Race winners could get 25 points in 2010

Button would stay champion under the new system - with 230.5 points

Button would stay champion under the new system - with 230.5 points

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.

What do you think of the proposed new points system?

  • It's an improvement over the current one (35%)
  • It doesn't make much difference (31%)
  • It's worse than the current one (34%)

Total Voters: 1,795

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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

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
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
Current points 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1
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?

Update: FIA confirms new points system in 2010

2009 F1 points under the new 2010 system

Pos Driver Points
1 Jenson Button 230.5
2 Sebastian Vettel 203
3 Rubens Barrichello 183
4 Mark Webber 175
5 Lewis Hamilton 120.5
6 Kimi Raikkonen 119
7 Jarno Trulli 78
8 Nico Rosberg 75.5
9 Timo Glock 63.5
10 Fernando Alonso 62
11 Felipe Massa 48
12 Heikki Kovalainen 46
13 Nick Heidfeld 44
13 Robert Kubica 44
15 Giancarlo Fisichella 26
16 Sebastien Buemi 16
17 Adrian Sutil 13
18 Kamui Kobayashi 8
19 Sebastien Bourdais 6.5
20 Kazuki Nakajima 5
21 Nelson Piquet Jnr 1
22 Jaime Alguersuari 0
22 Luca Badoer 0
22 Romain Grosjean 0
22 Vitantonio Liuzzi 0

Actual 2009 F1 points

Driver Points
1 Jenson Button 95
2 Sebastian Vettel 84
3 Rubens Barrichello 77
4 Mark Webber 69.5
5 Lewis Hamilton 49
6 Kimi Raikkonen 48
7 Nico Rosberg 34.5
8 Jarno Trulli 32.5
9 Fernando Alonso 26
10 Timo Glock 24
11 Heikki Kovalainen 22
12 Felipe Massa 22
13 Nick Heidfeld 19
14 Robert Kubica 17
15 Giancarlo Fisichella 8
16 Sebastien Buemi 6
17 Adrian Sutil 5
18 Kamui Kobayashi 3
19 Sebastien Bourdais 2
20 Romain Grosjean 0
20 Vitantonio Liuzzi 0
20 Jaime Alguersuari 0
20 Kazuki Nakajima 0
20 Luca Badoer 0
20 Nelson Piquet Jnr 0

Read more: Final 2009 F1 championship standings

Image (C) Brawn GP

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135 comments on Race winners could get 25 points in 2010

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  1. thestig84 said on 10th December 2009, 20:29

    I agree with you totally. This is about the only thing worse than the current one! oh and maybe the medals…nothing is worse than that idea!

  2. Steph90 said on 10th December 2009, 20:36

    I can understand the thinking with the new teams there. But if they are at the back then the midfielders are just going to pull away in the constructors now anyway as they will be getting more points.
    I do not understand the jump from 5 points to 3.
    Agree with you Keith that I don’t want a production title decider. I just want better racing and if the best whens then I don’t care when they do.

  3. hollus said on 10th December 2009, 20:36

    Suzuka 2005 was that good not even if the championship had been decided, but partly because of that. Would Raikkonen had attacked Fisichella with one lap to go if he needed the points? And this year when Hamilton crashed trying to pass Button at an impossible place, he only tried because the championship was gone.
    The proposed system looks Moto GP like to me, and that works well… like the current one!

  4. F1Yankee said on 10th December 2009, 20:36

    i like it. the only thing i would change is the value of 2nd place – 18 points would be roughly 75% the value of a win.

    • I’ve never accepted the argument that there is “not enough incentive” for drivers to go for the win. Look at Kubica in Melbourne this year, or Kimi and Hamilton at Spa in 2008 …. those guys want to win, and anyone telling you that they don’t have enough incentive to do so because of the points system is wrong. No hyperbole needed – they’re just wrong.

  5. I’m ok with it!

    Don’t forget the objective is to get more points out there for the teams (with more care on the grid now),
    so they can get their money easier ;)

    • Alistair said on 10th December 2009, 20:49

      But it’s only very, very slightly easier for them. I can’t see any of the new teams getting any points on merit. And it would take a very fluky result for any of them to even earn a point through luck:

      McLaren
      Ferrari
      RBR
      Mercedes

      Then every other team competes for the last two points’ positions!

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th December 2009, 20:55

        Isn’t the money distributed on finishing position rather than points scored?

        In which case it doesn’t make much difference other than to potentially benefit consistent-but-slow teams over quick-but-unreliable ones.

        • WidowFactory said on 11th December 2009, 9:20

          I believe the cost to a driver for renewing their super-license is more expensive depending on how many points they scored the previous season – something like 2000 EUR per point scored. I wonder this is a veiled method to get more money from the drivers by awarding lots more points than they used to?

  6. Ned Flanders said on 10th December 2009, 20:37

    I’m just copy and pasting my comments from the forum that I wrote about ten minutes ago:

    This will take some getting used to. One thing’s for sure, it will completely shake up the career points total charts if drivers are getting 2 and a half times more points than before for winning.

    I suppose it was necessary to give some of the smaller teams a chance of scoring points, reliability is so strong these days that a top 8 finish would be difficult. But then again, will scoring a point or two seem like much of an achievement with this system?

    • Xanathos said on 10th December 2009, 21:09

      It won’t screw up career points total charts. That has already been done long ago, all these charts are totally worthless.

  7. it isn’t good..was anyone complaining back in the 26-car grid days, with only 6 places worth points?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th December 2009, 21:24

      Not really, but in those days reliability was much worse.

    • Filipe said on 10th December 2009, 21:45

      Complete different era. Even the biggest dogs had a shot to score at the time because races with less than 10 cars running at the end where very usual. So bad cars could count on scoring sometimes if they made till the end, nowadays that is nearly impossible as we can count on 5-6 of the 8 best cars to finish every race at worst. Despite all the talk about Schumacher being responsible for the 2003 change, I always thought complains by mid-level teams that it was getting harder and harder to score as realibility got highrer played, I’m pretty sure Toyota got thrilled at time, as I imagine Renault, Williams, Force India and Toro Rosso are now.

  8. Alistair said on 10th December 2009, 20:41

    I understand the principle behind the revamp of the points’ system; i.e., it gives the new teams a greater chance of earning one or points; and, consequently, that all important prize money. However, it seems to me somewhat of a futile effort. Under this new proposed system, the top 5 cars, as opposed to the top 4 cars under the present system, will occupy the points’ positions. Now, do we honestly think that one or more of the new teams will have a top 5 car? I very, very much doubt it. And, in this age of great reliability, I can’t see any of the new teams earning any points, on merit, and very, very few through luck.

    On a somewhat cynical note, as a Lewis Hamilton fan, this new proposed system will make it an awful lot easier for Lewis (and several other current F1 drivers, btw) to score more points than any other driver in F1 history. And this is, therefore, a prima facie reason for someone in my position to support the change. This just goes to show that one shouldn’t put too much weight behind bare statistics, though. Confining ourselves to points alone, Schumi has many, many more points than any other driver. But we must remember that Senna and Prost didn’t get points for finishing outside the top 6, and raced (for a while) when the win was only worth 9 points and only the best 11 (?) results counted. And I haven’t even mentioned years competing, quality of machinery, quality of opposition, ability of team-mate, political ‘assistance’, general rule-bending, etc.

    • David A said on 10th December 2009, 20:55

      Confining ourselves to points alone, Schumi has many, many more points than any other driver.

      But weren’t 12 of his years in F1 under the 10-6-4-3-2-1 system, with only 4 under the current system? Didn’t you even stop to think that he has “many, many more points than any other driver” because he was consistently in the top 5 in the championship between 1992-2006, a whole 15 straight years?

      • Alistair said on 10th December 2009, 23:41

        ‘Didn’t you even stop to think that he [Schumi] has “many, many more points than any other driver” because he was consistently in the top 5 in the championship between 1992-2006, a whole 15 straight years?’ (David A)

        Well, Schumi actually finished in the top 5 for 14 seasons (remember: he was disqualified from 97). Prost finished in the top 5 for 12 seasons. So there’s only two seasons’ difference here. But, between them, there’s a gargantuan difference of some 570.5 points! (To emphasise this difference, consider that Prost’s TOTAL career points amounted to 798.5.) I suggested that one reason for this difference was the difference in points’ system. I think that this is more important than the difference in years spent in the top 5. But this wasn’t really my point. My argument was that career points, as a bare stat, are not very helpful in determining the merit of a driver; all the more so, the relative merits of drivers (with the exception of drivers during their time as team-mates). The consequence being that, in terms of assessing driver talent, it doesn’t really matter which points’ system is used. So there’s no need to protest, whatever. For how we score drivers in our minds is (or should be) largely independent of the number of points that they amass in their careers.

        So many people might think that Schumi was better than Prost; perhaps this is the majority view. But surely the majority isn’t of the opinion that the stats here accurately reflect this different in talent – which would be a gulf. As I said, quality of machinery, quality of opposition, ability of team-mate, political ‘assistance’, general rule-bending, etc., all come VERY MUCH into play. And none of this is mentioned in the record books.

        The merit of stats is an important point to make, because many pundits, aficionados, and newcomers simple go, or are at least unduly influenced, by stats. E.g., Murray Walker.

        Similarly, these people largely go by machinery and not by the driver. Hence, Jenson Button was ranked ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ rankings this year on F1Fanatic. Let’s see where these two are placed next year when the car becomes an extraneous factor to their relative performance! It’s incredible, really, when people say that Lewis had his best year ever in F1 and then rank him third: that’s where his car should go (at best), not him.

