Start, Yas Marina, 2018

Why a point for fastest lap would be a change for the worse


Posted on

| Written by

As RaceFans revealed yesterday, Formula 1 bosses will today debate whether offering a point for fastest lap this year will improve the show.

I see no reason to believe it would.

To understand what effect awarding a point for fastest lap would have on races we need to do more than just look at who set the fastest lap last year. Adding an incentive to setting fastest lap will transform how teams view it.

Previously, teams have not wanted their drivers pushing hard to set the fastest lap in the closing stages of a race because it offers no worthwhile reward when balanced against the potential risk. No one would trade the Fastest Lap Trophy for a championship title, but the risk of damaging a car by turning everything up to 11 for one final flying lap is real.

With a point on offer for fastest lap, teams would change their tactics at the end of the race to give them the opportunity to collect that point. But the reality of racing makes it unlikely many will bother.

In a typical, dry race, the best opportunity for a driver to set fastest lap is on the final lap of a race when the car is lowest on fuel and therefore lightest.

Any driver hoping to take the point for fastest lap would have to put on a fresh set of tyres, which would bring a performance advantage of several seconds over those still circulating on old rubber.

So the final few laps of a race would become a question of which of the fastest drivers on track happen to have enough of a gap behind them to make a pit stop, put on a fresh set of tyres and make a bid for fastest lap.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

By taking a look at the lap charts for the final races we can make an informed guess how these races would have panned out had a point for fastest lap been offered.

In Mexico Max Verstappen was leading Sebastian Vettel by 15 seconds at the end. That’s not a big enough gap to make a pit stop for fresh tyres, but Vettel had a 30-second lead over Kimi Raikkonen, so could easily have pitted, taken on new set of Pirellis and collected the bonus point for fastest lap.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2018
A quick stop for fresh rubber and Vettel would have taken the bonus point in Mexico
Only one other driver inside the top 10 had enough of a gap behind them to consider doing the same. This was Valtteri Bottas, who was already a lap behind the front runners and may have concluded he didn’t have the pace to beat a fresh-tyred Ferrari.

For those outside the top 10 with no realistic chance of scoring points, pitting for a fresh set of tyres would theoretically offer them a chance of picking up a point. But not if they see that a front-running Ferrari is going to do the same. In that scenario, they’re better off holding position on track and hoping someone ahead of them drops out.

(It also would not be a surprise if the point for fastest lap is not offered to drivers who finish outside the top 10. This is similar to how the rule works in other championships, and would prevent drivers who hit trouble early on from waiting in the garage for most of the race then emerging for a final, qualifying-style bid for fastest lap at the end.)

The Brazilian Grand Prix may have offered something closer to the scenario the rule-makers are hoping to create. Unusually, the drivers from the three fastest teams were all too close together and the cars behind to pit without losing a position. Kevin Magnussen (ninth) and Sergio Perez (10th) were the only drivers in the top 10 with enough of a gap behind them to pit for fresh tyres.

Would they have done so? Their qualifying times indicate they might have been quick enough to take the point for fastest lap. But while we can only guess at that, the teams have far more accurate information at their fingertips, and will make their decision whether to push for a fastest lap based on that.

Expect post-race driver interviews along the lines of: “Why didn’t you try to get the point for fastest lap?” “Because we knew Ferrari could go quicker on old rubber…”

Would offering a point for fastest lap have added much excitement to the anti-climatic season finale in Abu Dhabi? Not likely: Daniel Ricciardo had a large gap behind him to pit into, giving him a straightforward shot at the bonus point. Sergio Perez, eighth, could have done the same, but again why would he bother in the knowledge the much faster Red Bull was going to beat him to it?

Lewis Hamilron, ART, Monza, GP2, 2006
A point for fastest lap spoiled the 2006 GP2 title-decider
But if offering a point for fastest lap appears flawed from a practical point of view, the principle of the idea is even worse.

