Start, Red Bull Ring, 2021

How Formula 1 got its tenth different points system in 2021

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The first Formula 1 world championship was won by Giuseppe Farina with a score of 30 points over seven races.

Illustrating how much things have changed since 1950, next weekend one driver could score 29 points in a single event.

Formula 1’s points system has gone through long periods of stability and occasional bursts of seemingly knee-jerk changes. The addition of Sprint races from next week’s British Grand Prix marks the tenth major change in the 72-year history of the world championship.

1950-57: Eight points for a win, top five and fastest lap score

Farina won the first world championship with 30 points
When a 21-car field assembled at Silverstone for the first round of the world championship 71 years ago, only the top five finishers were guaranteed to score points.

Eventual champion Farina scored eight points for leading the field home – the same today’s drivers get for finishing sixth – and maximised his haul by adding the bonus point for fastest lap. Behind him Luigi Fagioli, Reg Parnell, Yves Giraud-Cabantous and Louis Rosier took six, four, three and two points respectively for finishing in second to fifth places. Those values remained unchanged for over five decades.

Awarding a bonus point for fastest lap proved a challenge in the days before computerised timing. At the same race four years later no fewer than seven drivers were credited with the fastest lap time, which was measured only to the nearest second. Alberto Ascari, Jean Behra, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jose Froilan Gonzalez, Mike Hawthorn, Onofre Marimon and Stirling Moss were therefore awarded one-seventh of a point each.

In the case of Behra, it was his only score of the season, and he ended the year 26th in the championship with 0.14 points.

The poor reliability of early cars meant points were only offered for the top handful of places. To account for retirements due to car problems, drivers only counted their best scores from a limited number of races towards their overall score. In 1950 their best four scores from seven races counted. The only driver who dropped points that year was Fagioli, who took four second places and one third.

1958-59: One driver per car

In the fifties it was also commonplace for drivers to share cars during races. On such occasions, they also shared any point scored.

At the boiling hot Argentinian Grand Prix in 1955, local hero Fangio muscled his way to the finish and bagged fastest lap, claiming nine points. In surely the most confusingly-scored race ever, multiple drivers finished in different positions behind him.

Ferrari’s Farina and Maurice Trintignant both claimed shares of second and third places, for a total of three-and-a-third points each – with two of their team mates. Gonzalez was the third driver in second place (scoring two points), while Umberto Maglioli co-piloted the third-placed car (scoring one-and-a-third).

Mercedes trio Moss, Hans Hermann and Karl Kling took fourth, for a point each. Each was out-scored by the driver behind them, Roberto Mieres, another hardy local, who single-handedly brought his car home fifth for two points.

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This practice ended from 1958, when race distances were cut from around 500 kilometres to typically less than 400, and drivers were no longer allowed to score points if they shared cars.

1960: Top six score

Start, Brazilian Grand Prix, Jacarepagua, 1989
F1 kept the same system through the seventies and eighties
In a further simplification of the scoring system, the bonus point for fastest lap was dropped in 1960. For the first time the points system was extended to cover the top six, with sixth place now scoring a point.

However at the first race under the new system only five drivers scored points. Trintignant and Moss shared the third-placed car, so no points were awarded for third place.

1961-1990: Nine points for a win

The next change yielded Formula 1’s most enduring points system. The value of a win was increased to nine points in 1961, and the ‘9-6-4-3-2-1’ scoring system remained in place for three decades.

1991-2002: 10 points for a win, every race counts

Ayrton Senna, McLaren, Phoenix, 1991
Senna was the first driver to score 10 points for a win
After 30 years of consistency, the biggest change in 1991 was not the further increase in the value of a win to a rather more obvious 10 points, but abolishing a quirk of the rules which had persisted since the world championship began.

Only allowing drivers to count their best results from a certain number of races towards the championships seemed increasingly unnecessary as car reliability improved. Moreover, it made for some confusing championship arithmetic, especially when it came to the closing stages of a season.

It also seemed increasingly unfair. In 1988 Alain Prost’s full-season score was 105, but once he had 18 points deducted, he was out-scored by team mate Ayrton Senna. Moreover, had every pointed been counted, the championship would have been decided at the final race, instead of the penultimate round.

The ‘dropped scores’ rule had to go, and since 1991 every driver has counted every result towards their finishing position.

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2003-2009: Top eight score

Schumacher won 2003 title despite points system change
Michael Schumacher dominated the 2002 season, clinching the title on July 21st, the earliest it has ever been won. It prompted a knee-jerk rules change for the following season.

