The change to the points scoring system has a direct influence on the most popular Formula One spread betting market, driver’s season points totals. Before 2003, drivers were awarded 10 points for winning a race, 6 for coming second, 4 for third, 3 for fourth place, 2 for fifth and a single point for coming sixth. Now the top eight will score points in a race, with 10 for winning and 8 for second, 6 for third down to 1 for eighth place.
The intended effect is to deliberately close the gap on Schumacher by awarding more points to his pursuers and to keep up interest further down the grid by encouraging the smaller manufacturers with points for seventh and eighth places. Season points totals, like most long-term markets, make allowance for injury, accident and reliability of cars. They are marked down accordingly and even though drivers have to complete a minimum number of races (usually six) for bets to stand, there is always the risk associated with a high-speed crash.
The result for spread bettors will be that Schumacher will probably not win the championship by as far and that plenty more drivers who do not usually trouble the scorers will make it on to the leaderboard. The second change may have even more effect on races themselves and will certainly liven up in-running spreads, which provides the other main interest in motor racing spreads. From 2003, cars that are used in qualifying will not be able to refuel prior to the start of the race.