It would complicate the scoring system by removing the simple principle that drivers only score points based on where they finish in a race. Championship arithmetic would move further from the ready grasp of the casual follower: a 25-point maximum haul from a race is far easier to multiply across several races than 26 points.

It would give another opportunity for championships to be decided in the stewards’ room rather than on the track, which is surely something no one wants to see. Or just as bad, turn a race for the championship into a qualifying session, as happened in Formula E’s 2016 title-decider:

F1 should know from recent experience the folly of rushing in a major change to the sporting rules on the eve of the new season. The point for fastest lap proposal recalls the bad old days of F1 under Bernie Ecclestone, the architect of several hastily-introduced-and-dropped rules changes: think double points in 2014 or elimination qualifying in 2016.

Just this week F1 CEO Chase Carey vowed not to “gimmick-up” the sport in the hope of making it more entertaining. Yet this is exactly what offering a point for fastest lap would do.

Last year F1 persuaded teams to agree a new aerodynamic package for 2019 aimed at improving the quality of racing. The changes were extensively researched and the teams were persuaded it would make a positive difference.

The thought which went into that process could not contrast more strongly with the hasty introduction of a rule with no obvious merit. Good rules changes come when those running the sport research what they ‘should’ do; bad rules changes come when they hastily seize on something they ‘could’ do.

A point for fastest lap is an example of the latter: A product of flawed reasoning with too little consideration for its practical implementation or its wider implications.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free


Browse all comment articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

75 comments on “Why a point for fastest lap would be a change for the worse”

  1. Agree. This is completely pointless (pun intended).

    1. @vjanik I almost put that in the headline…

      1. The worst part of this dreadful idea is that you can expect the commentary of the last five laps (or more) of every race to be dominated by the utterly tedious question of “who will go for the fastest lap?”. Kill me now.

      2. I guess you really nailed a lot of possible problems regarding this idea, however, I still think it would could be a good one.
        Of the potential problems you mentioned, the one who bothered me the most is the possibility of a driver involved in an incident waiting to go out at the end of the race only.
        Maybe they could give the point only to drivers who finish and stay within a few laps from the leader, let’s say 2 or 3, which would avoid this situation and would cover pretty much the whole field, since rarely someone finishes the race 3 laps down, and even if a car does so, it will probably not have the pace to set the fastest lap even on a qualy run.
        With regards to the complexity of the calculation of the possible championship scenarios, I guess it would actually be great, since it could introduce another variable in the mix in a season with a close fight between drivers or teams.
        Altough I agree with you that in most races teams would not bother to change their strategy in order to take a shot at the fastest lap, I also think leaving this door open could help spice up the battle between the teams in the slower end of the midfield, who struggle for points, eventually when the top 10 is tightly packed and they have a chance to take advantage of this rule.

    2. This is pointless because it only rewarding a point. If we give fastest lap 3 points with bonus 2 points if it was not in the softest compound available and another single point if he/she didn’t pit in the last five lap, we can have meaningful conversation…

    3. In F2 you only get the points if you are in the top 10 or so to minimise people coming in for new tyres just for the fastest lap. Awful idea though. Also if this had been used in 2008 Massa would of been champion by a point, but that would of been great from my perspective.

  2. For those outside the top 10 with no realistic chance of scoring points, pitting for a fresh set of tyres would theoretically offer them a chance of picking up a point. But not if they see that a front-running Ferrari is going to do the same. In that scenario, they’re better off holding position on track and hoping someone ahead of them drops out.

    Hmm, this actually makes the idea sound more intriguing to me, not less. There would be a certain amount of gamesmanship about the whole thing. It gives teams choices and risks and rewards, as well as an incentive for front runners to push for a gap, and it’s up to the teams to manage them. It injects an element of intra-team politics as well—will teams let both drivers push equally for a gap to make a FL push?

    I completely agree with your logic, Keith, and can’t argue with those who find it a gimmick or a distraction. My initial reaction was not positive. But I have to say I’m intrigued to see how teams would deal with it. And knowing that there is precedent for it in F1 and would be a revival of a practice from the 50s gives it a certain allure in mind, as irrational as that may be.

