OllieF1
Pre-2003 vs. Post-2003 vs. Medals

Pre-2003 vs. Post-2003 vs. Medals

A few of you have hinted in the previous post – the one about Bernie Ecclestone’s medal idea – the previous points system prior to the now standard 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 setup. Before 2003, only the top-six scored points, with the system running 10-6-4-3-2-1. The difference between the winner and second place was obviously greater, putting more emphasis on the win, but also meaning championships were wrapped up earlier in the year when one driver or team was dominant. Also, with the post-’03 system, more cars finish in the points, adding to the championship fight lower down the tables.

You can argue the merits of each until the cows come home, and I’m sure you all will. But taking a leaf out of the FIA’s book, I thought I would take a look at the 2008 title and compare all three recent/proposed methods of scoring points/awards; pre-2003, current (or post-2003) and Ecclestone’s medal scheme.

2008 Driver’s Standings
Comparing Pre-2003, Post-2003 and Medals

Pre-2003 Post-2003 Medals
British FlagLewis Hamilton 1st (80pts) 1st (98pts) 2nd (5xGold)
Brazilian FlagFelipe Massa 2nd (77pts) 2nd (97pts) 1st (6xGold)
Finnish FlagKimi Raikkonen 4th (56pts) 3rd (75pts) 3rd (2xGold/2xSilver)
Polish FlagRobert Kubica 5th (50pts) 4th (75pts) 5th (1xGold/3xSilver)
Spanish FlagFernando Alonso 3rd (66pts) 5th (61pts) 4th (2xGold/1xSilver)
German FlagNick Heidfeld 6th (38pts) 6th (60pts) 8th (4xSilver)
Finnish FlagHeikki Kovalainen 7th (34pts) 7th (53pts) 6th (1xGold/1xSilver)
German FlagSebastian Vettel 8th (21pts) 8th (35pts) 7th (1xGold)
Italian FlagJarno Trulli 10th (13pts) 9th (31pts) 12th (1xBronze/1x4th)
German FlagTimo Glock 9th (13pts) 10th (25pts) 10th (1xSilver/1x4th)
Australian FlagMark Webber 13th (6pts) 11th (21pts) 15th (1x4th)
Brazilian FlagNelson Piquet Jr. 12th (10pts) 12th (19pts) 11th (1xSilver)
German FlagNico Rosberg 11th (10pts) 13th (17pts) 9th (1xSilver/1xBronze)
Brazilian FlagRubens Barrichello 14th (5pts) 14th (11pts) 13th (1xBronze)
Japanese FlagKazuki Nakajima 16th (1pt) 15th (9pts) 16th (1x6th/2x7th)
British FlagDavid Coulthard 15th (4pts) 16th (8pts) 14th (1xBronze)
French FlagSebastien Bourdais 18th (0pts) 17th (4pts) 18th (2x7th)
British FlagJenson Button 17th (1pt) 18th (3pts) 17th (1x6th)
Italian FlagGiancarlo Fisichella 19th (0pts) 19th (0pts) 19th (1x10th)
German FlagAdrian Sutil 20th (0pts) 20th (0pts) 20th (1x13th/1x15th)
Japanese FlagTakuma Sato 21st (0pts) 21st (0pts) 21st (1x13th)
British FlagAnthony Davidson 22nd (0pts) 22nd (0pts) 22nd (1x15th)

Some Key Points

  • Lewis Hamilton still would have won with the old system, but not with the medals.
  • Felipe Massa would have won the title had the system of choice been medals.
  • Kimi Raikkonen would have lost out to Fernando Alonso with medals.
  • Robert Kubica would have fared worse with any other scheme.
  • Medals could have helped one-time winners Heikki Kovalainen and Sebastian Vettel.
  • Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock would have swapped positions under the old system thanks to Glock’s second place.
  • With a season best of fourth, Mark Webber still would have had an unlucky year.
  • Medals could have helped podium finishers Nico Rosberg, Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard.

This was of course done as a bit of fun, and there is no real way of telling how a previous championship would have gone or a future championship would go as the drivers attitudes may have changed with different points/awards available for different positions. Needless to say, some drivers remain quite consistent across the three scoring systems, whereas others – those with a one-off result usually – either win or lose depending on the system.

