When the Belgian GP was hit with heavy rain last year at Spa-Francorchamps, the race start was delayed and when it did start, it officially began with a formation lap behind a safety car. It was soon stopped again because of the dangerous conditions, and the organisers waited for what they assumed would be an easing in the rain.
This never came. So to award points, at least two full laps had to be completed. With this being the aim, they restarted the race for two laps behind a safety car. Max Verstappen was deemed to be the winner of the Belgian GP, but with this being the shortest F1 race in the history of the sport, the top 10 were given half points.
This caused fans to complain, and now responding to these complaints, the FIA has changed the rules around short races like this.
What are the new F1 rules?
- A minimum of two laps must be completed by the race leader.
- These laps must be completed without a safety car or a virtual safety car.
- The top 5 cars receive points if two or more laps are completed, being less than 25% of the overall race distance.
- If 25%-50% is completed, then the top 9 receive points.
- If 50%-75% is completed, then the top 10 receive points.
If these new rules had been followed during 2021, none of the drivers would have been awarded points at the Belgian GP.
How many points would each driver get?
Less than 25% of the total race distance
1st – 6 points
2nd – 4 points
3rd – 3 points
4th – 2 points
5th – 1 point
Between 25% and 50% of the total race distance
1st – 13 points
2nd – 10 points
3rd – 8 points
4th – 6 points
5th – 5 point
6th – 4 points
7th – 3 points
8th – 2 points
9th – 1 point
Between 50% and 75% of the total race distance
1st – 19 points
2nd – 14 points
3rd – 12 points
4th – 9 points
5th – 8 point
6th – 6 points
7th – 5 points
8th – 3 points
9th – 2 points
10th – 1 point
This update to the rules will be made official after they’ve been approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council.
We asked fans what they thought on Instagram of the new points system for sprint races
One responded saying: I prefer the oldest system 10pts 6pts 4pts 3 2 1.”
Another added: “Too little, too late.”