Formula One is about many things – speed, glory, glamour, bravery – but for teams and drivers it is, at its most basic level, all about winning points. That is what they sweat for every race weekend and how they will be judged for years to come.
So to make sure you know what they are all chasing on a Sunday afternoon, here is a breakdown of how championship points will be awarded in 2023.
F1 points in 2023
- 1st: 25
- 2nd: 18
- 3rd: 15
- 4th: 12
- 5th: 10
- 6th: 8
- 7th: 6
- 8th: 4
- 9th: 2
- 10th: 1
There is one bonus point available for the driver who records the fastest lap of the race. However, they must also finish in the top 10 in order to qualify for the point. This is to stop all the drivers outside the top 10 pitting for fresh tyres in the last few laps in an effort to set a fastest lap, which would compromise the integrity of the race.
Points mean… prizes
In the world constructors’ championship, every point matters as teams scrap it out for positions in the table that will go some way to deciding their payout from F1 at the end of the season. The prize money is not entirely merit-based – a percentage of the revenue generated by the championship is shared equally among the 10 teams – but there is a significant part of the money, understood to be 23.75 per cent of F1’s overall profit, that is awarded based on where teams finish in the WCC standings.
The champions are understood to be awarded around $66m (£48m) while last place, Williams in 2022, gets around $15m (£11m).
The evolution of points-scoring in F1
While the addition of a bonus point for the fastest lap may have felt like a novel innovation when the sport’s owners Liberty Media introduced it last season – it was in fact a throwback.
The first decade of F1 included an extra point for the fastest lap until it was abolished for the 1960 season, when Jack Brabham won the title. As it happened, it would have made little difference to the overall result as he was well clear of Bruce McLaren and bagged a number of fastest laps himself.
Instead, the point was redistributed down the field. Up until that point in time, only the top five drivers in each race were awarded points (eight of them to the winner) and only their best four or later five race results counted towards the title.
In 1960, points for the top six were first introduced and the winner was topped up to nine points in 1961. That was rounded up to 10 in 1991 – but the six points-scoring places remained the case for more than 40 years, until a revamp in 2002 saw that extended to eight and then another in 2010 made it the top 10, which is when the winner went from 10 points to the 25 we see today.