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Formula 1 alters points structure ahead of 2022 season

While regular race points haven’t changed, Formula 1 has made some significant changes to the way points are awarded in certain situations in 2022.

Two changes have been made to the Formula 1 points structure for the 2022 season. While these changes are nowhere near as drastic as the most recent points system overhaul after the 2009 season, they could prove significant in 2022 and beyond.

The 2021 season saw the introduction of sprint qualifying races. Three of these races were contested throughout the 22-race season, and the top three drivers in each of these races were awarded points: three for the winner, two for the runner-up, and one for the third place finisher.

But in 2022, the top eight drivers are set to score points, not just the top three. The winner is set to score eight, and that total is set to decrease by one point per driver, down to the eighth place finisher.

While the plan was initially to run six, there are set to be three sprint qualifying races again in the 2022 season. Those sprint qualifying races scheduled to take place at Imola for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Saturday, April 23, the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday, July 9, and Interlagos Circuit for the Brazilian Grand Prix on Saturday, November 12.

There is one other change to note here: the Friday qualifying winner, not the sprint qualifying race winner, will be officially scored as the race polesitter. This is different than it was in the first year of sprint qualifying races in 2021, which saw the sprint qualifying race winner scored as the official polesitter.

The other significant change to the points structure has to do with shortened races. Now at least two green flag laps must be run in order for a race to be classified as official. If a race is shortened, here is how points will be awarded.

At least two laps, but less than 25% race distance

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

Between 25% and 50% race distance

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

Between 50% and 75% race distance

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

More than 75% race distance (traditional scoring, full points)

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

One point is still to be awarded to the driver who records the race’s fastest lap, provided that this driver finishes the race in the points.

The only race which would have been affected by this new format in the 2021 season was the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa. Unsurprisingly, this is the race that led to the change. No green flag laps were run in this race, and the safety car only led the field around the track twice for the purpose of classifying the race as official, and half-points were awarded to the top 10 finishers.

Under the new rules, no points would have been awarded for this race in 2021.

The Bahrain Grand Prix is scheduled to kick off the 23-race 2022 Formula 1 season at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday, March 20.

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