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World Championship Points System (split)


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#1 Vitesse2

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Posted 28 August 2020 - 11:06

I don't think anyone has researched how the AIACR came up with the points system for 1950; it's hardly a logical or fair system.

I believe it was partly evolved from the system used for the ACF's French Championship in 1939 - and also as proposed by Langlois for the 1939 AIACR European Championship. That was scored 10-6-5-4-3, plus a point for all starters; that allowed Sommer to win the French title without winning a race, as he started in every event. It also made for a very long points table, as every French driver who ran at Le Mans scored at least a point! L'Équipe used the same points system - minus the point for starting - in 1946 and the ACF adopted that retrospectively as their French Championship.

 

However, there's also the FICM European Championship to consider. In 1938 it was scored 6-5-4-3-2-1 but - just as with the AIACR EC - there are discrepancies over how it was to be scored in 1939, with some sources quoting 6-5-4-3-2-1 and some 5-4-3-2-1. It's also claimed by some that the cancellation of the final two races meant that only the best 4 results should be counted; that only makes a difference to the 350cc table - and only when scored to six places, producing a tie between Heiner Fleischmann and Ted Mellors. Although Fleischmann would probably win on countback anyway, having won two races to Mellors' one.

 

The post-war FIM World Championship was scored 10-8-7-6-5 plus a point for fastest lap in 1949. In 1950, it changed to 8-6-4-3-2-1 for the first six finishers and the fastest lap point was dropped, with only the best four results counted. That changed in 1951 - points were the same, but it became 'best 4 of up to 8 races' or 'best 5 of over 8 races'; I'm not well enough up on FIM/FICM history to know whether the Mellors thing is retrospective wishful thinking though. The late Vincent Glon did suggest that it was a theory pushed mainly by the British!

 

The connection between all these? Well, there was a lot of crossover between the AIACR/FIA and FICM/FIM: Bonacossa, Pérouse, Lurani ...



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#2 Charlieman

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Posted 28 August 2020 - 11:17

How widely were the FIM/FICM/FIA scoring rules reported in the motoring press and how many official records exist? I'm presuming "not very good" on the basis of past discussions on TNF about how points and championships were awarded. But it is always possible that somebody has new research.



#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 28 August 2020 - 12:18

Worth adding this text by Mike Lawrence here, I think:

 

A major sporting competition, such as a world championship, usually demands a substantial organisation. In 1949 motorcycling's governing body, the FIM, showed that world championships could be run by an office junior during their lunch break. The FIM nominated six race meetings in Belgium, the Isle of Man, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Ulster and nominated races for four solo classes (500cc, 350cc, 250cc and 125cc) plus 600cc motorbike and sidecar combinations. They decided on points for the top five finishers: 10-8-7-6-5 plus a point for the fastest lap. Since the events were scheduled to take place in any case, all the FIM's office junior had to do was to keep a tally of the points and send the scores by telex to the main press agencies. Individual newspapers would do the rest. All that was left to the FIM was to buy trophies and organise a ceremony involving a slap-up dinner for the Men in Blazers.

Though all the races took place in Europe, the FIM was justified in calling its points system 'world' championships because they were open to all nationalities (save for German and Japanese in 1949.)

The FIA saw the FIM model and saw that it was good in that it generated publicity and interest for no effort.

https://www.pitpass....es_art_id=67040

 

I'm not sure that even in the early 1950s the British press paid much attention to the FIA championship, but the successes of Geoff Duke, Eric Oliver and Fergus Anderson on two and three wheels probably generated more press and public interest at the time, especially in the earliest years when Duke and Oliver both rode Nortons. British riders won three of the five FIM titles in 1949 - all on British bikes - two more in 1950 and three in 1951, again on British machinery. Jump a few years and John Surtees was the first motor sportsman to win SPOTY, in 1959. Hawthorn wasn't even the top three in 1958, although Moss had been second in 1957 and would go on to win it in 1961.



#4 Michael Ferner

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Posted 30 August 2020 - 20:45

However, there's also the FICM European Championship to consider. In 1938 it was scored 6-5-4-3-2-1 but - just as with the AIACR EC - there are discrepancies over how it was to be scored in 1939, with some sources quoting 6-5-4-3-2-1 and some 5-4-3-2-1. It's also claimed by some that the cancellation of the final two races meant that only the best 4 results should be counted; that only makes a difference to the 350cc table - and only when scored to six places, producing a tie between Heiner Fleischmann and Ted Mellors. Although Fleischmann would probably win on countback anyway, having won two races to Mellors' one.

 

The post-war FIM World Championship was scored 10-8-7-6-5 plus a point for fastest lap in 1949. In 1950, it changed to 8-6-4-3-2-1 for the first six finishers and the fastest lap point was dropped, with only the best four results counted. That changed in 1951 - points were the same, but it became 'best 4 of up to 8 races' or 'best 5 of over 8 races'; I'm not well enough up on FIM/FICM history to know whether the Mellors thing is retrospective wishful thinking though. The late Vincent Glon did suggest that it was a theory pushed mainly by the British!

