F1 to introduce 1 point for fastest lap in 2019


Formula 1 has confirmed the introduction of an extra point being available to the driver who sets the fastest lap of the race, starting with this weekend's Australian Grand Prix.

F1 bosses and the FIA have been in discussions about introducing new initiatives, and awarding a point for the fastest lap is one that received backing from all involved.

While it is likely that the fastest driver will already be inside the 10, this rule takes away the ability for a driver sitting in 11th or lower to pit in the closing laps and throw a set of soft tires on in a bid to secure an unlikely point.

"Together with the FIA we have been committed to evaluating ideas and solutions that can improve the show whilst maintaining the integrity of our sport", said Formula One's managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn. Moreover, the move will see drivers outside the top 10 finishers setting the fastest lap and deny other drivers the point, even if it means nor scoring one yourself.

"We have been considering the solution - which represents a response to detailed research carried out with thousands of our fans around the world - for a number of months".

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He points to drivers frequently coming onto the radio to ask who's got the fastest lap, too.

However, in order to earn the bonus point in F1, a driver will have to classify in the top 10 at the end of the race.

Brawn said the extra point would also make the final part of a race more interesting when fuel loads have dropped and cars are at their fastest.

F1 previously awarded a point to the driver setting the fastest lap of a race from 1950-59, which helped settle the "58 drivers" championship in Mike Hawthorn's favour.

It means there are potentially another 21-points up for grabs over the course of the season, which is nearly equal to the 25 awarded for a race win.