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F1 goes for big shake up in points system
F1 goes for big shake up in points system
Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Dec 2009   |  11:22 pm GMT  |  184 comments

Formula 1 is set to introduce a major change to its points system to reflect the fact that the grid has expanded from 10 to 13 teams.

A proposal was agreed by the members of the F1 commission, which met today for the first time in five years and, if approved by the FIA World Council tomorrow in Monaco, it will mean that a race winner will score 25 points, with 20 for second place, 15 for third, 10 for fourth, then 8-6-5-3-2-1 down to 10th position.

This was approved because it was felt that it was important that the points should be shared around a bit more. It offers the new teams a chance to score at least a point. For many years a point has been a dream for backmarker teams.

Members of the F1 commission looked at research which showed that this system would not have affected the outcome of the championship had it been in place over recent years. It would however have crowned the champion a little earlier.

Last winter Bernie Ecclestone proposed a medal system to reward drivers for taking risks and chasing the win. This move is more about sharing the benefits in hard times.

Many ideas were discussed for improving the show, including items mentioned here earlier this week like making two pits stops mandatory. Nothing significant has been agreed, apparently which could go forward to the World Council for approval. But the Sporting Working Group has been tasked with coming up with some measures for implementation as soon as next year if agreement can be reached. Meanwhile the FIA and FOM are to “collaborate to enhance the communication and promotion of the championship to the media and its worldwide fanbase.”

We may get some idea of what that entails in the statement after tomorrow’s World Council. Apparently Jean Todt took a low key position in his first F1 commission meeting as FIA president.

Meanwhile McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh was elected president of FOTA, with Christian Horner taking on Whitmarsh’s responsibilities as head of the sporting working group and Ross Brawn retaining his position as head of the technical group.

Teams have agreed to go ahead with the single car launch at Valencia on 29/30 January. And Virgin has announced that it will launch its F1 programme to the world (but not the car, obviously) on December 15th in London.

* What do you think about the proposed 25 points for a win system? Leave your comments below.

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I think it sounds good but I think that if there is a dominant car or driver the championship would end too early in the season.


We can have it both ways!

Give a big reward for a win and say that only your best 11 scores count. That way you encourage do-or-die racing for points, and help the Championship stay alive until November.

That's the way it used to be, I remember Prost having to drop a few points one year, why did they get rid of it? The cars are much more reliable these days, what with long life engines and gearboxes (probably right so). But we don't necessarily need to let that dampen the racing.

Time for a comeback of best 11 scores count!


Just a quick question im not a cynic as I have loved F1 for years going back to the turbo era does this new points system give more money back to the teams based on the amount of points they get or is it just a marketing excercise ?? can someone let me know



the money is given based on the position the in the constructor championship not the amount of points.


Well that was an issue with Shumi and the old/current points system as well. a dominant combo is going to dominate changing the points system is going to have marginal effect on that


Not really related to this comment, but I wanted to see what people think..

If they want to improve the show, what about some points (say 3) for most number of cars overtaken during a race (or similar)...!


I think it's a great way to get more teams and drivers involved, more points for a win is a great idea as well.

I've always though that 10pts was too little an amount for some of the heroic feats it has taken for someone to grab a win over the years. A 5-point gap between the top four also seems more appropriate than 2 between the top 3.

Plus, as long as it's not medals, I'm happy!


The percentage difference is the same so it actually makes no difference. It just means your less likely to get a no score and dnf are punished more severly


Was thinking the same thing. There's still the same gap between 1-2, 2-3 and now even 3-4, so it really changes nothing. However if we have two dominant teams early on like in 2008 or 2007, the door for other teams to catch up and make an impact later on closes sooner.


Yeah, that's true - it's just that 25 feels like a more substantial number. And 5pts between them seems like a more substantial gap than 2.

All in the mind 🙂


It will probably be an improvement, but I would have liked to see the idea to further, perhaps as far as a point for all finishers. This would make a teams points haul a true representation of their performance throughout the year. Whether this would have distorted the results recent championships I don't know.

(Or does the current system distort the results? What is a measure of "true" performance of drivers and teams?)



I've had similar thoughts, points across all finishers, maybe points for fastest lap, most laps lead. anyway as Nikki said, at least its not medals.


I'd add a point for pole as it also could be a kind of "measure of “true” performance" (as Q3 will be on light cars).


There are more teams and more drivers so I guess it follows that there will be more drivers scoring points, but I would like to have seen the pole sitter and fastest lap scorer getting a point,...that could really stir things up if 2 drivers were tying on points at the start of the last race.


Isn't that basically the BTCC arrangement? I hate to agree with Bernie, but shouldn't we be encouraging winning rather than just turning up?


NASCAR & Indycar are the same - you will earn points just by starting the race...


It isn't a big change at all. Sure the value of the points has been increased, but the relative value of the finishing positions is largely unchanged.

As a result, if you apply to the points to the 2009 championship standings you get very little change in the order and Button still won the title with more than a wins' worth of points than Vettel:

1. Jenson Button 230.5

2. Sebastian Vettel 203

3. Rubens Barrichello 183

4. Mark Webber 175

(Full list here:

They should have increased the relative value of a win much more, but I don't think they want to because they don't want the championship being decided too early in the season.

I don't think that should matter. What matters is that we have good races regardless of whether the championship has been decided or not.


That was my thought too. Nothing really changes apart from points for 9th and 10th, presumably so the new teams get a chance to score points.

I think they've been watching Nascar too much. Next time they'll be suggesting all scores a multiplied by 100 so it looks as if it's 100% better!


Hi Keith,

I guess even a blogger has to blog somewhere. Good job by the way at your own end.



There should be a bigger gap between 1st and 2nd - 2 points isn't enough.

The actual number of points for a win isn't that important per se, the point gap is the important thing, and this proposal seems to address that.


No the percentage difference is what matters


New points are not much different from old, just spread out a little. (closer to Moto GP if anything.)

Podium is same x2.5, 4-5-6 worth slightly less. 7th is same, 8-9-10 worth less then 8th last year, again relatively speaking. Over the year, it should give a gap to a frequent winner.

With 4, 5 and 6 getting slightly less, that could hurt the 'second' driver for each team. Not really the mid pack. and after that, throw in some token points for the Williams’... 🙂


It appears to be a poorly-thought-out change. The main problem with the current system is the lack of difference between finishing first and second. 2nd place gets 80% of the points of 1st. With the new system this will be exactly the same. However, there will be an even lower incentive to pass because a dnf will lose you over twice as many points now. Of course, if your rivals retire then you can make it up, but if not it would make things a bit more difficult.

It would be possible to overhaul the points system to give 10 scorers, PLUS a bigger incentive to win. How about 20-12-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1? Or 20-15-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1?

Or just keep it how it is. The grid should be even more competitive once the new teams have bedded in. Scoring a point with an inflated points system might not be seen as quite a good an achievement. Think how many Minardi may have scored.


What about making the championship closer and lasting longer by reducing the number of points for a win. Start at 26 for first 25 for second etc.


Horrible idea. I know it's going to be harder for small teams to score points, but that's how it used to be. I'd even question the need to keep the current system, since the main reason for it being in place has been gone a while (Schumacher's domination).

Second place still needs a reward (as Force India showed, it really is a big achievement), so I'd suggest going to 10-8-6-4-2-1, make it Best 16 count (since we're going to 20 races, this makes sense, plus it keeps the old tradition of the number of rounds). For 7th-12th you could give "B" points (a little like having a second class, except determined by position and not spec) so as to give some reward to smaller teams who do well.


Terrific news - what we've needed for years. More reward for the winner, but enough for the others to scrap for. If there's a lot of equal teams at the front, should make it a good scrap with lots more points combinations on offer.

