Twenty drivers start a Grand Prix, and the 10 highest-placed finishers score points. The winner gets 25 points, with the rest awarded on a sliding scale: 2nd (18 points), 3rd (15), 4th (12), 5th (10), 6th (8), 7th (6), 8th (4), 9th (2) and 10th (1). Additionally, the driver who sets the fastest single lap of a race gets one bonus point, provided they finish inside the top 10.
Drivers accumulate points over the 23-race season to decide the drivers' world championship, while the constructors' title is decided by adding together the points for each team's two drivers. In F1®'s 73-year history, the drivers' title has been decided by a single point eight times. Lewis Hamilton lost the 2007 title as a rookie to Kimi Raikkonen by one point, then beat Felipe Massa by the same miniscule margin one year later.
Should two drivers end the season on the same number of points, the driver with the most victories for the year is named champion; if they're still tied after that, then second place becomes the next tie-breaker, and so on.
F1® being F1®, there's an asterisk on the available points on offer – at six of the 23 rounds this year, an F1® Sprint will be held on the Saturday, with a 100km race (roughly one-third of a Grand Prix proper) offering the following points structure: 1st (8 points), 2nd (7), 3rd (6), 4th (5), 5th (4), 6th (3), 7th (2) and 8th (1).
The finishing order of the F1® Sprints in Azerbaijan, Austria, Belgium, Qatar, USA (Austin) and Sao Paulo will set the grid for the Grands Prix proper the following day.