Points were extended to cover the top eight, but while the value of a win remained fixed at 10, second place was now valued at eight. The net effect was to therefore reduce the value of a win.

This was reflected in the points standings the following year: The championship wasn’t decided until the final race, despite Schumacher winning six races to rival Kimi Raikkonen’s one. Schumacher hit back the following year though, winning 12 of the first 13 races, and pocketing the title in August with four races to spare.

2010-13, 2015-18: 25 points for a win, top 10 score

While reducing the value of winning was a debatable move, extending the scoring system to cover more cars as reliability improved was a sensible move. With the field expanding to 24 cars for 2010, points were further extended to cover the top 10, but this time with a corresponding increase in the value of winning.

While the value of a win was set at 25 points, second place was initially pegged at 20. This was later lowered to 18, making the gap between winning and finishing runner-up closer in relative terms to what it had been prior to 2003.

This was a step in the right direction, yet the ever-improving reliability of cars means it is not uncommon for half the field to finish the race yet score no points, as happened in France three weeks ago.

2014: Double points finale

Hamilton is the only driver to have scored 50 points for a win
Formula 1’s sudden announcement that it would award double points for the final race of the 2014 season was met with howls of criticism from fans. The unfair and artificial means of prolonging the championship fight was widely derided.

But as championship leader Lewis Hamilton arrived at the Yas Marina finale with a 17-point lead over Nico Rosberg, double points didn’t extend the title fight. And when Rosberg dropped back with car trouble it became immaterial.

The rule was dropped the following year. However other series, such as IndyCar, retain similar regulations.

2019-20: Fastest lap point returns

Almost six decades after it was dropped, the bonus point for fastest lap was reintroduced, to bemusement and indifference among drivers. it would, they pointed out, inevitably lead to drivers making extra pit stops at the end of races to claim the additional point.

While top Formula 1 figures have described the change as a success, it’s hard to make a case that it’s materially improved the racing. If anything, it seems a distraction from it.

2021-: Top three in Sprint races score

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2021
Will Verstappen score 29 points at Silverstone?
The latest points change is more controversial. In 2021 three rounds will include extra, short ‘Sprint’ races on Saturday which will award extra points – as the ‘double points’ system did, although not as many. The top three in the Sprint race will score three, two and one point respectively.

Nonetheless, it has increased the maximum total score available per weekend, for these races only, to 29. Will any driver achieve the sweep of Sprint race win, grand prix win and fastest lap necessary to do that? And is F1’s latest addition to its points system a change for the better?

We’ll find out starting next weekend.

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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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  • 64 comments on “How Formula 1 got its tenth different points system in 2021”

    1. The current scoring system was designed for a field of 24 or 26 cars, and in my opinion should have been changed again when the field reduced to 20. Points should be challenging to come by – around 40% of the field being eligible to score points seems about right even in this era of bulletproof reliability.

      1. Tommy Scragend
        8th July 2021, 10:05

        I agree. Points should be earned. You shouldn’t be able to get them just by trundling round near the back of the field. OK you might luck into a point or two every now and again by being slow and reliable if a lot of cars in front of you drop out, but it shouldn’t be the norm.

      2. I’m 50/50 on it. On one hand, I agree with you that points should be difficult to score but on the other hand, I hated the lottery we had when it was Caterham vs Marussia and the winner was decided by who got lucky rather than who did best over the season… It seems weird to say that finishing 11th is the same as finishing 20th.

      3. I’m off the opposite mind, every position should score points. As @petabaldwin already pointed out, there should be a difference for placing 11th compared to last. The number of points you get already determine the worth of them, it’s not like it matters for the championship battle if the first positions yield more points, or less points, than they currently do -points to them are just points and it’s only related to whoever is behind or in front of you and how many points they have. However, it does matter for the midfield and lower field battles if points are awarded there. It gives them something to fight for, it makes the number 13 racing car want to fight for position all that harder, and it gives the teams something to challenge for even if they can’t fight for consistent top 10 finishes.

        1. @aiii

          Indeed. It also seems quite unfair when at the bottom, one fluke result allows a poorer team to beat rivals, who don’t have huge luck.

          1. Agreed @aiii @aapje @balue

            And further, in my opinion I completely disagree with the idea that scoring ANY points “should be earned”. Scoring points ARE earned, you score more the higher up the order you finish. I’m confident that will never change.

            A points finish shouldn’t be regarded like a podium or a race win. Which are rightly scarce. Points determine championship finishing order, giving them to everyone makes for a more accurate championship.