Good move.


25 points if you win could mean alot of points over 18/ 19 races still not alot of points about if your not on podium


I think it's a great idea brought in rather than Bernie's medal rule. It gives the teams a good share of the points and gives the back-markers more of a realistic target to aim at. Finally some sense being spoken in these FIA council meetings.


I think it's a good idea. I think with 26 cars on the grid next season, the points do need to be spread out a bit more. The new system would mean that winning would be more important for the championship, which is what Bernie wants, but still retaining the traditional points system. I think maybe the gap between 1st and 4th place, 15 points, is a bit too much, so I think you will see a big gap in the championship opening up between the top 2 or 3 teams and the rest quite quickly. Although last season proved the most important thing for an exciting season is having a closely matched field, so changing the points shouldn't effect this too much.


I wasnt so much bothered by the 25 points as the 5 point gap to 2nd place. Hopefully this will make more 2nd place drivers push for the win. Only one way to find out....




My first thought, and I'm not sure how it is relevant, is that we will have to throw out the records for most points scored, because some of the younger guys in the faster cars will catch up to the likes of Prost and Schuey in half the wins.

I am a little bit worried about it. I think there is a risk of there being a real gulf between the top two or three teams and the chasing pack with such disparity between first, second, third and then fourth. In terms of the constructors championship, it will make it a two (or maybe three) horse race very quickly. Although I do understand the logic - smaller teams getting points and the big boys not simply settling for a podium place when another five points can be achieved.


I agree with your first point - when I first started reading about Formula 1 in the mid-1980s, a driver's average points per race was a common statistic, at least in what I read. Since then car reliability has gone up, so the historical comparison isn't as fair. These days if you break a gearbox it is probably due to repeated kerb usage.

It is rare that you'd get three or four teams going for the constructors title in any situation. There aren't enough top drivers having a good year to even out the car differences.

I think a point for fastest lap could lead to interesting strategies, with drivers with some drivers nursing their tyres to have a go with low fuel and others pushing on to try to gain a place.

A point for most laps led is really a consolation prize that probably isn't needed on road courses with high reliability.

A point of pole could lead to drivers compromising race strategy in some situations.


"A point of pole could lead to drivers compromising race strategy in some situations."

No refueling of course...


It's kind of nice to allow the lower teams to score points, but I do think it will be very confusing to understand who has got what points and what that translates to in terms of places etc. I have followed touring cars for many years and still don't really understand the points. 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 is very simple, very clean.


While I have appreciated the "prestige" that has come with scoring points in Formula One under the current system, I also believe that the idea of spreading the wealth is a good idea. This allows those drivers battling for positions at the bottom half of the standings to make ground on those he's racing against race to race. It's always frustrated me that one driver can drive very consistent and smart all season with a car that is sub par and consistently finish just outside the points often with little or nothing to show for it. Then another driver who on average could have finished much worse on average, but have that odd race where the weather or some lucky strategy with the safety car lands them solid points if not a podium. In this case a driver with one lucky race beats out another who consistently outperformed them throughout the season. I must also say that this proposed system doesn’t entirely fix this problem as it’s only reaching back to the 10th place finisher.

One item that does bother me is that all historical comparisons with regards to points will be skewed form here on out. I know stats are just stats, but is fun for those of us outside the sport to compare drivers and teams going way back, and this would definitely dampen our ability to do that.


If you look at the percentages, with points down to 10th with 26 cars (38%) is only slightly easier than 8 of 22 (36%). As there will be increased competition of the lower point places (there are more teams), and the ratio of the points is similar. There is little change.

Sixth place has been devalued - like fourth and fifth it only gets twice the old total - and is only worth 20 per cent more than seventh. Third place is worth 50 per cent more than fourth, where previously it was a 20 per cent bonus.


As long as they forget all about Bernie's insane medals plan, I'll be happy...


A new points system has been needed for a while. There is no perfect solution, but I see the benefits of this one.

Crucially the second place driver is still getting 80% of the points of the winner, which I see as a problem. This means the 'incentive' to win which Bernie is always unreasonably going on about will still exist, but now the difference between a winner and 10th is pretty large. I'd like to see the tables of past seasons to see how the final tables would have looked. Any way of you doing this James?

Finally, it's going to screw up the record books! Farina scored 30 points in the 1950 season to win the title, now a win is almost worth the number of points he scored!


I think its to drastic...why an extra 15 points for the winner....


and the WDC being wrapped up earlier is not good

but hey...adleast its not the medals idea


Seems like a good plan, we saw some great mid-field action this past season, it would be great to see that continue, and its important to give these guys something to fight over. 'Spicing up the show' should apply to the whole grid not just the sharp end.


Absolutely agree. This actually makes the mid-field battle less interesting. I have a group of friends that I watch some races with and we have a sweepstake on 8th place because it's less predictable than 1st, and possibly the most competed for place. Giving points lower down the field adds nothing. The teams that don't score points knew the rules when they joined. This devalues getting into the points.


I personally like the idea of distributing points a bit more.

However I also think they should have made the difference between 1st, 2nd and 3rd bigger. As it stands nothing changes:

1st = 25 /2.5 = 10

2nd = 20 /2.5 = 8

3rd = 15 /2.5 = 6


I like the idea of a bigger points gap between 1st and 3rd.

Hopefully it will encourage drivers to go for the win.

I believe the Alonso, Hamilton rematch will be quite interesting.


Unfortunately this is just an ilusion.

The difference is still the same


Not impressed. All they really did was expand the current system out to go to 10 places. It would be nice to see more emphasis be placed on a win. Give the drivers a little more incentive to attempt a ballsy pass as opposed to sit back and take a very slight hit in points.


I agree that points have to be awarded down to 10th, but why not widen the gap between first, second and third (which remains as currently at 20%) and what is the weird sequence 6-5-3-2. Looks like somebody does not know their math. That is just confusing.


agreed, the gap at the top in terms of % isn't any bigger than before, and 8-6-5-3 is illogical and inconsistent, it should have been 8-6-4-3


I agree. If you look at the gaps between points they are 5-5-5-2-2-1-2-1-1. This seems awkward. Why not make 7th place worth 4 points, so the gaps at the end are 2-2-2-1-1-1. This is my only gripe with the new system.


Looks ok assuming the FOM cash pot is still to be distributed to those who win points.

Of course a case could be made for distribution in reverse order to the points, eg the teams at the back need more money to help them catch up.

It would also be fairer if all teams got their long haul transport costs paid.

I reckon all cars will make at least two or three stops anyway for tyres maybe more, particularly at the start of the season before the new tyre characteristics are sussed out.

Having the launch when half the cars won't be ready seems stupid, why not put it back to mid Feb or March. Virgin obviously has money to waste on a corporate press junket, which looks decidedly against the spirit of saving money.


I think its brilliant . It should ensure that drivers fight for victories rather than settling for second . Teams at the back have a better chance to get points too . Getting a podium will also be definetly more rewarding now .


With the same relative gap between the top 3 positions and a larger gap to the lower positions, there is now LESS incentive for a driver to risk a safe podium finish and push for a win....


Dislike. In my opinion, it would be much better to return to the old system. I mean, win a race must be regarded much more, then 2-nd or 3-d or 4-th place. In the other hand, maybe it's a good idea to share points a bit more.

So my proposal is:


It's more like 10-6-4-3-2-1 then current 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1


When I started watching Formula 1, the points were 9-6-4-3-2-1, with only six finishers in the points.

I guess I still prefer it that way. Points totals in the hundreds demeans the individual points. For an example, you can compare ice hockey scores with basketball scores.


