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…
188. Zhou Guanyu – 12
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.
107. Yuki Tsunoda – 61
The AlphaTauri driver, finishing his third year in Formula 1, is 107th overall.
With 57 points scored from 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.
90. Oscar Piastri – 97
Another 2023 rookie after joining McLaren, the Australian currently ranks 90th on the all-time list and is shooting up the order with McLaren fast emerging as the biggest threat to Red Bull’s dominance.
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 – 228
Alex Albon has 228 points to his name, with his five F1 2023 points finishes including his best results with Williams, with two P7s to his name.
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.
43. Lance Stroll – 268
The Aston Martin driver is 43rd place on the all-time list, having scored 267 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 highest points-scoring Canadian.
His P5 finish in Las Vegas in 2023 saw him leapfrog Nick Heidfeld and three-time World Champion Jack Brabham on the list.
28. Pierre Gasly – 394
The first F1 race winner on our list, courtesy of his victory at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, Pierre Gasly ranks 28th on the list of F1 points scorers.
The French driver has 394 points, having overtaken former ‘Team Enstone’ stalwart Romain Grosjean at Interlagos in 2023 with his run to the points from P15 on the grid.
25. Esteban Ocon – 422
Another driver with a sole race victory, due to his win at the Hungaroring in 2021, several World Champions remain within reach of Ocon, and he leapfrogged countryman Romain Grosjean with his points in Canada in 2023 – before jumping ahead of multiple title winners Mika Hakkinen and Niki Lauda with a P4 finish in Las Vegas.
24. George Russell – 469
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.
Next up for Russell in the early races of 2024 if Mercedes birth a strong car will be 1992 World Champion, Nigel Mansell.
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 would take a strong 2024 season for Haas.
18. Lando Norris – 633
With a podium at the 2023 Sao Paulo Grand Prix – the 13th of his career, matching Nick Heidfeld for the most podiums without yet taking victory – Lando Norris leapfrogged Ayrton Senna in the table of all-time F1 points scorers.
That first victory appears closer than ever for the McLaren driver, who has Rubens Barrichello and Alain Prost next in his sights on this particular chart.
15. Carlos Sainz – 982.5
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 Mark Webber.
13. Charles Leclerc – 1074
While Sainz boasts a points average of 5.37 per race, Leclerc’s is an impressive 8.73, despite his reasonably bad luck throughout his F1 career.
Felipe Massa is up the road in 12th place with 1,167 points, and with a strong 2024 campaign Leclerc could even knock on the door of the overall top 10.
And the overall top 10…
10. Daniel Ricciardo – 1317
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 1317 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 – 1483
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.
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 – 1797
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 – 2267
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 – 2586.5
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.
Verstappen is climbing the stats lists in every category, but is already amongst the highest-ever points scorers as he now has 2586.5 to his name.
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 – 4639.5
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 469.5 after the 2023 season. Had he had the benefit of the extra handful of years with the newer points system, he’d be on 5000+…