F1 points system explained: How can drivers score points in F1 2023?

Action at the 2022 British Grand Prix. Silverstone, F1 points July 2022. Credit: Alamy
Action at the 2022 British Grand Prix. Silverstone, F1 points July 2022. Credit: Alamy

The F1 points system has changed multiple times throughout the sport’s history, and its latest adjustment came in 2022 with a tweak to how points were given out in sprint qualifying.

Getting to Formula 1 is the goal for any driver coming through at grassroots level, but though few drivers make it to the top tier in the first place, even fewer score F1 points – getting ever more select to those who have gone on to win races and championships.

Put simply, in Formula 1 as in many game shows in years gone by: points mean prizes.

The Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships rely upon them to sort out the best from the rest, and they used to be given out in multiple ways.

Be it only to the top five finishers, then the top six finishers, or the points you score only counting from a select number of your best results, the current F1 points system makes it easier than it has probably ever been to keep track of who scores what.

It is also the most liberal system too, with each of the top 10 finishers scoring points, and the driver with the fastest lap of the race – provided they also finish in the top 10 – scoring a bonus point for doing so.

And with 24 races pencilled in for 2023, along with six sprints, there is a maximum total of 672 points available to score for a driver for the season.

So, based on a normal race weekend, here is how F1 points are allocated on a race-by-race basis:

F1 points – Grand Prix

1st – 25
2nd – 18
3rd – 15
4th – 12
5th – 10
6th – 8
7th – 6
8th – 4
9th – 2
10th – 1

Fastest lap – 1 [if fastest lap driver finishes inside top 10]

[These F1 points are awarded based on a race which has completed 75% or more of its scheduled distance, or for a race which was resumed after a red flag stoppage, then ended under green flag conditions and had at least two full racing laps, as was the case at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix].

F1 points – Sprint Qualifying

The number of sprints will double from three to six in the F1 2023 season, making another 48 possible points available to drivers who put themselves at the front of the grid on sprint weekends.

These points are given out as follows:

1st – 8
2nd – 7
3rd – 6
4th – 5
5th – 4
6th – 3
7th – 2
8th – 1

[Sprint points are only awarded if the leader goes beyond 50% sprint race distance]

F1 points – shortened races

After the confusion surrounding the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix, in which half-points were awarded and a full race result declared despite only two laps being run behind the Safety Car in torrential rain, the FIA introduced a raft of changes to F1 points to ensure that such an issue could not happen in the same way again, if a race is ‘rained off’ or other circumstances prevent a full race from taking place.

Chief among which is that no points will be awarded unless two racing laps can take place without Safety Car or Virtual Safety Car assistance, especially pertinent in tough conditions.

But if a race cannot be finished, the FIA devised a ‘Points Column’ system, which gives out points based on how much of a race had been completed prior to its cancellation or finish before the full lap count could be fulfilled – with FIA regulations stipulating for a maximum of a two-hour race inside a three-hour window.

The Points Columns award points as follows:

FIA F1 Points Column 1 [two laps – 25% race distance]

1st – 6
2nd – 4
3rd – 3
4th – 2
5th – 1

FIA F1 Points Column 2 [25% – 50% race distance]

1st – 13
2nd – 10
3rd – 8
4th – 6
5th – 5
6th – 4
7th – 3
8th – 2
9th – 1

FIA F1 Points Column 3 [50% – 75% race distance]

1st – 19
2nd – 14
3rd – 12
4th – 9
5th – 8
6th – 6
7th – 5
8th – 3
9th – 2
10th – 1

[Full points awarded beyond 75% race distance, all points tallies correct as per 2022 FIA Sporting Regulations].

Read more: F1 records: The drivers with the longest points-scoring streaks in history

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