New Points Scoring System, What Does It Mean?

Kunal ShahContributor IFebruary 7, 2010

VALENCIA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 03:  Pitboard for Fernando Alonso of Spain and Ferrari is seen during winter testing at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit on February 3, 2010 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

So Formula1 has undergone yet another change before the start of the 2010 season. 

The mid-race refueling ban has been much debated and in my opinion it could just be a good move for the ‘average’ fan – who just wants to see some high speed action and not put his head into cracking team’s pit stop strategies!! Ah! I wish I was one of them too!!

The last 4 seasons have had 4 different World Champions – which shows that F1 has been fiercely competitive post the Schumacher – Ferrari era. However, much to the dislike of fans and racing pundits, the driver who won wasn’t always the ‘best’ of that season. Sorry Kimi, Lewis and Jenson – but the fact is that many races these drivers were happy to just collect points and hold their advantage on the points table – or worse limit the damage!! While it did good to their championship campaign, it didn’t do good for some wheel-to-wheel action and of course us fans!! 

So to take care of us ‘fans’ – M/s Bernie & Co. came up with this bizarre idea of awarding ‘medals’ to the winning driver, which seemed innovative. (At least we know that they’re thinking about improving F1) However, what was funnier was that they planned to crown the driver with maximum medals the World Championship – which meant that the driver who would win maximum races in the season would be crowned the F1 World Champion. Laugh we did, and laugh we still are on this even more bizarre idea!

However, bizarre or not, what really needed to be addressed was the fact that most drivers preferred to grab a few points or ‘settle’ for second and just play the ‘numbers’ game on the championship table. Jenson won this title last year and he did play it well by ensuring that he ‘maintained’ his advantage in terms of points if not in terms of track performance. 

After innumerable attempts and many a funny suggestions, F1 finally seems to have found an answer to address this problem. For the first time in its 60 years of existence we have seen a major change in the points scoring system. For 2010, the FIA has decided to increase the gap between the first, second and third place winners!! The first thought that crosses my mind is – didn’t they decide the decrease this same gap when Michael Schumacher went stomping in his Ferrari in the 2000s?? 

Either ways, one has to adapt and it seems the F1 management too seems to know that management funda!

So here’s the break up; 25 – 18 – 15 – 12 – 10 – 8 – 6 – 4 – 2 – 1, where the top 10 finishers will be awarded championship points. This was a much needed move because there will be 3 new teams lining up on the grid in Bahrain, which also means that since a long time now, 26 cars will be racing when the lights go out. 

So what does this new point scoring system mean? Yet another ‘change’ for the fans to digest! I am attempting to simplify this – read on!

1. Most obvious – drivers will race for victory and not for points! The 7 point difference does make winning more ‘lucrative’ (wasn’t it already??)

2. All prior statistical data will be made null and void for comparison – a GP winner in 2010 will be awarded 150% more points than any of his predecessors ever were!

3. Top 10 finishers will be awarded points – making it slightly easier for the bottom rung team to finish in the points

4. Valiant comebacks – Kimi made a comeback to win 2007 and clinched it by a point. Much of his comeback was aided by the fact that the difference between the top 3 finishers was only 2 points. I see a very rare chance that this new system might offer an opportunity for such comebacks! 

As they say ‘may the best man win’, that might just be what this new scoring system has to offer in 2010.