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The points system

This racing system would give points to more drivers in each race than Formula One currently does. Points are not supposed to be a reward in themselves. They are just a tool for distinguishing between drivers in the championship, and it makes sense to do that all the way down the field. For the 2003 season, Formula One increased the number of points scorers in each race from 6 to 8, and in 2010 increased it again to 10 (25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1), but I still donít think it went far enough. In Formula One, the drivers who are normally towards the rear of the field are ranked by their performances in the races where the top drivers fail to finish, since they donít score in the other races. By consistently giving more people points, we would have a better overall picture of who normally finishes ahead of who all the way down the order. The best points system would be the one that gives a championship order that best reflects the performances of all the drivers throughout the season.

Secondly, I would increase the points ratios between the positions, particularly at the top. I would give the winner double the points of second place. It might seem a lot at first, but a driver could win two out of every three races and still be tied for points with another driver even under this system. I think itís right that if you retire from a race, then winning the next two will guarantee that you catch up.

Ideally weíd want the points ratio between the positions to tail off as you go down the field. Second place shouldnít be worth as much as double third place, for example. I think a neat system would be for second place to take half the points of the winner, third place take a third, fourth place takes a quarter and so on. So four 4th places, three 3rds, two 2nds or one win would all be worth the same number of points. In Formula One, two 4th places were worth the same number of points as a win from 2003 to 2009, and even from 2010 two 4th places are worth 24 points compared with 25 points for a win. This doesnít reward the winner enough, and the new system for 2010 was supposed to address this problem.

Obviously we donít want to be giving out fractional points if we can avoid it, so the ratio system isnít going to work perfectly unless you start with a ridiculously high number of points for the winner, so a compromise is needed. For the ratio system to work perfectly, multiplying each position by the points gained for that position would give a constant result. The following system gives points to 14 drivers, starting with 60 for the winner. The product of points and position stays constant for the first six places before starting to drop. It never goes up, so no-one does relatively better than someone finishing higher than them. The product of points and position is included in brackets:

1st 60 (60)
2nd 30 (60)
3rd 20 (60)
4th 15 (60)
5th 12 (60)
6th 10 (60)
7th  8 (56)
8th  7 (56)
9th  6 (54)
10th 5 (50)
11th 4 (44)
12th 3 (36)
13th 2 (26)
14th 1 (14)

By giving 120 points for the win, the same method would give a system with 19 scorers. To make it a rounder 20, we would have to slightly relax the rule that the product of points and position never goes up as you go down the order. It would stay constant at 120 for the top 6, dip to 119 for 7th and then be back at 120 for 8th position, and from there the rule would be in place. Here it is in full:

1st 120 (120)
2nd  60 (120)
3rd  40 (120)
4th  30 (120)
5th  24 (120)
6th  20 (120)
7th  17 (119)
8th  15 (120)
9th  13 (117)
10th 11 (110)
11th 10 (110)
12th  9 (108)
13th  8 (104)
14th  7  (98)
15th  6  (90)
16th  5  (80)
17th  4  (68)
18th  3  (54)
19th  2  (38)
20th  1  (20)

The exact number of drivers scoring points in each race is not set in stone and would also depend on the number of drivers racing in each formula. But system is likely to conform to the general principle just outlined. Once set, the points system that is used would not change, and as there would always be the same number of races in a season, people would be able to compare statistics from year to year, which canít really be done with Formula One. And with drivers in equal cars, the record points total for a season would be a proper achievement for a driver and not a reflection of the car. There would be real driver records. For people who like their statistics, this would be a big improvement over Formula One.

There would be no points in the main championship for qualifying, but there could be a separate qualifying championship. The points system for this would simply follow the same system as the main championship.

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