Formula 1: 2010 Schedule and Points System Announced

Today, the FIA’s F1 Commission formally announced the new schedule for 2010 which includes the return of the Canadian Grand Prix and the first ever Korean Grand Prix. With next season’s grid expanding to 26 cars with the inclusion of four new teams, the F1 Commission also introduced a brand new points system for the 2010 season. The new schedule, points system and analysis after the jump.

2010 Schedule

  1. March 14 – Sakhir, Bahrain
  2. March 28 – Melbourne, Australia
  3. April 4 – Sepang, Malaysia
  4. April 18 – Shanghai, China
  5. May 9 – Barcelona, Spain
  6. May 16 – Monte Carlo, Monaco
  7. May 30 – Istanbul, Turkey
  8. June 13 – Montreal, Canada
  9. June 27 – Valencia, Spain (European GP)
  10. July 11 – Silverstone, England
  11. July 25 – Hockenheim, Germany
  12. August 1 – Hungaroring, Hungary
  13. August 29 – Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
  14. September 12 – Monza, Italy
  15. September 26 – Marina Bay, Singapore
  16. October 10 – Suzuka, Japan
  17. October 24 – Yeongam, South Korea
  18. November 7 – Interlagos, Brazil
  19. November 14 – Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi

There are a few noteworthy changes between the provisional schedule and the final one released today. The provisional sked, released about two and a half months ago, had Brazil as the season finale and the Monaco Grand Prix on the same weekend as the Indy 500. In this revised schedule, Abu Dhabi is the final race of the season despite its general lacklustreness barring the final lap. Monaco was moved up a week to give teams enough time to travel between Monte Carlo and Istanbul. Interestingly, the Brazil and Abu Dhabi races are on back-to-back weekends despite the distance between the two venues being far greater than Monte Carlo to Turkey. That wasn’t well thought out.

2010 Points System

  1. 25 Points
  2. 20 Points
  3. 15 Points
  4. 10 Points
  5. 8 Points
  6. 6 Points
  7. 5 Points
  8. 3 Points
  9. 2 Points
  10. 1 Point

While at first glance the system increase the value of wins, there isn’t a real change in the relative value of a win over a podium finish. Only once you get below fourth place does the relative value of a win increase of the previous points system. This system also has an interesting inconsistency in the distribution of points. The difference between 5th and 6th is two points, between 6th and 7th is one point and between 7th and 8th is two points again. Just an odd intricacy of a points system that wasn’t well thought through.

In addition to these changes, the FIA has changed the way races will be officiated. They are appointing a permanent team of three stewards to each race with a fourth steward appointed by the national sporting authority. Most importantly, the stewards will be advised by former F1 drivers. The two main complaints about F1 officiating are that it’s inconsistent and the stewards have no idea what’s going on because they’ve never driven before. The changes announced today will fix both those issues.

The change to the officiating is the only change here that I can really get behind. The two changes made to the final schedule reek of commercial interests being put ahead of tradition and good racing. The points system doesn’t really do anything except give a slightly better chance for the new teams to score a lucky 10th place point. It all seems like change for the sake of change. The FIA does a fan survey every year in order to see how F1 fans feel about the current product and its direction. It looks as though they haven’t really paid attention to the fans and are just trying to appease us fans.

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