One thing to consider is that there is a sixty per cent increase from third to second but only 50 per cent for second to first. To help the stats-minded, you might like to increase the total points per race to 80, by making third place worth 11, which also addresses my first point.


Offering smaller teams the increased chance of points is the right way to go, but this doesn't change anything at the business end. Gain 5 for the risk of throwing away 20? If I was going for a championship I'd still cash in 2nd place. First needs a bigger reward.


There is one very daft aspect to this system, which is that the gap between sixth and seventh is one point and the gap between seventh and eighth is two points. Wouldn't 8-6-4-3-2-1 be more sensible?


When I first read this, I thought this was a radical change in the system. But when you actually look at the numbers, the change isn't as radical as it seems (to me, at least) -- it looks like the F1 Commission simply maintained the points distribution ratios:

2009: 39 total points available per race

1st: 10 points (26% of total points)

2nd: 8 points (21%)

3rd: 6 points (15%)

Podium total: 24 points (62%)

8/20 cars earn points: 40%

2010: 95 total points available per race

1st: 25 points (26%)

2nd: 20 points (21%)

3rd: 15 points (16%)

Podium total: 60 points (63%)

10/26 cars earn points: 38%


I like this new points system, looks very much like MotoGP system, and I think it is ok.

BUT 🙂 I would like the idea that pole position man get at least 1 point(1-3 points), just like in USA I think. This could get drivers fired up more and if driver gets pole position and wins the race, he can enjoy the success more with that extra point(s) for pole position..

What do you think? 🙂


I've never liked the idea of points for Pole Position. The reward for qualifiying fastest is starting in P1 on the grid... which at Monaco is halfway towards a win already. Drivers give everything in qualifying anyway, so won't take any more risks just for a measily point.

Secondly it's possible for a driver to record the fastest qualifiying lap winning Q1 and still qualify 15th on the final grid (or whatever they have decided for 2010) before finishing last in Q2. Shouldn't he get that point instead?


+1 on that first point


"But the Sporting Working Group has been tasked with coming up with some measures for implementation as soon as next year if agreement can be reached."

I find this worrying. I hope they don't come up with something daft at short notice.

Like this new points system.


Can you say NASCAR ? Should've given points for pole, fastest lap, most laps led, best donut, best crash..etc etc


Less than a decade ago 6th was worth just one point. Now you get as many as you did for a second place finish. Unfortunately, this system will distort the historical records (Which will have already been distorted by the 2003 change), but to be quite honest, I think this change is probably for the best, as suddenly fighting for 10th means more than it did last year, and with more cars on the grid, it will be likely that the pace needed for 8th last year will be about equivalent to the pace needed for 10th next year. All in all, you can never tell until it's too late whether a change will be for the better or not. Just look at Bernie's medla system (OK, bad example ;P)


Ridiculous. what a wasted opportunity. Each position should be worth twice the one preceding it.

1. 512

2. 256

3. 128

4. 64

5. 32

6. 16

7. 8

8. 4

9. 2

10. 1

That should get 'em b**gers fighting for position!

Or, if the binary-based system is too funny looking, try some kind of modified version:

1. 500

2. 250

3. 100

4. 50

5. 25

6. 15

7. 10

8. 5

9. 2

10. 1


hmm ... Button would have finished the season on 3540 points vs. Vettels 2855 points. Three races before the end Vettel would have been on 1805 points vs. Buttons 3410. Try selling that to Ecclestone 😉


Coming up with a crackpot scheme like that maybe he IS Bernie!


i think a much better system would be 15-10-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1...still 10 scorers and now theres the bigger gap for more of an incentive to win, without the rediculously high scores. i prefer the current system to this one


So does this mean the FIA get more money for licenses, or am I mistaken in thinking they charge per-point?


I think you're right, but if the FIA doesn't automatically adjust the per-point-fee, then I can't imagine the GPDA remaining quiet on this.


It's good to see that FOTA are now being listed to. If the teams had been listed to in the last many years F1 may well be in far better shape than it is today (I'm talking about what really matters, i.e. the racing which is all to often rubbish as the last race demonstrated).

The relative difference in points from first to third remains the same but I do think it will make those with the skill and talent who are chasing down the top three to really push for it more than they (Hamilton excepted - wish we had more do or die drivers like him racing today) do at present where al too often they coast to the finish.


In a previous column today, you detailed how the TV people were telling the teams that no other sport is bad-mouthed from within quite so much. This announcement shows that it's worth remembering that no other sport changes the rules every year, so they have considerably more stability and less things to bad-mouth in the first place, than F1 teams do. If football fiddled with the rules as often as F1 does, i'm sure there'd be a lot more complaining from the teams there too!



Enough said!


I think extending the points is a great idea but the problem I can see is that next year we will probably have 2 fast Ferraris, 2 fast Mclarens, 2 fast Mercs, 2 fast Red Bulls. Thats the top 8 filled if they finish where they should. I think they should have extended the points down a bit further. Give the new teams a chance to get off the mark rather then some having 0 points to show for there season.

I also think there should be a 1 point for pole, and a point for the fastest race lap.


Am I the only one who finds 6-5-3-2-1 odd for the lower points?

Why not go for 20-15-11-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 so that the margins between positions increase, whilst increasing the gap from 1st to 2nd?


i think this is the best option with the CART points but no points for fastest lap or pole.


That sounds like the old CART scoring system. That'll work: Points as you describe, with pole, laps led and fastest lap. Of course, if we see more processional racing, laps led may be as important as outright wins over the course of the season...


Horrible idea. Not enough difference between this system and the old one; all it achieves is points inflation.


Ridiculous idea.

There should be a little bit more reward for the winner than 2 points over second place, but this is silly. The championship will get won quicker and the gap between the top and bottom teams bigger.

To get an point in F1 should be an achievement - not a given right, it should be earnt, not handed out just for turning up.

Having less points on offer, meant the championship was tight, where as with this new system all the drivers championship will get spaced out.

I fear this could be heading down the 'NASCAR' route where everything is big and just give them a hundred points here and there. F1 should be unique and remember its history.


Come on. Let's study the increments under the proposed system.


The increments: the progressions between successive positions is 5-5-5-2-2-1-2-1-1

You will note that it's:

a) Not linear

b) Not strictly descending

Let's look at current system:

Points: 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1

Increments: 2-2-2-1-1-1-1

Pre 2003 system:

Points: 10-6-4-3-2-1

Increments: 4-2-1-1-1

Previous system:

Points: 9-6-4-3-2-1

Increments: 4-3-2-1-1

This strictly linear increment system is still in place in MotoGP.

Points: 25-20-16-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

Increments: 5-4-3-2-1-1-etc.

Please James Allen. Post along this way before tomorrow. Show them the proposed system is illogic. BBC, Autosport, they all report about the system, but noone has looked at increment.

If they want to reward the top 10 drivers, they should go with the similar increments to MotoGP:


Point system would be:


The key to such a system is you should reward position gains up to a certain level where you want to see competition. But then, key position gains should count more than point positions. Key positions are defined as positions where bigger increments are up for grabs. Under MotoGP system, key positions are top 4 positions. If you want to make top five positions count more, then you have to push your increment further:


Reward top ten under such system and you got:


Anything else than progressive linear increment would be unfair.



Nice break-down Bonnie. Clear enough even Bernie might understand! 🙂

It seems like a typical F-1 or a choice lately, or one made by a committee (None of us are as stupid as all of us.) I would say they went with points as close to a relative increase (2.5x) and were to quick or short sighted so see this significant gaff.

The other side to the coin is, by staying with the relative increase its easy to change the points back to previous years for historical perspective (which many are crying about.) Just divide results by 2.5.


it should be



Completely agree with all this. The new proposal is illogical and pointless (sorry, no pun intended).

