Expected points, abbreviated xPoints or xPts, is a way of assessing how many points we would expect a driver to get in a race given how they ran throughout the race as judged by ATP and ATP25.
xPoints can be compared to the actual points a driver accrued in a race to see if they under performed or over performed, and what the cause of that may be.
Over the course of a season, a driver who is over performing their xPoints would usually be expected to regress to the mean and have more typical results, and the same is true for a driver severely under performing their xPoints. If a driver had been expected to score 225 points by that point in the season and has only scored 185, that means there were probably quite a few races where he ran well but didn’t get the result and we should see his true talent start to shine through when the bad luck turns.
Alternatively if a driver has scored 50 more points than their xPoints, perhaps they got lucky with avoiding a few crashes at the end of races or with a well-timed caution for them as they hopped into the pits.
Of course sometimes a driver may over or under perform consistently and it doesn’t seem to be due to luck, and in that case the team/driver may be doing something differently strategically that is worth a closer look. xPoints can alert us to these cases that we should evaluate further.
xPoints is most useful when looked at over the course of several races or even a season, but individual race xPoints can still be useful as a check of how the race played out.