Formula 1: Alternative Champions

A text-only data visualisation

The points scoring system in Formula 1 has changed several times since the first season in 1950. For instance, when Clark was champion in 1963, the first place was awarded 9 points, and only 6 of the 10 races counted for the final score. Last year, when Hamilton was champion, the first place was awarded 25 points and all the 20 races counted for the final score.

That always made me curious: how the champions’ list would look like if we followed different scoring systems? This is a text-only data visualisation showing exactly this: what would be the champions for each year according to different scoring systems.

Because Formula 1 already had 28 different scoring systems since its first season back in 1950, which is a lot for a datavis like this, I had to merge some of them (changing very small details) for narrowing it down to only 10 different scoring systems, which is better to play with. The first button, “Actual Champions”, shows the correct champions for each year.

Hover over the buttons to get additional details regarding each scoring system. Alternative champions that are different from actual champions are showed in colour. Hover over each champion to get additional information. If the drivers end up having the same number of points a tie breaker system was used computing the number of first places, then second places, then third places and finally fourth places.


This datavis shows some interesting facts: if the current system (2010-2017) were used since the first F1 season in 1950, Alain Prost would be the greatest champion, with 7 championships, more than Schumacher with 6. Also, some drivers, like Jenson Button in 2009, would still be champions regardless the scoring system chosen.

Source of the raw data: