Formula 1 points overhaul should be taken one step further

Over the last few Formula 1 seasons, we have seen drivers finish way ahead of the pack. What if there was an incentive to keep driving hard the whole race?
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Formula 1 / Kym Illman/GettyImages

There have been recent rumblings about a change to the Formula 1 point scoring system, with adjustments rumored to be made for as early as 2025 to award points to the top 12 drivers instead of the top 10. The structure would remain the same for the top seven, with the only actual changes happening for the eighth through 12th place finishers.

But if this change is implemented, Formula 1 may want to consider not stopping there.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have absolutely dominated the last decade of Formula 1, and there have been instances when they have finished far ahead of second place and ended up lapping several backmarkers in the latter stages of a race.

This bonus point concept is intended for when a driver laps at least 11 drivers during a race and essentially finishes in the points a second time.

Given the difficulty of lapping that many drivers, providing a reward for it would give race leaders a reason to continue pushing, thus improving the overall racing quality. For example, if a driver is leading a race and laps 12 drivers, that driver essentially finishes in ninth place and should therefore be awarded two bonus points (in addition to the 25 for a race win).

These bonus points would not be strictly reserved for race winners. Though the subject of "blue flags" would certainly come into play, this would also push lapped cars to unlap themselves to prevent a driver with whom they are competing in the championship from earning those bonus point(s), which could improve the on-track product.

Examples of Hamilton, Verstappen dominance

The 2018 Spanish Grand Prix was a race in which Hamilton dominated the field. He finished over 20 seconds in front of his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, and lapped 15 other drivers.

Under this bonus points concept, would have earned eight additional points for coming in sixth place in his second go around.

Verstappen put on another impressive drive during the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The Dutch driver lapped 11 drivers, including Hamilton. With this bonus points concept, he would have been awarded one additional point for a 10th place finish the second time around.

The recent Monaco Grand Prix gave us a fantastic example in which several drivers would have received bonus points. The top seven drivers were all in a pack of their own for the entirety of the race.

As a result, those seven drivers managed to lap all cars on the grid up to Yuki Tsunoda in eighth place. So all seven of these drivers would have been given credit for an eighth place finish the second time around, netting them an additional four points.

Race winner Charles Leclerc nearly managed to lap Pierre Gasly a second time, which would have resulted in the Monegasque driver receiving an additional point since Gasly finished in 10th place.

Formula 1 has a strange developing trend for winners not named Max Verstappen. Formula 1 has a strange developing trend for winners not named Max Verstappen. dark. Next

While there are no plans for any such implementation of this concept, it is a suggestion worth discussing as Formula 1 looks to adjust its scoring system in the near future. The incentive for race leaders to continue pushing, and also lapped cars to unlap themselves, would provide a higher level of racing for all 20 drivers each race weekend.