F1 Points System

Formula 1 is probably the most popular motorsport, with an elite group of 20 drivers competing at top speeds exceeding 200 mph for a chance to be announced as the season’s World Champion. But fans may be wondering how drivers earn World Championship points.

Points are awarded to the first ten finishers of a race. These points are earned over a season, and the individial driver with the most points at the end of a season wins the coveted Formula One World Drivers’ Championship.

Here’s everything you need to know about how drivers score those critical championship points.

F1 World Championships

An F1 season has around 20 Grand Prix hosted every year at various racing circuits across the globe, with two championships at play: the Driver’s World Championship and the Constructors’ World Championship.

Driver’s Championship

During each race weekend, drivers are awarded points based on the finishing order – from 1st to 10th. Points carry over from race to race and the driver with the most points at the end of an F1 season wins the Driver’s Championship.

Constructors’ Championship

Constructors’ Championship points are calculated by taking the combined points scored by the two drivers in the team. Much like the Driver’s Championship, the team with the most points at the end of a season wins.

If a driver decides to change teams during the season, they will retain their individual driver points, and the driver’s previous team will also retain any constructors’ points achieved by them.

How the F1 Point System Works

Under the current rules, drivers that finish between 1st and 10th in a race are awarded points, with 11th-20th place earning no points.

Formula 1 points are awarded in the following order:

  1. 25 points
  2. 18 points
  3. 15 points
  4. 12 points
  5. 10 points
  6. 8 points
  7. 6 points
  8. 4 points
  9. 2 points
  10. 1 point

An additional point (+1) is awarded to the driver and team that sets the fastest lap of the race, but the driver must finish within the top 10 to collect the fastest lap point.

How Are Points Awarded for Shortened Races?

In the event that a race is halted due to serious race incidents, bad weather, or other conditions that make it impossible to run the race, a different scoring system is used depending on how many laps of the scheduled race distance are completed.

Between 1980 and 2021, drivers were awarded half points in any race where they completed two or more laps but less than 75%.

As of 2022, the new point system for shortened races is as follows:

  • No points are awarded if less than two full racing laps are completed.
  • A race completed between two laps and 25% results in only the top 5 drivers earning points: 6-4-3-2-1.
  • A race completed between 25%-50% results in the top 9 drivers earning points: 13-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1.
  • A race completed between 50%-75% results in all 10 places earning points: 19-14-12-10-8-6-4-3-2-1.
  • If more than 75% of the race is completed, full points are awarded to the top 10.

F1 Point System for Sprint Races

In a bid to increase interest, bring in new fans, and boost spectator numbers, Formula 1 introduced sprint weekends to the F1 calendar.

An F1 Sprint Race is a short-form Grand Prix that is one-third the race distance of the main race on Sunday.

During a sprint race, only the top eight finishers will score points as follows:

  • 1st – 8 points
  • 2nd – 7 points
  • 3rd – 6 points
  • 4th – 5 points
  • 5th – 4 points
  • 6th – 3 points
  • 7th – 2 points
  • 8th – 1 point

During a sprint race weekend, finishing first during qualifying earns a driver pole position for the sprint, while finishing first in the sprint race earns a driver pole position for Sunday’s race.

Can Points Be Deducted?

F1 points can be deducted from both teams and drivers if the FIA deems it suitable. Although it only happens rarely.

When it comes to deducting points from teams, reasons may vary, but in most cases, it is because of cheating or rule violations.

There have been no recorded instances of drivers having points deducted, but drivers have been disqualified from races and championships in the past.

Final Thoughts

The F1 points scoring system works by awarding the first 10 cars to cross the finish line at the end of a race.

Over a season, these points are accumulated, and the driver with the most amount of points at the end of a season is crowned the World Champion.

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