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  Home > Specials > Editorials > Value of a win
Value of a win
Scoring rules have changed several times in the course of WRC history and every change has caused debate for and against. Let us examine just one side of the coin, value of a win.

Every driver is a hot-blooded competitor and if one is leading a rally and is on a course to win, there is just about nothing that makes him slow down. But for the second placed driver the incentive to try and overtake the leader is greatly related to gain for risking sure points of a second place. So, let us examine what would the reward be for the runner-up if he was to bet his second position for overall win. How much more points would he get?

At the time of writing (March 2004), the points for a first and second place are 10 and 8, respectively. That means 25% more points for competitor that moves from second to first place. Under previous scoring scheme, the points were 10 and 6 which meant whopping 66.7% more points for just one place. In comparison, the oldest scoring scheme was 20 and 15 and there incentive was "only" 33.3% more points.

So, it is quite easy to see why no sensible driver will risk certain second place for such a small reward. Richard Burns was greatly criticized for his approach to get good sure points in 2003 instead of going gung-ho for overall win. His critics failed to see what Richard himself had noted, three second places are easier to get than two wins and besides, net more points!

For 2010 season, the tallies were increased to 25 points for the winner and 18 points for the second placed driver, which is a difference of 7 points or almost 39%. That's a significant incentive and hopefully will affect the battles in the coming years.

The monster of 2024
For 2024 season, FIA introduced a complex scoring scheme where drivers could claim points in three different ways.

The only part that was kept consistent was the extra points from Power Stage. Overall points for whole event was dropped and replaced by separate points for first days up until end of Saturday and separate points for those fastest on Sunday alone.

Thinking behind this scheme was the need to combat what was known as Sunday cruising. In the other words, a phenomena when positions had somewhat solified and drivers just cruised through the Sunday, saving their tyres for final Power Stage.

But the result was a obscure situation where knowing and predicting results in championship points was extremely complicated. At the start of the season, results systems couldn't even produce Sunday classification but that was later rectified.

The worst result which is in line with the title of this article: overall winner was no longer guaranteed the biggest championship haul. You could win while someone else scored more points!