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[Finished] Case #12: The F1 points scoring system


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#1 Rich

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Posted 12 April 2001 - 20:32

JAC has brought to the Atlas F1 court the case of whether the existing F1 World Championship points system should be changed.

Currently, points are awarded in the order 10-6-4-3-2-1 for the first six finishers. Unlike several other series, no driver/team finishing outside the top six receives points, nor are points awarded for pole position or fastest race lap.

The Prosecution will argue that the current points system does not accurately award all aspects of the sport, nor does it reflect accurately the relative positions of each driver and team contesting. The Defence will argue that the current points system is fair, satisfactory and should not be changed.

This case has been accepted for hearing, beginning on April 23rd and running until May 7th. The residing judges are Rich and baddog. Judgement will be delivered by May 14th.

Judges' Preamble:

This case will seek to investigate whether a) the current points system is indeed unfair and/or innacurate and/or lacking; and b) what kind of changes ought to be introduced into the system to improve it (should improvement be deemed necessary).

The arguments from both sides should first and foremost encompass evidence to establish deficiency (or not) in the current system. In addition, the Prosecution's arguments should go hand in hand with suggestions as to how the points system could be amended and improved.

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#2 Peter

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Posted 24 April 2001 - 07:46

There have been several instances in the last few years where a driver has been able to successfully block faster cars from overtaking, holding on for many laps to record a win.

To allow an extra four points for such a win is insulting to the supporters of this "sport" as it could be deemed unsporting behaviour.

Since it is much harder to overtake in modern grand prix, it is doubly disappointing that the old (6 down to 1) points system has been altered to favour the "winner".

At some circuits, it is tantamount to awarding 4 points for qualifying fastest or for having the slickest pit-stop.

To earn these extra points, a driver should be able to pull away from those behind, not just drive as a rolling road block!

I have never seen a justifyable argument for why the points system was changed in the first place!

#3 Spot

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Posted 25 April 2001 - 08:14

May I respectfully request that Peter's comments be stricken from the record, as it is clearly erroneous. He states that the original scoring system was 6-5-4-3-2-1, whereas, in 1950, the first year of the World Championship, it was in fact 8-6-4-3-2, with one point for fastest lap. A drivers best 4 results from the 7 races were counted.

Over time, this has evolved through 9-6-4-3-2-1, with the season variously split into two, and the best n results counting from the season, through the best n results counting from the whole season, to the 10-6-4-3-2-1 for all results through the whole season that we know today.

However, in this modern era with large investments made by multi-national corporations, todays scoring system is something of an anathema. I have noticed a few posters on this BB who have questioned that Minardi finished last season above Prost, since they both scored zero points. If this opinion is put forward by supposed afficionadoes, how does the common man view this result?

I have been posting to a thread on the Readers Comments forum using the current CART scoring system which awards points on a 20-16-14-12-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system, with a single point each for pole position and for most laps lead. While making no substantial difference to the overall placings, it does reward those in the lower placings, and gives some credance to the sponsers of the lower-level teams.

While I do not fully advocate the point for most laps led (although it would give JPM 1 point for Brazil, rather than the 0 points he would otherwise have), I do believe that pole position is worth a point.

I humbly submit that the CART scoring system be adopted, in order to allow the sponsors of F1 a better return on their investments.

#4 Leo

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Posted 25 April 2001 - 10:41

With respect to the Judge's Preamble:

A) I don't think any given point system would either be fair or unfair and/or accurate or inaccurate. In most cases the point system has little effect on the outcome of championships, calculate for example the last couple of F1 championships with the CART scoring system. You will find some small changes, but nothing major, not even at the bottom of the table. (By the way, I don't have this data available, but I believe at least the 2000 season should be somewhere on the Atlas website).
Also it should not be overlooked that in F1 certain financial rewards to the teams are directly linked to scoring points, like travel expenses for instance. Of course this financial system could be changed too, but I think that would take a change of the Concorde Agreement, where changing the scoring system only takes a change of the Sporting Regulations.