            When we skewed all the records by changing the win to 25 points was the time to do this.

        2. Yep. I’ve been saying this for ages too.
          It doesn’t hurt the winner if 20th scores a point, as they’d still be getting a lot more of them anyway.
          What it does do, in addition to the justifications above, is make it worth continuing to race hard after a spin or a bad pit stop. Every point counts, and finishing 15th rather than 16th could decide the championship.
          Zero points for non-finishers, obviously.

          1. I don’t even find that so obvious.

            Reply moderated
        3. Lopes da Silva
          8th July 2021, 19:41

          Fully agreed and I always thought that. It was utterly ridiculous to watch drivers finish 7th and score no points. Luca Badoer deserved to have scored. Points should be earned? Well, of course. You’re finishing a Formula One race, you score points that reflect your finishing position. The higher, the better. Who remembers that episode of Felipe Nasr scoring points and bankrupting his future team because of it?

        4. How about this for a system? You get one point for every car (that started the race) that you finish ahead of. Plus, 11-8-5-3-2-1 (or something similar) for the top positions. That would automatically scale if we add or loose a few teams and with the current grid of 20 cars the winner would get 30 points. Every position gained would matter for the season result, for everyone, while still giving something extra for those that really fight for the title.

          1. Coventry Climax
            10th July 2021, 0:02

            Any ‘system’ is just that, a system, and thus debatable. The fairest, to my opinion, would be to award, per race, as many points as there are cars starting, and every car gets points according to the position it finishes in. E.g. 20 cars starting, no.1 get’s 20 points, no.2 gets 19, 3 gets 18 and so on. This reflects the amount of cars you have left behind when crossing the line. If, for some reason, the next race counts 30 cars or just 10, the maximum amount of points is 30 or 10 too, as the winner has outrun either 30 or 10 cars.
            I’m not a fan of points for fastest lap. What we see is that cars that have enough margin to do a ‘free’ stop, still end in the same position, but with a bigger time margin. Effectively, they were slower overall, yet they get a point for fastest lap! Ending in the same position also means they have not left more cars behind. So to me, the extra point is silly. Same with double points for last races.
            Sprint races are effectively just another race. The fact they are at the same circuit is apparently no issue anyway, with two races in Austria due to Covid. So same points system for sprint races too would be fine with me.
            This also makes comparisons over the different seasons somewhat easier, although still tricky. We once had a driver that competed only once and won. That’s a perfect 100% score that was obviously never beaten by anyone. But to say he was the greatest driver ever, is obviously quite another matter.
            Bottom line, I’m not too happy with the points system changing.

            1. Of course it’s debatable, nothing in F1 is necessary. It’s all just a made-up game, thus everything about it is just what we choose to make of it.
              The problem with a completely linear points scoring system is that it doesn’t present a result over a season that “feels” fair to most people. Going from 20th to 19th in a race would double your points, but going from 2nd to 1st (which to most people is arguably much more difficult) would only improve your result by 5%. So even though every position gained gives you the same absolute improvement for the championship, it varies dramatically if you look at it in relative terms. And that is where the big debate lies; who should be classified above who in the total standings? Who deserves to place higher, and why? And to most people, the fight for the overall win is more important than the fight for, say, 16th or so.
              One potential way to solve it could be to reverse the scale. So you simply score as many points as the position you finish at in the race, and the season winner is the one with the fewest points. Biggest question here would be, how do you score non-finishers and drivers that doesn’t compete a full season? And again I’m not sure this system would “feel” right to many people, myself included. But it is quite simple.
              I’m not a big fan of the fastest lap point either, but I’m not against it. Simply because it has such a small impact on the championship anyway. If some people find enjoyment from it, we might as well keep it. And I like that we tried it – because now we know, before we didn’t.
              Comparisons between different seasons and general historical statistics is not a problem in my mind. I often sigh or laugh when things like that is brought up in broadcasts or articles. The only way for any such comparisons to be remotely relevant is to first normalize the data, which TV presenters and journalists very rarely do. To compare anything from two different seasons, you must at the very least normalize the points scoring system, the number of races in the seasons and the number of participating cars. Otherwise the comparison will always be flawed one way or another.
              I’m very much in favor of changing the points system, but it must be well thought through by people who can present good convincing arguments of why and how it would be an improvement. Changing it just for the sake of change is not a good idea. Personally, before any decision is taken for a new system I would like to see it applied to the race results of historical seasons to see how the overall results would have changed. If nothing changes, then why introduce a new system?