  3. Why not give a point for qualifying first? That’s where everyone goes flat out.

    1. Because only 2 cars seem to be capable of getting pole. While in a race, drivers in position 11 to 20 could bolt on new tyres for the last 3 laps

      1. Its a team sport so makes sense to reward fastest driver / team combo. Being so poor that you have nothing to lose and pit should not be rewarded.

    2. @@ivan-vinitskyy I suppose, but it’s just my idea, that this is due to the fact that pole position is available for just a few drivers on the grid. On the other hand, fastest lap if properly planned can be achieved by virtually anyone: last year we had Ham, Vet, Bot, Ric, Rai as pole sitters (5), Ham, Vet, Ric, Ver, Rai as winners (5) and Ham, Vet, Bot, Ric, Ver, Rai and Mag (7) marking the fastest lap, so a bit more diverse range.

    3. Personally, I’d hate that. It gives the (granted, very slim) chance of an exciting championship battle being decided on a Saturday, which doesn’t give me the chills that a Grand Prix does.

      1. @ben-n Any way you put it, all sessions of the weekend play into the chance of determining the championship. If you don’t qualify and your opponent starts on pole with 1 point between you, then championship is likely decided on Saturday. If you crash in practice, and you get a grid penalty for engine / gearbox then again Sat. We can even take this a step further and say if you miss friday practice and don’t get to setup a car then you can lose this chamionship on Friday.
        I find quali almost equally exciting as the race and not getting any points feels very wrong, especially when pole sitter is hit on the openning lap.

      2. That works both ways. It also gives a chance that a championship that would otherwise be decided already would still be undecided.

      3. @ben-n

        I see this the opposite way – Saturday and Qualifying are often better than the race. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Championship decided on Saturday. Seems to me encouraging Saturday viewership would only improve things long term.

        But contracts and TV schedules are what really matter in this discussion, not what would help.

        I also don’t really see how a point for qualifying changes much since that point goes to the strongest cars anyway.

    4. David (@billyboltaction)
      7th March 2019, 8:57

      This would only work if the pole point was awarded on the condition the pole driver finished in the points in the race (as per the suggestion for fasted lap in the article). Otherwise a championship could be decided on a Saturday.

      I’m not completely against this idea but there are occasions where it could lesson the impact of the race on the Sunday.

    5. They said it’s because they don’t want the championship decided on a Saturday. I agree with them on that at least.

    6. @ivan-vinitskyy This was covered in yesterday’s article – in short, they don’t want to risk the title being decided on a Saturday:

  4. I see your point @keithcollantine and reasoning behind it is unexceptionable. I don’t fully agree, anyway: the double points things was just unfair – and lame – and I don’t think this reward system for the fastest lap is on the same level.

    From my point of view, it can be something like what they have in football (American): 99% of the times you do a conversion kick after a touchdown, that gives you 6 (the touchdown) + 1 (the conversion) points. Teams however can try to run and do a 2 points conversion, which is more difficult but obviously more rewarding. Is quite uncommon, but it’s there if you want to try it.

    I don’t see the top teams rush to gather just 1 point, but seasons were decided on the edge of a single point (Kimi vs Lewis vs Nando, for instance).

    So in my opinion it can be something to spice things up in Formula 1.5 most of the times, where 1 point weights much more (Renault scored 122 points last year, the 20ish points on the table for fastest laps are around 15% of their tally, compared to less than 5% of Mercedes’).

    I’m very looking into the battle in the midfield lately and I believe this can help improve the battle further.

    1. A two-pointer is not that uncommon. In 2018 the average team made an attempt a bit more often than every fourth game:

      That makes it almost as probable that you’ll see one in a game as not.