B) I presume a number of people would like to see the CART scoring system in F1, because of the increased number of finishers that are awarded points. Personally I disagree with this idea, not because of the number of point scorers, but because of the way the points are distributed. Let's compare:
F1: 10-6-4-3-2-1
CART: 20-16-14-12-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1
This means in F1 five fifth place finishes equal one victory, in CART two fifth place finishes equal one victory. In other words, the F1 system rewards speed, while the CART system rewards consistency. With the current state of F1 (which are in fact sprint races) I think it is more logical to reward speed than to reward consistency.

So let's assume that we defininately want more finishers to be awarded points, how do we do that without changing the "nature" of the points system. We have to make sure then, that the relative difference between the first six places would be the same as the current system. If we then expand that system to, for example, 10 finishers, with position 7 to 10 awarded 4-3-2-1 points, the new scoring system would look like this:
50-30-20-15-10-5-4-3-2-1
Notice how one victory still equals five fifth place finishes.

I am not a particular advocate of awarding points to the fastest qualifiers. I think the reward of a good qualification is to start from the front of the grid. The F1 World Champion should be the best racer, not the best qualifier.

#5 John B

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Posted 25 April 2001 - 14:55

I like the system as it is. I'm of the belief that winners should be rewarded more that consistent top-5 drivers, as often happens in NASCAR and CART, encouraging/obliging potential title contenders to worry more about finishing than going for the win, and where titles are decided more by who finishes 35th than who finishes first. With only 22 cars on the grid, points through 6th is between 1/3 and 2/4 the field. It makes races for 6th place meaningful, and the resulting points truly earned. Remember Minardi's periodic points celebrations or Damon Hill after Silverstone 1997? There have also been years such as 1987 when consistency did prevail over wins, so the system is not totally biased that way.

I'm not in favor of the fastest lap point, though it would give a team that loses several laps a reason to continue. Ultimately titles would be decided because some team bolted on new tires and did other tricks just to get a flying lap in during the race.

I don't really like qualifying points either. Manufacturers would likely invest greater money on "Saturday specials," and I'm not sure that's a good thing. Qualifying tires would be another issue, as teams would obviously be playing with compounds to get an advantage. The early 1980s experience where drivers were put in risky situations of having to get a lap in before their tires went off was the worst scenario, likely evidenced by Villeneuve's death at Zolder.

#6 Dunder

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Posted 26 April 2001 - 03:40

The current points system reflects what Formula 1 is all about. It rewards winners as opposed to consistency.

A change that makes 2nd or 3rd place more valuable relative to the win, or 7th or 8th more valuable relative to 4th or 5th would most likely have the consequence of teams tuning their cars to ensure less DNFs. There would also be less incentive for a driver running in a point scoring position to try to make up an additional place or two.

Would those that say a driver can pick up a win simply by blocking faster cars behind, care to point to a recent example of that happening? The only one I can think off was Malaysia 2000, however I don't think that either MS or DC was 'on the limit' in a race which didn't really matter as far as championships were concerned.

Keep the points as they are and reward winners.

#7 Vetinary

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Posted 26 April 2001 - 04:26

First of all, a little bit of history :
The initial points scoring system, since F1 and grand prix races had been restarted in 1950, was in the following format :
1st - 8 pts.
2nd- 6 pts.
3rd- 4 pts.
4th- 3 pts.
5th- 2 pts.
Fastest lap - 1 pt.

The beggining of a new decade saw the decline of the fastest lap and the rise of the 6th place. In 1960, the 1 pt. award was taken from the driver who clocked in the fastest lap and was given the the 6th place driver. The very first to gain from this decision was none other than Ireland, who scored 1 point by finishing 6th in the 1960 Argentinian GP.

A mere one year later, yet another change was bestowed upon the already-modified points system : The winner's share of the points was increased from 8 points to 9. Again, the first driver who took the enhanced prize was Sterling Moss, winner of the 1961 Monaco GP.

The system ran along undisturbed for 30 years, until the FIA had decided to reward the race winner even more handsomly, by giving him 10 points for his effort. Ayrton Senna, the 1991 USA GP winner, was the first in F1 to receive 10 points for his troubles. Until this day, the points scoring system remained the same.

