F1 Bitesize

Tiebreakers in F1

  • January 13, 2022
  • 2 min read
Tiebreakers in F1

How are the WDC rankings of two drivers tied in points determined?                                                                                                                                

The 2021 Formula 1 season saw two drivers, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, coming into the final weekend with equal number of points – 369.5. While it is now common knowledge amongst F1 fans that in the event of a tie (i.e. where both drivers would have received the same amount of points in Abu Dhabi – zero) Max would have been crowned 2022 World Champion due to having won one race more than Lewis, what about instances where the drivers are tied on wins too?

The answer to this is found in Regulation 7.2 of the F1 Sporting Regulations, which reads:

“If two or more constructors or drivers finish the Championship with the same number of
points, the higher place in the Championship (in either case) shall be awarded to: 

a) The holder of the greatest number of first places in a race. 

b) If the number of first places is the same, the holder of the greatest number of
second places in a race. 

c) If the number of second places is the same, the holder of the greatest number of
third places in a race and so on until a winner emerges. 

d) If this procedure fails to produce a result, the FIA will nominate the winner
according to such criteria as it thinks fit.”

Following Regulation 7.2, if a season had an odd number of races, there should be a result produced under paragraphs a) to c), unless the drivers have skipped a race due to injury or a suspension. 

The 2022/23 season had 23 races planned until the Russian Grand Prix’s cancellation, so the FIA will be keen to find a replacement to avoid having to make a ruling on the 2022 World Drivers’ Champion under paragraph d).

About Author

Alex Dimitrov

Alex is a Solicitor at DAC Beachcroft LLP. He is based in the firm's London office and works in the Sports, Media and Technology team. He is interested in writing about legal issues in sport and has a specific interest in football disputes and Formula 1 regulations. For more information, check out the "Team" page.