Points are used in Formula One to determine the outcome of both the Drivers' and Constructors' World Championships. The Championships are awarded to both the driver and the team that have scored the largest number of points over the Championship season.
Currently, points are awarded to the first ten finishers, with 25 for a win, 18 for second, 15 for third, then 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1 for the remaining finishers of the top ten. Previously, points have been awarded to just the top five and the setter of the fastest lap; then to the top six finishers; then the top eight finishers before the current system was introduced in 2010. In 2014, double points were awarded at the final race of the season.
Lewis Hamilton currently holds the record for the most points scored by a driver, with 2891 points, largely due the increased number of points awarded since 2010. Michael Schumacher, who finished his career with 1566 points, held the record until mid-2013, when Fernando Alonso overtook him. Alberto Ascari and Jim Clark (twice) have scored 100% of the available points to them in a season, in times when not all scores counted. Otherwise, Schumacher has scored the highest percentage, scoring 144 out of 170 (85%) in 2002.
For constructors, Ferrari have scored the most points. In 1988, McLaren scored 199 out of a maximum of 240 points (83%), while in 2002, Ferrari scored 221 points, the exact total of the rest of the teams put together.
Summary of pointsEdit
| 1960 (Drivers) |
| 1961–1990 (Drivers) |
|2014 (double points)||50||36||30||24||20||16||12||8||4||2|
Ways of counting resultsEdit
Currently, all points scored count towards the Championship; however, this has not always been the case. Originally, not all results counted towards the Championship, and until 1975, only the team's best-placed car scored points towards the Constructors' Championship.
Originally, not every point scored by a team or a driver counted towards the World Championship. Some results would be "dropped" and not included in the final standings. In the first season, only four results counted out the seven races that were run. The number of results counted was between either four, five or six until 1966.
Between 1967 and 1980 the system was different, with the season split into two for counting purposes. Until 1978, drivers and teams would drop their worst result from the first half of the season and their worst result from the second half of the season. In 1979, this became four results kept from each half, and in 1980, five kept from each half.
The Constructors' Championship stopped dropping scores for the 1979 season, and has stayed the same since.
From 1991, all points scored counted towards the Championship for both drivers and constructors.
Best constructor result in a raceEdit
From the Constructors' Championship's inception in 1958 until 1978, only the team's best-placed car scored points towards the Championship. This was done as it was not unusual for teams to enter three or four factory cars and have private entries also driving their cars. If this were not in place, it would have given the team with the strongest car an extreme advantage in the Championship race.
After 1979, all points scored by a team at a race counted towards the Championship.
Double points for the final race of the season was introduced for the 2014 season as a way of keeping the World Championship battle alive for longer. The new system has been poorly received by fans and drivers, and Sebastian Vettel called the rule "absurd". Bernie Ecclestone attempted to extend the system to include the last three races, but this proposal was rejected.
Fastest lap pointEdit
Originally, a point was awarded for the driver who set the fastest lap. This single point, however, meant that coming in fifth place earned the driver two points and the driver in sixth place got none. This gap in points was equivalent to the gap between winning and coming second, and hugely significant. Bob Gerard quite notably finished the first two Championship races in sixth place, and never managed to score any points in F1.
The fastest lap point often allowed drivers to score points if they retired from the race.
Additionally, as timekeeping technologies were not brilliantly developed, fastest laps could be shared if the times were not precise enough. The effect of this was felt the most at the 1954 British Grand Prix where no less than seven drivers set a lap time of 1 min 50 secs, each receiving 1⁄7 (0.143) of a point.
