Bonus point will now be awarded for Fastest Lap

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Effective immediately, drivers that set the fastest lap of the race will be awarded a bonus point if they finish in the top 10.

Although Formula 1 has previously had a bonus point for fastest lap, few in the paddock were even alive when it was last awarded more than sixty years ago.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Drivers outside the top 10 are ineligible for the bonus point, and if they set the fastest time then no point(s) will be awarded.

  • Fastest driver and their constructor will both be awarded a point.

If the fastest lap points had been in play in 2007 and 2008 respectively, Hamilton would have claimed the title in ‘07, but would have lost to Massa in ‘08.

Seemingly a response to more innovative series like Formula E, rumours of the bonus point were met with mixed reaction amongst fans. Most notably, the concern that a bonus point adds little in terms of value, yet could end up deciding a championship in a close season.

Concerns that back-markers could pit late it the race, or even start the race light with the intention of chasing the point have been floated as a justification for eliminating the back-half of the grid.

Ross Brawn expands on the decision further on F1.com:

"Together with the FIA we have been committed to evaluating ideas and solutions that can improve the show whilst maintaining the integrity of our sport,” he said.

“We felt that the reintroduction, after sixty years, of a point for the driver of the fastest lap in the race goes in this direction. We have been considering this solution - which represents a response to detailed research carried out with thousands of our fans around the world – for a number of months.

“How many times have we heard the drivers on the radio ask the team about who holds the fastest lap? Now it will no longer be only a matter of record and prestige, but there will be a concrete motivation that will make the final part of the race even more interesting. Sometimes it is useful to remind ourselves of the heritage of our sport to move forward."

Strangely, discussion about bonus points has excluded awarding one for pole position, which features in the drivers’ unofficial “grand slam” (pole, win and fastest lap), and would avoid any peripheral issues that could disrupt the race.

In 2018 Valtteri Bottas claimed the DHL Fastest Lap trophy after speeding to 7 fastest laps from a possible twenty-one.