A couple of other things to note:

1) Is this change a done deal or does it require the teams to agree, similar to the announcement of Bernie's ridiculous medal system last year?

2) The argument that because there will be more teams and cars in the field doesn't automatically mean that more points-paying positions should be on offer. Anybody remember back to the late '80s when there were so many teams/cars in the field that pre-qualifying was needed and a number of them didn't even make it into final qualifying let alone the race?! At least next year's teams will all have a chance of achieving a points-paying position, no matter how far down the order they're paid.


a very interesting post! i would also recommend 1 point for pole position and 1 point for the fastest lap...


I do think a win should be rewarded better but any bigger gap (between first and second place) will generate a larger competition gap.

However, the points revision have been thought out in a way that competition will still remain close. The ratio between first second and third remains the same.

in 2007 & 2008 the Championship would've been just as close under this proposed points system:



2.Hamilton- 270

3.Alonso- 268



2.Massa- 239

3.Kimi- 188

My opinion that its a fair system and essentially its the same as the previous points system but under the previous points system we had the two most exciting and closest seasons (2007 & 2008)in F1 history. For me a bigger points ratio would just lead to sparse competition


Has anyone done the sums and determined how the standings would have differed (if at all) this year had they adopted Bernie's proposed medal system?


Its a step in the right direction, but not a big enough gap between first and second. There was something good about First (10) being equal to Second (6) and Third (4).

25-15-10 would work

James - do all the teams have to agree to this before its added to the rules?


That bit is done - now the World Council just needs to approve it


I think it's simple and rational - they scaled all the top awards up by a factor of 2.5 in order to allow what are effectively fractions of points to lower placed drivers. It shouldn't effect the championship too much except (as others have mentioned) consistent points finishes will be easier to come by.

I think it's a good idea, as it will give us a second championship of the new teams to follow, which would be a lot harder if we were just trying to track 9th/10th places.


Well James, what we think is largely irrelevant I would have thought as I doubt that the likes of Jean Todt would listen to us. It would be great to think that he and others do browse this forum, but I don't hold a lot of hope that we the F1 public are listened to as much as we would like.

Having said that, I think that the points system is long overdue for a revision. They are making a step in the right direction (and away from the foolish notion of medals), however I think the system in use in both MotoGP and WSBK would fit just fine.

25, 20, 16, 13, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

This would see points go to the first 15 finishers out of a potential 26 starters. Presuming maybe 5 or 6 DNFs each race the majority of the field would be fighting for points. And if they want to make F1 more watchable then they need to give the majority of the field a reason to race. And by race, I mean fight for points, not just cruise around the track on a training run because they are only coming 12th.

Surely the midfield are just as deserving of points as the pointy end.


Jake, It seems we are like-minded in this. It is simple and clean.

Some of the other proposals for points for poll and fastest lap make it too fussy and complicated.

Good thinking.



Thanks Guy.

To back up my conviction I intend to keep my own tally next season using the above points system.

At least then I will know who has really won, but also (as someone else here has importantly stated) I will have a good feel for how the midfield and tail-enders are fairing throughout the year.




I am against the new points system as I don't feel it will improve the sport, or significantly help the lower teams. It is more difficult to understand than the current system as well. This seems like a knee jerk reaction by the F1 commission so that they can be seen to be addressing a problem.

OK, so the distribution in terms of percentage points available is the same at the top and it is feeding down to 10th place: Great! A study has shown that it wouldn't affect the outcome of the previous championships; again it is all good.

James, has anyone shown how much difference this would have made to the smaller teams in terms of prize money over the past few years?

Surely if this is about spreading wealth, then the test is not how would it affect the championship, but how much cash actually gets to the smaller teams, not the mid field. My gut feeling is that people like Renault would benefit, not Force India. Why not just pay all the teams based on finishing positions rather than accumulated championship points and leave the original system? Effectively they are devaluing the points system. The reason that teams strive for points is because it is hard and it is patronising to lower the bar just to offer a greater likelihood of success without any extra effort. Why don't we add 2 more steps to the podium and dish out a tin and a plastic medal for 4th and 5th.

I am against artificially changing the rules to make the spectacle better. If we are not careful we will end up with different ballast levels, reverse grids and six pit stops and dilute the sporting element just to get closer racing. This is the reason I don't watch the BTCC. I have seen the racing and it all looks good, but I don't fundamentally understand waht is going on just by looking at the cars. How does the casual observer know how much weight penalty a car has?

I think that F1 should focus it's sporting group on changing the tracks to make more overtaking opportunities. This year has shown that the older tracks with the right kind of layout encourage overtaking, whereas the newer tracks don't seem to have as much. Why don't we spend the time identifying what kind of layout makes an overtaking opportunity and put 2 at each track.

There is another consideration:

What about the historical statistical records? It is not inconceivable that a good (but not great) driver could outscore someone like Coulthard or even Senna because of this wildly adapted system in maybe 3 years. That can't be right.


I wanted to make a reply until I saw your post monktonnik, could not have said it better myself. Agree 100%.

There are statistics of more than a 50 year of Formula 1, with this new system there will be no point of keeping it up, cause rules have changed too drastically. When others have fought for their 10 point in the past, now you can get it for 4th place. Too drastic changes are never good. Last year they wanted to have a medal system and now surprise I'm feared over F1 future every day.


This changes nothing, as people have already mentioned...


I think it's extremely stupid!

Am I the only one who thinks this shows F1 has completely moved to fantasy universe?

You can just change sport rules like that. All other sports have sets of rules which are unchanged for decades.

Return to 10-6-4-3-2-1 or keep the current system but for the love of God, don't change it so drastically.

Some pathetic half-a-season-pay-driver is going to level Senna on points or something like that.

James, how can it be that anyone is allowed to have so much power of the whole international and big money sport?

Nobody should be allowed to have a power to tinker with the kind of institution that F1.

Some things should probably change over time since technology keeps improving, but points are points and they have been here for decades and worked perfectly. We had 26 cars grid before, we even had 33 cars and prequalification and it worked.

I must say I really think this rule is completely not thought through and very bad for F1.


The system suggested is better than the current one. That matters more than some of you folks who think using binary computer numbers like 512 256 128 should be used, seriously I thought to myself 'wow this is where formula one and the internet should never have met' Please accept the fact that besides sensitive issues like Silverstone the public have no say.

Paige Michael-Shetley

I understand what they're doing. If they want to award points to the same percentage- the top-40%- as now, then giving points to the top-10 out of a field of 26 would do just that.

Also, I do like the fact that there will be much more of a separation from the podium finishers to the mediocre finishers. This way, drivers/teams in a championship fight are rewarded more for performing at a top level and are punished more for mediocre performances. We could, as a result, see some pretty wild swings in the championship standings, which could be fun.

On the other hand... I'm a fan of the old 9-6-4-3-2-1 system and really wish it never went away. Also, I think this is a missed opportunity to do something really unique in awarding bonus points for pole and fastest lap, which would really push the drivers to give it all even more so than now.


Not too much of a shake-up actually. A bit more reward for the winner- a 5 point margin instead of an adjusted 4, so I like it.


No. 20 out of 25 is 80%. So is 8 out of 10.


This system has been used in motogp for many years and it works just fine..

Of course there are upsides and downsides of the new system,but even with the old system,they're still there.

It is fair for the winner and would make the show better.So,I support this new point system.


A step in the right direction, but overall it's the same old rubbish: More than half of all the finishing cars will be awarded the exact same number of points: none. Why bother with "how much more should you get for 1st place over 2nd place etc", when you're not interested in differentiating within the lower 60 % of the finishing order? I'm not a US citizen, but has anyone working in F1 ever, EVER watched NASCAR?


