F1 to award a point for fastest lap in 2019

The FIA World Motorsport Council has announced today that it approves plans for the awarding of a single championship point for fastest lap, starting with the Australian GP in a weeks time.

The WMSC did not include the topic in a recent meeting, and has to pass an e-vote via the F1 Commission before being added to the Sporting Regulations.

In recent years the prominence of the DHL Fastest Lap award has gained more media attention.

Since 2007, a trophy has been awarded to the driver who set the most fastest laps over the course of a season. Kimi Raikkonen claimed the first award, the 2018 trophy went to Valterri Bottas who set seven fastest laps.

Valterri Bottas claimed the most recent edition of the DHL Fastest Lap Award. Image: DHL

The effort to introduce the point is undoubtedly part of Liberty Media’s attempts to reinvent Formula One.

The owners of the ‘Formula One Group’ have set about modernising the series in an attempt to attract new fans, and remain on-fashion.

As expected there has been criticism of the new rule. Many are calling it a gimmick to far.

Arguably the greatest concern is that the fastest lap points do not affect the championship outcome. However, the only time since 1958 that this would have influenced the title winner was 2008, when Felipe Massa would have taken home the crown instead of Lewis Hamilton.

The only time the fastest lap point would have changed a championship outcome is 2008, when Felipe Massa would have been crowned, not Lewis Hamilton. Image: Diogo Dubiella (via Wikicommons)

The last time a point was awarded for fastest lap was the United States GP at Sebring in 1959, when Maurice Trintignant set the quickest race lap in his Cooper T51. The race was famous for Jack Brabham pushing his car across the line to claim the title.

The last tie F1 awarded a point for fastest lap was the US GP in 1959. Pictured is Jack Brabham definitely not setting that lap as he pushes his Cooper-Climax over the line to claim the title. Image: via Reddit

It looks likely that the rule will be approved, and in place by the time the cars head out on track in Melbourne.

Header Image: Formula One

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