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What is F1’s point distribution procedure that awarded Max Verstappen 2nd championship title?

Unique Marodia

What is F1's point distribution procedure that awarded Max Verstappen 2nd championship title?

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen clinched his 2nd F1 championship title following a series of confusing decisions by the FIA. 

From speculation of the Japanese GP getting cancelled to the confusion around Max Verstappen winning the F1 championship made fans angry and frustrated. The whole drama started when fans saw the Red Bull driver winning the race but were confused about how points will be distributed to the drivers.

F1 expert Chris Medland of Motorsports was also confused over the points, but he pointed the Article 57 of sporting regulations.

Sharing his thoughts on Twitter, He said, “We resumed the race, so according to the rules full points can be awarded. That makes Max champion. So confusing”.

Besides, he found no evidence of the total distance that drivers must reach to earn full points if they resumed the race after the red flag. Medland also suggested that this rule would need fixing in the future.

Also read: F1 drivers lash out at FIA for having tractor out on track in Suzuka during Japanese GP

What do F1 sporting regulation rules say?

While fans were watching the drama at the Japanese GP, every F1 expert went through the rules and regulations of the race starts and points distribution.

According to regulation 6.5 (F) of sporting regulations, if a race is suspended in accordance with Article 57, and cannot be resumed, points for each title will be awarded if the leader has completed 75% or more of the scheduled race distance. Full points will be awarded following Article 6.4. 

However, in the case of the Japanese GP, the chequered flag was waved after 29 laps which made up only slightly more than 50% of the race. According to this, all the top 3 drivers were supposed to be awarded 19, 14 and 12 points respectively.

But the FIA found a silver lining and interpreted the guidelines stating that the reduced points are only awarded when the race is suspended and cannot be resumed. And while the racing at Suzuka did resume, full points were awarded to the drivers regardless of the distance covered.

How things would be played out?

The F1 journalist gives the reason to award full points to the drivers. According to him, if FIA managed to race another 2 laps in the race, then it would’ve been much better for them to give full points to the drivers. However, they didn’t do it.

Some commentators pointed out and commented to give extra 2-3 laps to the drivers for them to earn full points during the race.

It not only would have cleared confusion around the point distribution but also calmed the fans and drivers around the whole fiasco. But instead, FIA gave the decision to give drivers full points even though that was not a feasible option.

Nevertheless, these things should be taken seriously by the FIA association. Changes should be made to the rules. But if this goes further in future then it will surely undermine the fans’ trust in Formula One and the FIA.

Also read: Pierre Gasly fumes as tractor on track gives everyone Jules Bianchi scare 

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