The FIA will vote tomorrow on a new points system for F1 proposed by the re-formed F1 Commission. The change looks radical on the surface with a winner getting 25 points instead of ten.
But on closer inspection the new points system will probably make little difference at all and only act to encourage drivers to settle for a lower position instead of trying to move up a place.
If it had been applied in 2009 the most significant change would have been moving Jarno Trulli up to seventh in place of Nico Rosberg.
The extension of points to cover ninth and tenth places means non-scorers Nelson Piquet Jnr and Kazuki Nakajima would have picked up points.
Proposed 2010 F1 points system
|Proposed 2010 points||25||20||15||10||8||6||5||3||2||1|
|Points as % of a race win||100||80||60||40||32||24||20||12||8||4|
|Points as % of a race win||100||80||60||50||40||30||20||10|
The present points system, introduced in 2003, was criticised for making second and third place finishes more valuable compared to winning.
As the table above shows under the new system the difference between finishing second or third compared to winning remains proportionally the same. Second place still gives 80% of the points for finishing second, and third gives 60%.
It appears to be another attempt to ensure championships are decided as late in the season as possible, as it will be harder for a driver to amass a 25-point lead of a rival when you get ten points just for finishing fourth.
It is opposite in philosophy to the system FOTA suggested last year (12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1) which would have increased the relative value of a win.
What is truly strange about the proposed points system is that seventh place would be worth five points which is two more than eighth but one less than sixth. Surely it would make more sense for seventh place to be worth four points?
I’m not convinced by the perceived need to keep the championship alive until the last stages of the year. A good race is a good race regardless of whether the championship is it stake or not. One of the most popular races of the last ten years was the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix, after that year’s drivers’ title had already been decided.
I do think it’s worth extending the points further so that F1’s increased number of teams next year will have a greater chance of scoring points, making it easier for us to differentiate between their performance over a season.
On the other hand a driver who only needs a point to win the championship can go into the final round aiming to finish tenth.
I still feel wins are seriously under-valued by the present points system. If tenth place is worth a point, a win should be more like 50.
What do you think of the proposed change to the F1 points system?
2009 F1 points under the new 2010 system
|21||Nelson Piquet Jnr||1|
Actual 2009 F1 points
|20||Nelson Piquet Jnr||0|
Read more: Final 2009 F1 championship standings
Image (C) Brawn GP