Points, calculations and the top eight

At the start of 2010 the rules changed, allowing the top ten drivers to walk away with championship points. However, under the previous system, Kimi Raikkonen would sit on one lonely point and Jules Bianchi’s celebrations would be somewhat premature…

points systemAt the close of the 2009 season, the FIA altered the points scoring system in the hope that all following championship battles would become much more competitive. In its first year, this proved to be true as five drivers led the charge for 2010 title glory right up to the final round.

However, the years of Sebastian Vettel’s dominance thereafter suggest it was perhaps not as successful as intended.

To contend the championship nowadays, you need a top ten placing to your credit – under the older system, eighth was the benchmark.  When this arrangement came into force in 2003, ten points would be the reward for a race win, compared to twenty-five today.

As such, the 2014 driver standings would look a little different under the old legislation. After all, the fight in the midfield would be an awful lot closer.

Allow me to explain.

The tables below shows which position each driver and team would hold should they be racing between March 2003 and November 2009. As the summer break winds to a close, Nico Rosberg’s eleven point advantage over team mate Lewis Hamilton would not be greatly dented, still allowing a ten point deficit.

Furthermore, nine drivers would be entering the second half of the season without a point to their championship tally. Romain Grosjean would be the highest placed non-points scorer in thirteenth. The Frenchman would gain one position his compatriot, Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne who has secured less top eight finishes this season.

Were this 2009, Jules Bianchi’s ninth place in Monaco would not be quite as newsworthy. The Frenchman’s heroics would still leave him with a pointless score card but maintaining the bragging rights over his team mate Max Chilton and a struggling Caterham duo. Crucially, Marussia would also remain ninth in the constructors’ championship.

When the rules changed, so did the strategies. For the midfield, tenth is the new target as they look to conquer a seemingly never-ending battle for FIA funding at the conclusion of each year.  I say this, the midfield is no longer as set as it once was – both McLaren and Williams enjoy the occasional moments of success which propel them to a top placing in the standings. Equally, Lotus and Sauber are now considered backmarkers, a position only usually reserved for either Caterham or Marussia.

According to the tables below, Force India would be the only team to gain a position under the older calculation method. They would overtake McLaren for fifth place but the one point gap would remain the same. The deficit between Williams and Ferrari would also remain a tight affair for third place.

For the full list of drivers’ and constructors’ standings under the 2003-2010 points system, see below.

Drivers’ championship comparison

  Driver Name Team Points (Old) Points (Current) Current Ranking
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 85 202 1
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 78 191 2
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 52 131 3
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 45 115 4
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams 37 95 5
6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 35 88 6
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 25 60 7
8 Jenson Button McLaren 23 69 8
9 Felipe Massa Williams 15 40 9
10 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 12 37 10
11 Sergio Perez Force India 9 29 11
12 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1 27 12
13 Romain Grosjean Lotus 0 8 14
14 Jean Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 0 11 13
15 Jules Bianchi Marussia 0 2 16
16 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 0 6 15
17 Adrian Sutil Sauber 0 0 17
18 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 0 0 18
19 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 0 0 19
20 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 0 0 20
21 Max Chilton Marussia 0 0 21
22 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 0 0 22

Constructors’ championship comparison

  Team Engine Points (Old) Points (Current) Current Ranking
1 Mercedes AMG Mercedes 163 393 1
2 Red Bull Racing Renault 87 219 2
3 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 53 142 3
4 Williams Mercedes 52 135 4
5 McLaren Mercedes 35 97 6
6 Force India Mercedes 34 98 5
7 Toro Rosso Renault 2 17 7
8 Lotus Renault 2 8 8
9 Marussia Ferrari 0 2 9
10 Sauber Ferrari 0 0 10
11 Caterham Renault 0 0 11
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