Starting from the season-opening 2019 Australian Grand Prix, which kicks off this weekend, Formula 1 drivers that set the fastest lap of the race will be awarded a championship point.
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. The additional point will count towards both, the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.
With 21 extra points now up for grabs across the season, this new rule could offer yet another strategic factor for the teams. The new rule was made official after being ratified by the World Motor Sport Council and receiving approval from the F1 Commission.
This isn’t the first time that F1 has awarded a point to the driver setting the fastest lap; in fact, the rule has been reintroduced after a 60-year absence. It was part of the series’ points scoring system from its inaugural season in 1950, right up until the end of the 1959 season. Of course, since lap times were measured to just one decimal place back then, there were several instances where multiple drivers shared the fastest lap and by 1960 it was decided that the one point would be awarded to the driver finishing in sixth place instead.