October 14th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Fernando Alonso took his tally of points in Formula One to 1571 on Sunday, by scoring 12 points for finishing fourth in the Japanese Grand Prix. Alonso has now scored more points than any other driver in Formula One history, this most recent result having taken him past the previous record holder, Michael Schumacher.
While the record now belongs to Alonso, it is entirely meaningless to compare his points total with that of Schumacher, due to the change in the points system that took place in 2010. Before that, points were awarded on a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale, with 10 for a win and 1 for 8th place (the points system did change a few times before 2010, but awarded 10 points for a win from 1991 onwards - the year Schumacher made his F1 debut) . Since 2010, however, points have been awarded to the top ten as follows: 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1.
Alonso scored 577 points pre-2010 compared to Schumacher's mammoth (and record-holding for pre-2010) 1369. From 2010 onwards, Alonso has scored 994 points, which has skewed the totals in his favour. Schumacher scored only 197 points in his three years at Mercedes.
This is a record that is likely to change hands a few times in the next few years. Ultimately, those who scored well under the old system will fall down the list quite rapidly, while those who have long careers in the new system will necessarily end up near the top of the list. Sebastian Vettel, should he continue to dominate Formula One as he is currently doing, will almost certainly hold this record at least for a while in the next few years.
But for now it belongs to Fernando Alonso.