Update on the Points System Comparisons

As an addition to the posts I wrote on the different points systems used since 1950 and their fairness the other day, ManipeF1 has written an excellent post where he compares the greatest drivers of the sport using a normalised points scoring system here: A alternative view of points-scoring comparisons.

I think his post and the ones I have just done make excellent companions – his post is a very interesting way of looking at things!

Check out his blog too, it’s a good read!

This pic has nothing to do with the post, I just really like the look of the Lotus ;)

How Fair Have The F1 Points Systems Been?

In my previous post, we looked at various points systems used in the Formula 1 World Championship since 1950, along with some other possible systems that could be used. As promised, this is the second part of the post that aims to look at how ‘fair’ a points system is.

One of the reasons that the points system was changed was to give the new teams a chance of scoring points. Assuming 26 cars run this season (which is very much an assumption and not a certainty at this point!), the chances of any car being in a points scoring position is 10/26, or 1/26, which is about 38% (not taking into account any performance data of course). Under the 2003-2009 system, we had 8 points paying positions for a grid of 20 cars, which actually meant that at least 40% of the field could have finished in the points.

I am interested to see which systems were the fairest in terms of the most points paying positions in the field using this method, so I looked up some data on average field sizes and average number of cars that finished a race, with the help of Wikipedia, FORIX and Brian Lawrence from F1NGers who had the stats available and helped compile them for me.

A special thanks must go to Brian who already had the stats collated and actually did the analysis for me – along with spending a good part of his Sunday conversing with me via email giving me some great advice and pointers to help me calculate the Fairness index. What a Legend! ;)

Before we begin, here is a recap of the points systems used between 1950-2010:

Years 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th TOTAL
1950-1959* 8 6 4 3 2 24
1960 8 6 4 3 2 1 24
1961-1990** 9 6 4 3 2 1 25
1991-2002 10 6 4 3 2 1 26
2003-2009 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1 39
2010-? 25 18 15 12 10 8 6 4 2 1 101

Note: *Point awarded for fastest lap, **Various different systems allowing dropped races were used (and will not be taken into account here).

So here are the graphs showing the fairness of a points system in any given year. Remember this is calculated by dividing the number of points scoring places by the number of entrants, qualifiers or finishers:

Fairness2 Continue reading