The crop of F1 drivers on the grid in 2023 rank amongst the highest-ever F1 points scorers in the entire history of the sport.
Three of the World Champions currently racing in Formula 1 rank amongst the top five highest-ever F1 points scorers, while the other two are recent retirees from the sport.
With the F1 points scoring system having been revised entirely for 2010, increasing the points awarded for a win from 10 up to 25, it’s not surprising that there is a huge amount of recency bias with the current crop of drivers achieving high places on the list on all-time points scorers.
Further aiding the modern glut of drivers is the points system rewarding all who finish in the top 10, a point for fastest lap, points for Sprint Qualifying races, a far more reliable field due to stable regulations and an increased focus on sustainability, as well as far more races.
For example, the F1 field in the 17-race 2000 championship could only fight for points by finishing in the top six on Sunday, while racing highly-strung V10-engined monsters that gave little consideration to such paltry concerns like fuel consumption or reliability – meaning it was far more difficult for drivers to score points than the modern day ‘participation trophy’ approach.
With that in mind, let’s run through where each driver on the 2023 grid ranks in the F1 points all-time ranking list, as well as the outright top 10…
203. Zhou Guanyu – 10
Now in his second year in the sport as F1’s first-ever Chinese driver, Zhou Guanyu is establishing a reputation for himself as a solid midfield racer with plenty of potential.
He’s scored five points finishes in Formula 1 so far, with his best result an eighth place in the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix. With 10 points on the board, he’s tied with JJ Lehto, Eric Bernard, Howden Ganley, and Pedro Diniz.
117. Yuki Tsunoda – 47
The AlphaTauri driver, now in his third year in Formula 1, is 117th overall, tied with Innes Ireland and Peter Collins.
With 47 points scored from 14 points finishes in his three years with the Red Bull sister team, there are far more points finishes on the way for the Japanese driver who now tests himself against the experienced figure of multi-time race winner Daniel Ricciardo.
109. Oscar Piastri – 57
Another 2023 rookie after joining McLaren, the Australian currently ranks 109th on the all-time list after his first two points finishes in the sport were comfortably eclipsed by a P4 finish at the 2023 British GP and P5 in Hungary. He has since added to his tally with a ninth place in the Dutch Grand Prix, before securing a superb first F1 podium at Suzuka in September.
We could well see Piastri shoot further up the order in F1 2023 if McLaren keep up their far-improved form with the upgraded MCL60.
61. Kevin Magnussen – 186
With 61st place on the all-time list, and with no disrespect meant at all to the Danish driver, Magnussen’s position is a good example of how the modern points system has skewed the list in favour of current drivers.
With 185 points scored from seven-and-a-half seasons as a full-time F1 driver, his points tally outranks that of several World Champions from yesteryear. These names include Mario Andretti, James Hunt, John Surtees, Keke Rosberg, Alberto Ascari, Mike Hawthorn, Giuseppe Farina, Jochen Rindt, and Phil Hill.
52. Alex Albon – 222
Alex Albon has 222 points to his name, with his three F1 2023 points finishes including his best result with Williams, that P7 having arrived at the Canadian Grand Prix, where he also delivered the Driver of the Day performance.
He recently added to his tally with an eighth place finish at the Dutch Grand Prix, before matching his P7 finish at Monza a week later.
The vast majority of his points have come courtesy of his two years racing for Toro Rosso and Red Bull, giving him a total of 197 before joining Williams in 2022.
49. Lance Stroll – 241
The Aston Martin driver is 49th place on the all-time list, having scored 241 points during his six-and-a-bit years in Formula 1.
His tally has him just ahead of Jacques Laffite and Clay Regazzoni and, more significantly, clear of 1997 World Champion and compatriot Jacques Villeneuve to become the sport’s most points-scoring Canadian.
30. Pierre Gasly – 378
The first F1 race winner on our list, courtesy of his victory at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, Pierre Gasly ranks 30th on the list of F1 points scorers.
The French driver has 378 points, having just overtaken World Champions Jackie Stewart and Damon Hill courtesy of his third-place finish at the Dutch Grand Prix.
