F1 2019: Point for fastest lap to be introduced at Australian GP
Driver with fastest lap of race will gain an extra point - provided they also finish in the top 10; Extra 21 points available in 2019
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 12/03/19 10:02am
F1 will award a bonus point to the driver who sets the fastest lap in races in the 2019 season.
The new rule will come into effect at the season-opening Australian GP on March 17.
The extra point will only be awarded if the driver who sets the race's fastest lap also finishes in the top 10.
F1 last awarded a point for fastest race laps in 1959.
A point will also be awarded to the Constructor of the driver setting the fastest lap.
The change means an extra 21 championship points can be accrued over the course of a season.
Martin Brundle's view
"It's another dimension to look out for and rewards speed, which is what Formula 1 is all about," said the Sky F1 commentator and analyst.
"I like the concept, especially if somebody like a Ricciardo, a Raikkonen, or whoever, can sneak in and steal an extra point off the front-runners because they're watching each other too closely and pacing themselves.
"I quite like the idea of pushing people along so they can't coast too much."
F1's points-system tweak
The sport's current points-scoring system for the top-10 race finishers has been in place since 2010, with the little-loved double points format of Abu Dhabi 2014 proving a one-off experiment.
Fastest lap points were awarded during the course of F1's first decade from 1950, but only race finishes have since counted.
Valtteri Bottas recorded the most fastest race laps in 2018 with seven. Six of those came when the Mercedes driver finished in the top 10, meaning he would have scored six extra points over the season in the same scenario as 2019.
While the idea of points for pole position has been floated in the past, only Sunday's results continue to be counted.
"I'd probably consider more points, such as for pole position, but I think there's already enough incentive in that respect," added Brundle. "The nightmare scenario there would be that championship got collected on a Saturday afternoon."
When's the Australian GP on Sky?
Sky Sports F1 will be the home of live and exclusive Formula 1 in 2019, broadcasting all 21 races - including every practice, qualifying and grand prix.
And it all starts with the Australian GP on March 15-17.
The key times are:
* The race starts at 5.10am UK time on Sunday, March 17, simulcast on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event.
* Saturday's qualifying hour begins at 6am UK time, with build-up on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event from 5am.
* Coverage from Australia will start with the Live Melbourne F1 Launch Show at 6am on Wednesday, March 13.
* Thursday morning's Welcome to the Weekend show will be first broadcast at 7am on Thursday March 14.
* The first track session of the year will be Practice One, underway at 1am on the morning of Friday March 15.
Sky Sports F1 is the home of live and exclusive F1 - and new and existing customers in the UK can now get the channel for just £10 extra a month, our best-ever offer. Find out more here to watch the 2019 season live