A question often asked by those new to Formula One™ racing concerns how drivers
and teams score points. As part of our Beginner's Guide to Formula One Motor
Racing, this article should provide the answers.
In any given season there are two world championships - the drivers' championship and the constructors' (or team) championship. The top six drivers in each Grand Prix earn points towards both championships.
Points are awarded as follows: ten (10) points for first place, eight (8) points for second place, six (6) points for third place, five (5) points for fourth place, four (4) points for fifth place, three (3) point for sixth place, two (2) points for seventh place and one (1) point for eighth place.
As an example, let us assume Ferrari drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello finish a race in first and second place. Schumacher will score ten points towards the drivers' championship and ten towards the constructors' championship. Barrichello will score eight points towards each. Ferrari therefore score a total of 18 points towards the constructors' championship.
The only exception to this points structure is when a race is stopped and then restarted and run over a reduced distance. In this case half points are awarded. This is a very rare occurrence these days as most track incidents can be dealt with using the safety car, making it unnecessary to stop the race.
The winner of each championship is the driver or team who finishes the season with the most points. In the case of a dead heat, the title goes to the party with the most first places. If the number of first places is the same it goes to the party with the most second places.
If the number of second places is the same, it goes to the party with the most third places and so on until a clear winner emerges. Should this method fail to establish a winner, then F1 racing's governing body, the FIA, can nominate a winner as they see fit.