Next up on Gasly’s list is Gerhard Berger, six points up the road, while current contemporaries George Russell and Esteban Ocon are circa 25 points clear.
27. Esteban Ocon – 402
Another driver with a sole race victory, due to his win at the Hungaroring in 2021, Ocon can still move further forward on the list of all-time points scorers this year despite the fact his Alpine is unlikely to be an F1 2023 race winner.
Several World Champions remain within reach, and Ocon leapfrogged countryman Romain Grosjean with his points in Canada – with Mika Hakkinen and Niki Lauda next in his sights.
26. George Russell – 409
Another single race winner after his victory in Brazil last year, Russell is unlikely to be looking over his shoulder back at Gasly due to their respective cars.
Realistically, with a decent second half of the season, Russell can eye up becoming one of the sport’s top 20 points-scorers this year, with several retired World Champions within range. These include Mika Hakkinen and Niki Lauda, who are on 420 and 420.5, respectively, while Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet are a little further up the road on 482 and 485.5 each.
21. Nico Hulkenberg – 530
Nico Hulkenberg made his F1 debut at the exact race where the revised, higher-weighting points system was introduced – the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix.
With 530 points in the years since (albeit with interruptions!), Hulkenberg may still be able to make some inroads into those ahead of him despite his uncompetitive Haas this year. While Norris is likely to close the gap over the remaining races this year, Hulk is just five points behind David Coulthard.
But Hulkenberg is 84 points down on three-time F1 World Champion Ayrton Senna, meaning any further progress up the table is unlikely this season…
19. Lando Norris – 543
With a podium at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix – the 10th of his career – Lando Norris moved ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and into the top 20 of all-time points scorers in F1.
He leapfrogged 13-time race winner David Coulthard in the process, too, but Norris will be wanting to tick that first win off his list sooner rather than later – though time is very much on his side.
15. Carlos Sainz – 932.5
Sainz ranks 15th on the all-time list, having overtaken four-time World Champion Alain Prost since the start of the 2023 season.
And with Prost now in the rear-view mirror, his next opponent on the table is Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc…
14. Charles Leclerc – 1003
While Sainz boasts a points average of 5.24 per race, Leclerc’s is an impressive 8.50, despite his reasonably bad luck throughout his F1 career.
While Leclerc has lost ground to Sainz since the start of 2023, he’s not likely to be looking back at his team-mate’s progress and attempt to close the gap, and is instead more likely to be thinking about toppling 13th-place Mark Webber.
Felipe Massa is quite a long way up the road in 12th place with 1,167 points, meaning Leclerc may have to wait until next year to make further inroads up the points table.
And the overall top 10…
10. Daniel Ricciardo – 1311
Moving into the top 10 all-time F1 points scorers, and we start with the comeback kid Ricciardo.
Having returned to Red Bull as their reserve driver ahead of the F1 2023 campaign, a poor 10-race spell for Nyck de Vries at Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri opened the door for Ricciardo to return to the grid in his place, as of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo is on 1311 points, which may rise during the remainder of the season, even though the AlphaTauri AT04 is arguably the slowest challenger out there.
Ricciardo was actually ninth on the list until the Spanish Grand Prix but was overtaken by Sergio Perez after the Mexican’s fourth-place finish at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
9. Sergio Perez – 1424
Perez has been racing in F1 for more than a decade uninterrupted, having made his debut a year after the revised higher points system was introduced.
Moving into ninth place ahead of Ricciardo thanks to fourth place in Spain, he is still well behind eighth-placed Michael Schumacher. He’ll need a big season from here to overtake the German legend.
8. Michael Schumacher – 1566
The seven-time World Champion is regarded as one of the sport’s all-time greats, if not the greatest-ever, but Schumacher is the driver who is probably represented the least fairly by the fact he raced for almost the entirety of his career using the old points system – only his Mercedes years saw him enjoy the higher weighting, and his resulting points total has him further down the top 10 list than he deserves, particularly as even that top 10 position becomes precarious.
Schumacher still scored a gargantuan 1566 points during his career but, had he enjoyed the same ease of scoring modern-day drivers do throughout his years in the sport, he’d have wound up with 4,660.2. This would place him in second place, bested only by Lewis Hamilton’s career total.
