F1 Academy – Should The Points System Be Changed In The Championship Next Season?

Abbi Pulling (alpine)
Abbi Pulling (alpine)

Abbi Pulling is the current F1 Academy championship leader. Other F1 Academy drivers have had good results but are behind Pulling in the championship. Changing the points system next year would allow all drivers who perform well in F1 Academy to be recognised for their performances and not just the series winner.   

Standings overview

Pulling has earned 147 points in F1 Academy in 2024, which is only 27 points less than her points total from last season. She has finished in the top 3 in every race and won four races this year (one race each in Jeddah and Catalunya and both races at the Miami International Autodrome).

Doriane Pin and Chloe Chambers have earned 81 points in F1 Academy so far this season. They have each won a race, with Pin winning the first race of the season in Jeddah whilst Chambers won at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya last Sunday. Both have been in the top 3 two other times, with Pin finishing 2nd and 3rd in Miami and Chambers 3rd in race 1 in Miami and Catalunya.

Most of the remaining drivers in the top 10 of the championship drove in F1 Academy last year and there are also two rookies inside the top 10.

Doriane Pin (mercedes)
(Doriane Pin) – Doriane Pin (centre), George Russell and Lewis Hamilton during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in March (Mercedes)

The points system

The F1 Academy points system is the same as the points system used in Formula 1. Drivers who win races earn 25 points whilst drivers who finish in the top 10 but below 3rd place earn less than half the points of the race winner.

‘’For both races, the top 10 classified drivers will be awarded 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1 points respectively’’

F1 Academy

Some drivers have performed well in F1 Academy despite not winning a race this season, however, they have been awarded few points for their efforts. This might cause them to think anything other than a race win is unacceptable and make them lose motivation for the rest of the season. Their career prospects might also be affected if sponsors and racing teams focus on their points totals from the season. They may lose sponsorships and not be considered for seats in the future due to their so-called ‘poor’ performances.

Hamda Al Qubaisi has finished inside the top 6 in five races this season and was 3rd in the 2nd race in Catalunya. She has earned 55 points in the championship this year. Nerea Marti has two podium finishes (in Jeddah and Catalunya) but has only earned 8 more points than Al Qubaisi.

Amna Al Qubaisi (getty Images Slash Red Bull Content Pool)
(Hamda Al Qubaisi) – Hamda Al Qubaisi and Christian Horner after race 2 of the F1 Academy round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (Red Bull Content Pool)

The points difference between Abbi Pulling and the other drivers who have won races in F1 Academy this year is already greater than the gap between Marta Garcia and Léna Bühler last season. Doriane Pin and Chloe Chambers might be suffering in the championship due to their few victories compared to Pulling despite having also performed well this season. Nevertherless, Pulling’s championship lead could also be due to there being less F1 Academy races this year than during the inaugural F1 Academy season (14 compared to 21 last year).

Possible changes

1) Use the points system implemented in race 2 of rounds last season

F1 Academy rounds were made up of three races instead of two last season. A different points system was used during the second race of race weekends than in races 1 and 3 and only the top 8 drivers earned points during these races. This points system was used in F1 between 2003 and 2009 and might be used in F1 Academy from next season if the series organisers wish for closer championship battles in future seasons.   

2) Make changes to acknowledge the accomplishments of other drivers

In this scenario, the points system would remain the same although other changes would be made to create a greater sense of appreciation for all drivers. Like in Formula E, a ‘Driver of Progress’ award could be used to highlight the performances of drivers who might not have done well in qualifying but have performed well during races.

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