    2. So in my opinion it can be something to spice things up in Formula 1.5 most of the times

      I don’t agree – most of the time they’re either not going to be quick enough or have the opportunity to make a pit stop so they can compete for the fastest lap. It’s going to be something collected by one of the ‘big three’ teams.

      1. It’s going to be something collected by one of the ‘big three’ teams.

        Exactly! I suspect that not only will it end up in the hands of the top three teams, but if they were running together then they’d create the gap needed so one of them could contest the fastest lap too.

  5. On average it seems last year FL would be set by rthe driver who runs 6th. Top 3 teams normally run well ahead of the rest and only the one in 6th place has nothing to lose and everything to gain by pitting 3 laps from the end. This will essentially reward the driver who’s been the worst perfomer in the race.

  6. isaac (@invincibleisaac)
    7th March 2019, 8:54

    Although had Vettel made that extra pitstop in Mexico Verstappen then would’ve had a big enough lead to make an extra pitstop himself so he probably would’ve ended up with fastest lap then anyway.

    1. Not really, the way it’d be done is near the very end of the race, pit 2 laps to the end, do penultimate lap out of the pits and then last lap as a hot lap. This doesn’t give other drivers time to respond.

    2. @invincibleisaac

      Although had Vettel made that extra pitstop in Mexico Verstappen then would’ve had a big enough lead to make an extra pitstop himself so he probably would’ve ended up with fastest lap then anyway.

      Not if we assume Vettel wouldn’t have pitted until the last possible opportunity, i.e. the penultimate lap. I can’t see why he’d pit any earlier than that because – as you correctly pointed out – doing so would create the opportunity for Verstappen to pit.

      1. isaac (@invincibleisaac)
        7th March 2019, 16:55

        @keithcollantine That is very true. I was just imagining they’d have about 3 – 5 laps on the new tyres so they could have several attempts in case they would make a mistake or get held up in traffic etc, but thinking about it now that would give the car ahead a window to pit.

        If this does go ahead it would be interesting to see if it would have much effect on races that go from dry to wet (not that we seem to get many anyway!). Hopefully we’d see drivers pushing harder early on to get the fastest lap before conditions would worsen.

  7. While I was pretty sure I knew your negative view (and I share it) on this going in @keithcollantine, you certainly show that it is a well founded , and solidly argued, dislike.

    A closer field would perhaps make it a more effective measure, but then, achieving that would improve a lot of things about f1 anyway,and so far it has been the hard problem to tackle.

  8. I don’t hate it as much as I thought I did when I saw the headlines yesterday. It’s not really something I’d vote for, but if it happened, I wouldn’t be too upset, if done well.

    With these kind of points changes, I try to imagine how it would look at a championship decided. For that reason, double points didn’t work for me, nor would points for qualifying. This doesn’t look too bad for me. Imagine a scenario where (for example) Vettel needs two points to win the championship over Hamilton, but has a stinker in qualifying while Hamilton looks like winning the race. Vettel battles back to try to finish 10th while also sneaking the Fastest Lap point. Mercedes could deploy Bottas to try to take the Fastest Lap point off Vettel and thwart his plan! A race within a race and potentially adds another dynamic. (Disclaimer: this will probably never happen…).

    In reality, I suspect that it would make very little difference. If a driver took Fastest Lap at every race (unlikely), it would still amount to less than a race win. The more likely scenario with a close WDC fight is that Fastest Laps are spread around between the top guys; so fairly inconsequential I’d expect.

  9. GtisBetter (@)
    7th March 2019, 9:06

    Championship arithmetic would move further from the ready grasp of the casual follower

    Do they really care about the arithmetic? I mean i have been following F1 since i was a very young boy and i usually just check the standings at the end of the race and the commentator will usually do all the math for me near the end and explain all the scenarios during the race if there is reason to. I have never met a casual follower who had trouble with scoring systems. I always think the “complicated scoring” argument is a really weak one. Just look at the NASCAR scoring system, thats quite hard to understand, but even casuals have no problems with it once explained a little bit. People have been around sports forever and they have all kind of points sytems in different sports. Casual doens’t mean stupid.

