F1 News

FIA adjusts rules around reduced points, no repeat of Japan

FIA adjusts rules around reduced points, no repeat of Japan

22 February - 11:01 Last update: 11:21


The FIA and Formula 1 have changed the regulations around reduced points. The report of the meeting indicates, among other things, that the wording around giving reduced points will be clarified.

Last year's Japanese Grand Prix caused much confusion. Max Verstappen won the race and a time penalty afterwards caused Charles Leclerc to drop back to third place. Under normal circumstances, this would have given Verstappen a large enough gap to his rival to secure the title. However, it was unclear whether these were normal conditions.

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Because a year earlier the race organisers had given only half points for the rained-out Belgian Grand Prix. The assumption was that this would happen again as the race in Japan had also not been fully completed. However, full points were awarded, much to the surprise of Verstappen, Leclerc and Christian Horner. In one of the most confusing podium ceremonies in recent years, Verstappen was crowned champion by interviewer Johnny Herbert, even though Verstappen himself denied it until the moment he held the trophy.

The FIA and Formula 1 have now ensured that this cannot happen again. The new rules stipulate that "shorter races have reduced points even if they don’t finish with a suspended race". The rule is not yet final as the World Motor Sport Council still has to check and approve all the rules.