            2. at Robert
              Regarding your 2nd and 3rd paragraph, don’t you realize that wouldn’t change one bit? Those two systems are exactly the same. Percentages have got you thinking wrongly. Whether you start giving points from the top or from the back, it amounts to the same thing, namely drivers’ averages. So no, it is not a solution as by your own saying.

            3. @oldman
              Sorry I was not clear in expressing my thoughts there. I was not saying a reversed points system is the solution we are looking for. I was debating that most people don’t actually want a system that is mathematically correct, they just want something that “feels” right to them. By reversing the points it could potentially “feel” right for those that think a normal linear system “feel” wrong, but I also conclude that is probably not the case. The problem with linear systems still stand, though, most people are biased to the fight for the front positions and thus want those fights to mater more in the championship standings.

            4. @ Robert
              Well, you literally said

              So even though every position gained gives you the same absolute improvement for the championship, it varies dramatically if you look at it in relative terms. And that is where the big debate lies; who should be classified above who in the total standings? Who deserves to place higher, and why? And to most people, the fight for the overall win is more important than the fight for, say, 16th or so.
              One potential way to solve it could be to reverse the scale.

              And then you even said

              I’m not sure this system would “feel” right to many people

              So quite contradictionary this all is.
              And

              I was debating that most people don’t actually want a system that is mathematically correct, they just want something that “feels” right to them. By reversing the points it could potentially “feel” right for those that think a normal linear system “feel” wrong

              But ok, lets forget it and just elaborate on your earlier suggestion.
              Your 30-26-22-19-17-15-13-12-..-1-0 system does stand a chance you think? It’s not exactly linear but you’re giving (relatively) more points to 3rd then 2nd gets now. And you give for example 6th place half the points the winner gets, something not even 4th gets now. 10th get’s a third of the winners’ points, that’s more than 6th now, and 10th now gets only 4%. Is there any mathematical logic basis for this, or are you suggesting this from a ‘gut’ “feeling”, or maybe both?
              Cheers.

            5. @oldman
              The thought behind the system I presented was this.
              I want every position to make a difference, unlike now when effectively only the top 10 positions matter. I don’t think it’s a good idea to deal with partial points if it can be avoided, so a difference of 1 point per position would be the minimum. By defining it as one point per car you finish ahead of instead of defining a table for 1st through 20th it would work regardless of how many cars enter a race. If more cars enter it would statistically be harder to win, but with a system like this it would automatically score more which I think is nice. Same the other way around if fewer cars take the start. So that is the base of my system. But that alone is just a linear scale, probably promoting consistency too much in the title fight. The current system solves that by accelerating the points scale at the top end, but in my mind they over-do it.
              Those that don’t want the entire field to get points seem to like the older systems where only the top 5, 6 or 8 score. So to slightly accelerate the curve and weigh in a bit more speed over consistency, whilst also giving a nod to people that think only the top few should score, in my system the top are the only ones that score the “extra” points. I did go with sort of a gut feel here, yes, which is why I added “or something similar” to that sentence. The thinking was an extra point per position for the top 6, then another extra point for the podium, and finally one last extra point between the podium places. It also presented quite nice with an even 30 points for a win in a 20 car field.
              I have had other systems and scales in mind, but I just wanted to throw this one out and see what people thought of it.

            6. @ Robert

              The thinking was an extra point per position for the top 6, then another extra point for the podium, and finally one last extra point between the podium places. It also presented quite nice with an even 30 points for a win

              Yes, I’d noticed that. Though maybe you could alter it so that you’d get also something extra for the win instead of the difference between 3rd and 2nd being the same as between 2nd and 1st. But like you said,

              or something similar

              .
              Lets just analyze your 30-26-22-19-17-15-13-12-..-1-0 as it stands. One of the prime characteristics of a scoring sytem is the ‘fail to score/(1st-2nd place delta)’ ratio, ie “how many races does a driver need at most, to make up for the deficit he incurs when failing to score.” In yours that is: 30 (after either DNFing or being classified as 20th) /(30-26) = 7.5. So in your system, it could take up to 7.5 races before a driver ‘recovers’ from a DNF/last place. This is how it is in previously used f1-systems (naming the (roughly) corresponding decades):
              fifties system: 4
              60-90s: 3
              90-00: 2.5
              00: 5
              10-now: 3 4/7th (= c 3.57) excl flap; 3.125 – 4.33.. incl flap
              You see that it has varied between 2.5 and 5 in f1 history. Yours is a 50-200% increase of this. And it’s potentially even more, because the 60-90s system was used in conjunction with ‘drop your x worst results’.
              So do you think this is fair or desirable yourself? And what about the public? I think most people didn’t even like the 00’s system, in which the ratio was 5, the highest it had and has ever been.
              Cheers.

