October 18th, 2012 (F1plus / Paul Godley).- Right then, it's time to look at what the standings would look like were we using the points system used between 2003 and 2009, with points on offer to drivers who finish 8th or higher. Here's a quick breakdown of how the points were distributed under that system:
1st - 10pts | 2nd - 8pts | 3rd - 6pts | 4th - 5pts
5th - 4pts | 6th - 3pts | 7th - 2pts | 8th - 1pt
So how would this affect the drivers standings compared to the one currently in use? After the Korean Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel would head the standings with a 4 point lead over nearest rival Fernando Alonso. Vettel has taken 30 points in the last three races, the maximum available, with Alonso only managing to score just 12.
Heading into the Singapore Grand Prix Fernando would have had a 14 point lead over Vettel, but in the space of just three races, in which he's finished on the podium twice, he's seen his lead overturned and now finds himself 4 points behind.
Behind the lead two we once again find Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn is the only man this season to complete every racing lap, a statistic that has enabled him to be the man who has has the most points finishes of any driver on the grid. His run of 14 points scoring finishes out of 16 races is unrivalled and is what has seen him rise to third in the standings, despite not winning a race.
Just behind Kimi is a rather close battle between the other Red Bull of Mark Webber and the two McLaren's of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Whereas under the current system it's Hamilton who enjoys a 1 point lead over Webber; it's the Australian who comes out on top this time, leading by a solitary point.
Jenson Button is just 6 points behind Hamilton, mainly thanks to his five top 2 results this season in comparison to just three for Webber and Hamilton.
We have a tie for 7th place between Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean, but the German has the advantage thanks to his race victory in China.
The recent upturn in form of Felipe Massa has seen the likeable Brazilian leap frog the Sauber's in recent weeks and move firmly into the top 10, hunting down the pair of Rosberg and Grosjean ahead. Then we have the two Sauber's of Sergio Perez, in 10th, and Kamui Kobayashi, 11th. 4 podiums between the two of them have helped them occupy these very respectable positions.
We then have a three-way tie for 12th, with Michael Schumacher, Nico Hulkenberg and Paul Di Resta all level on 15 points. Michael's podium in Valencia is the difference between the three.
In 15th and 16th we find the Williams pair of Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna. Both would have scored on three occasions, and clearly Maldonado's superb victory in Barcelona is the reason why he enjoys a 5 point buffer over his team mate.
Jean-Eric Vergne is next up with 3 points, thanks to three 8th place finishes this season. Under this system Daniel Ricciardo would be the only driver to not have any points to his name when you compare it to his results under the current system (if that makes sense). He's finished in the top 10 in 4 of the last 5 races, but never higher than 9th. The bottom 3 teams remain in the same order as they would, with Timo Glock leading the way.
In the Constructors it's Red Bull who sit firmly at the top of the standings. They've amassed 148 points and enjoy a rather comfortable looking 33 point lead over Ferrari and a 36 point lead over McLaren. Lotus find themselves just 9 points behind McLaren and are certainly within touching distance of the Woking outfit. Mercedes are over 50 points behind Lotus and look incapable of pushing on in pursuit of the black and gold team.
Sauber are just 7 points behind and given recent podiums for both drivers, the Swiss team will fancy themselves to mount a serious challenge to the German giants. Force India enjoy a healthy gap back to Williams but are maybe just that little bit too far behind Sauber with only 4 races remaining. Jean-Eric Vergne's three 8th places mean that Toro Rosso have just 3 points to their name and a long way behind the rest of the midfield.
So that's what the standings would look like under the previous system (2003-2009). The drivers standings are essentially the same, with just a couple of small changes here and there. The constructors standings are actually in the exact same order as they are under the current system, strangely enough. I'll be updating this article with the points from each of the remaining 4 races of the 2012 season, so make sure to check back after each race. Also, why not check out what the standings would look like were we using the points system in use pre-2003 (points down to 6th). Click here to see those standings. Enjoy!