Completely agree. I'm a F1 fan for 25 years, but also like NASCAR a lot (great races, greats drivers...). There are many things like the point system from NASCAR that F1 should look at.


And: 6-5-3-2-1 just sounds like they ran out of coffee and snacks during the F1 commission meeting, everyone got a bit drowsy and they went home without double-checking what they put out as a press statement 😀


Well said! Surely they will award 4 points instead of 5 for 7th place. Beside this little glitch, I quite like this system.


It does seem a LOT of points. Such big scores always made me steer clear of Indy Car. From 10 to 25 for a win is too big - either stick (points SHOULD be an achievement), or go to FOTA's idea for 12-9-6 or whatever it was.


Nah I HATE it. Making the numbers game too complex. 10th is not an achievement worth recognising in my book.

And also, I don't want F1 littered with little privateers that just make up the numbers. I want to see little teams go somewhere or else die out like the old days.

My points system of choice is still 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 with best 13 results counting.


My proposel


1 point for fastest race lap

1 point for poleposition


How about 3 points for fastest lap? Wouldn't it be great to see drivers going for a banzai last lap on an empty tank!... even the backmarkers. Usually they're just coasting home and that's not much of a spectacle.


A win should worth much more, so the gap between 1st and 2nd should be biggest, compare to 2nd and 3rd. I propose 20-12-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 for top nine finishers.

Pole position should be awarded bonus point say 2 points, if only the pole sitter finish on podium. Fastest lap to be awarded bonus point only if the driver win the race as well. Three wins in a row to be rewarded with 10 bonus points.

To reward overtaking, any car that make up 5 positions up from its starting position can get a point for overtaking. This should give the backmarkers something to fight for.


The spirit of the new points system is good i.e. giving for the newer, less experienced teams at shot at collecting some points on a Sunday but in reality nothing much has changed, if anything it's slightly worse; in 2009 twenty cars were chasing the top eight places and next year (assuming they all turn up) there will be six more cars but only two more points paying positions.

If they're serious about over-hauling the points system then surely the gap between the winner and second should be greater than the gap between second and third?

With the qualifying shoot-out often being more exciting than the race it would be nice to see the drivers and teams getting some kind of reward over and above their position on the grid for their efforts on Saturday.

How about on Saturday, a few points for the front row, say 3-1 then on Sunday 15-12-10-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. Throw in a couple of points for the fastest race lap and 20 points is possible over a weekend. If it's a tight Championship then the points are low enough for a pole or fastest lap to make a difference.


Great Change! And about time.

I disagree with the runaway issue many are concerned about. As long as the cars are close, like the top few were in 2009 and the field spread doesn't grow, eating at leads will be a lot easier, and growing a lead much harder.

How many times did Button finish down in 5th or 6th, and a Red Bull won, but only took 5 points out of his lead at worst. In this scenario it would be more like 15 - 20 points out of a lead.

The only reason we had such a disastrous system before was that the Ferrari had a silly advantage over the rest, and had realiability that at the time was freakish, but now is about the norm for all.

So I am quite optimistic that this will culminate in a more exciting championship.

I hope the joint launch of the 2010 contenders is made into a televised event... I think that would go a long way in convincing us that the F1 frat are taking on the challenge of embracing new media!


Seems like a lot of effort just to add 2 more points-paying positions. But w/e...

And the record books will be fully updated by the time the season begins, I guarantee some fan with a spreadsheet is already hard at work on it!

And every race we'll hear commentary that "this would have been 'x' points under the previous system."


I always look at the last 2 points positions as artificial in some way, must be me getting old! If you want radical how Bout this. If you finish in the top ten that's where you start next race, but in reverse order. Lotus could be on pole for the second race! Points to tenth like now. And points for the top three quali laps. Also a sprint race on Saturday for the remaining grid slots. Oh and allow more teams.


I predict a major change to the point system at the end of this year when they realise who practically crazy this is!

So with 4 wins at the start of the year, a driver could already have 100 points? This is crazy! They've made it only slightly more likely a lower team can win a single point while hugely devalued what a single point is worth. 25 points is far too much for first.

A better system might be:

1st= 15

2nd= 12

3rd= 10

4th= 8

5th= 6

6th= 5

7th= 4

8th= 3

9th= 2

10th= 1

Therefore rewarding as low as 10th, but not such a massive leap to the higher echelons.

If this goes through, they will change it again for next year after they see how crazy it is.

This one year's blip will make the history books look weird for this year with regards points. It will be remembered as that crazy year the point system went skewed.


I agree with your system. The numbers are also low enough to remember and do all the arithmetic in one's head instead of having to go to a spreadsheet.


It is all in the head, isn't it? A five point difference seems a lot more than two. I think it might work.

To spice up the racing, I would reward an extra three points for

1. qualifying on pole

2. fastest race lap?

This way the drivers would race their heart out. Especially those not making it on the podium or top 10.


Was there any discussion around points for fastest race lap or most laps in the lead or quali performance? If points were awarded for quali, that could lessen the potential points impact of shuffling the grid to improve the overtaking action in the race.


25 points based system has never been used in F1, thus, being conservative fan, I would stand for 10 points based system.

From the historical perspective the results will significantly influence all the points based statistics and there will be mess like it was when 10-6-4-3-2-1 was replaced by 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system.

From another side it decreases probability for the outsiders to jump in the score table over competitors just due to the luck in one race, the 25 points based system will require regular pace.

Having advantages and disadvantages I thing the new system will suit to business needs and decrease sportive component of the F1 competition.


I would like to see a 25-15-10-6-3-1 system. I reckon it would work better and encourage more overtaking for the wins as the points magnitude is increased 🙂


I really don't like this proposal. It does nothing to increase the gap between 1st and 2nd as 2nd is still 80% of 1st, plus what message is this putting out? last season we started with Bernie saying the race win should be more valuable (going a bit overboard with the medal system though), and now we are being told the win shouldn't be worth significantly more and that in fact points are less valuable by giving out more of them! F1 needs to decide where they are going and perhaps listen to consumer feedback as most people commenting on this story appear to have similar opinions to me, yet the F1 are not reflecting this in any new proposal.

Also as mentioned else where, by increasing the amount awarded you are cheapening the points value (a plucky underdog getting a point now will be much less valuable) and also as mentioned by someone else will make a mockery of the table for most points scored by a driver in the F1 history books.


Awful news.

How can that be good for F1 when a few months back, they were crying out loud how perfect the medal system is going to be.

Now let everyone have a point. Things like this prove that money will ruin the sport. soon or later.



Super GT points system more linear and better for Top 10 finishes who score points.

Points 20 15 11 8 6 5 4 3 2 1


It's already been said a hundred times, but while it's good for the smaller teams to have something worthwhile to fight over, there simply must be a bigger percentage difference between the top three or four places.

Otherwise it's just a waste of time, confuses everyone and consigns history to the rubbish bin. (In fact it's so badly thought through that I'm sure Nick Fry must have been involved somewhere along the line...)


I have a suggestion for a points system which I first thought of last year; a tad radical but could make sense.

Using FOTA's 12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1 (which I have always thought would be a good alternative since we left the top 6 system) we could add on 1 point for pole, 1 point for fastest lap, and a bonus point for achieving all 3 in the same weekend, so the maximum points available each weekend is 15 (a bit more round than 12).

So why would this be a good alternative?

- The points give more reward to drivers who have done a better job; winning the race gets more credit than the current system, and this credit is increased depending on the dominance; for example, Kimi Raikkonen dominated France last year but lost out to Massa due to his exhaust problems and finished second. Massa would have got the 12 points but Raikkonen with pole and fastest lap would have 11, so would not be penalised so much for a problem that was nothing to do with him. Likewise, a driver dominating a weekend (such as Felipe in Hungary) until a failure whilst leading would still get a point or two.

