Formula 1 drivers do set the fastest lap times during every race but there hasn’t been a reward or incentive of sorts for achieving the feat. That will change though with the upcoming F1 season which starts this weekend. F1 bosses and the FIA were in discussions to award additional points to drivers and teams for setting the fastest lap time during the race. The Strategy Group gave it the green light, followed by the Sporting Working Group. The F1 Commission and ratification by the World Motor Sport Council also followed suit. The new award rule will be enforced from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix to be held on Sunday.
The points incentive though is restricted to those drivers that set the fastest lap time after classifying in the top 10 at the end of the race. No point will be allocated if you finish 11th or further down the order or fail to finish, despite setting the fastest lap time in the race. The new rule allows for drivers and teams to pick up additional points, which in the long run could mean edging out to win the championship. 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.
Interestingly, this is not the first time F1 has offered points as a reward. The fastest lap points were given in the first world championship race and that remained the case until 1959. At the time, lap times were measured to just one decimal place. At the time, the fastest lap was shared by multiple drivers, famously on four occasions including when seven drivers shared the fastest lap time during the British GP in 1954. With the upcoming season, there are an extra 21 points up for grabs.
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