    They should introduce the rule that you have to finish in top 10 though

    1. @passingisoverrated, and, to play the devil’s advocate, a single point for fastest lap is significantly simpler than a lot of the points systems that the sport has used over the years.

      From 1950 through to 1990, the drivers would only be allowed to have a certain number of results count towards their final position in the WDC over the season. Initially, from 1950 to 1966, it was generally 5-6 (only 4 from 1950 to 1953), which was about half the season – and, from 1950 to 1959, you then had to add on fastest lap bonus points on top of that. It therefore necessitated knowing all of the results from each race of the season for that driver and then working back from that to work out what results would or would not count towards his total, and then, for a number of years, having to work out whether they did or didn’t have a bonus point for fastest lap too.

      Then, from 1966 to 1980, as the calendar became longer, they decided that the drivers had to split the season into two halves and could only carry over a certain number of results from each half of the season. Usually, it meant that a driver would have to drop one result from each half of the season, but for 1979 and 1980 they made it much more confusing by only counting half of the results from each half of the season.

      Then, from 1981 to 1990, they then decided to go back to only allowing a fixed number of races – 11 races – count towards the drivers title. That system was not especially popular, partially because increasing reliability meant that it was seen as increasingly unnecessary, and in part because of the impact it had on the 1988 WDC (where Prost scored more points if all results counted, but the dropped scores system meant that the title went to Senna instead).

      Of course, to make things more complex, between 1981 and 1990, the WCC operated to a different points system – that operated based on all of the results from the season, not the dropped results system, so the WDC and WCC were effectively out of sync with each other.

      To top it off, in 1987 you had a separate points scoring system running in parallel with the standard WDC and WCC trophies. You also had the Jim Clark Trophy and Colin Chapman Trophy, which were separate awards for the most successful driver and constructor respectively that had used a normally aspirated engine during the season – and, unlike the WDC, all of the results over the season counted towards the Jim Clark Trophy.

      It therefore meant that a handful of drivers and constructors that season had two different points totals that were working to two different points scoring systems. I think that you will agree that, by comparison, a single point for fastest lap is actually pretty straightforward by comparison to what the sport used to use.

  10. I’m not a fan, but I can see some positives (less negatives) as well.

    you mentioned “In Mexico Max Verstappen was leading Sebastian Vettel by 15 seconds at the end.”
    But with the possibility of the extra point he might have tried to extend that lead; thus more racing at speed what we all want. And if Vettel pits (hindsight I know) then Verstappen could have done it as well.
    Also every visit to the pit also has some risks; this it is not a slam dunk to do it.

    Maybe we can all agree and give the extra point to the finishing driver who did the ‘fastest average lap’.
    And to overcome the multiplying difficulty for the math challenged we can reduce the winner’s points to 24 ;)

    1. ‘fastest average lap’

      @coldfly – I was about to correct you on this, and then read your closing sentence. Nice one, this suggestion get’s my vote! :)

    2. Haha.. What a cleverly worded “change”. COTD material.

    3. I’m not a fan (..) – Wow, it took only a couple of hours (and negative comments) to make a 180.

      And if Vettel pits (hindsight I know) then Verstappen could have done it as well. – Not if Vettel would wait till the last opportunity. No hindsight, just clear thinking.

      Also every visit to the pit also has some risks; this it is not a slam dunk to do it. – That’s negating oneself.

  11. I can’t believe how many people here thought this was a good idea! although there were the usual suspects. Didn’t Liberty say no gimmicks? Yet they throw this idiotic idea out there.
    F1 is facing huge challengers in the next couple of decades and the best this mob can come up with is this load of tripe?

  12. It could cause some hilarious miscalculation situations to occur, but overall I suspect the number crunchers and strategists would simply factor it into the race plan and it would mean absolutely nothing 99% of the time.

