Rules on points for shortened races to be changed after Japanese GP confusion

2022 United States Grand Prix

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The FIA has confirmed it will revise the rules on awarding reduced points for shortened races following the confusion which arose in the championship-deciding Japanese Grand Prix.

Red Bull and several other teams did not initially believe Max Verstappen had won the world championship due to uncertainty over which points system was being applied. As only 52% of the race distance was covered, teams expected the FIA to apply the points system for races which cover 50% to 75% of the scheduled distance.

However due to a widely-overlooked quirk in the wording of the regulations, full points were handed out instead. Verstappen therefore clinched the championship, to his surprise.

The FIA confirmed today the rule, which was introduced in reaction to last year’s shortened Belgian Grand Prix, will be amended in order to serve its intended purpose.

“At the Japanese Grand Prix, Article 6.5 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations which covers race time limit and points distribution was applied correctly,” it said in a statement. “However, the wording of the Regulations will be revisited with a view to bringing further clarity during the next review of the Sporting Regulations.”

Following the race several teams expressed the view that the regulation needed to be corrected. Yesterday Verstappen’s championship rival Charles Leclerc said F1 “needs to get better at this” in future.

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2022 United States Grand Prix

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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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5 comments on “Rules on points for shortened races to be changed after Japanese GP confusion”

  1. Hopefully they can adjust some of the downright silly allocations of points while they’re at it. The 50-75% bracket is a total mess at the moment.

    1. I don’t see why they need the points tables. They could have just said under 25% = 25% points, 25-50% = 50% and 50-75% = 75%, or something similar.

      1. Awarding 0.25 of a point to 10th place sounds very silly though, one decimal place is enough. I think the simplest solution would be 50% points up to 75% distance, then beyond that full points. If less than 75% of the race distance is completed points will be only awarded if at least 5 racing laps under green flag conditions are completed. Done.

      2. I assume it’s to end awarding half points or any fraction of a point. While we thankfully haven’t had anything as extreme as the 1954 British GP where 7 drivers scored 1/7th of a point for the fastest lap (which also ended up being Jean Behra’s final tally on the season), half points have always looked a bit strange on the table. I don’t have any issue with the way they’ve done it, other than the snafu we had in Japan because of 4 words written in the rulebook when every previous race I can remember has ended with half points when ~50% of the scheduled distance has been run, and this one wasn’t.

        At least the problem has been dealt with quickly.

  2. If 89% of the race distance is covered, award 89% of the points.
    If 27% of the race distance is covered, award 27% of the points.
    Et cetera.
    Either to 0 or 1 decimal place.

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