            7. @oldman
              I think it’s desirable to flatten the current curve, yes. I think the gap between 1st and 2nd is way too big. What do others think? I don’t know.
              The “number of races to catch up” is an aspect to consider, but you can’t evaluate the entire system around that one figure. First, it should be “percentage of the season to catch up”. With 23 races now compared to 16 or 17 around the end of the 90’s, for example, we should expect the number to be about 40% higher just to correspond to an equally large part of the season. With more races comes more time to catch up.
              Also, if we take the 10-6-4-3-2-1 system as an example, it would take a maximum of 2.5 races to catch back up from a DNF (by winning the following races while whoever we compare against finishes 2nd). Ok. But it would also take 2.5 races to catch back up from just dropping down to 7th. That is very relevant.
              Finally, cars used to DNF a lot more in the past than they do now. The current rules even demand a certain amount of reliability. So a DNF could be punished more today than historically and still be fair.
              On a side note, the “drop your worst result” rule is something I could see re-introduced. I don’t know if I would push for it, but I wouldn’t mind it.

            8. @ Robert

              I think it’s desirable to flatten the current curve, yes. I think the gap between 1st and 2nd is way too big.

              Ok.

              The “number of races to catch up” is an aspect to consider, but you can’t evaluate the entire system around that one figure. First, it should be “percentage of the season to catch up”.

              I never did evaluate the entire system around it, I merely began the analysis with it. Secondly, it should not be a % of the season, because if you’re going to do more races, so will the number of DNFs/last places go up. The ratio therefore doesn’t change bc of it.

              Also, if we take the 10-6-4-3-2-1 system (..) to 7th. That is very relevant.

              Yes, while I was in my comment specifically targeting DNFs/last places, this is also relevant. Yours has almost a linear slope going slowly all the way down to 20th ending with 7.5, while that system has a short, steep and rather inconsistent one.

              Finally, cars used to DNF a lot more in the past than they do now. The current rules even demand a certain amount of reliability. So a DNF could be punished more today than historically and still be fair.

              Yes, cars used to DNF much more and since, IIRC, ’03 or so, it’s regulated to a degree and they got in fact a bit more rigid too. But the question remains how much of a knock-on effect you want a DNF to have. And apparently, you seem to think that 7.5 figure is good, which is perfectly fine ofc. Interesting though that you don’t mind a ‘drop you x worst results’ system.

              What do others think? I don’t know.

              I think almost everybody will think that in the scenario of:
              A has 7 wins and 1 DNF/last (or even 1 before last)
              B has 7 2nds and 1 win
              A should be considered the winner, but in your system he isn’t (he has 2 resp 1 pt less).
              Even more so, look at the situation where A and B are no front runners, but that their usual positions are, eg, 7th and 8th. So:
              A has 7 7ths and 1 DNF
              B has 7 8ths and 1 7th
              In your system B will have 6 pts more than A, and thus he will need 6 further wins over B just to catch up (in case of the usual resuming).
              So the entire field, bar the top-6 for whom it’s slightly better, will have a heck of a job to recover, even more so than the top-6. Yes, it does get less worse the more you go down the grid, but still, on average all the drivers will need around 8 races to recover from last/DNF against their closest competitors.

              And this is for just 20 cars on the grid. What about if more teams/drivers enter the scene? If you expand the grid, it again gets worse even more (at least in the eyes of most, making a DNF stronger).

              If one would like to see an example of this having a huge effect, and according to most, a negative one, one could easily get some real life examples. For example 7 years ago, between HAM and ROS. I think there’s pretty much consensus that HAM was pretty much dominating ROS. But with your system ROS would’ve defeated HAM had ROS scored a 3rd in the last race (and with no double points rule). Usually a 3rd, or indeed a 2nd, would’ve been no problem for ROS as the mercs had no equals(, but ofc we know now that he did run into trouble and came in 14th).
              Bottom line though is that with only one DNF more, but with a domination for the rest of the season, the stronger one inside the team can easily lose out (and he could’ve done nothing about it in the last race).
              Most people are of the opinion that a driver should be able to recover from a DNF faster than the 8 it would take with your system in that season with (mostly) 22 cars.

              I also see a what I’d call a disbalance in cases of races with a lot of DNFs. If one/more of the one’s who do finish that/those particular race(s) are usual backfielders, they’ll get a (rel) enormous amount of points, giving them a possibly insurmountable advantage relative to their direct competitors.

