With points down to 8th, what would the standings look like?

 

Right then, it's time to look at what the standings would look like were we using the points system used between 2003 and 2009, with points on offer to drivers who finish 8th or higher. Here's a quick breakdown of how the points were distributed under that system:

1st - 10pts 2nd - 8pts 3rd - 6pts 4th - 5pts 5th - 4pts 6th - 3pts 7th - 2pts 8th - 1pt

Here are the tables:

Drivers

 
Position Driver Country Team Points
1 Sebastian Vettel Ger Red Bull-Renault 115
2 Fernando Alonso Spa Ferrari 114
3 Kimi Raikkonen Fin Lotus-Renault 82
4 Jenson Button GB McLaren-Mercedes 76
5 Mark Webber Aus Red Bull-Renault 71
6 Lewis Hamilton GB McLaren-Mercedes 69
7 Felipe Massa Bra Ferrari 47
8 Romain Grosjean Fra Lotus-Renault 38
9 Nico Rosberg Ger Mercedes GP 36
10 Sergio Perez Mex Sauber 26
11 Nico Hulkenberg Ger Force India-Mercedes 22
12 Kamui Kobayashi Jpn Sauber 21
13 Michael Schumacher Ger Mercedes GP 17
14 Pastor Maldonado Ven Williams-Renault 16
15 Paul Di Resta GB Force India-Mercedes 15
16 Bruno Senna Bra Williams-Renault 8
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Fra Toro Rosso-Ferrari 4
18 Daniel Ricciardo Aus Toro Rosso-Ferrari 0
19 Vitaly Petrov Rus Caterham-Renault 0
20 Timo Glock Ger Marussia-Cosworth 0
21 Charles Pic Fra Marussia-Cosworth 0
22 Heikki Kovalainen Fin Caterham-Renault 0
23 Jerome D'Ambrosio Bel Lotus-Renault 0
24 Narain Karthikeyan Ind HRT-Cosworth 0
25 Pedro de la Rosa Spa HRT-Cosworth 0
 

Teams

 
Position Team Points
1 Red Bull-Renault 186
2 Ferrari 161
3 McLaren-Mercedes 150
4 Lotus-Renault 120
5 Mercedes GP 53
6 Sauber 47
7 Force India-Mercedes 37
8 Williams-Renault 25
9 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 4
10 Caterham-Renault 0
11 Marussia-Cosworth 0
12 HRT-Cosworth 0
 

Drivers Standings

So how would this affect the drivers standings compared to the one currently in use? After the Korean Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel would head the standings with a 4 point lead over nearest rival Fernando Alonso. Vettel has taken 30 points in the last three races, the maximum available, with Alonso only managing to score just 12. Heading into the Singapore Grand Prix Fernando would have had a 14 point lead over Vettel, but in the space of just three races, in which he's finished on the podium twice, he's seen his lead overturned and now finds himself 4 points behind.

Behind the lead two we once again find Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn is the only man this season to complete every racing lap, a statistic that has enabled him to be the man who has has the most points finishes of any driver on the grid. His run of 14 points scoring finishes out of 16 races is unrivalled and is what has seen him rise to third in the standings, despite not winning a race. Just behind Kimi is a rather close battle between the other Red Bull of Mark Webber and the two McLaren's of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Whereas under the current system it's Hamilton who enjoys a 1 point lead over Webber; it's the Australian who comes out on top this time, leading by a solitary point. Jenson Button is just 6 points behind Hamilton, mainly thanks to his five top 2 results this season in comparison to just three for Webber and Hamilton.

We have a tie for 7th place between Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean, but the German has the advantage thanks to his race victory in China. The recent upturn in form of Felipe Massa has seen the likeable Brazilian leap frog the Sauber's in recent weeks and move firmly into the top 10, hunting down the pair of Rosberg and Grosjean ahead. Then we have the two Sauber's of Sergio Perez, in 10th, and Kamui Kobayashi, 11th. 4 podiums between the two of them have helped them occupy these very respectable positions. We then have a three-way tie for 12th, with Michael Schumacher, Nico Hulkenberg and Paul Di Resta all level on 15 points. Michael's podium in Valencia is the difference between the three.

In 15th and 16th we find the Williams pair of Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna. Both would have scored on three occasions, and clearly Maldonado's superb victory in Barcelona is the reason why he enjoys a 5 point buffer over his team mate. Jean-Eric Vergne is next up with 3 points, thanks to three 8th place finishes this season. Under this system Daniel Ricciardo would be the only driver to not have any points to his name when you compare it to his results under the current system (if that makes sense). He's finished in the top 10 in 4 of the last 5 races, but never higher than 9th. The bottom 3 teams remain in the same order as they would, with Timo Glock leading the way.

Constructors Standings

In the Constructors it's Red Bull who sit firmly at the top of the standings. They've amassed 148 points and enjoy a rather comfortable looking 33 point lead over Ferrari and a 36 point lead over McLaren. Lotus find themselves just 9 points behind McLaren and are certainly within touching distance of the Woking outfit. Mercedes are over 50 points behind Lotus and look incapable of pushing on in pursuit of the black and gold team. Sauber are just 7 points behind and given recent podiums for both drivers, the Swiss team will fancy themselves to mount a serious challenge to the German giants. Force India enjoy a healthy gap back to Williams but are maybe just that little bit too far behind Sauber with only 4 races remaining. Jean-Eric Vergne's three 8th places mean that Toro Rosso have just 3 points to their name and a long way behind the rest of the midfield.