        • David A said on 11th December 2009, 1:08

          Indeed, career points are not a very helpful stat, but that is no reason to back the implementation of this new points system. It fails to address the “issue” felt by some that a second place is worth too much, when the percentage of a win earned by coming second would remain the same.

    • I will use exactly the same reason to disagree with the change, it will simply completely ruin the tradition of our sport. If this system would have been introduced last year, then Jenson Button would pass Aryton Senna on points next year. And Jenson Button on an equal note with Aryton Senna? I’m ashamed at the thought of it!

      And seeing as the actual value of the positions barely change, it is actually completely pointless – it won’t “spice up” the show only complicate it even more for the casual viewers (which is not sooo bad in a certain way) what is, especially for Ecclestone, not desireable.

      So, I think it shouldn’t be done, but noone ask me (or any of us for that matter) anyways…

      • Xanathos said on 10th December 2009, 21:20

        It won’t ruin any tradition. The points system has been changed a million times through history and with this radical change it will put an end to those stupid career points charts. Finally these charts will look as useless as they’ve been for decades…

        I think this new system won’t change very much, as Keith’s tables above show. It slightly devalues the finishers just behind the top 3 (good), give the smaller teams a decent chance at scoring points without everybody else blowing up (good), adapt the points system to the larger grid (very goood), but still won’t value a win (bad, but no change).

      • Alistair said on 10th December 2009, 22:51

        ‘If this system would have been introduced last year, then Jenson Button would pass Aryton Senna on points next year. And Jenson Button on an equal note with Aryton Senna? I’m ashamed at the thought of it!’ (Klon)

        It’s even worse than you may know: Rubens, Jenson’s vanquished prey, is currently just 7 points behind Senna in career points; so, whatever system is in place next year, Rubens will, then, surely pass Senna in career points! Words fail me.

        Having looked-it-up, though, with a career points total of 1369 (!), Schumi will take some catching.

  9. Robert McKay said on 10th December 2009, 20:47

    This is a joke, right? It’s April 1st?

  10. David A said on 10th December 2009, 20:48

    It’s absolutely horrendous, this new system. If they were to keep the way that 2nd place is worth 80% of a win then at least keep it the same as it already is or change it to: 15-12-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 to reward the top ten.

    • Thandi said on 11th December 2009, 12:46

      I like your system better than their proposed one
      I’ve always felt that there should be a 3 point difference btwn winner and no.2

  11. Rob R. said on 10th December 2009, 20:53

    Terrible. They need to give MORE incentive to go for the win…

  12. LehonardEuler said on 10th December 2009, 20:56

    Just moving my comments form the forum:
    This points system is definitely worse! It has only one good thing: To extend the 10 point mark to the winner.
    But look at the numbers: 25-20-15-10, divide them by 2.5 and yo get 10-8-6-4, almost exactly the same points system that runs now (except for p4). I believe we all want to extend the gap between 1st and 2nd, and so on, making the gaps bigger when approaching p1, for example: 25-18-12-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 (gaps being 7-6-4-2-2-1-1).
    Also, what’s the deal in making the last points 6-5-3-2-1, and making gaps smaller, then bigger, and smaller again?

    Besides, 20 points for a win is more than enough.

  13. Stephen Higgins said on 10th December 2009, 20:57

    They should go with the 12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1 system plus a point for Pole and Fastest Lap.

    Can you imagaine a scenario where you have some of the rear-midfeild teams saving a set of tyres on Saturday to try and go for a Banzai effort to get that extra point in the race ??

    I think that the prospect of seeing the lower order flying round the track on quali-style runs towards the end of the race WOULD be interesting !!

    • sato113 said on 10th December 2009, 21:03

      no because then we could have a championship decided by a fastest lap, or a pole. how boring would that be?!

      • No more boring than it being decided by 8th place to be honest. However, a win needs to be worth more.

        F1 is all about winning. That’s all that matters. Therefore, winning should pay. At the moment, winning gives out a bit extra spare change.

        What the hell, why not give the winner DOUBLE what second place gets? Extreme, perhaps. But I want to see drivers going hell for leather for the win. I don’t care if the world champion wins 8 and crashes out of 8. But I want him to have shown that he can win, and win regularly. The only people who would complain about that would be the people who finish second.

        And so it should be. They didn’t win the race, after all…

    • Hallard said on 10th December 2009, 21:40

      Pole position is its own reward. I dont think they should give points for it.

  14. sato113 said on 10th December 2009, 21:03

    thanks for the conversion table keith!

  15. It’s amazing to realize how this season was REALLY bad to Kovalainen… under the 2010 points he’d have lose to Massa!!
    Or was Massa going to be a threat?

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