Formula One to reintroduce a point for fastest lap in each Grand Prix

Rule should be in place for season-opening Australian race on March 17th

Felipe Massa finished one point behind Lewis Hamilton in 2008. Photograph: Inpho/Getty

Felipe Massa finished one point behind Lewis Hamilton in 2008. Photograph: Inpho/Getty

 

Formula One is poised to reintroduce a point for the fastest lap during a grand prix from this season.

The move was initially approved during a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) on Thursday.

The next step is for an e-vote of the F1 Commission on Monday, that comprises representatives from the teams, sponsors, engine manufacturers, tyre supplier Pirelli, the circuits and the FIA.

The Strategy Group, that includes the teams, F1 and the FIA, initially proposed the move, furthering a call from fans to consider the idea.

It is believed the F1 Commission will quickly rubberstamp the WMSC approval in order for a new rule to be added to the sporting regulations ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 17th.

The feeling behind the move is that it will add extra spice to the latter stages of a grand prix when the cars are at their lightest after consuming fuel.

The one proviso is that the point will only be awarded to a driver who finishes in the top 10.

It is 60 years since a point was awarded for the fastest lap as it was in place for the first 10 years of F1, from 1950-59.

It proved crucial in 1958 when Mike Hawthorn pipped Stirling Moss to the title by a point, setting the fastest lap on five occasions to his rival’s three.

Only once in recent seasons would such a system have made a difference — in 2008, when Lewis Hamilton, then with McLaren, beat Ferrari’s Felipe Massa to the title by a point.

Massa secured three fastest laps to Hamilton’s one. However, if fastest-lap points had been awarded that year then both teams would likely have done more to have won them.

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