- The championships will be closer nearer the end with, for example, Webber still in mathematical contention until the last race if based on this season's results. Last season, Kubica would have been in contention for longer.

- However, the title will usually go to the driver who deserves it, with the most wins generally, and poles/good race performances helping - Massa would have won it last year, and Jenson is still heavily odds on to win it this year on this system.

- The fastest lap point, and the potential for the 'bonus' point for the leader, will also mean drivers pushing to the end with interesting tactics. With every point valuable, you could see a team in championship contention telling their driver who's had a puncture or broken wing and well out of the points to push push push for the fastest lap, and depriving the leader of it if he's currently holding that point. Thus the leader would have to keep pushing too, which would increase the chance of mistakes or failure, thus extra drama.


All we need is for F1 to take a few more leaves out of the Moto GP book and we'll be on the right track....

Moto GP at the moment is a far superior specticle compared to F1. This is unfortunate as I believe F1 has so much more to offer.

Do you get the feeling James, that we are on the verge of seeing a greater level of 'standardisation' in F1? It seems to me the teams have realised a greater level of compramise and cooperation is really in their own best interest, as a collective. Will this leave the door open for specticle improving standardisation? Personally, I hope so.




Yes to keep costs down for now, but 2013 will be good with the new generation engines


If they want to give points to the lower teams, then just give half a point to every car that finishes the race distance lower than 8th or 10th.


This new points system is seriously flawed. The difference between 1 - 2 , 2-3 and 3-4 is the same and between 5-6 and 6-7 increases in stead of decreases.

IMHO the difference between consecutive placings should be at least be equal or increase from 10 to 1. And the margin between 1-2 should be bigger than 2-3 let a win count more.

So I propose something like: 20-15-12-10-8-6-4-3-2-1

which means that the consecutive differences are 5-3-2-2-2-2-1-1-1


I even liked the 10-6-4-3-2-1 points system better, because it gives the 7th and lower places something to fight for.


I am interested to see how percieved points diferences may affect the drivers psycology during the course of a season.

After the turkish grand prix the points were

button = 61

Vettel = 29

32 point difference

under the new rules

button = 165

vettel = 70

95 point difference

Under the new system would Jenson have felt more or less confident about his points totals. Would jenson have felt more pressure in the second half of the season with the massive erosion of his points difference.


In response however the gap would still be three + wins. so the reality is it would largely be the same.


9-6-4-3-2-1 and give a point per place made up from grid position. This would keep the front points simple and encourage overtaking throughout the grid. Would also mean back of the grid are going to score some points in most races. Free travel and all that secret Bernie money stuff can be worked out behind closed doors. Give points for pole 2or3? but not for fastest lap because that just encourages the middle order back to throw on new tyres at the death.



On reflection that needs tweaking a bit. How about points for bettering your grid position for everyone. And for the top 3 give them podium points + the max "grid points" scored by the overtaking fiend from the back of the grid. eg Start 26 finish 1st=26 points + 10? for 1st. Or if 26 grid place finishes 4th he would get 22 points so podium would be 22+10 for winner, 22+5 for second, 22+2 for 3rd. Or something.

JP (I think I may have just invented perpetual motion)


While I think these changes are for the better, I can't help but feel that Formula1 has now been cut from its roots for good.

We enter in the post-modern era, where the sport, the show and the drama which were in the past the result of performances and mistakes, strategies, coincidences, miscalculation and many other factors that were legitimate to grand prix racing, is now almost being calculated with these kind of rules, trying to 'recreate' the spectacle that once was. But to me, it doesnt taste the same when the nature of it isnt as authentic.

Still, you'll find me in front of my TV every sunday, I won't lie about it.

Christopher Snowdon

I think 25 points is far to many for winning a grand prix, throughout the history of formula one 2 victories wouldn't have bought such a luxury, and would give a team like Force India a record points haul for a season should they say win the first grand prix of the season (unlikely I know), but when you consider they got a second and a forth place last season, that can’t be right. The tightness of the points may not reward first as much as second, but what it does do is show off the brilliant strategist minds, such as Ross Brawn, who has contributed to his drivers world championships by using his creative mind, and getting them into the right position to win races or pick up maximum championship points when needed. I love this side of formula 1, as it shows driver and team in unison, and rightly brings its rewards. People need to remember it’s not all just about the 20 odd drivers on the track; it’s also about the team. I understand the need to give smaller teams something to fight for and its good news that all positions down to 10th place will be rewarded. This should make the newer teams think about strategy, and not just go for a bog standard two stopper because its clear fighting for points is not possible on a given day, might even bring some new Ross Brawns through. So I propose this: -











There is also the possibility that should a team have a particular bad season, eg Williams, the position would be made to look even worse by the new big differences in points scoring. This would make it even harder for them to source new sponsorship, which must be hard enough in today’s climate.

James if your reading, I would be very interested if you could do an insight article on what I consider the biggest enigma in formula one, Jarno Trulli (interestingly enough he drove for the second biggest enigma, the now defunct Toyota team)


I think it's an improvement, but what's up with 6-5-3-2-1 for the last 5 positions? Why have a 1 point gap from 5th to 6th and then a 2 point gap from 6th to 7th, and then back to a 1 point gap between the remaining positions?

Surely that's a mistake and they meant it to be 6-4-3-2-1?


I agree with the comments that the gap between the points should reduce for the lower places: ...6,5,3... is just silly.

I am not so sure about people calling for bigger incentives for the win (thankfully this call seems to have been resisted). I don't want to see two cars fighting it out for the win; I want to see 26 cars fighting it out for each and every place. Extending the points down to tenth may encourage this. That said, I do not want to see the drivers' championship decided by number of finishes. Rather than increasing the incentive for a win, how about reducing the incentive to play safe; we should return to dropping scores. Perhaps counting the best 16 out of 20 would make sense.

I also wonder whether there should be a point for the fastest lap. This would be interesting in that there could be competition between well spaced cars. It would discourage dominant winners from cruising the last few laps. We may even get the odd surprise from low positioned cars choosing to stop for new tyres a few laps from the end.


First of all the new point system will change nothing, as the percentages are all the same, which in one way is good as we dont want to devalue previous champions. However it does appear that its heading towards an american system of points where big numbers are better, but F1 is not an american sport and should stick to its history. I also agree that scoring points in F1 should be earned, you shouldnt just get point for turning up, but for being the best driver/team combo, and yes the best teams should score more points as its a team sport (an engineering challenge) as much as a driver competition, if you want all the teams to be equal then watch GP2.

Secondly why are so many people concerned about coping the points system from moto GP, bikes are boring, there slow in a straight line and cant coner properly, so i would hate for F1 to start copying moto GP, if you want to watch moto GP fine, but dont try to drag aspects of it onto a proper sport.

I do think a chance to the points system is required as there is not enough emphasis on winning at the moment, but this is not the answer as it doesnt address anything.


Every time we come back to the point system debate, I get a feeling we are stuck in a vicious circle. Basically there are two direction you can take it: increase the difference between the first second and third places to reward the race winners, which increases the chances of a dominant team/driver to clinch it mid season, or decrease the gaps in bid to try and take the title battle to the last race, which in its turn promotes the ‘play it safe’ approach. All that we’ve been doing in past few decades is we were jumping from one approach to another and back predominantly pushed by the fact weather there was a dominant team/driver (like Ferrari/ Schumacher) in the sport at the time. The truth is this is an outdated system which is not relevant in the modern world we live in.

