Fernando Alonso has broken the record for the most number of points scored in Formula One, surpassing Michael Schumacher’s previous record of 1566 with a fourth-place finish in today’s Japanese Grand Prix.
The Spanish driver picked up twelve points for his spirited drive in today’s race as he battled past teammate Felipe Massa and Nico Hulkenberg to cross the line in fourth place after starting down in P8, giving him 1571 points across the course of his F1 career after debuting in 2001.
The debate over ‘record points’ is one is difficult to decipher as Formula One has seen a variety of points systems over the years. Until 1990, drivers received nine points for winning a race with the top six also receiving points on a sliding scale. It was then changed to ten points for a win before undergoing an overhaul in 2003 that saw the top eight drivers finish in the points. In an attempt to give the race winner a greater reward, the points system was changed dramatically in 2010 with the top ten scoring and the race winner picking up 25 points.
As a result, seven active drivers are present in the top ten highest-scoring drivers of all time, with names such as Fangio and Senna not making an appearance due to their less-rewarding point system.
Nevertheless, this is a great achievement for Alonso, and he took to Twitter to express his delight.
To see my name leading the points record for a sport like Formula 1 is something I never imagined. Thanks to everyone! 1571 points.
— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) October 13, 2013
However, this weekend did see Sebastian Vettel move to within touching distance of the drivers’ championship, requiring a top five finish in India to seal his fourth title in a row.