Looking upon other points scoring systems, such as the CART system (1=20, 2=16, 3=14, 4=12, 5=10, 6=8, 7=6, 8=5, 9=4, 10=3, 11=2, 12=1, pole=1 & FL=1), or the motorcycles systems (1=25, 2=20, 3=16, 4=13, 5=11, 6=10, 7=9, 8=8, 9=7, 10=6, 11=5, 12=4, 13=3, 14=2 & 15=1), I think that the mentioned systems aren't giving the winner enough points for his efforts. Remember that to win in F1 is much more important than to be consistent and be on the podium.

Last year, in CART, it became possible for Kenny Brack to win the title without winning a race throughtout the season. In the 1999 125cc motorcycles season, Alzamora of Spain took the title without winning a race. Surely, we do not wish to have a world champion who's yet to win. The curent system narrows the probability of that occasion.

Another advantage of the current systems is by making it possible for drivers to close gaps and bring themselves into championship contention. Remember Mansell brave, albeit futile, comeback in 1991, Or Hill's in 1994. It wouldn't have happened with 8 pts. for win.

But the best espect of the current systems is by allowing the drivers to "go for it" and to chance their 2nd place in order to win. Had the points gap between 1st and 2nd was only 2 pts., it might have encouraged the 2nd place man to run it safe to the flag.

The same can be said about the low number of point-scoring drivers in each race: Were the first 10 drivers of each race, for example, to receive points, it might lessen the mid-field battles towards the ending of the race and to deprive the viewrs of risky overtaking manouvres. In F1, you must take your chances in order to qualify for points. It shouldn't be enough to merely finish the race.

Regarding the suggestion to grant points to those who take pole or closk the fastest lap, I can say that in today's races, being on pole is usually a big advantage and that there is no need to reward the pole sitter even further. As for the FL point, it might encourage drivers to simply ignore the race and concentrate on clocking the fastest lap. Not the sight we're expecting when we watch a race, rather than a qualifying sessios.

To conclude my points, I have shown the clear advantages of the current system and the disadvantages of the alternatives. I call upon the court to decide in favour of the former.

#8 unrepentant lurker

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Posted 26 April 2001 - 06:08

I favor the current system as it stands now. The system rewards the best, both teams and drivers. It also SIGNIFICANTLY rewards the team or driver who is able to put in an extraordinary effort one weekend. As earlier noted, a change would not really effect the standings.

The proponents for change have argued variously about sponsorship, FIA "travel money", and just to reach more of the grid. I will show why these arguments hold little or no validity.

The sponsorship argument holds the least water. Companies sponsor F1 for the image of being involved in a high tech, glamorous sport. They are also in it for worldwide exposure. There are some exceptions of course. Off the top of my head, 11880.com is a German only site. I think some of the Ferrari sponsors are basically Italian companies wanting to be seen as tifosi.

But take Compaq for example. They get a great deal of exposure from being on the side of the Williams, particularly at a time like this (Williams on the rise). Compaq won't care whether Ralf scored 10 or 20 points but that he had a lot of air time. Also, they are most likely not concerned that JPM didn't score a point in Brazil for most laps led or fastest laps, but the air time. And the mileage on the Jos incident has got to be incredible.

For some of the technology and engine partners, it is even more critical that they do well - that is to say they place highly. BMW would much rather be able to say that they won with 150 points than finished second with 300 points. The air time doesn't hurt either.

The reason Minardi was dumped by Telefonica (spelling?) was the lack of air time. As I'm typing this, I'm watching the full race recording of Imola from f1.ru. The only times that a Minardi has been on screen is to watch Alonso crash out and to inform us that Marques has been blue flagged for the car with the Compaq logo on the side. I don't think that Telefonica would have continued even if Minardi had scored 20 points with a CART system but with the same lack of air time.

The issue of travel money is the most disturbing. But as pointed out by Leo, the problem is really the Concorde Agreement (and I don't know how hard that is to change). The prohibition against money for teams with no points dates back to a different time in F1. Some of the teams from that age just weren't as organized or committed to go the distance. I can understand if the top teams didn't want to share the fruits of their labors with those who just weren't contributing. This has changed with the 12 team limit and phenomenal entry fee (or cost to buy out a team). Here are some statistics from FORIX on 1990 and 2000.

