded for retirements as well.

    17. Once again we trying to fix a problem created by the greed of BCE, in those early days teams had 2 main sources of income, 1; Starting money, ie the fee the track owner paid the team to attend and race. (When it became known that Jack Brabham was going to use a de-stroked Oldsmobile alloy V8 with Australian made sohc heads for the 1966 3L. series he was derided for building a “starting money special”, a claim quickly disavowed after a few races.
      2; Sponsorship, naturally sponsors paid more to winning teams (something Maclaren don’t fully understand) but even perennial tail-enders found small business sponsors eg. Ted’s corner garage or the Chequered flag Hotel.

      Once BCE grabbed all the starting money and kept 50% for himself and then set about diminishing the value of team sponsorship but upping the value of race and trackside sponsorship, of which he also kept 50% the back end of the field were always going to struggle.

      1. Here here!

        The main problem is not down to the points system, but the distribution of funds.

        Even small teams could always count on sponsorship. Now, with the move to pay TV especially and falling viewership, sponsorship just won’t cut it. Aligned with the inequitable distribution of funds by the rights holder….

    18. I don’t think dropping points altogether is a good idea, especially in an era when two teams are virtually guaranteed to win at least 75% of the races and two-thirds of all podium positions. Points for fastest race lap (as was the case until 1959) and/or qualifying could be entertained, maybe even for leading most laps. Whatever the points system is secondary, but I believe the sport needs one.

    19. I think talking about changing points system is missing the point far and wide… Its not the points system tbats the problem ( although it may be indirectly) the real issue is the competativeness ( big word for me) between the teams and drivers. Perhaps there should be a base payment to all teams at the start of every season. Then the points system money incentive. Sort of like a 30% base payment/70% points pay scheme. From the total pooled money.atleast then teams are garunteed an income.which is split equally. My 2 cents worth

    20. Personally I think points should be awarded further down the finishing order. A few years ago when Marussia / Manor were fighting for 10th place the championship changed based on non-points scoring finishes. To a lot of casual fans that makes very little sense unless time is taken to explain.

      Extending points scoring would solve this immediately, and still give you something to fight for if you are driving last years Williams

    21. In principle, extending the points down the order seems like a good thing. However, I cannot see how they could do this without the points for a win having to increase materially. That has the effect that a DNF, possibly through no fault of their own, could be irrecoverable in a championship fight. I think the focus should be the impact on the title challengers and not the lower finishers. Every driver won championship points last year and all teams still won prize money.

    22. Seeing peoples comments I can not resist to say that my opinion is that nostalgia is not a valid argument against changing the points system. Whatever system we use in the future does not change the achievements of the past. If you are concerned that statistics like number of points scored over a drivers career or whatever will be unfair, well it already is if you make a direct comparison since we have already had several different points systems. Whether you score a point, or 50 or 0, does not change the fact that you finished the race in Nth place. Points are only there to differentiate drivers and teams in some meaningful quantifiable way over a full season. Why not do that with a system that is meaningful for all participants and their respective fans?

    23. I’ve had a thought for a while now that points aren’t the way to go: why not add up the total time taken and whoever has competed in the lowest time wins?

      Obviously there would need to be rules to take into account finishing one or more laps down, or dnfs. However, you’d get more people pushing to the end to knock that extra second off their time rather than coasting because they can’t make up an extra place. Every second would count.

      It may not be the best solution, but it’s interesting to think about how this would affect things….

    Comments are closed.