              Later.

            9. Coventry Climax
              14th July 2021, 0:58

              @Robert and @Oldman: Wow, those are a lot of words!

              @Robert, do you realise, as @Oldman did, that the ‘solution’, in your third paragraph is actually the exact same thing as my proposal? And hence no ‘solution’ at all?
              Secondly, “The problem with a completely linear points scoring system is that it doesn’t present a result over a season that “feels” fair to most people.”
              Who -apart from you- says so? Introducing “feel” to it is inherently unfair for -and to- some. That’s where the whole discussion and -repeated- changing of the points system originates from.
              “Going from 20th to 19th in a race would double your points, but going from 2nd to 1st (which to most people is arguably much more difficult) would only improve your result by 5%. So even though every position gained gives you the same absolute improvement for the championship, it varies dramatically if you look at it in relative terms.” Mathematically, you are correct, but statistically, that’s nonsense, as the championship is not about a single race, but about consistently doing better than others. And that IS made evident in the points-system I proposed. The whole point of having multiple races is to eliminate -or at least flatten- chance outcomes of single races. A non-linear points system aggravates that problem instead of solves it.
              Finally, with the system I proposed, the entire discussion as to what’s worth more; x wins or y second places and z DNF’s becomes completely irrelevant.
              I repeat my opinion of it being the only correct system, based on the fact that it reflects how many driver’s, out of the entire field, you have left behind.
              I thought leaving people behind was the exact purpose of motorracing in the first place?
              I distinctly have the ‘feeling’ you are debating the outcome of 1+1, just because you (anyone else here?) feel it shouldn’t be 2.

            10. @ Coventry Climax
              Yes, those are a lot of words. Lets add some more, LOL.

              I repeat my opinion of it being the only correct system, based on the fact that it reflects how many driver’s, out of the entire field, you have left behind.
              I thought leaving people behind was the exact purpose of motorracing in the first place?

              So lets say there’s a 100-race calendar, and a 102 car grid. The results of driver A and driver B:
              A: wins the first 99 races, DNFs/finishes last in last race.
              B: comes in 2nd for the first 99 races, winst the last race.

              So IYO, B wins the championship, correct?

      4. Eventhough top-ten is half the field now, I am OK with them getting points. It still is pretty hard to score…for some. Forty years ago there were 25 cars on the starting grid and only top-six scored, but the reliability was such that even drivers in less competitive cars would score a point or two every now and then. Today, the top cars are basically bulletproof and even drivers in solid mid-field cars have to fight for points pretty hard. If top-six still were the norm, Hülkenberg, Räikkönen, Giovinazzi, Russell, Grosjean and Magnussen would end up with zero last year.

      5. In Indycar you get 5 points just for participating the race.

      6. I think every finisher except last last should get points. that way there is clear competition even right at the back, e.g. Haas this season are pretty much always last, but there would still be comp between them for the last available point/s for not finishing last.
        I agree that getting the same result from 11th to 20th seems ridiculous.

        Reply moderated
    2. Very interesting read, great article Keith! I quite like the current system that is in place, minus the fastest lap. @red-andy I actually disagree, with the current reliability it would be good to perhaps extend the points to say P12 to differentiate drivers currently out of points. Both Russell and Latifi are currently on zero points which just does not seem right. Without points, the P11 to P20 positions lose all meaning.

      1. You can’t just change the points system just because everyone’s favourite lower team driver doesn’t have any points.

        Do i want him to get into the points? Yes.
        Does he deserve points for finishing 11th or 12th and everyone likes him? No, cos he hasn’t finished in the points

        1. Yes he (or she) does deserve something for finishing ahead of someone, all be it a very small points score, only last should score nothing.

          Reply moderated
      2. I would go one step further and award partial points to the drivers who complete the race distance outside the first ten to cross the Finish Line (but excluding any partial points to the driver who was the very last to cross the Finish Line if they were 20th). My suggestion is from 11th to 19th each car that crosses the finish line gets 0.9 points for 11th place, 0.8 points for 12th place, etc, through to 0.1 points for 19th place. However, when adding up these point values the decimal portion of the point values aren’t recognised, only the whole digit value is recognised. So for example say a driver might have finished 11th twice, so the sum of those two 11th places is (2 x 0.9 =) 1.8 points, but their score sheet would only increment by 1 because the 0.8 part is ignored. If the situation arose where the race was stopped and 1/2 points were to be awarded, then the simplest way to deal with these partial points I can think of is to not award them at that race.

