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Formula 1

How does F1's points system work? Everything you need to know

3 min read

Formula 1's points system has undergone multiple changes in the championship's 74-year history, and F1 is once again considering a new distribution.

Points ultimately decide the destiny of the F1 world drivers' championship and the F1 world constructors' championship as well as how much prize money each team takes home at the end of every season.

The current F1 points system

Since 2010 F1 has used a 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 system for the top 10 finishers in a grand prix.

Grand Prix points

1st = 25 points
2nd = 18 points
3rd = 15 points
4th = 12 points
5th = 10 points
6th = 8 points
7th = 6 points
8th = 4 points
9th = 2 points
10th = 1 point

Every driver who finishes 11th downwards does not receive points.

For sprint races, the winner currently receives eight points, with eighth place taking home a solitary point.

Sprint race points

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

Fastest lap bonus

In the grand prix, those within the top 10 have the chance to secure a bonus point if they've set the fastest lap.

If a driver outside the top 10 sets the fastest lap, they won't receive the bonus point but they will prevent anybody in the top 10 from receiving it.

No fastest lap bonus point is available in the sprint races.

How F1's points system has changed

Three different points systems have been used in the 21st century.

Until the start of 2003, points were only awarded to the top-six finishers in the grand prix. The winner received 10 points, second place got six and 4-3-2-1 were given to third to sixth.

Then from 2003 until 2009, the top eight were awarded points with second place now receiving eight points, only two fewer than the winner. That complete scale went 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1.

This was expanded in 2010 to create a bigger gap between first and second (now a seven-point difference) and points for the top 10 to account for the expanded grid of 24 cars and the increased reliability of the cars.

What might change

This year, the F1 Commision has been discussing a change to the points system to expand the current number of points scorers beyond the top 10.

Proposals include a tweak so that the top 12 receive points, as well as a more radical system that would hand out points to every classified finisher.

The Race understands that F1 wants to make one change to the system and have that in place for the long-term, rather than having to revisit the topic again soon after.

Proposals will be presented at the next F1 Commission meeting in July where a decision on any change should be made.

Points for shortened races

There are occasions where full points aren't awarded for a grand prix.

If fewer than two racing laps have been completed in a grand prix before it is curtailed, no points will be awarded.

If the race leader has completed more than two laps but less than 25% of the scheduled race distance, the top five finishers will be awarded points on a 6-4-3-2-1 scale.

That changes to the top nine finishers on a 13-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale if more than 25% but less than 50% has been completed by the race leader.

And if the race leader has completed at least 50% but less than 75% of the scheduled race distance, points will be awarded to 10 drivers on a 19-14-12-9-8-6-5-3-2-1 scale.

If over 75% of the scheduled race distance has been completed then full points will be awarded.

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