No driver ever scored all his points through fastest lap points, but in 1954, both Alberto Ascari (with 1 1⁄7 pts) and Jean Behra (with 1⁄7 pts) scored all their points that season with fastest laps. Behra's total of 1⁄7 points is the lowest total of points above zero that any driver has obtained as his season total.
|Driver||Sixth places||Races finished in sixth|
|Bob Gerard||3||Britain 1950, Monaco 1950, Britain 1957|
|André Simon||2||Italy 1951, Italy 1952|
|Henry Banks||1||Indy 500 1951|
|Ian Burgess||1||Germany 1959|
|Jimmy Daywalt||1||Indy 500 1953|
|Óscar González||1||Argentina 1956*|
|Roger Laurent||1||Germany 1952|
|Luigi Piotti||1||Italy 1956|
|Charles Pozzi||1||France 1950*|
|Jimmy Reece||1||Indy 500 1958|
|Alberto Uria||1||Argentina 1956*|
|Fred Wacker||1||Italy 1954|
- * Indicates shared drive.
|1952 Italian Grand Prix|| Alberto Ascari|
José Froilán González
|1953 British Grand Prix|| Alberto Ascari|
José Froilán González
|1954 British Grand Prix|| Alberto Ascari|
Juan Manuel Fangio
José Froilán González
|1959 British Grand Prix|| Stirling Moss|
|1961||D: 9, C: 8||6||4||3||2||1||8||5||5||1||45||40|
|1967||9||6||4||3||2||1||11||9 (5/6, 4/5)||9 (5/6, 4/5)||1||81||81|
|1968||9||6||4||3||2||1||12||10 (5/6, 5/6)||10 (5/6, 5/6)||1||90||90|
|1969||9||6||4||3||2||1||11||9 (5/6, 4/5)||9 (5/6, 4/5)||1||81||81|
|1970||9||6||4||3||2||1||13||11 (6/7, 5/6)||11 (6/7, 5/6)||1||99||99|
|1971||9||6||4||3||2||1||11||9 (5/6, 4/5)||9 (5/6, 4/5)||1||81||81|
|1972||9||6||4||3||2||1||12||10 (5/6, 5/6)||10 (5/6, 5/6)||1||90||90|
|1973||9||6||4||3||2||1||15||13 (7/8, 6/7)||13 (7/8, 6/7)||1||117||117|
|1974||9||6||4||3||2||1||15||13 (7/8, 6/7)||13 (7/8, 6/7)||1||117||117|
|1975||9||6||4||3||2||1||14||12 (6/7, 6/7)||12 (6/7, 6/7)||1||108||108|
|1976||9||6||4||3||2||1||16||14 (7/8, 7/8)||14 (7/8, 7/8)||1||126||126|
|1977||9||6||4||3||2||1||17||15 (8/9, 7/8)||15 (8/9, 7/8)||1||135||135|
|1978||9||6||4||3||2||1||16||14 (7/8, 7/8)||14 (7/8, 7/8)||1||126||126|
|1979||9||6||4||3||2||1||15||8 (4/7, 4/8)||All||All||72||225|
|1980||9||6||4||3||2||1||14||10 (5/7, 5/7)||All||All||90||210|
- "5/6, 4/5" means best five results from first six races, and best four results from last five races.
- Maximum Constructor points assumes a two-car entry.
- * The Indianapolis 500 was not included in Constructors' World Championship.
- † Double points for final race.
Drivers who drove in the Indianapolis 500 between 1950 and 1960 were given World Championship points if they finished in the top five or took fastest lap (1950–1959) or finished in the top six (1960). However, only Alberto Ascari, Chuck Daigh, Juan Manuel Fangio, Giuseppe Farina, Lloyd Ruby, Troy Ruttman and Rodger Ward drove in both Indy 500 from 1950–1960 and in World Championship races, and no driver managed to score points in their non-regular event.
Oddly, only once the Indy 500 was dropped from the F1 calendar, did F1 drivers seriously attend, with Jim Clark winning in 1965 and Graham Hill in 1966. Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, Jochen Rindt, Denis Hulme and Americans Dan Gurney, Peter Revson and Ronnie Bucknum also competed in the 500 in the 60s.
When the Constructors' Championship was introduced, the Indy 500 race was not counted, as the regular F1 teams did not compete in the 500.
From 1950 to 1957, drivers who scored points after sharing a car shared points. Cars were shared because races typically used to last around three hours, and drivers would get tired, especially in hot races. The points originally were shared equally, regardless of how many laps were driven. Later, a driver had to drive a "sufficient distance", usually more than three laps, to receive points. Another eventual rule change meant that drivers would only get points for their highest finish if the drove multiple cars in a race.