 

The connection between all these? Well, there was a lot of crossover between the AIACR/FIA and FICM/FIM: Bonacossa, Pérouse, Lurani ...

 

Period sources suggest that the 1939 scoring was 5-4-3-2-1, and yes, even though Mellors was probably the better rider, him winning the 1939 title is just wishful thinking. Though Fleischmann suffered the same fate as Hermann Lang, in that some people seem to think that being announced as champions by a Nazi authority automatically disqualifies them from being rightful titleholders!



#5 Collombin

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 08:56

Prompted by mention of Hawthorn in another thread, it has reminded me of a question I asked a while ago in the other part of this forum to which nobody was able to shine any light.

Did Moss really need the fastest lap at Casablanca in 1958 to stand any chance of the title?

I have always been led to believe so, but had Mike not been able to improve on his tally and both drivers had finished on equal points, would Mike's dropped scores have trumped Moss' extra wins?

We know that in 1962 wins were the decisive factor rather than dropped points, but for Moss to have needed the FL point in Morocco the reverse must have been true.

So, did the rules change between 1958 and 1962 or were the reports in 1958 simply incorrect? Did anyone even know for sure?

#6 Michael Ferner

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 09:45

Hm, not really sure what your line of thinking is, here. Moss won and set fastest lap at Casablanca, which raised his point total to 41, one shy of Hawthorn. Had he not recorded fastest lap, he'd been two points shy, or three if Hawthorn had mopped up the extra point instead. If Hawthorn retired, he'd been stuck at 40 points, so eight would've been enough for Moss to clinch the title, and yes, that means he didn't need the fastest lap in that case. Has anyone ever suggested the opposite?

 

EDIT

 

Thinking about it, you probably mean that Moss needed fastest lap while Hawthorn was still behind Hill? That may have been the case, if Hawthorn himself held fastest lap at the time - Hawthorn would've been at 41, and Moss only at 40 points, which would've been reversed if Moss took the extra point away from Mike.


Edited by Michael Ferner, 12 October 2020 - 09:51.


#7 Collombin

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 10:56

so eight would've been enough for Moss to clinch the title, and yes, that means he didn't need the fastest lap in that case. Has anyone ever suggested the opposite?


Yes - both on newsreel and in print. I've actually never heard anything contrary to that! I've only ever heard that Moss needed to win AND set fastest lap to stand any chance at all.

#8 Roger Clark

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 11:39

Motor Racing (November 1958) said that if the two finished equal on nett points, the next best performance would be decisive. That would be Hawthorn's two points at Zandvoort.

#9 Collombin

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 11:41

Went back to check a few sources - most simply ignore the tie scenario so were perhaps unsure themselves, but in Champion Year p214 Mike quotes a passage from Rodney Walkerley in The Motor of 24th Sep 1958 that specifically states that in the event of a tie on 40 pts, Mike would win the championship due to the seventh best score being taken into account. If true, then the tie break procedure did indeed change before 1962.

Edit - thanks Roger, missed your post whilst typing this one.

Edited by Collombin, 12 October 2020 - 11:41.


#10 Michael Ferner

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 12:32

That's interesting, and news to me! However, I seem to recall reading about the same rule applying to motorcycle world championship racing in the fifties. The difficulty will be finding the source again... :(



#11 Collombin

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 12:44

It's good that Stirling never had a 6th place finish anywhere that season, one of the greatest unresolved TNF debates would never have seen the light of day.

#12 D-Type

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 13:14

I've just noticed this: Compare the original 8_6_4_3_2_[1] system to the sequence of photogaphic f-stops 8_5.6_4_2.8_2_1.4.  If you round the latter to whole numbers they are the same.  Mathematically the f-stops are in a sequence where each is divided by the square root of 2.  And the French are a mathematical race.

 

Sorry. this doesn't add anything to the core questions of points and tie breakers.



#13 Roger Clark

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 07:27

If you express the points for positions 2-5 as a percentage of the winners’ in the 50s you get 75-50-37.5-25. If you do the same for the current system you get 72-48-40-32. Not a huge difference, I think and you would get similar results for most scoring systems over the intervening years. In the 50s fastest lap was worth 12.5% of a win but today it is only 4%. 



#14 Collombin

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 16:28

If you express the points for positions 2-5 as a percentage of the winners’ in the 50s you get 75-50-37.5-25. If you do the same for the current system you get 72-48-40-32. Not a huge difference


The dropped scores rule did effectively increase the value of the higher finishing positions though. Personally I think 2nd place should be worth nowhere near 75% of the 1st place score, at least the 10-6-4-3-2-1 system got that right.