Formula One, abbreviated to F1, is the highest class of open-wheeled auto racing series administered by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), motorsport's world governing body. The "formula" in the name alludes to a series of rules set by the FIA to which all participants and vehicles are required to conform. The F1 World Championship season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, usually held on purpose-built circuits, and in a few cases on closed city streets. A points scoring system is used for each Grand Prix held over the course of the F1 season to determine the outcome of two annual championships, one for drivers (World Drivers' Championship) since 1950, and one for constructors (World Constructors' Championship) since 1958. Each driver accumulates championship points individually in the World Drivers' Championship and collectively for the team they compete for in the World Constructors' Championship. At the conclusion of the season, both championships are officially presented at the end-of-season FIA Prize Giving Ceremony held in various locations to the participant and team with the most points attained.
As of the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,[update] 348 drivers have scored Drivers' Championship points, and 70 out of 170 teams have scored Constructors' Championship points, in 1,079 World Championship races. Lewis Hamilton has the highest Drivers' Championship points total with 4405.5, Sebastian Vettel is second with 3098 and Fernando Alonso is third with 2061. Scuderia Ferrari holds the record for the highest Constructors' Championship points total with 9266. Mercedes are second with 6813.5 and McLaren are third with 5989.5. Between 1950 and 1957, drivers were awarded an equal points distribution share if they shared a car with another or for setting the same fastest lap as another. On two occasions involving three drivers, second drivers of teams that officially entered only one car were ineligible for points.
Robert Kubica waited the longest period of time between two points scores–8 years and 256 days–between the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the 2019 German Grand Prix. Michael Schumacher has the longest time between his first points score and his last. He achieved his first points score at the 1991 Italian Grand Prix, and his last at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix, a span of 21 years, 2 months and 17 days. Hamilton holds the record for most consecutive points scores at 48 Grands Prix in succession from the 2018 British Grand Prix to the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. Max Verstappen is the youngest driver to tally a championship point; he finished seventh at the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix when he was 17 years and 180 days old. Philippe Étancelin is the oldest driver to score a championship point; he was 53 years and 249 days old when he finished fifth at the 1950 Italian Grand Prix.
The points scoring has been changed several times throughout F1 history. Participants in every season until 1990 could only achieve Drivers' Championship points for their best-placed finishes in a specified maximum number of races. Up until 1979, most years saw only the highest-scoring participant in each Grand Prix for each constructor contributing points towards the Drivers' title. From 1950 to 1959, the top five finishers of each race plus the fastest lap setter tallied points. The format was expanded to include the first six finishers of each event between 1960 and 2002 but with no point for fastest lap. In 2003, the FIA revised the structure to the top eight finishers of each race. The FIA extended the system again to include the first ten Grand Prix finishers in 2010. Each Grand Prix winner tallied 8 points from 1950 to 1960, 9 from 1961 to 1990, 10 between 1991 and 2009, and 25 since 2010.
Half points were awarded for six Grands Prix that were red-flagged before a certain threshold in a race progression was reached (at different times being either 60% or 75% of the scheduled race distance); starting from around 1977 to 1980 until the end of the 2021 season, no points were able to be accumulated should a race conclude early with the leader having completed two or fewer laps. From 2022 onwards, following the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix in which half points were awarded to the first ten finishers even though no racing laps were completed, the standards by which a driver can tally championship points should a Grand Prix be suspended before full distance is covered and not be restarted, were changed to a gradual scale system. No points can be scored unless two or more racing laps are completed by the race leader without the intervention of the safety car or virtual safety car. Only drivers finishing in the top five positions are eligible for championship points should the race leader complete more than two racing laps but cover less than 25% of race distance. That switches to the top nine places should the race leader complete between 25% and 50% of race distance. If the race leader covers between 50% and 75% of race distance then participants finishing in the top ten positions tally points. Full championship points are tallied should the race leader complete 75% or more of the scheduled race distance. Following initial confusion over how points were awarded at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix, the FIA clarified the drivers are also eligible for full points if the race finishes under green flag conditions regardless of the percentage of the scheduled race distance that has been covered.
Sprint qualifying was introduced in 2021 to set the starting order at three Grands Prix that season and the top 3 finishers of each of these mini-races received points. The first eight drivers are awarded points in the three sprint races in 2022.
