Formula One, abbreviated to F1, is the highest class of open-wheeled auto racing series administered by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), motorsport's world governing body. The "formula" in the name alludes to a series of rules set by the FIA to which all participants and vehicles are required to conform. The F1 World Championship season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, usually held on purpose-built circuits, and in a few cases on closed city streets. A points scoring system is used for each Grand Prix held over the course of the F1 season to determine the outcome of two annual championships, one for drivers (World Drivers' Championship) since 1950, and one for constructors (World Constructors' Championship) since 1958. Each driver accumulates championship points individually in the World Drivers' Championship and collectively for the squad they compete for in the World Constructors' Championship. At the conclusion of the season, both championships are officially presented at the end-of-season FIA Prize Giving Ceremony held in various locations to the participant and team with the highest number of points attained.
The points scoring system structure has been changed several times throughout the history of F1. Participants in every season until 1990 were limited to a certain number of highest-placed results which were counted towards the World Drivers' Championship. Up until 1979, most years saw only the highest-scoring participant in each Grand Prix for each constructor contributing points towards the drivers' title. From 1950 to 1959, the top five finishers of each race plus the fastest lap setter tallied points. The format was expanded to include the first six finishers of each event between 1960 and 2002 but with no point for fastest lap. In 2003, the FIA revised the structure to the top eight finishers of each race. The FIA extended the system again to include the first ten Grand Prix finishers in 2010. The bonus point for fastest lap was reintroduced in 2019 but only drivers and constructors who finished in the top ten were eligible to score the point. No extra points have ever been awarded to drivers for leading the highest number of laps or qualifying on pole position. Each Grand Prix winner tallied 8 points from 1950 to 1960, 9 from 1961 to 1990, 10 between 1991 and 2009 and 25 since 2010.
As of the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, out of the 770 drivers and 170 constructors who started at least one of the 1,041 FIA Grands Prix since the first such event, the 1950 British Grand Prix, there have been 344 Drivers' Championship points scorers and 70 teams who have tallied Constructors' Championship points. Lewis Hamilton holds the record for the highest Drivers' Championship points total with 3879. Sebastian Vettel is second with 3046 and Fernando Alonso is third with 1912. Scuderia Ferrari holds the record for the highest Constructors' Championship points total with 8400.5. Mercedes are second with 5726 and McLaren are third with 5573.5. Between 1950 and 1957, drivers were granted an equal points distribution share if they shared a car with another or for setting the same fastest lap as another. On two occasions involving three drivers, second drivers of teams that officially entered only one car were ineligible for points. Half points have been awarded for five Grands Prix that were red-flagged before 75 per cent of the race distance had been completed.
Robert Kubica holds the record for the longest period of time between two points scoring finishes-8 years and 256 days-between the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the 2019 German Grand Prix. Michael Schumacher holds the distinction of having the longest time between his first points-scoring finish and his last. He achieved his first points-scoring finish at the 1991 Italian Grand Prix, and his last at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix, a span of 21 years, 2 months and 17 days. Hamilton holds the record for most consecutive points scores, having scored points in 48 Grands Prix in succession from the 2018 British Grand Prix and the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. Max Verstappen is the youngest driver to tally a championship point; he earned points at the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix when he was 17 years and 180 days old. Philippe Étancelin is the oldest driver to score a championship point; he was 53 years and 249 days old when he accumulated points at the 1950 Italian Grand Prix.
|Seasons||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||6th||7th||8th||9th||10th||Fastest lap||Drivers' Championship||Constructors' Championship||Notes|
|1967||9 (5 from first 6, 4 from last 5)|
|1968||10 (5 from first 6, 5 from last 6)||[h]|
|1969||9 (5 from first 6, 4 from last 5)||[f][h]|
|1970||11 (6 from first 7, 5 from last 6)||[h]|
|1971||9 (5 from first 6, 4 from last 5)|
|1972||10 (5 from first 6, 5 from last 6)|
|1973-1974||13 (7 from first 8, 6 from last 7)|
|1975||12 (6 from first 7, 6 from last 7)||[h][m]|
|1976||14 (7 from first 8, 7 from last 8)||[h]|
|1977||15 (8 from first 9, 7 from last 8)|
|1978||14 (7 from first 8, 7 from last 8)|
|1979||8 (4 from first 7, 4 from last 8)||All||[m]|
|1980||10 (5 from first 7, 5 from last 7)||All|