At this weekend’s Indian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso’s lid will bear the number 1571 emblazoned large.
Why? Not because Señor Alonso – noted historical buff though he is – is keen we don’t forget the year of the Great Fire Of Moscow, but because that’s the number of points the Ferrari man has accrued in his F1 career to date. Which is, in maths terms, more points than any other driver in Grand Prix history.
Only, it isn’t. Yes, Alonso numerically has the highest points tally. But that has a lot to do with the fact that the F1 points system has become increasingly generous over the years, most notably in 2010 when the points awarded for a win jumped from 10 to 25.
By TG’s dubious maths, if every F1 race in history was scored under the current points system, Alonso would sit third, behind Alain Prost, and, by some distance, Mickey Schumacher.
Of course, with so many more races in a season nowadays than there were in days of yore, such a metric will always favour modern drivers. Maybe a fairer way to measure success is to calculate a driver’s average points per race under the current scoring system.
Which puts Alonso… actually, Top Gear doesn’t have the mathematical aptitude to work that one out, but we’re pretty sure he’s not in the top ten. If anyone has the time, inclination and calculator to do the maths, let us know…