1990: active teams were 17, 9 scored points.
most laps raced was McLaren with 1841.
least laps raced was Euro Brun with 67 (3.7% of McL).
11th was Minardi with 1037 (56.3%)

2000: active teams were 11, 9 scored points.
most laps raced was McLaren with 1917.
least laps raced was Prost with 1252 (65.3% of McL).
Minardi? 4th:eek: with 1755 (91.5%).

So - times have changed. BTW, I choose 11th in 1990 to compare it to last in 2000. The coincidence with Minardi is interesting though.

That leaves the issue of giving points for more finishers would just be a nice thing to do. F1 is fundamentally different than most other series. CART has 26 drivers as compared to 22 in F1 right now. I'm not sure if CART is capped but F1 will only get to 24. Also their team structure is very different from the F1 team is constructor structure.

But the biggest reason against a CART system is all you have to do is classify to score. No racing required - merely reliability and two drivers who can do 90%. Another trip to FORIX. In 1999 and 2000 there were a total of 33 races. In 19 of those races there were 19 races with 12 classifiers or less. Some of the races had as few as 8 or 9 classifiers. To score points in this fashion is basically hollow. In this light, Minardi's 1 point during that time seems like a much greater accomplishment then maybe the 30 points they could have racked up.

There is one final reason to leave the system unmolested. Since changing the system will have no real effect on life, the current system is pretty traditional. Its just like standing starts, podiums and champagne.

#9 Mickey

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Posted 26 April 2001 - 13:59

I would like to point out Karl Ludvigsen's A Proposal to the Point article, in which an alternative points system is suggested. I have taken the liberty of substituting some paragraphs with .



Others were making their own negative assessment of the Formula One points system. "It's not that we don't like F1," said Peugeot's Corrado Provera at the end of the season, "but only six cars score points at every race. Four of those are regularly the two Ferraris and McLarens, and so there are only two places left for everybody else. In order to achieve those points, the cost per point, so to speak - for fifth and sixth places - has become stratospheric. The category has become too onerous on the level of budgets. So we have decided to direct our already considerable motorsport budget toward something other than F1."



Specifically, I don't want to change the Drivers' Championship at all. This is working pretty well. Some of the Atlas F1 readers who wrote to me suggested bringing back the single point for the fastest lap that we used to have. In its day this was significant and figured in several championship contests. My guess is that this was okay in a season that had only six or eight races counting for points, but now with 17 or 18 races, those fastest-lap points would assume too much significance. A fast-lapper could gain an advantage out of proportion to his ability to perform well in races, which is the point, after all.

My idea would be to change the Constructors' Championship. The points would stay the same and be awarded down to the sixth place, just as they are now. So what's the difference? Only the best-placed car from each team would earn points. If memory serves, this is not a new idea. It was used in some seasons in endurance racing, I believe; if not, somebody will put me straight. Giving points to the best-placed car in each team fairly reflects the best performance the team achieved in each race, and at the same time gives greater visibility to all the teams that placed well up.


[b]Pos Team	 AUS BRA SAN BRI SPN EUR MON CAN FRA AUT GER HUN BEL ITA USA JPN MAL Total Actual[/b]