Final thoughts

So that's what the standings would look like under the previous system (2003-2009). The drivers standings are essentially the same, with just a couple of small changes here and there. The constructors standings are actually in the exact same order as they are under the current system, strangely enough. I'll be updating this article with the points from each of the remaining 4 races of the 2012 season, so make sure to check back after each race. Also, why not check out what the standings would look like were we using the points system in use pre-2003 (points down to 6th). Click here to see those standings. Enjoy!

India Update

Sebastian Vettel extends his lead over Fernando Alonso to 6 points at the top of the Drivers standings thanks to his fourth consecutive victory. The second place picked up by Alonso means the gap at the top was only extended by 2 points this weekend, showing the relatively little difference in points between winning and finishing second (something I'm not sure I'd ever really noticed before). Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button all continue to hunt down the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen, with just 12 points covering the 4 drivers in the battle for 3rd place. Felipa Massa's 6th place, his 5th consecutive finish inside the points (under this system), means the Brazilian closes to within just 2 points of Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean in the battle for 7th. Nico Hulkenberg again impressed today and leaps ahead of Michael Schumacher, who has now retired from 8 of the 17 races so far this season.

Two cars on the podium for Red Bull sees the Austrian outfit extend their lead at the top of the Constructors standings to 38 points, with just 54 remaining. The battle behind between Ferrari and McLaren is really heating up now, with the gap just 5 points between the two giants of Formula 1. Today's race was definitely one for the big three teams in terms of points scoring, with just Lotus (2 points for Kimi Raikkonen) and Force India (1 point for Nico Hulkenberg) managing to take home points from this weekend. Lotus look set to finish 4th now with the gap to McLaren now at 16 points. Force India's point, in front of their home crowd, sees them edge closer to Sauber and pull further away from Williams behind.

Abu Dhabi Update

The gap at the top of the Drivers standings between Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso is down to just 2 points after today's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Vettel's drive through the field from 24th to 3rd sees him take home 6 points, and despite Fernando finishing in 2nd and securing 8 points, you'd have to think he'd be a bit disappointed to close the gap by only a couple of points, given where Vettel had started from. Kimi Raikkonen's first victory of the season sees the extend the gap on 4th placed Webber, but even with a win the Finn is now out of the Championship hunt. With a 13 point gap back to Webber, you'd have to say that 3rd place is looking pretty secure for Kimi in what has been a hugely impressive comeback season. The big mover of the day was Pastor Maldonado, leaping from 15th to 12th thanks to his strong drive to come home 5th, despite having a KERS failure for most of the race. Elsewhere Jenson Button overtakes team mate Lewis Hamilton for 5th in the standings, while further back we now have a 3-way tie for 7th place with Nico Rosberg, Romain Grosjean and Felipe Massa all on 36 points.

In the Constructors Championship it was another good day for Red Bull in their quest for a third straight title. Despite losing 2 points to Ferrari, the Austrian outfit now have a 34 point gap with just 36 left up for grabs. It would now take a Ferrari 1-2 in both Austin and Brazil and for neither Red Bull to finish both races for the reiging champions to not once again lift the crown. Ferrari extend their lead back to McLaren, who now must look over their shoulder at Lotus who are just 11 points behind. A double points finish for Williams this weekend sees them close to within just 6 points of Force India in the battle for 7th place. Sauber are now just 4 points behind Mercedes after Kamui Kobayashi's 6th place, but for Mercedes it's now 4 races without scoring; worrying times.

United States Update

The gap between the top two of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso is now up to 4 points, the equivalent of a 5th place finish. Vettel's 2nd place in Austin sees him take home 8 points, with Alonso securing 6 points for his 3rd place finish. If Vettel finishes on the podium in Brazil then he will be World Champion for a third time, no matter what Alonso and Ferrari manage to pull out of the hat. If Alonso wins and Vettel finishes 4th or lower then it would be the Ferrari driver who'd take the crown and become the 2012 Champion.

Kimi Raikkonen's 6th place and subsequent 3 points sees the Finn secure 3rd place in the championship; a hugely impressive result for the man who spent the previous two years racing in the WRC. Lewis Hamilton's brilliant victory sees him leap from 6th to 4th, ahead of both team Jenson Button and the luckless Mark Webber, who drops from 4th to 6th. Just 3 points separate Hamilton, Button and Webber; and with all three driving in potentially race winning cars, it's a battle that's surely worth watching. Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean both leapfrog Nico Rosberg to move into 8th and 9th respectively, with the German, who has now failed to score in 5 races, dropping to 10th. Nico Hulkenberg was the other man to score; extending his advantage over Pastor Maldonado and the rest of the pack.

Just like under the current system, Red Bull secured their third consecutive Constructors Championship in Austin. The Austrian outfit have an uncatchable 31 point gap back to Ferrari and subsequently become the first manufacturer to win three consecutive Constructors' titles. A huge amount of credit has to go to everyone in the team; a simply fantastic and deserved achievement. Ferrari's advantage over McLaren was cut from 9 points to 7 over the weekend, but the Italian team will be confident heading to Brazil, especially given the impressive recent form and speed shown from Felipe Massa. The only team outside of the top 4 to score a point in the US were Force India, thanks to Nico Hulkenbergs 8th place. They're 14 points behind Sauber and 8 ahead of Williams, so barring any huge surprises (another Maldonado win anyone?) in Brazil, they look set on finishing 7th. Marussia remain ahead of Caterham in the crucial battle for 10th spot. The real battle in the Constructors to watch out for in Brazil is between Ferrari and McLaren, with just 7 points separating the two famous names of the sport. Brazil, here we come!

Top Drivers

 
Driver Points
Hamilton 252
Rosberg 211
Vettel 203
Raikkonen 107
Bottas 101
Massa 97
 

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