Formula 1

F1 approves plan to award point for fastest lap from start of 2019

Formula 1 will award a world championship point to the driver setting the fastest lap of a grand prix from 2019 after a proposal was met with unanimous approval.

Autosport reported last week that the plan had been approved by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council but will still subject to the result of an e-vote.

This was a departure from the standard procedure, as a proposal would usually be voted on by the Commission before being put up for final approval by the WMSC.

A vote was held on Monday by the Strategy Group and F1 Commission, which backed the plan to introduce the initiative from this weekend’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

A driver must be classified in the top 10 in order to be awarded the additional point, which will count towards both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.

In the event of a driver who sets the fastest lap being classified outside the top 10, the point will not be awarded.

The championship 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.

F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn said the measure had been introduced as a result of research carried about by the championship and would add an element of interest to grands prix.

“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 Brawn.

“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.

“How many times have we heard the drivers on the radio ask the team about who holds the fastest lap?

“Now it will no longer be only a matter of record and prestige, but there will be a concrete motivation that will make the final part of the race even more interesting.

“Sometimes it is useful to remind ourselves of the heritage of our sport to move forward.”

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