Infotainment Factory: F1's shock move to revive 60-year-old rule

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Friday, 8 March 2019

F1's shock move to revive 60-year-old rule


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With less than a week until the Formula One cars hit the track in Melbourne for the opening practice session ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, the sport’s governing body is considering a surprise rule change.

The FIA’s World Motor Sport Council is reported to have given its support to a plan to award a bonus point to the driver who sets the fastest lap of the race, provided that driver finishes in the top 10.

A deadline of Monday has been set for the F1 Strategy Group and F1 Commission to give their approval to the change.

The plan to only award the point to drivers finishing in the top 10 is to stop those at the tail of the field pitting for fresh tyres at the end of the race, given they wouldn’t be forfeiting world championship points by doing so.

The move is believed to be part of a plan by F1’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media to spice up the end of races, when the cars may be spread out on track with little chance of a change in the running order.

Awarding a point for pole position was also considered, but rejected to avoid the possibility of the outcome of the world championship being decided during qualifying on a Saturday, rather than during the race on Sunday.

It’s very much a case of “back to the future” for Formula One, given drivers who set the fastest lap were awarded a bonus point between 1950-59.

Freight company DHL already sponsors a trophy given to the driver who records the most fastest laps during a season. In 2018 Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas took home the award, after setting the quickest lap on seven occasions in 21 races.

With less than a week until the Formula One cars hit the track in Melbourne for the opening practice session ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, the sport’s governing body is considering a surprise rule change.

The FIA’s World Motor Sport Council is reported to have given its support to a plan to award a bonus point to the driver who sets the fastest lap of the race, provided that driver finishes in the top 10.

A deadline of Monday has been set for the F1 Strategy Group and F1 Commission to give their approval to the change.

The plan to only award the point to drivers finishing in the top 10 is to stop those at the tail of the field pitting for fresh tyres at the end of the race, given they wouldn’t be forfeiting world championship points by doing so.

The move is believed to be part of a plan by F1’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media to spice up the end of races, when the cars may be spread out on track with little chance of a change in the running order.

Awarding a point for pole position was also considered, but rejected to avoid the possibility of the outcome of the world championship being decided during qualifying on a Saturday, rather than during the race on Sunday.

It’s very much a case of “back to the future” for Formula One, given drivers who set the fastest lap were awarded a bonus point between 1950-59.

Freight company DHL already sponsors a trophy given to the driver who records the most fastest laps during a season. In 2018 Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas took home the award, after setting the quickest lap on seven occasions in 21 races.

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