 1. Ferrari  10  10  10   6   6  10   6  10   6   6  10   6   6  10  10  10  10   142   170

 2. McLaren   -   -   6  10  10   6  10   4  10  10   6  10  10   6   3   6   6   113   152

 3. Williams  6   3   -   4   4   -   -   -   3   3   4   4   4   4   -   4   -	43	36

 4. BAR	   4   1   4   -   1   -   1   1   4   4   1   -   2   1   4   3   4	35	20

 5. Benetton  3   6   1   2   -   4   4   6   1   -   -   -   -   2   -   -   2	31	20

 6. Jordan	-   4   -   3   3   -   -   2   2   -   -   3   3   -   6   -   -	26	17

 7. Sauber	-   -   3   1   2   2   2   -   -   2   3   1   -   -   1   1   1	19	 6

 8. Jaguar	-   -   2   -   -   -   3   -   -   1   -   2   1   -   2   2   3	16	 4

 9. Arrows	-   2   -   -   -   3   -   3   -   -   2   -   -   3   -   -   -	13	 7

10. Minardi   2   -   -   -   -   1   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -	 3	 -

11. Prost	 1   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -	 1	 -
Interesting, no? The value of the exercise is that there is so little difference to the official 2000 results. If the difference were great, there would be no chance of seeing this system adopted. For example, the ranking of the top six teams is almost the same (BAR moves ahead of Benetton). Ferrari has a points margin of 26% over McLaren, instead of the actual 12%, which implies that the Constructors' Cup might have been decided earlier in the season. But by the same token my alternative system would have allowed a strong fight-back by McLaren, had they been able to muster it.

McLaren is better than third-place Williams, but by a margin of 163% instead of the actual margin of 322%, which ludicrously exaggerates the relative capabilities of the two teams. Significantly, BAR-Honda and Benetton-Playlife have a different ranking in the two systems, but while they tied in point in the current system, they in fact differ by a useful margin in my system - a clearer way of differentiating between the teams, instead of having their points tie broken by a comparison of finishing places.

The order changes more significantly at the tail end of the table. Sauber benefits from its consistent finishing over the season, steadily racking up points to place ahead of Arrows instead of behind it. Jaguar can hold its head a little bit higher. And both Minardi and Prost get points, which no one would begrudge them.



#10 BRG

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Posted 27 April 2001 - 13:04

There have been changes in the F1 scoring system before, because it was not felt to adequately reflect the true position. But the complaints continue. In my view, we are seeking a totally fair and objective scoring system, and such a Holy Grail simply does not exist. There is no consensus about whether the system should be rewarding wins or consistency.

Quote : "The Prosecution will argue that the current points system does not accurately award all aspects of the sport, nor does it reflect accurately the relative positions of each driver and team contesting."
No, of course it does not.

Quote : "The Defence will argue that the current points system is fair, satisfactory and should not be changed."
No, of course it isn't.

This case can look at the alternatives - the CART system, the NASCAR system, the British F3 system, various permutations on the F1 system - and they will all have problems and will all have their critics. And when a particular system is seen to have gone against a team or driver, then there will be completely subjective complaints from that team or driver and its/his adherents.

I think that the Court is on a hiding to nothing in hearing this case. It is a topic that we could endlessly debate happily on this BB and never reach a consensus or probably even a strong majority view. Whatever verdict is reached, it will fail to satisfy, and more importantly, fail to convince, many of us. It may not raise the passions of the Spa 98 debate, but it will be remain just as unresolved.




#11 karlcars

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Posted 29 April 2001 - 14:45

Thanks, Mickey! For the record, here's my complete argument:

Testimony for the Prosecution

At the Nürburgring in the 2000 European Grand Prix the first four places were filled by the cars from Ferrari and McLaren. Most observers took note of the fact that Ferrari increased its lead in the makes championship by three points, from a 7-point margin to an even 10. Noteworthy too was a first point scored in 2000 by Arrows. But to me the way the season was going at that time had a quite different significance – not entirely in the interests of the sport.

Let’s consider how many points in all were available in the first six races of 2000. At 26 points per race they add up to a total of 156. Of these the top two teams took 114, fully 73% of the total. This left a scant 42 points, 27% of the total, to be fought over by the rest of the racers.

The position is even worse if we consider the top four finishing positions. In theory, these can all be occupied by Ferraris and McLarens as they were at the Nürburgring. In six races these positions offered 138 points for the taking. Taking is just what the two top teams did. They annexed 83% of the points theoretically available to them. Behind the top two, Williams was next best with a paltry 15 points. “We are certainly doing better than we might have expected,” said Williams’s Patrick Head, “but there is still a big gap between the two top teams and all of the rest.”

The points for fifth and sixth places throughout an entire season of 17 races amount to only 51. The way the system is presently structured, this isn’t enough to give a fair assessment of the relative performances of all the teams taking part. This is unfair, both to the other teams and to the fans who need some meaningful way to gauge the respective performances of all the teams, not just the pacesetters.