        1. Coventry Climax
          10th July 2021, 0:07

          Sounds needlessly complicated. Read my comment above, way simpler.

          1. The problem I see is a straight linear system doesn’t recognise the extra effort required to get from being Second to being First, or from Third to Second, etc. I’m not sure whether 7 points more for First compared to Second is sufficient recognition or too much, but it sort of feels about right to me. Maybe that’s because I’m used to that points system, but it seems a whole lot fairer than just awarding points for the first 6 places in a race.
            I don’t see the points system I suggested for places 11 to 19 (starting at 0.9 points and decrementing by 0.1 points at each finishing place) is very difficult to understand. As I think about it, maybe it would be better to display the decimal points in the result.

            1. Coventry Climax
              14th July 2021, 1:14

              @drycrust: There IS no extra effort involved in getting from position 2 to 1 compared to going from 20 to 19. That’s just your notion, which, actually, finds it’s base in the non-linear and only top-x points awarding system.
              If your car can do it, and you’re (or feel you are) capable enough, then you do the overtake. Or you don’t, when you don’t want to take the risk of getting it wrong and lose it all. That’s what motorracing is about.
              But actually, currently, that spirit is not rewarded if you’re out of the top ten anyway.

      3. Very interesting read

        +1

    3. I forgot until reading this that Williams hold the completely pointless record for most points scored by a team in a single race as a result of the “Abu Double” farce (66).

      1. And they’ve been paying for that now for quite some time :)

    4. Double points was something we all never wanted. Ever.

      1. I was just Bernie creating news! Something we could all object to, thus getting more free publicity for F1.

    5. We do need a new name for ‘grand chelem’, don’t we? Otherwise we would never be able to tell the difference between a sprint race weekend grand chelem and a regular race weekend grand chelem. Lines are open for suggestions.

      1. The Bwoah Slam…

      2. ADD chelem
        WWWF chelem
        Grand farce chelem
        $$$ chelem
        Grand mockery chelem

      3. On a serious note, Extended Grand Chelem? Grand Sprint Chelem?

    6. Ah, the good old points discussions. I don’t see why people find points as being almost some sort of magical thing that should only be awarded to a select few on special occasions. The entire reason for any point system to exist is to differentiate drivers and teams over an entire season. To then only give points to the few that finishes a race in the top positions and say that everyone else performed equally bad, is strange to me. Whether we are talking about a driver or a team, is a single 10th place finish over a season really a better performance than regularly finishing 11th? And what’s the difference of that compared to the same discussion but for 3rd and 4th?
      I would give points for the entire filed, provided the car reaches the finish. How much the scale should ramp up, or not, and how many points one would get for a win is an even longer discussion. But like I said, it’s just a matter of differentiating. The important thing is that any one position gained on track must have an impact on the total season result, otherwise why race at all? Or at least, why have a season of races?
      Systems that give points to say half the field was logical when usually only half the filed finished the races. That is not the case anymore and has not been for many years.

      1. People forget the other value of finishing order (beyond points), that one count down to the 20th not in points but in coins.
        Its the check from F1/Liberty at the end of the season.

        1. Which is all still tallied anyway – so why not give put it in the same points system as those who finish in the top 10?
          It just makes sense.

      2. The difference is that “Points make prizes” The number a team has scored over the season have an effect upon what payment they get in the three column payouts.

        1. With a change of points system, they would naturally adjust any other system that takes points into account…

    7. With the addition of the sprint race, would winning the sprint race, leading every lap of the feature race and setting the fastest lap during the feature race still count as a Grand Slam?

      Because if not, what does?
      Winning qualy and leading every lap of both races and setting fastest lap in both races does not feel like an ‘ordinary’ Grand Slam.
      Do we need a Grander Slam?

      1. Coventry Climax
        10th July 2021, 0:17

        Why not regard it as just another race? There’s never been a ‘title’ for winning two consecutive races, has there? So why do you need one now?
        Also, next door, we’ve had the ‘market’, ‘super-market’, ‘mega-market’ and now ‘hyper-market’ name on the exact same store. It’s just devaluation of words, or, in other words, marketing. Nothing else changes.

    8. No, the fact only the top-5 got points did that.

      Reply moderated
    9. The scoring system wasn’t meant to use points as ‘awards’, the argument that points should be hard fought for and thus should only be “awarded” to the top-x finishers, is collateral damage. They were only meant to order the drivers, purely based on the end-of-race positions, in a balanced mathematical way, grand prix style.

