Fastest Lap Gets a Bonus Point in New F1 Regulations for 2019

Formula One 156 March 11, 2019 by

There’s another change coming to the Formula 1 rules for 2019, but this time it’s all about scoring points.

The sport’s governing bodies have agreed to a change that will see the driver who sets the fastest lap in a race one bonus point. It’s the first major change to the points system since the 2010 season, and also 60 years since the last time the sport recognized the fastest lap in the scoring.

It’s a move designed to increase the entertainment value in F1, and something that has come from F1’s own fan surveys.

In principle the bonus point could influence race strategies. Cars on low fuel loads could take a late stop for softer tires in a concerted effort to score the bonus point. Notably only cars finishing inside the top ten, and thus already scoring race points, are eligible for the bonus point. In addition to the driver scoring the bonus point, their team will also gain a point for the Constructors’ Championship.

With 25 points for a race victory, it’s unlikely that the move will affect either the championship title or the leading teams. The last time the top two drivers were close enough to make bonus points relevant was 2012, and they’d only have changed the destination of the title in 2008 — before the current points system.

Instead it’s likely to affect drivers further down the championship table, although if it were applied to 2018, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas would have finished in fourth, ahead of Max Verstappen.

After FIA’s World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) met to discuss the change at the weekend, the F1 strategy group and the F1 commission both also agreed to implement it. The bonus point will make its bow at the Australian Grand Prix this coming weekend.

Here's All the Hypercars Coming to Le Mans Next Year (and Those That Aren't)

2020 Le Mans 24 Hours: Preview, Live Streams, Schedules and Discussion

Igor Fraga Set to Switch to Hitech Team for 2021 FIA F3 Season

Fraga's Formula 3 Pain Continues in Spain

Igor Fraga Talks About His Difficult Formula 3 Season

Igor Fraga Scores First FIA Formula 3 Point With Battling Silverstone Performance

Fraga Foiled Again by Reliability Woes at Silverstone

Formula E to Run a Reverse Direction Circuit Race