Having now seen how the drivers may have done with each score-sheet, which system do you you prefer and most importantly, why?

Oliver White

10 comments

  • there’s no system in the world gonna fix that.

    Nope, not even Bernie can help! 😆

    And to continue my argument against medals…

    …it took me about 3-times as long to work out the medals than to work out the pre-’03 figures. Therefore, as a fan and F1-site owner, I hope the medals idea gets abolished. 🙂

    Instead of remembering say, Heidfeld is on 17 points, you have to remember his highest finishing positions and their quantity in comparison to others. You can’t just go “17 plus 6 is 23, that puts him ahead of Kovalainen now”. You would have to think “Heidfeld has had 2 seconds, the same has Heikki, but Heidfeld had a fifth whereas Heikki’s next best is a sixth. However, Vettel now has a win so the elevates him above both…”

    Fixed the four errors I’ve spotted in the table, so far…

  • The real giveaway is what happens to Hamilton under the various systems. Under both points systems he is the champion, with medals he comes second. Bearing in mind that the only reason Massa won more races was because the FIA took away one of Hamilton’s wins and gave it to Massa, it becomes obvious how easily a championship can be manipulated with a medals system in place. Just one race can make a huge difference.

    Points can be manipulated too but you’ll need several races to make sure of it. The FIA tried very hard to handicap Hamilton, using at least three of the races to knock him back, but they failed by one point.

  • it becomes obvious how easily a championship can be manipulated with a medals system in place. Just one race can make a huge difference.

    I agree. I touched on this earlier, admittedly with a slightly more fantastical scenario.

    Points can be manipulated too but you’ll need several races to make sure of it.

    That’s a fair point to those who follow that line of thinking (Ferrari International Assistance). I’m not saying I don’t follow that line, just that not everyone does.

    But the fact that the championship would be easier to swindle with medals is clear. I don’t like the idea of one win, be it incredible skill or shear fluke, determining a championship. The season is 15-20 races long for a reason – a championship has to be built from the first race to the last. Unless the FIA are on your side, of course. And Bernie with his whacky ideas.

  • Always the diplomat, Ollie. But, since both Bernie and Max have openly admitted that Ferrari receives preferential treatment, I don’t think it’s a matter of opinion anymore. Just a matter of how much assistance. 😉

  • Glock never finished 3rd in 2008! Under medals, Rosberg should be 9th and Glock should be 10th.

    Thanks, you’re right. Glock finished second in Hungary, but no third. Rosberg’s two podiums put him ahead. I’ve adjusted the table (now up to 5 edits). 🙂

    But, since both Bernie and Max have openly admitted that Ferrari receives preferential treatment, I don’t think it’s a matter of opinion anymore.

    Well Ferrari certainly received monetary assistance, and although recent seasons make it look very much like they receive on track assistance as well with penalties being handed to rival teams/drivers, Bernie only mentioned the money. Officially, anyway.

    I wonder if we’ll see strange penalties in 2009? Or will the stewards be fair(er) knowing that Max wants more information on their decisions publicised.

  • An UpdateF1 article dated 13 September 2006 refers to an admission by Bernie to Sport Bild that Ferrari get political support from the FIA. Max has said on occasion that the FIA gives Ferrari special treatment because the Italian team works with them rather than against them. In my book, that amounts to an open confession that suspicions of pre-Ferrari bias are well-founded. There is much more than money involved here.

  • Well Ferrari certainly received monetary assistance, and although recent seasons make it look very much like they receive on track assistance as well with penalties being handed to rival teams/drivers,

    As I am sure Clive will attest Ferrari receiving on track assistance is anything but recent.

    Colin Chapman the genius behind Lotus had many perfectly legal cars banned on spurious grounds when he came up with some new innovation that the rule makers had never thought of. When asked once if he planned to take his now banned innovation to the next race he replied that he was sure it could be made to comply with the rules by painting the car red. He died in 1982.

Your Header Sidebar area is currently empty. Hurry up and add some widgets.