The argument against championship points (III)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Bruno Spengler, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, DTM, 2006I’ve twice written about why I think championship points should be dropped, and the championship winner decided simply by who has the most wins.

For a few more examples of why this is a good idea let’s take a look at two other championships from last year that use the same 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring system as F1. They are the World Touring Car Championship and German Touring Car Championship (DTM).

The DTM would have had a different champion had the title been awarded to the driver who had scored the most wins.

Let’s start off by looking at the top three finishers in the DTM arranged by the quality of their results rather than the number of points they scored.

2006 German Touring Car Championship (DTM)

Driver New rank 1 2 3 Real rank Points
Bruno Spengler 1 4 1 0 2 63
Bernd Schneider 2 2 4 1 1 71
Tom Kristensen 3 2 2 2 3 56

Bruno Spengler, DTM, Mercedes, 2006Bruno Spengler lost the championship to Bernd Schneider by eight points – despite winning twice as many races as his rival.

Had the title been awarded to the driver who had won the most races we could well have seen a more exciting season. Schneider, instead of settling for second place and a safe eight points in four races, would have been forced to keep charging for wins to beat Spengler.

2006 World Touring Car Championship (WTCC)

Driver New rank 1 2 3 Real rank Points
Andy Priaulx 1 5 1 0 1 73
Jorg Muller 2 4 2 0 2 72
Augusto Farfus 3 3 2 1 3 64
Yvan Muller 4 1 3 3 4 62

Andy Priaulx, BMW, WTCC, Macau, 2006Although our new ranking system would not have changed the order of the top four, it would have made Andy Priaulx a more emphatic champion.

Instead of only winning the title by a single point, a poor reflection of how well he drove compared to his rivals in 2006, he would have been champion directly because he won more races than anyone else.

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These two examples show very clearly the problems with using points systems to award race finishes in a championship situation: it encourages drivers to race conservatively and back off from taking wins in favour of ‘safe points’, and it under-rewards drivers who win races.

Throughout motor sport a myriad of different points systems are used to reward race finishes in different championships.

I’m not convinced that any of them are better than the simple solution of awarding the championship to the driver who has the most best finishes. But I’ll look at this area of discussion later on.

And, of course, I’m very interested to know what you think…

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