  13. IIRC, Seb didn’t have a fresh unused set of tyres left at that point of the Mexican GP anymore. Kimi, on the other hand, had, and also had a big enough gap to Hamiton in 4th place so that he would’ve still rejoined ahead of him.

  14. “By taking a look at the lap charts for the final races we can make an informed guess …” Terrific article. Love me a bit of Science to slice and dice and expose the underbelly! More analysis = more truths. All I have seen is that some drivers go for fastest lap ‘cause it’s one more stat, and some don’t seem to try extra, but take it if it comes.

    I don’t really like a pit stop. It’s too much jeopardy and it causes me stress that they have to waste so much time. I’m pretty sure though I’m way out in left field on that one. Lots of people want more pit stops. But I say let ‘em race and if you want to win, stay out on track the entire time at full speed. I just assume everyone is going for the fastest lap at some point and I’m pretty sure those fastest laps already count.

  15. on the whole I agree with you Keith but the bit about the points is a bit of a non-starter for me (26 vs. 25 doesn’t mean a great deal – the important thing is the gap between first and second, which at 7 points is already an awkward number). also this section:

    (It also would not be a surprise if the point for fastest lap is not offered to drivers who finish outside the top 10. This is similar to how the rule works in other championships, and would prevent drivers who hit trouble early on from waiting in the garage for most of the race then emerging for a final, qualifying-style bid for fastest lap at the end.)

    surely this only applies if teams can take fuel out of the car in the pits, which I believe is not allowed under current regs. if someone wanted to game the system, they would have to run on track to burn off the fuel load in order to get down to quali levels. it’s still a bit of nonsense but at least you’d see some guys pushing really hard towards the end of the race. it might liven up monaco a bit, for example.

    as for it potentially resulting in the championship being decided in the stewards room – well, this happened in 1999 too. it then un-happened in the court of appeal in paris, so the current rules do not preclude this kind of madness either.

    1. the gap between first and second, which at 7 points is already an awkward number

      ‘7’ is not that awkward as they have carefully chosen all gaps bigger than 1 to be a prime number, @frood19.
      Some real geeks who came up with this ;)

  16. I wouldn’t mind the extra point being rewarded for the fastest lap, but only with the fewest pitstops.

    2 stop race and a car makes an extra stop for a glory run, no bonus point.

    1 stop race and a car makes an extra stop for a glory run, no bonus point.

    1 stop race and a car skips the 1 stop for a glory run – sets fastest lap – bonus point is received. Then the car is disqualified from race results for not using the mandated 2 compounds. Seems a fair tradeoff.

    This would improve the show because it dangles the possibility that someone will receive the fastest lap point without it ever happening.

    Matches the Liberty promise of close quarters racing without DRS passing gimmicks, designed-to-degrade tyres or reducing the aero-addiction. A promise for a future we won’t see.

  17. Well I would dig the idea if we would have a few other changes as well.
    We easily see 25+ sec gaps behind the 3 best team’s group usually, we saw many times safety pitstops at the last part of the race from rbr-s for example, so with the current pecking order it would gift a point for anyone running 5th or 6th.
    Of course it would cure it if the gaps between teams would shrink but that wont be the case for a long time.
    Also it would help if the time for a pitstop would be bigger pain for the times.
    F1 is already in the need to limit drastically the number of pit stop crew to slow down the stops (but I can’t see happening as the louder echo chambers in f1 and online would go “REEEEE this makes the pitstops crucial in the development of the race!!!!” like when everyone was preoccupied with tyres being a deciding factor in the results [they were always a factor kiddo, ask ferrari about their saga with Michelin in early 80s for example).

    1. so with the current pecking order it would gift a point for anyone running 5th or 6th.

      They’ve got their own championship with full points:

  18. Honestly, the product is so poor right now I’ll take anything if it makes the last 10 laps worth waking up for.

  19. tony mansell
    7th March 2019, 10:38

    It seems a good thing to me but lets not forget F1s inerring ability to be negative, from media to drivers, to owners. Its one big, its worse, it wont work, overtaking is impossible, cars are ugly. Its become a pastime and a habit. Bad race? Call the cops!

