Places not points revisited

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Renault, Suzuka, 2006Before the Japanese Grand Prix I described what I feel are the merits of doing away with championship points and intead giving the championship to the driver with the ‘most best finishes’.

Given the dramatic twist the championship took at Suzuka I think it’s worth having a second look at how the top six of the championship table would look going into the final round:

Driver New rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Real rank Points
Fernando
Alonso
1 7 6 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 126
Michael
Schumacher
2 7 4 1 0 1 1 0 1 2 116
Felipe
Massa
3 1 3 2 2 3 0 1 0 3 70
Giancarlo
Fisichella
4 1 0 4 3 1 5 0 1 4 69
Jenson
Button
5 1 0 1 5 1 1 1 0 6 50
Kimi
Raikkonen
6 0 2 4 1 4 0 0 0 5 61

Fernando Alonso, Renault, Suzuka, 2006Now the only change in position among the top six is that Jenson Button is ahead of Kimi Raikkonen by dint of his Hungarian Grand Prix win (which, lest we forget, could very easily have been Raikkonen’s).

But what it changes is the dynamic of the drivers’ championship. With seven wins each, each driver would be going into the final round knowing that the easiest way to win the title is to win the race (in fact for Schumacher that would be the only way of winning the championship).

To me that would promise more as a championship-deciding spectacle than Alonso nursing his Renault to eighth and hoping that Massa doesn’t try to have him off.

In the hypothetical constructors’ championship:

Constructor New rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Real rank Points
Ferrari 1 8 7 3 2 4 1 1 1 2 186
Renault 2 8 6 4 3 3 5 0 1 1 195

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, Suzuka, 2006The ‘most best finishes’ constructors’ championship sees the top two teams swapped around with Ferrari leading. But, as with the drivers’ championship, whichever team triumphed in Brazil would seize the championship.

In short, ‘most best finishes’ would give us a humdinger of a final round with both championships potentially being decided by which team wins the race.

A fair point was made in response to my previous post on this, that ‘most best finishes’ would not punish unreliability very strongly.

I agree that is true but, certainly for the drivers’ championship, I think it would actually be a positive thing. Was Alonso to blame for his car failures in Hungary and Italy? Or Schumacher for his in Japan? Clearly not – so why should that count so strongly against them in the drivers’ championship?

I still think that this system would be clearer, fairer and more meaningful than the current points method. But I’m always interested to hear counter-arguments…

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