Do F1 Drivers Get Points In Qualifying? (Simple Explanation)

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Qualifying is an important part of an F1 Grand Prix weekend, and for many drivers it could mean the difference between winning or losing. But given its importance, many fans may wonder if F1 drivers get points in qualifying.

F1 drivers do not get points in a normal qualifying session. However, during a Sprint weekend, they will be awarded points based on where they finish during the Sprint qualifying session. There are currently no plans to introduce a points system for qualifying.

Although the Sprint format has been controversial ever since it was introduced in Formula 1, it has given drivers more opportunities to score points throughout the Grand Prix weekend. In the article below, we’ll discuss Sprint race points and the reasons points aren’t granted during qualifying.

Do F1 Drivers Ever Get Points In Qualifying?

F1 drivers do sometimes get points in qualifying, but only if it is a Sprint qualifying session. These don’t happen at every race, and they are a fairly new addition to the F1 race weekend schedule. In these sessions, F1 drivers receive 8 points for winning, down to eighth place receiving one point.

In the past, F1 drivers would never be awarded points in qualifying. Qualifying was simply used to set the grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday. Drivers who did not perform well would be at a disadvantage, but they wouldn’t lose any ground in the championship standings.

In modern-day F1, drivers still aren’t awarded any points for their qualifying positions. Qualifying is simply used to set the grid for the Grand Prix, so the only disadvantage to qualifying far back on the grid is that the driver will need to do a lot of overtaking on race day. Without points on the table, there’s no risk of falling behind the overall competition.

However, the recent introduction of the F1 Sprint format has made this slightly more confusing than before. Drivers are given points if they finish the Sprint race in a specific position. Although the F1 Sprint is technically a race rather than a qualifying session, it does still determine the grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday.

Officially, the qualifying session takes place on a Friday afternoon, which is used to set the grid for F1 Sprint. However, the starting grid can still change completely based on what happens during the Sprint, which makes it sort of a “pre-qualifying,” like in junior motorsports such as karting.

Do F1 Drivers Get Points In Sprint Qualifying?

F1 drivers do receive points based on their position in Sprint qualifying. The new weekend format was first used in 2021, and the top three positions earned points. From 2022, the top eight receive points, with the winner getting 8, second place getting 7 and so on down to eight receiving one point.

During this format, normal knockout qualifying takes place on Friday afternoon rather than Saturday afternoon. The qualifying session sets the grid for the F1 Sprint race on Saturday afternoon. The results of the F1 Sprint race determines the grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday. This has led to a lot of confusion amongst the F1 community.

While normal qualifying takes place on Friday, it does not determine the grid for the main event, which means that it can’t be classified as qualifying, and the fastest driver might not end up with pole position (although they’re technically given the accolade from 2022). Drivers aren’t awarded with points for the Friday qualifying session, but they do get points in Saturday’s Sprint.

The winner of the F1 Sprint qualifying on Saturday afternoon is awarded eight points, as well as the advantage of starting in pole position for the Grand Prix. The second-place driver is awarded seven points, and third place receives six points. The points are reduced by one all the way down to eighth place, which is rewarded with just one point.

How The Points System Changed

The F1 Sprint format is very much still in its trial phase and the FIA are playing around with how it’s being implemented. There have been several big changes that were made compared to the initial F1 Sprint format that was used during the 2021 season, specifically to the points that are awarded to the drivers and teams.

In 2021, only the top three drivers were awarded with points. Three points were awarded to the driver who finished first in the F1 Sprint, as well as the honor of pole position (the pole position accolade now goes to whoever sets the fastest lap on Friday afternoon, even though they don’t start on pole). This made the entire format relatively confusing, especially when it comes to record keeping.

The driver in second place would earn two points, and the driver who finished in third place would earn just one point. The rest of the cars would not earn any points and would simply be fighting to determine where they will be starting on the grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday.

Do You Get Points For Pole Position In F1?

F1 drivers do not receive points for pole position unless they claim pole position during a Sprint format weekend. Under normal qualifying circumstances, the driver will not be given any points for pole position, but the winner of the Sprint race does receive 8 World Championship points.

Pole position is one of the biggest achievements in F1. Although you don’t earn any points for putting your car on pole, it’s a clear victory in terms of being the fastest driver on the track. In order to get pole position, a driver needs to be faster than every other car on track, and that’s no easy feat when they’re surrounded by 19 of the best drivers in the world.

The FIA has considered giving out points for qualifying in pole position before because it’s an impressive achievement, much like setting the fastest lap during the Grand Prix (which awards drivers with one point if they are in the top 10).

The driver that sets the fastest time in qualifying is given the honor of starting in pole position on the clean side of the grid, which means they will likely get a better start than their opposition. They are also given the Pirelli Pole Position award, which is a trophy they will get to keep as a reminder of their pole position in Formula 1.

Should F1 Award Points For Qualifying?

There has been a lot of debate about whether Formula 1 drivers should be awarded points for qualifying. After all, qualifying is a very important part of the Grand Prix weekend, and ultimately it shows which drivers are the fastest over the course of a single flying lap, which is incredibly impressive.

This idea was bounced between teams and drivers by the FIA, but the idea did not gain any traction. Formula 1 is a sport that is very much set in its traditions and is notoriously slow to change, which means big ideas such as awarding points for qualifying are often not well received by the F1 grid.

The current Sprint race format is not liked by many drivers or teams. The format of a Grand Prix weekend has remained the same for decades, which means that much of the Formula 1 community has a sentimental connection with the standard free practice, qualifying, and main race format.

Ever since Liberty Media has taken over the sport, F1 has changed significantly, and the Sprint format is the first step in the direction to awarding points based on qualifying positions. There are plans to increase the number of F1 Sprint weekends from three to six in the future, so it seems as though the format is here to stay.

Final Thoughts

F1 drivers don’t get points in normal qualifying. Qualifying is all about setting the fastest possible lap time to secure a good starting position for the Grand Prix. The race on Sunday is where the points are awarded. However, F1 drivers can earn points during F1 Sprint race qualifying sessions.