At the 1955 Argentine Grand Prix, both Giuseppe Farina and Maurice Trintignant finished both second and third, with second place being shared with José Froilán González and third place with Umberto Maglioli. Fourth place was also shared between three cars. As a result, nine drivers scored points (winner Juan Manuel Fangio took the fastest lap), with second place awarding 2 points (instead of 6), third place awarding 1 1⁄3 points (instead of 4), and fourth place awarding 1 point (instead of 3); Farina and Trintignant each scored 3 1⁄3 points.
For 1958 and beyond, shared drives were not outlawed, but points would not be awarded. This affected Masten Gregory and Carroll Shelby, who came fourth at the 1958 Italian Grand Prix, and Stirling Moss and Trintignant, who came third at the 1960 Argentine Grand Prix. Neither of these drives scored points.
Championship winner does not score most total pointsEdit
In 1964, Graham Hill (BRM) scored a total of 41 points while John Surtees (Ferrari) scored 40. But, as only the six best results counted, and as Hill scored his points in seven races, Hill had to drop his worst result, a fifth place – which cost two points and gave Surtees his only title.
There was a similar result in the Constructors' Championship – BRM scored a total of 51 points and Ferrari scored a total of 49 – but BRM had to drop nine points, while Ferrari dropped only four. So in points that counted, BRM scored 42 but Ferrari, after scoring 45, took the title.
BRM missed out on the Constructors' Championship again in 1965, earning 61 total points, compared to the Lotus-Climax combination of 58 (Lotus-BRM cars were raced, and scored two points; and a Lotus-Ford Cosworth entry failed to qualify one race). However, BRM scored points in nine races, when only the best six were counted, and dropped sixteen points while Lotus dropped just four, and Lotus took the title by nine points.
In 1988, McLaren had the dominant car but not a "No. 1" driver. Alain Prost, the more consistent driver, scored 105 points; the first driver to score over 100 points in a season. Teammate Ayrton Senna, in his first season at the British team, scored a total of 94. As only the eleven best results counted, meaning only 99 points could be scored, both would have to drop results. Senna ended up with 90, while Prost could only reach 87, and Senna took his first title.
The title was, in fact, decided before the final round. At the 1988 Japanese Grand Prix, the penultimate race, if Senna could win, he could take the title. Senna (79 points) was five points down on Prost (84 points, with six dropped) going into the race, but Prost could only add to his total with victories – which would only give him three points as they "replaced" second places. Any point score for Senna at Japan, however, would replace a sixth place obtained in Portugal, so the most points Senna could get from the race would be eight. This would leave Senna with a three point advantage, regardless of Prost's result. Although Prost could theoretically equal Senna's point total by winning the final round in Australia with Senna fourth or lower, Senna would have eight wins to Prost's seven and Senna would take the title anyway.
Senna, after a slow start, won the Japanese Grand Prix, and thus, took the title. Prost won the final race as well, but Senna finished second (and "replaced" a fourth place) to add a clear gap of three points for the final standings.
In 1979, the points system was altered so that drivers could only score in four of the first seven races and in four of the last eight. While not inherently an issue, it become so when Alan Jones won in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Canada – rounds 10, 11, 12 and 14. This meant that coming into the final race of the season, round 15, the United States Grand Prix, Jones, who occupied third place in the championship, was unable to add to his score, no matter what he did at the race. Jones took pole position and was leading the race until he retired, meaning he would not have to drop a win from his championship score.
At the Japanese Grand Prix, Ayrton Senna worked out he could secure the 1990 title from rival Alain Prost if Prost retired from the race, as Senna was nine points ahead with Prost one result away from dropping points. When Senna secured pole, but was put on the dirty side of track (meaning Prost, second on the grid, started on the grippier racing line), Senna decided he would crash into Prost if Prost managed to get ahead at the first corner. As Senna expected, Prost got ahead, and Senna made no attempt to take the first corner and took both drivers out. The result meant that Senna successfully took the Drivers' Championship.
1994 and 1997Edit
In 1994, after having a controversial season, including a two-race ban, Michael Schumacher was leading the championship by one point over Damon Hill heading into the final race at Adelaide. On lap 36, with Schumacher, while leading, went off track; Hill, in second, attempted to pass the German. Slightly ahead, Schumacher turned into Hill, forcing his car over Hill's front left tyre and pushing his car onto its left wheels for a few moments. Schumacher's race was run, and while Hill attempted to continue, the collision had terminally damaged his front left suspension wishbone; Schumacher won the title by a solitary point.
In 1997, a similar event occurred, again at the final race; this time it was in Jerez and this time with Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve. Again, Schumacher was just one point ahead of his Williams rival. Schumacher was leading the race when Villeneuve attempted to overtake at the Dry Sack corner on lap 48. Schumacher turned into Villeneuve, hitting his sidepod with his front right tyre before beaching himself in the gravel. Villeneuve continued, and although his car was slightly damaged in the collision, he went on to take third place, after letting the McLarens through (allowing Mika Häkkinen to take his first career victory) on the last lap and taking the title by three points. Schumacher was later disqualified from the championship by the FIA, although his results that season were allowed to stand.
Bernie Ecclestone proposed that for the 2009 season and onwards, the driver who takes the most wins (or golds) would take the title, with tiebreakers being resolved by second places (silver), third places (bronze), and finally points scored in the 10–8–6–5–4–3–2–1 system, which was the system in place at the time. The system was intended to spice up races, as wins were much more valuable than before. While accepted by the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC), protests from the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) saw the system scrapped.
The next season, the points system was completely overhauled, which gave the winner 25 points and saw points distributed to the first ten finishers. With second place getting 18 points, wins became more valuable, as the percentage of the winner's points earned with a second place dropped from 80% to 72%.
Half points are awarded when the race is stopped before three-quarter distance (75%) and cannot be restarted. Each driver would receive half the amount of points they would get for a full race. This is a rare occurrence, and has only happened five times in the history of Formula One.
The shortest race in history is the 1991 Australian Grand Prix, of which 14 of the scheduled 81 laps (17%) were completed due to rain.
|1975 Spanish Grand Prix||29||75||39%||Accident of Rolf Stommelen, which killed five spectators.|
|1975 Austrian Grand Prix||29||54||54%||Heavy rain.|
|1984 Monaco Grand Prix||31||76||41%||Heavy rain.|
|1991 Australian Grand Prix||14||81||17%||Heavy rain.|
|2009 Malaysian Grand Prix||31||56||55%||Torrential downpour.|
|Current system||Full points||25||18||15||12||10||8||6||4||2||1|
Records and milestonesEdit
- Current teams and drivers in bold.
- Point totals have been greatly skewed since the 2010 season, and hence unadjusted records are likely to be slanted toward recent years.
Note: Does not include double points.
|Pos.||Driver||Seasons||Actual points||2010 system points|
|1||Michael Schumacher|| 1991–2006|
|4||Fernando Alonso|| 2001|
|5||Kimi Räikkönen|| 2001–2009|
|6||Alain Prost|| 1980–1991|
|9||Jenson Button|| 2000–2016|
Consecutive points finishesEdit
Note: Due to the differing variety of manners in which constructor points can be collated, for example not being awarded until 1957, points only for one driver, dropped points, etc, practically every book and website that attempts to put together a number for overall constructor points will reach a different number. Only the ones that for which it can be seen how the total is constructed will be listed. Also note that "gross" means including dropped points and "all" means all results are included, even if points were not originally awarded.
Gross points awarded in the ChampionshipEdit
The following table uses the numbers from the STATS F1 website with the Lotus total adjusted for the original team.
All points according to the 2010 systemEdit
According to this list by Mark Wessel.
|Pos.||Constructor||Seasons||2010 system points|
|8||/ Renault|| 1977–1985|
Consecutively in pointsEdit
- ↑ Entries by the manufacturer of the car itself.
- ↑ "Sebastian Vettel criticises 'absurd' F1 double points plan". BBC. 10 December 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/25324100. Retrieved 16 December 2013.