I would argue we need an entire different approach these days. The problem lies in the modern global corporate culture that managed to make it way into formula one in recent decade, which was mainly fuelled with, but not limited to the big manufactures arrivals. Motor racing in modern corporate team shareholders is a promotional platform, which needs to be treated as a business, and the most sensible way to conduct is by applying the ‘play it safe approach’. The macho era of Hunts, Sennas and Prosts, and winning at all cost mentality is long gone, and what drivers are expected to do these days is to rack up as many points as possible, while taking as little risk as possible. Ironically, this is the same reason there is so little overtaking these days. I mean, yes, the modern aero doesn’t help, but we think back to the races where the stakes were very high, all of a sudden we get exciting outcomes and loads of overtaking. Think of Jenson saying to his dad: “you’re gonna enjoy this one” before heading to the grid of the Brazilian grand prix, think of Lewis, when he was unleashed in Monza in a fast car and no pressure to play it safe, as he was not fighting for the title. I mean he crashed on the last lap, but isn’t it the excitement we’re after?

I guess a lot of you might have guess by now where I’m heading with all this. There is a solution, and it has been voiced already. I’d say Bernie’s medal system idea is almost visionary, and with a little tweaking it would be the ideal solution. The major criticism of the medal system that it doesn’t reward smaller midfield team and backmarkers for their achievements. Fair enough, it doesn’t have to be just Gold Bronze and Silver, in fact, it doesn’t have to be medal at all. What needs to happen is we need shift the focus to rewarding the achievement of the higher places finishes as opposed to the a consistency across the entire season. As in a racer who scored one 5th place season would be ranked higher than a racer who achieved five 6th place finishes. I mean it’s not that revolutionary, look at the Olympics, the national team that rack up most gold is ranked highest, not the one with that has the greatest total of medals. Drivers up and down the grind should be motivated to fight for positions, not good points. I mean, yes, it doesn’t reward consistency, and provokes mistakes, but shoot me right here if any one of you watches F1 looking for consistency!


7th place seems odd to me. Shouldn't it be 4 points instead of 5 because otherwise you would get more of a gap between 7th and 8th than you would between 6th and 7th which makes no sense at all. This is how it should be:


Other than that, sounds good to me 🙂 same relationship between the top positions but more chance for the newer teams to score points, which would have been quite difficult under the old 8 points scoring positions, especially with the reliability of today's cars.


The new system looks good (although I would suggest 30pts for the winner).

Also add in 5pts for Pole + 5pts for fastest lap and I'll be as happy as Larry.


I like the idea, my only worry is the history books.

The winner of next year's championship will score (assuming this points system goes ahead) more points in a season than any driver before him... this makes the record books a little meaningless.

You can obviously go through an rejudge previous races/championships based on today's scoring system (and in someways it would be good), but that doesn't really work as when a driver got his first point etc would always be changing.

Most of these new teams will break down in the races anyway, so you'll get races where non-finishes score on a regular basis.. also, the reason why teams chase that 1 point is because they are hard to get - now all you'll need to do is finish more often than not and you're bound to get some - god, even 'LookHowBadYouAre' could score points!


I think this is great. It rewards the winner more and at the same time distributes the points to two more places in the back.


Aren't points systems about rankings?

The current system leaves those with no points left out completely. Don't we want to know who has momentum and is moving up or who is dropping like a stone?

For that reason, shouldn't all participants get a ranking according to their place at the finish of a race?


Absolutely. The argument that you will fight harder for that 1 elusive point if you finish 8th (or whatever) is flawed, as this would see those coming around 20th with no incentive to overtake at all. Whats the point? But if points were awarded all the way back, then even the last 2 drivers will be fighting hard to beat each other.


I like the idea of more teams getting into the points. Should mix up the constructors a bit more, rather than have 3 or 4 no scores.

I would like to see a a couple of points for pole, and a point for fastest lap. Whilst this could just go to the car with a could also encourage a team to go all out for pole, and risk an off....and then mix up the grid again, by having a compromised set up at the front.

I know they are all running light in Q3, but set up will have to be for the race, and they'll have to have an eye on what the car will do when heavy.

Somehow getting a marginally slower car to the front of the grid, will force the faster car to have a go at overtaking.


I'd prefer 10-6-4-3-2-1, since we at one time had that total with a 26 car grid. Yes, the cars are more reliable, so what? Rather than points, I think it would be more useful to increase financial incentives for each position, so smaller teams get real rewards for fighting for positions throughout the grid, and also are able to get some additional revenue they will undoubtedly need.


Never thought of the idea of awarding points further down the field now that the grid is bigger but with reliability so much better now than was the case when the grid size was last this big it seems a good move.

My one bone of contention is too many points for the podium finishes compared with the rest. Someone suggested 20-15-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 further up and that sounded better. Making a small amendment to this, I think 20-15-12-10-8-6-4-3-2-1 would be best.


I preferred it when it was just the top 6 drivers who got points. Made it feel like the drivers had to go and earn the points. Use to be some good battles just for 6th place.

I'd go for this;

1st- 20 points

2nd- 12 points

3rd- 6 points

4th- 4 points

5th- 2 points

6th- 1 point


Do the FIA charge the driver on the amount of points they score for there license???


I like it. It gives big incentive to be on the podium. One thing to add to it would be some points (I would suggest 5 to be substantial incentive) for fastest lap


I think a points system which allows for several throw away races is good idea. As long as a driver knows that every point counts he will have a natural tendency to err on the side of caution to maximize his final tally. We see the excuse of wisely 'settling for the points' all the time. If on the other hand a driver knows they will have to drop race results anyway - deciding to really go for it occassionally will be much attractive and from a spectacle point of view, far more exciting. F1 racing should be about encouraging drivers to strive for the win at all costs. That is what produces virtuoso drives and what Mr. Ecclestone wanted to see with his medal system. Dropping races but keeping a points based system offers the best of both worlds.

In the final 250 World Motorcycle Championship race this year Hiroshi Aoyama had a 19(?) point lead going in. Everyone expected him to ride conservatively. But he didn't, at one point braking way late and and all but throwing everything away into the kitty litter. Later when interviewd and attention was drawn to his error, with a delightful typically Japanese self conscious smile he simply said "I wanted to win the race". Everything was explained. Happily he won his World Championship, cemented a memorable event into the history books (it was the very last 250 World Championship race as the class has now been all but abandoned for 600cc 4 stroke bikes) and from my perspective, gained a life long fan. Lewis Hamilton showed much the same spirit this past season. Those are the racers and races that make the fans want to keep coming back.


Upon reading of the proposed new system late last night, one of the first things to strike me was the obvious irregularity of the 7th place points - as many others have pointed out. The sequence of 6, 5, 3, 2, 1 for 6th-through-10th places simply does not make sense as a stand alone method of points scoring. If nobody at the WMSC objects to this part of the system, then it will be a sorry state of affairs in my opinion.


What a stupid idea.

It's true that the current points system doesn't award the winner enough but the new idea is absolutely not the way to go.

If 10th position is already awarded with a point then why the hell should he try to overtake the 9th place driver? He risks damaging his car and lose the point!!!

We should go back to the system prior to the year 2003.

10 pts for winner, 6 for 2nd, 4for 3rd then 3,2,1 for the 6th place.

In that way the win is more important and people in the midfield will fight harder to score that last point which would lead to more interesting races.

F1 is about hard competition and the fact that someone who is 2seconds of the pace can still score points, is spitting in the face of all the fans.

My respect to the new teams but they should work their ass off in order to reach points scoring level, but now it's not even a competition anymore.

This is a very sad development and i'm sure it will lead to even more dull racing.


