The FIA has approved plans for an extra world championship point to be awarded to the driver with the fastest lap in each Formula 1 Grand Prix, starting with the season-opening race in Melbourne, Australia, on March 17th.
While the initiative has already gone through the Sporting Working Group and the Strategy Group, it now has to be passed by an e-vote of the Formula 1 Commission, reports Autonews. This is not an entirely new rule, as a point was also awarded for the fastest lap during the first 10 years of F1 in the 1950s.
This could end up impacting the driver’s standings, just as it did back in 1958 when Mike Hawthorn beat Stirling Moss to the title by a single point, having set two fastest laps more than the latter. As a more recent example, we can look back to the 2008 season when Felipe Massa would have beaten Lewis Hamilton to the title had he been awarded an extra point.
Of course, such scenarios don’t really apply, since back then, drivers weren’t competing to set fastest laps in the race, so we don’t know how that would have played out.
This year, the rule will follow a similar format to the one used in Formula E, where the point will only be awarded if the driver with the fastest lap actually finishes the race in the top 10.