The bonus point for fastest lap was reintroduced in 2019 but only drivers and constructors who finished in the top ten are eligible to score the point. From 2022, the fastest lap point is only awarded if 50% or more of the scheduled race distance is completed. Unlike some other motor racing series (e.g., the IndyCar Series), F1 has never given extra points to drivers for leading the highest number of laps or qualifying on pole position.
Points scoring systemsEdit
|Seasons||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||6th||7th||8th||9th||10th||Fastest lap||Drivers' Championship||Constructors' Championship||Notes|
|1967||9 (5 from first 6, 4 from last 5)|
|1968||10 (5 from both first and last 6)||[h]|
|1969||9 (5 from first 6, 4 from last 5)||[f][h]|
|1970||11 (6 from first 7, 5 from last 6)||[h]|
|1971||9 (5 from first 6, 4 from last 5)|
|1972||10 (5 from both first and last 6)|
|1973–1974||13 (7 from first 8, 6 from last 7)|
|1975||12 (6 each from first and last 7)|
|1976||14 (7 from each of first and last 8)|
|1977||15 (8 from first 9, 7 from last 8)|
|1978||14 (7 from each of first and last 8)|
|1979||8 (4 from first 7, 4 from last 8)||All||–|
|1980||10 (5 from both first and last 7)|
|Seasons||Race length completed||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||6th||7th||8th||9th||10th||Fastest lap||Notes|
|1975–1976||Less than 30%||–||–||[r][s]|
|Between 30% and 60%||Half|
|More than 60%||Full|
|1980–2021||Less than two laps||–||[s][t][u]|
|Between two laps and 75%||Half|
|More than 75%||Full|
|2022–present||Less than two full racing laps||–||–||[v]|
|Between two racing laps and 25%||6||4||3||2||1||–||–||–||–||–|
|More than 75% for a race that is red flagged and not resumed or if race resumes and is shortened by time limit having ended under green flag conditions with at least two racing laps.||Full|
- The World Constructors' Championship was not awarded from 1950 to 1957.
- Points were shared equally between drivers who set the same fastest lap time (an extreme example of which happened in the 1954 British Grand Prix where seven drivers set the same fastest lap time, and each received 1⁄7 of a point).
- Formula 2 cars raced with Formula One cars in the following Grands Prix, but were ineligible for World Championship points:
- Points were no longer awarded for shared race drives (e.g. 1958 Italian Grand Prix, 1960 Argentine Grand Prix).
- Only the points of the highest-scoring driver for each constructor at each race (including privateer entries) were counted towards the Constructors' Championship.
- The point for fastest lap was only awarded to drivers, not constructors.
- The points in the Indianapolis 500 were only awarded only to drivers and not constructors.
- Points were awarded on a 9–6–4–3–2–1 basis for the 1961 Drivers' title, and on an 8–6–4–3–2–1 basis for the 1961 Constructors' title.
- Drivers who were not classified (i.e. did not complete a specified amount of race distance) did not score points, even if they finished in the top six places.
- Second drivers of teams that officially entered only one car were not eligible for points. This affected Jo Gartner (Osella) and Gerhard Berger (ATS) who finished fifth and sixth at the 1984 Italian Grand Prix, and Yannick Dalmas (Larrousse) who finished fifth at the 1987 Australian Grand Prix. Their points were not redistributed.
- In 2014, double points were awarded in the last race of the season.
- The point for fastest lap was only awarded if the driver was classified in the top 10 in the race.
- This system was used for the sprint qualifying session at three Grands Prix, the 2021 British Grand Prix, 2021 Italian Grand Prix and 2021 São Paulo Grand Prix, which were used to determine the starting order of the main race.
- This system is used for the sprint races at three Grands Prix in 2022, the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix, and the 2022 São Paulo Grand Prix to set the starting order for the main race.
- The first race for which half-points were awarded was the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix.
- The requirement to complete two laps is believed to have been implemented between 1977 and 1980.
- The regulation regarding half-points in the case of exactly two laps being completed was slightly amended in 2016; no race was affected by this amendment.
- No official fastest lap was awarded at the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix, which was conducted entirely behind the safety car.
- If a Grand Prix is restarted but is subsequently shortened due to reaching the regulations-imposed time limit – as had happened at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix – then full points are awarded.
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