F1 drivers divided over proposed new championship points system


F1 drivers have offered a mixed reaction to a proposal that would shake up the World Championship’s points system and which is set to be debated this week at a meeting of the F1 Commission.

The potential scheme aims to incentivize midfield competition by awarding points to a wider range of finishers.

Currently, only the top ten drivers score points, a system that arguably unfairly diminishes the efforts of teams outside of the top five constructors.

The proposed revision seeks to address this by extending points down to 12th place. This would create more opportunities for midfield teams to earn valuable championship points, potentially increasing the overall competitiveness across the grid.

As part of the new schedule, points awarded to the top seven finishers would remain unchanged. The adjustments would take effect from eighth place onward, with a revised point scale offering more points to lower-finishing positions.

Last weekend in China, several drivers were queried on the system and they offered mixed reactions.

Sauber’s Valtteri Bottas, whose team has yet to score a top-ten finish, was unsurprisingly open to the idea.

“To be fair to everybody, I think the more points positions there are, even in the sprint, I think it’s better,” said the Finn.

“It creates even more competition. It’s extremely hard to score now, the top five teams have a bit of a gap to everyone else.”

Williams charger Alex Albon recognized the potential advantages of the additional points. But the Thai would rather see his team perform consistently as a top-five outfit within the traditional points-scoring range.

“Would I want that? Maybe - but at the same time, you want to be a top-five team,” he said.

“In some respects, it feels like when you’re one of the bottom five teams, you’re looking for that one wet, damp, red flag race that’s going to transform your whole championship.

“That’s what we’re relying on. Last year it felt like it was a bit closer, the McLarens weren’t always there and you could fight at other weekends. It’s true that now consistently, unless there’s a DNF, nothing is going to happen.

“We are fighting for P10 most of the time. I should ask my team if we want it - myself, I don’t really care. I’d rather just do a better job and be a top-five team.”

Alpine’s Pierre Gasly suggested that extending the points range might erode a team’s motivation to improve and move up the grid, therefore defeating the purpose of the change.

“They [bottom five teams] have just got to do a better job, it's simple as that, it’s always been the same," he said. "The last couple of years, if you're not in the top 10, you just got to work it out and make a faster car.

“I'm happy with how it is. I don't want to change too much the way Formula 1 is. Sometimes when you’ve got a great tool, there's no need to just reinvent the wheel. I’m happy to keep it as it is.”

Haas’ Kevin Magnussen endorsed the idea of changing the system, and the Dane would even like to see F1 distribute points to every finisher, like in IndyCar.

“I think that would be good, maybe points for everyone would be better so that you always have something to fight for, and it's not going to change the result in the championship," he said.

“I think it just means that it's a more interesting fight between the bottom five. When you're fighting for P16 or 14 or something like that, it’d be good if there was still something to fight for.

“It's just not interesting when you’re that far behind. With the car we have this year it's still interesting because it's fast enough that if something happens, a safety car or whatever we get back in the fight.”

For the proposal to become a reality for the 2025 season, it needs to be approved by at least half the teams (five out of ten), as well as receive support from the FIA and Formula One Management.

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