Schumacher thwarted by new F-1 scoring system

Formula One's new scoring system prevented Ferrari's Michael Schumacher from taking the lead in the championship for the first time this season in Austria.

The five-times World champion would have moved two points clear of McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen under the old format after his victory at the A1-Ring. Instead, the German left Austria still two points adrift of the young Finn despite winning the last three Grands Prix.

Formula One changed the points system from 10-6-4-3-2-1 to 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 at the start of the season to liven up the sport and make the championship closer after a year of domination by Ferrari and Schumacher.

Analysis of the scoring after six rounds of the 16 race championship shows that Schumacher would have 34 points under the old system rather than 38 at present. Raikkonen would have 32 rather than 40.

Schumacher, who won last year's title with six Grands Prix to spare, benefited from the new system earlier this season however when it kept him closer to the leaders after his worst championship start. The German is not the only 'loser'. Briton David Coulthard would be fourth overall and ahead of Spaniard Fernando Alonso rather than fifth at present.

Italy's Giancarlo Fisichella would be sixth rather than eighth and ahead of both Williams drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya.

Jaguar and Australian Mark Webber would have no points, rather than the four gleaned from two seventh places. They would also be behind Toyota rather than ahead in the actual championship.

Renault would also have scored a point more than Williams rather than being currently level in third place.

Driver 2003 2002 Raikkonen 40 32 Michael Schumacher 38 34 Rubens Barrichello 26 18 Fernando Alonso 25 15 David Coulthard 23 17 Ralf Schumacher 20 9 Juan Pablo Montoya 15 9 Giancarlo Fisichella 10 10 Jarno Trulli 10 4 Jenson Button 8 3