Others were making their own negative assessment of the Formula One points system. “It’s not that we don’t like F1,” said Peugeot’s Corrado Provera at the end of the 2000 season, “but only six cars score points at every race. Four of those are regularly the two Ferraris and McLarens, and so there are only two places left for everybody else. In order to achieve those points, the cost per point, so to speak – for fifth and sixth places – has become stratospheric. The category has become too onerous on the level of budgets. So we have decided to direct our already considerable motorsport budget toward something other than F1.”

Specifically, I don’t want to change the drivers’ championship at all. This is working pretty well. Nor do I want to change the points allocation. As a historian in my spare time I think it’s good to be able to compare different seasons and eras in racing and that’s made possible by a consistent method of allocating points toward championships.

Some have suggested bringing back the single point for the fastest lap that we used to have. In its day this was significant and figured in several championship contests. My guess is that this was okay in a season that had only six or eight races counting for points, but now with 17 or 18 races those fastest-lap points would assume too much significance. A fast-lapper could gain an advantage out of proportion to his ability to perform well in races, which is the point, after all.

My idea is to change the constructors’ championship. The points would stay the same and be awarded down to the sixth place, just as they are now. So what’s the difference? Only the best-placed car from each team would earn points. This is not a new idea. It was used in Formula One from 1967 through 1978. Giving points to the best-placed car in each team fairly reflects the best performance the team achieved in each race, and at the same time gives greater visibility to all the teams that placed well up.

How would this have worked in 2000? Here’s the way the points would have stacked up if only the best-placed car from each team had been counted, compared to the way they actually added up:

(See table inserted by Mickey, who did a much better job than I can!)

I think the value of this exercise is that there is so little difference to the official 2000 results. If the difference were great, there would be no chance of seeing this system adopted. For example, the ranking of the top six teams is the same. Ferrari has a points margin of 26% over McLaren, instead of the actual 12%, which implies that the constructors’ cup might have been decided earlier in the season. But by the same token my alternative system would have allowed a strong fight-back by McLaren, had they been able to muster it.

McLaren is better than third-place Williams, but by a margin of 163% instead of the actual margin of 322%, which exaggerated the relative capabilities of the two teams. Significantly, BAR-Honda and Benetton-Supertec have the same ranking in both systems but they differ by a useful margin in this system instead of having their points tie broken by a comparison of finishing places.

Only at the tail end is the order changed. Sauber benefits from its consistent finishing over the season, steadily racking up points to place ahead of Arrows instead of behind it. Jaguar can hold its head a little bit higher. And both Minardi and Prost get points, which no one would begrudge them.

#12 Spot

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Posted 03 May 2001 - 10:15

I would like to rectify a couple of mistakes made by posters to this case.

1) CART does not award a point for the fastest lap. It awards a point for the most laps led in the race. this, to me, is far more significant and rewarding for a fast driver, and would have given a cosolation point to Montoya for his drive at Brazil rather than nothing. It would also not allow for false points gaining, e.g. sticking on fresh tyres for a banzai lap.

2) Travel monies, etc, are not awarded to all those teams that score points. This is yet another example of the way that the current system causes confusion, even amongst F1's most ardent fans. These monies are awarded to the top ten finishers in the championship, which means that Minardi, who scored no points, get travel money whereas Prost, who also scored no points, do not.

The reason for this is that Minardi scored a single 8th place in the season, which Prost did not achieve. By adopting the CART point scoring system, this confusion would not exist.

3) CART, MotoGP and WSB only give points to the first vehicle home of any fiven manufacturer. However, these are only awarded for their overall position.

E.g., in a WSB race, Hondas finish first and second, and an Aprillia comes in third. Only the first Honda scores points in the constructors championship, so Honda gain 25 points. The Aprillia, although the second manufacturer home, placed third, and thus scores points for that third place, i.e. 16, not 20. This would nullify the examples posted earlier. I have no doubt, though, that F1 could go it's own way on this.

#13 Rich

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Posted 08 May 2001 - 00:09

Thanks for your contributions, all. This hearing is now closed. Judgement will be delivered within seven days.