      Reply moderated
    10. Personally I don’t really like the current points system as I think it to some extent, over rewards those that finish near the front. I would prefer a slightly flatter curve in the upswing of the points. So maybe something like:
      15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

      In this scheme the winner gets 150.0% more than the car in third. In the current scheme they get 166.67%.

      I don’t agree that everyone should get points as I think it sort of devalues them. I think 10 cars getting them and 10 not is about right. I also don’t mind the point for fastest lap.

      It’s just a personal opinion of course.

    11. I’d drop the number of cars that score points back to 6 or 8 as I’m of the view that scoring points should be an earned achievement rather than something half the field get.

      I remember back when a mid-field runner scoring a point felt like a big deal & was celebrated as such. Now it just doesn’t feel as special partly because most of them score so much more often but also because they don’t have to get as far up the order as they once did.

      Yuki Tsunoda scored points on his debut this year by finishing 9th yet it never felt like that big a deal & I think most have probably already forgot. Yet go back to when points only went down to 6th & a driver scoring points on debut in a mid-field car felt special because it felt like a big achievement & that made them memorable.

      1. Well, what is so special about how many points you score? I really don’t get that. Finishing 6th, for example, will always be remembered, recorded in the books and celebrated as finishing 6th, no matter how many points towards the championship that resulted in. It’s not like the winner will get any less attention just because more drivers behind them got accounted for in the championship. And, reaching the top 10 for the first time in a season will still be as special for a driver even if he has scored points earlier as it would be the biggest score so far. Depending on the actual scale of points, it could be a special first time to reach double digits or what not. Plenty of stuff would still be “an achievement” and rewards are given out all the time. Points are and always have been simply used as a means to order the competitors based on performance over an entire season, they could do that better.

    12. The only thing that needs to change about the points is to take them out of the financial consideration, ie distribution of wealth generated by the sport. Every team taking place in the Grands Prix is equally valuable to the show. The skewed situation of modern F1 (90’s onward) with extended periods of dominance has been partly created by adopting this system that pays the most successful the most money.
      Look, the sport isn’t going anywhere. Create 15 franchises, they bank 100 million each for taking part in a season, there’s your 1,5B distributed amongst the competitors and that leaves Liberty a measly 1- 1,5B per annum. Let the teams have their own sponsors on top of that to make up the rest of the budget if they so choose, and fans get back up to 30 cars and 15 financially viable teams for the foreseeable future

      1. Coventry Climax
        14th July 2021, 1:22

        Though I do not agree that it takes someone of any certain nationality only, to win, I do agree with what you post here.

    13. I’m all for new ideas but by awarding points to the top three won’t that just end the championship faster ? as the top guys get more points over the chasing rivals. Now award sprint points and invert the top half of the field randomly like BTCC that might bring some action :)

    14. I’m wondering at what stage Liberty/F1 will introduce a bonus point for gaining pole and another for wining the Saturday race and the Sunday race.

    15. With as much resources as F1 has, one would think they would run these scoring schemes in season long simulator (that would take maybe a day) and tell us why it would be better. It’s like they are trying to figure out how racing works by throwing random playing cards in the air. It’s mostly embarrassing. The last couple seasons have been good and we even have the suspense of someone else winning it this year. If it’s not broke..

    16. Michael Schumacher dominated the 2002 season, clinching the title on July 21st, the earliest it has ever been won

      And the 2020 season started on 5th July! How times changed!

    17. I am in favor of discarding all that don’t reach the podium, since thats what its all about. So 10, 5, 1 point(s) for nrs 1, 2 & 3. All others didnt reach the podium so why reward them with anything? Lets make things simple again.

      1. Points is not about rewarding, it’s about setting the positions over a season rather than a single race. Your suggestion sounds a bit like if a football game was stopped as soon as one team scored a goal, if all you care about is who is first.

    18. Sergey Martyn
      9th July 2021, 15:22

      Well, when first three finishers in the sprint race are decided, either by time margins or other circumstances the other cars could just box to save the machinery for the main race, and some teams like Williams, HAAS etc. can even choose not to start at all in such a parody of a competition. Hope this stupid initiative will soon be buried alongside the double points hogwash.

    19. @Robert
      Regarding your 2nd and 3rd paragraph, don’t you realize that wouldn’t change one bit? Those two systems are exactly the same. Percentages have got you thinking wrongly. Whether you start giving points from the top or from the back, it amounts to the same thing, namely drivers’ averages. So no, it is not a solution as by your own saying.

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