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Volume 9 (2023)

An Objective Assessment of Point Scoring Systems in Formula 1 Motor Racing


Robin K. S. Hankin
Associate Professor
Department of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences
Auckland University of Technology


The points scoring system of Formula 1 motor racing is a long-standing contention among fans and competitors. The inaugural points system was (8,6,4,3,2), that is, 8 points to the winner, 6 to second place, and so on; in 2020 the points system was changed to (25,18,15,12,10,8,6,4,2,1). However, it is difficult to assess statistical nulls using accumulated points. Here, I use Plackett-Luce likelihood to identify a ranking for the competitors, this method being amenable to statistical testing. I go on to assess a number of reasonable points systems objectively: in one well-defined statistical sense a Borda points system is optimal.


Reified Bradley-Terry, Likelihood, Formula 1 motor racing, Points systems

Hankin, R. K. S. (2023). An objective assessment of point scoring systems in Formula 1 motor racing. International Journal of Motorsport Management, 9, Article 1.

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