#14 Rich

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Posted 29 May 2001 - 23:54

Preamble

The points scoring system used in F1 has, for years, been a contentious and controversial issue among racing fans. Is the system 'fair'? Does it reward the sport's achievers in a just and equitable manner, considering the efforts and risks taken by the teams and drivers during a Grand Prix weekend? This case set out to establish whether the existing 10-6-4-3-2-1 points system is the best available, or whether a more just and applicable system exists.

Body

The Prosection put forward several suggestions as to how the existing points system could be amended and improved :

That the number of points-scorers in each race should be increased from the current six, to reward teams and drivers finishing lower than sixth. The Court rejects this suggestion. Winning is the ethos behind Formula One and, although reliability is also important, speed is the essence. Rewarding drivers who finish below sixth increases the importance of reliability disproportionately. In a high-attrition formula, the suggested system would also see an increase in either a) all finishers scoring points or b) even drivers who fail to make the finish end up scoring points. The suggestion that awarding points below sixth would serve as motivation and reward for investors/sponsors is also rejected. The sponsors/investors primary motivation is exposure, not championship points.

That a single point or points should be awarded for either pole position and/or fastest race lap and/or most laps led during the race. The Court rejects this suggestion. Attaining pole position, leading for multiple laps, or setting of fastest race laps are all means to the ultimate end - winning the race. Rewarding these aspects encourages teams to indulge in practices solely aimed at achieving these goals, and potentially counterproductive in terms of the central tenet of racing - being fastest over the total duration of the race. Additionally, the ability to set pole position, fastest race lap or to lead for the most laps during the race all indicate that the driver has potentially race-winning machinery at his disposal. That in itself is sufficient reward. Awarding further points for these achievements is simply a case of 'the rich getting richer.'

That Constructors Championship points should only be awarded to the top finisher in each team. This was a novel and ingenious suggestion. Although uncontested by the Defence, the Judges took into account the relativeness lateness of the submission, and the limited time left to the Defence to make a counter-argument. Anecdotal evidence was provided from the 2000 season to show that the suggested system, if implemented, would not have changed the outcome of the 2000 CC markedly. It would, however, have tightened up the championship race slightly, and awarded more points to teams further down the order. However, applying the same system to other championship years shows that the suggested system would indeed have the ability to change the Constructors Championship outcome dramatically. For example, under the suggested system, McLaren would have won the 1999 CC, and Benetton the 1994 CC. In short, the Constructors Championship would be slewed disproportionately in favour of the team powering the WDC-winning driver. Formula One is a team sport, and there has been much controversy surrounding the 'one car team' approach adopted by some of the teams. It is the Judges' opinion that the suggested system would only provide further motivation for teams to concentrate solely on one superstar driver, at the expense of the team's second driver.

Additionally, examination of individual race results and performances indicates disproportionate reward in some instances. We can use Austria 2001 as an example. In that race, Ferrari took pole position, and had both cars running either in the lead, or competing for the lead, for the race duration. Sauber, by comparison, had one car (Heidfeld) stranded on the grid at the start, and the other (Raikkonen) running anonymously in the minor placings for most of the race, without ever once holding the lead, nor attempting to take it. Yet, under the suggested system, Ferrari would have taken six Constructors points from Austria, and Sauber four. Was Ferrari's total race effort worth only two points more than Sauber's? In the Judges' considered opinion, it was not. While the suggested system has undoubted merit, there are also circumstances in which it would not reward the teams in proportion to their achievements on track. As such, we find that the suggested system would not be measurably superior to the current points system.

Verdict

There is no doubt that the current points system is not perfect, and it's unlikely that a 'perfect' points system even exists. The suggested changes mooted by the Prosecution could be rationalised as 'improvements' on an anecdotal basis - single race or season case histories where a driver who excelled ultimately ended up with no or fewer points reward. However, under the suggested changes to the current system, the Defence could cite as many or more instances in which drivers or teams would be disproportionately rewarded. As such, the Judges are unconvinced that any of the suggested changes would result in a points system that is reliably and consistently more fair and equitable than the current points system.

The Atlas F1 Court finds for the Defence.