Formula 1 has seen a change in management, with Liberty Media now guarding the flame. Over the past year, they have tried to reinvigorate the sport by introducing new ways of enticing old fans back and trying to appeal to a new market. Recently at the Formula 1 Strategy meeting, another change was proposed; this time with the way in which points are allocated to placings post-race. Since F1 started, there have been a number of changes to this system, but each change has seen the number of drivers receiving points per race increasing as the sport has evolved. The first ten years of the championship saw the fastest 5 drivers receiving an acknowledgement, with a bonus point awarded to the fastest lap. Over the years this has changed encompassing the top six, then eight, and then finally in 2010, the top ten receiving points.
At last weeks meeting, it was suggested to extend the system to all 20 drivers. A driver would only receive a point for finishing the race; a DNF would attract 0 points. Two schools of thought have emerged regarding this suggestion. One camp thinks the exclusivity of the top ten should remain intact, but others believe that the system would then rank drivers more fairly irrespective of the team they race for.
So how will this affect the rankings if the system were to be applied to the current crop of 20 drivers for this year's championship? Using the reward system metrics currently in place, with the first place getter receiving higher points than second, third, etc. and last receiving 1 point, the following table is suggested:
Instead of 25 points for first, 37 is awarded. It then runs down the list in a similar vein to the current system. Potentially all 20 places will receive points, but if they fail to finish, no points are awarded. With this system applied to the current championship, things get a little bit interesting. The top 3 place sitters remain the same, but there is a change in position for Bottas and Ricciardo with a 10 point difference compared to the 2 points currently in Ricciardo's favour. But things get more interesting as you work your way down the list. Alonso moves from 8 to 10, and Grosjean drops 3 places from 15th to 18th. The big winner is Magnussen who moves ahead of Alonso and Hulkenberg, and takes 7th position. This is probably more reflective of his year to date and is probably deserving of recognition.
So if the new system were to be employed, the jostling for seats may have a different spin to it as the numbers don't lie. The mid-range teams would have a better understanding of who the quiet achievers really are, and the ones who are just squeaky wheels getting more attention than they should.
Personally, I would like to see the reintroduction of the bonus point/s for the fastest lap; this stopped after the 50's. This would then stop the drivers from nursing vehicles home and push them to compete to the very end. It would be an interesting proposition for this year's championship which has seen the championship lead changing more regularly than the tres on the cars! A single point might be the difference between a championship or being the best of the rest.