7. Nico Rosberg – 1594.5
Having driven almost three-quarters of his career with the higher-points system, with three of those years at the wheel of the dominant Mercedes juggernaut, it’s not surprising the long-retired Nico Rosberg still makes it comfortably into the top 10.
Rosberg finished his career 28.5 points clear of what compatriot Michael Schumacher wound up with, a total of 1594.5 points, despite the huge amounts of success Schumacher encountered during his career – shedding further light on the difference the points change in 2010 really made.
But, considering Rosberg retired at the very peak of his career, and could likely have even been driving for Mercedes today had he chosen to do so, the German could have been competing near the very top of this list by now…
6. Valtteri Bottas – 1793
Bottas replaced Rosberg at Mercedes in 2017, with the more placid Finn settling into a supporting role to Lewis Hamilton as the British driver set off on a four-year streak of titles that was only ended by Max Verstappen in 2021.
With 1792 points on the board so far, 1327 of those came courtesy of his supporting years at Mercedes. Much of the rest are from a few years in the midfield at Williams between 2013 and 2016, while Bottas is unlikely to add a huge amount more during 2023 as he and Alfa Romeo struggle to score.
5. Kimi Raikkonen – 1873
The now-retired Kimi Raikkonen ended his career with 1873 points, having split his time in F1 almost exactly in half with the first half in the old points system, and the latter half with the new.
Making a name for himself at McLaren as Mika Hakkinen’s replacement, Raikkonen almost pulled off the 2003 and 2005 World Championships but was let down by Mercedes reliability, before finally winning the title in 2007 with Ferrari.
Ousted from Ferrari at the end of ’09, he returned with Lotus in 2012 and enjoyed a career resurgence (and a huge points bonus cheque!) before seeing out his twilight years at Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.
Had he raced entirely on the newer points system, he’d have ended his career with 3,043 points.
4. Fernando Alonso – 2235
Having made his F1 debut at the same time as Raikkonen, Alonso has had his career similarly divided in half, although is enjoying a longer career in which his competitive Aston Martin is allowing him to add ever more points to his tally.
Alonso isn’t far behind third-place on the all-time list, but is unlikely to close that gap, given that it’s Max Verstappen up next…
3. Max Verstappen – 2411.5
The Dutch driver overtook Alonso for third place on the all-time list courtesy of his win (appropriately, over Alonso!) at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Verstappen has raced his entire career under the new points system, with Red Bull also becoming dominant at the point where extra points started to be handed out for fastest laps and for sprint events.
With 48 wins and 92 podiums to his name, Verstappen is climbing the stats lists, but is already amongst the highest-ever points scorers as he now has 2411.5 to his name.
However, despite his stranglehold on the F1 2023 campaign, moving up to second place on the list is out of reach this year…
2. Sebastian Vettel – 3098
The four-time World Champion’s titles came in the first four years of the new points system, with his dominance meaning Vettel quickly shot up the all-time points standings even before he joined Ferrari in 2015.
While titles evaded him and the Scuderia, Vettel remained a regular winner and podium finisher up until his form took a severe dip in 2020. Two years at Aston Martin in the midfield didn’t yield much more success, but a few points finishes and podiums moved Vettel up to 3098 points outright.
Had his career been run entirely under the new system, he’d have 3,409.6 points.
While Vettel has retired from F1, he’s made it clear that he isn’t sure whether the non-racing life will sit right with him. There’s still a chance his points score could still rise in the future…
1. Lewis Hamilton – 4595.5
Unsurprisingly, Lewis Hamilton tops the list of all-time F1 points scorers. Hamilton has had an uninterrupted career since making his debut in the front-running McLaren in 2007, with the majority of his career thus coming in the higher-points system.
With a front-running car for most of the years of his career, Hamilton’s relentless consistency and ability to maximise results have resulted in some truly frightening dominance when he’s ended up with the best car.
Hamilton rarely fails to achieve the very best result his car is capable of and, combined with a lack of self-inflicted mistakes, the British driver is on a points tally of 4595.5 after the Japanese Grand Prix. Had he had the benefit of the extra handful of years with the newer points system, he’d be on 5000+…