With the start of the the 2019 season only days away, Formula 1 is to introduce a point for the fastest lap.
The FIA announced on Monday that the Formula One Strategy Group and F1 Commission had given approval in an e-vote. The FIA had already approved the rule change on the 7th March.
Now depending on your opinion, you may see this as an opportunity for the the midfield to increase their stock a little, but the driver, whose team will also be awarded a point, must finish in the top ten. The hope is that it might provide an incentive to those drivers floating outside the top ten.
With 21 extra points on offer for the season this could make all the difference. If this rule had been in place in 2008, we could be talking about world champion Felipe Massa! They finished a point apart after a rollercoster final race in Brazil but Massa had three fastest laps to Hamilton’s one that season.
Formula One’s managing director for motorsports, Ross Brawn said the rule change was “to improve the show whilst maintaining the integrity of our sport.”
“We felt that the reintroduction, after 60 years, of a point for the driver of the fastest lap in the race goes in this direction,”
“We have been considering this solution — which represents a response to detailed research carried out with thousands of our fans around the world — for a number of months.”
A point for the fastest lap was introduced during the first decade of racing as a world championship from1950-1959.
The 2019 Formula 1 season starts in Melbourne this weekend with Lewis Hamilton defending his title from an restructured Ferrari team who impressed during pre-season testing.