The more I think about this, this is the key sentence to me;

"For many years a point has been a dream for backmarker teams."

Isn't that what makes Formula 1 so special?

Remember the thrill of seeing a "minnow" grab their first point no matter who 'your' team is? Or the disappointment of seeing a driver break down or crash out before scoring their first points in back-of-grid cars (Sutil, Webber, etc. etc).

We sit on our sofas willing these teams to do well when they get half a chance because we know how hard it is.

So why make it easy? The pride in achieving a goal is all the greater if it's hard to do. And if Formula wants to be the pinnacle of motorsport, then it needs to be hard.

Then of course there's the record books. Isn't DC our top scoring Brit? Not for much longer under this new system.

If it's about cash, then distribute cash some other way behind the scenes - you can always give "grants" to smaller teams or travel assistance, etc. But the more I think about this, playing with the points in this way is the equivalent of "dumbing down" F1.


F I N A L L Y ! ! !


Bad reliability and silly mistakes are going to have a higher price tag.


This is ridiculous.

If they wanted to keep the ratios the same, but increase the number of points given out - why not just use 15-12-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1

And this is even without mentioning the historical impact it has, and also the bizarre change in increments around 6th, 7th and 8th.


Ha - just saw your post on exactly the same points system i had in mind!


yes, and as so many of us can see the flaws of this system so easily, its amazing it was passed so quickly.


It looks disproportionate. A driver coming home 10th every race gets 19 points, whereas a driver who lucked a win and all other races DNF gets 25?

Why couldn't a lower order team just specialise for 1 or 2 races; similar to how the Force India cars this year found that their low drag/ low aero cars suited Monza and Spa? And just make up the numbers for all the other weekends?

How about 15-12-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1?


And why not extend the points system to the top 12? it makes not an iota's difference for the front runners, but its sometimes nicer to compare the mid-teams.

it could be 20-16-14-12-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1


They should have added a 1 point for qualifying in First Place on the Gird and a 1 point for setting the Fastest Lap in race.

That way I feel that perhaps everyone would push more in the race, because as we have seen in the past championships can be decided on a point or two.


If you want drivers racing for a win and are not concerned with a dominant early season car (such as Brawn) winning the title early then the larger gap is good. If you want a season long fight for the championship make it a single point gap between finishes then teams will have to be on their game all season.


I agree with many here. Not much changes with the new system. The percentage gap stays same for the top spots.

Many people proposed their own system and I'll probably copy some of them, but here's mine:



How to spice up the action;

1 - Make qualifying take the form of a 10 lap race, with the starting grid for that race decided by ballot.

2 - Ban front wings.


Has anyone ever suggested points be in the offer for qualifying performances? Would that not lead to more competition for a flat-out, barnstorming lap on Saturday, thereby improving the show? Would it not mess with conservative strategies that bore viewers but put a mid-grid car on the podium by the end of the race through pit strategy? I think it would.

Imagine the FIA just left the points system as it is (i.e., 10 points for 1st) but added a further 10 points for pole, on down the line to 10th. Thoughts anyone?


Are you trying to say that drivers don't try everything for a quick lap in qualifying? I don't believe it! The only reward for qualifying well should be a good grid slot.

For me the biggest success of recent years is the 3-round knockout in qualifying. Doesn't anyone else agree? Qualifying is actually worth tuning in for these days! It doesn't need points awarded, unless...

..on second thoughts perhaps we could combine this with your idea and scrap the race itself, call qualifying the 'event', rename the sport F1 knockout, and since there would be little of no overtaking we could then go back to those thrilling narrow, undulating, slightly dangerous old circuits that had character.

p.s. That was a joke for all those reading it seriously, I do like to see a pack of cars racing wheel-to-wheel really 😉


Wow. What a great response. Really well put. Are you a writer?


Not at all, I am a draughtsman so usually only communicate in drawing form.


The points themselves are arbitrary in my opinion, its the relative difference between places that matters. With the latest system I would like to see 30 go to the winner, leave the rest the same. The gap at 7th place doesn't really matter much, has to go somewhere.



They should also give a point for the Best Legs. This would be for Danica, ofc.


Hmmm, reward the guys who qualified at the back? Penalize the guy on pole?


At least, in my opinion it´s better than the previous system and better than the one proposed by Mosley last year.

I would go for a bigger difference between 1st and 2nd at least six points but it´s ok.

DNF´s will cost very much, so Ferrari and Red Bull got to solve their reliability problems to have a chance to fight with Mclaren and Mercedes for the championship.


as an aside, to pick up on something other than the points in your article - discussing a mandatory 2 pitstops in order to improve the show? surely this would be a disaster. following the bad move of no fuel stops, the only chance of shaking anything up on track is for the option of some drivers going longer on harder tyres whilst others stop more often for softer rubber. mandatory 2 stops means as well as no pitstops for fuel, everyone will have exactly the same pitstop strategy so there will be zero overtaking.


In reality fiddling about with the points system is going to do diddly-squat to the actual racing. I think that the refuelling ban is a good thing. Races should not now be 3 sprints so that will help the racing.The balance of the car will now change considerably through the race. Brakes will be an issue etc.

Only real way to improve racing is to change the cars ie less aero, more mechanical grip. Decent mirrors (why cant they use a camera system?)and stronger sanctions against drivers turning in on overtakers come what may. And while they are at it get rid of blue flags. If a slower car is in the way then overtake it properly and not have him just leap out of the way for a flag. And sort the tyres to stop the nonsense of a car-width line developing.

T'was ever thus.



"Members of the F1 commission looked at research which showed that this system would not have affected the outcome of the championship had it been in place over recent years. IT WOULD HOWEVER HAVE CROWNED THE CHAMPION A LITTLE EARLIER"

So if they saw that would happen, and the first half of 2009 was dominated by the Brawn car, Button may well have been crowned earlier, and who knows about 2010, perhaps Mclaren will be at the top for the first half and Ham/But will win the WDC early.

If you saw that it was a possibility wouldn't you have found another system?? perhaps points going further down the order but with less of a gap between finishing positions?


Hi James,

Fantastic Blog. Keep up the good work, great to hear your thoughts on the ins and outs of the motorsport world.

In regards to the points - I think having 25 points for a victory just adds unnecessary complexity. I follow MotoGP too, and that point system is so cumbersome compared to F1.

The same objectives could have been achieved simply by using half points, as such:


Dealing in half points is easier than 25 points per victory, because we are all used to 10 points for the win, and can easily work out how quickly someone can close in or pull away from another.

As you can see my point system is almost identical to the FIA one except I have divided most of the numbers by 2.5 to recalibrate them to 10 points for the victory.


Interesting. Drivers scoring lower points will probably no longer be noticed, but the new points system will increase the significance of being on the podium. Which is in effect what Mr Ecclestone wanted with the medals system.


Well, my understanding of the medals system was that it would be like the olympics. In that, 2 gold medals are better than 1 gold medal and 9 silver medals. Therefore this new points system is a long way away from that. To create a points system which was akin to Bernie's gold medal system would be 400 points for a win, 20 points for second place, and 1 point for third.

My system of 10-8-6-4-3-2.5-2-1.5-1-0.5 would have been the best one to achieve the objectives required. FIA send me an email and I can begin work tomorrow - and don't forget my 250,000 pound package.


Another possibility would be giving the same points for a range of positions. This again would have achieved the objective the FIA were after. For instance using 10-8-6-4-3-2-2-1-1-1.

So places 6th and 7th get 2 points each, and places 8th to 10th get 1 point each. Much simpler to keep track of the points situation than this new motoGP style cumbersome rubbish.

Okay, FIA, please send me my 100,000 pounds now, as you are clearly hiring drongos instead of smart people like me.

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