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FIA make changes to points rule regarding shortened F1 races

Following the controversial ‘race’ that took place at last years Belgian Grand Prix, the FIA has made amendments to the points rules regarding shortened races.

Written by Aiden Hover

The 2021 Belgian Grand Prix will always be remembered for only having two laps of racing, all behind a safety car due to the torrential rain that washed the event out. As a result of this, the race was called once a classification had been decided, resulting in Max Verstappen taking the win and the top 10 receiving only half points as stipulated by the old ruleset demanding that half points be awarded if less than 75% of the race distance is completed.

This led to a large amount of backlash from F1 fans who had felt cheated out by the sports organisers with a race that wasn't really a race. Because of this, the rules have now been amended to say that no points can be awarded unless the race leader has completed two laps behind no safety car or virtual safety car - under these rules, last year's race at Spa would have led to no points for any driver.

Furthermore, changes have been made to allow only the top 5 to receive points if less than 25% of the race distance has been completed and then only the top 9 drivers to receive points if 25% - 50% of the race distance has been completed, with the full top 10 only receiving points after the 50% mark has been surpassed. These rules also stipulate a new points distribution system for shortened races, as shown below:

A completed race distance of more than two laps with no safety car up to 25% of scheduled distance:

1st - 6 points

2nd - 4 points

3rd - 3 points

4th - 2 points

5th - 1 point

A completed race distance of 25% - 50% of scheduled distance:

1st - 13 points

2nd - 10 points

3rd - 8 points

4th - 6 points

5th - 5 points

6th - 4 points

7th – 3 points

8th – 2 points

9th – 1 point

A completed race distance of 50% to 75% of scheduled distance:

1st – 19 points

2nd – 14 points

3rd – 12 points

4th – 9 points

5th – 8 points

6th – 6 points

7th – 5 points

8th – 3 points

9th – 2 points

10th – 1 point

Whilst this may seem complicated at first, it will eliminate the need for confusing half points situations and also mean that a race such as the one we saw in Belgium last year can never happen again.

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