It’s a nice round number but as most F1 Fanatic readers will know its usefulness as a statistic is rather limited.
This is because the F1 points system has changed many times since the world championship began in 1950.
Eight points were awarded for a race win in the inaugural year of the world championship – the value of a sixth-place finish today. Since Button’s career began in 2000 three different systems have been used and the value of a win increased from 10 to 25 points.
Button ranks fourth among the top ten points scorers of all time. But if today’s points system had been used since the dawn of the world championship 63 years ago, would he still stand as tall?
The table below shows how many points each world championship would have scored under the current points system, plus the top 25 points scorers who never won a world championship.
Under the current points system Button would be the ninth greatest points scorer of all time. And if we take an average of that score based on the number of races each driver started, he falls to 27th, dragged down by those wasted years at BAR and Honda.
The data raises some other interesting points. The widely-held view that Stirling Moss was the best driver never to win the world championship is supported by him having the highest average points haul per start among the non-champions, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya and Carlos Reutemann.
Three drivers on the grid today rank among the top ten average points scorers: Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. While it’s true they have the benefit of superior reliability and less punishing tracks compared to their predecessors, it supports the view that today’s talent is among the best the sport has seen.
Here’s the data in full, share your views and findings in the comments.
|Name||Starts||Points||Points per start||Modern points*||Modern points per start|
|Juan Pablo Montoya||94||307||3.27||825||8.78|
|Juan Manuel Fangio||51||277.64||5.44||873||17.12|
*Split points scores due to shared drives or reduced race distances have been counted as full points scores.
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