  20. Good logic, @keithcollantine, but for me none of it is knock-out, just a bunch of small gripes. It’s helpful to re-run old races on a “what if” basis as you have, but in those races the dynamic would have been different from the start – or at least from around the last pit-stop – had a fastest lap rule been in place. The timing of that last stop, and the number of stops made, could well be adjusted with FL in mind. And as for it being a sudden rule change, well yes, but it’s one where there is at least a history of it being in place in other series – that’s not really a typical “gimmick”. Tricky maths? I don’t really care about that, casual viewers aren’t going to be doing calculations anyway. I think your objection on principle has to be the strongest: that it’s only about where you finish in the race. But there I simply don’t share that principle, or rather I recognise that it has always been that way but don’t feel that it needs to be so on principle. I think there are different elements of what makes a good racing driver (and good car) and I think this gives an opportunity for acknowledging this in a different way. Sure, it won’t necessarily be the best driver or best car that gets the point, but it does offer another way for talent to shine and be justified in doing so.
    I think the idea at least has the potential to open up different strategic choices both at the front (where a point is worth less vs potential lost positions, but could still sometimes be a tempting option) and further back, where the points gap between teams and drivers is so much tighter that the motivation to go for FL is high. It may not inject much vigour into some races, but for those who have had a tough race and are out of the points or in the lower reaches there is still something to fight for.
    I would object to it being awarded only to drivers in the top 10. Better to limit it to those who have completed, say, 95% of racing laps. Then any driver who has basically done the race has the opportunity (if not the car) to do it.
    Judging by the comments here, though, I’m very much in the minority!

    1. @picasso-19d-ftw I don’t mind joining you in the minority.

      For me I am completely indifferent to this idea that was presented to us yesterday. I had little time to digest the concept and said so in a quick post on the topic last night. So upon seeing this article and ahead of reading it, I thought ok this will be the slam dunk as to why I should not want a point awarded for fastest lap. My mind will be made up for me as I am indifferent and likely not thinking of all the ramifications.

      Well, indeed I have found no slam dunk here, not even when all aspects spoken to are added up. I’m still indifferent and couldn’t care less if they do or don’t go ahead with this, but I certainly have not heard a solid argument not to do so. I took each comment or aspect in the above article one by one, and found myself saying ‘yeah, so? No biggie on that one…yup no biggie there either!’ I certainly don’t consider it anywhere near anything like double points for the final race.

      1. @robbie with you there, double points was atrocious and transparently for the supposed benefit of the commerce, not the racing. It would never have made any difference to track action and could have led to huge perceptions of injustice. Whereas this I think it to do with the racing – whether or not you consider it’s beneficial to that or not, that’s where any impact would be. Long term, of course, there might be a commercial benefit if it actually makes for better racing and more stories down the field but I wouldn’t complain about that!

      2. @robbie I could add that, as far as points for pole are concerned, I have been persuaded by @keithcollantine that it’s a poor idea, essentially by the scenario of deciding the title before the final race. Though I do see that as very much an edge-case and not much worse than deciding it by one point at the previous round. But it proves I’m open to persuasion ;)

        1. @picasso-19d-ftw I too agree on the point for pole problem. Aside from the possibility of pole winning the WDC on the last race weekend, it is just not necessary as starting in front already carries a built in reward. And the drivers are all going for it full out, so no further incentive is needed.

          1. @robbie Yep. What might need incentivising is 10th place on the grid – no-one wants that if they keep the current rules and tyre characteristics! But strangely no-one has yet suggested awaring reverse-grid points, can’t think why.

  21. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    7th March 2019, 10:45

    It’s pointless and as pointed out, will do nothing to improve racing

    But oh well, this suddenly makes Kimi a title challenger again

  22. Completely disagree and the article smacks of thinking rooted in the ‘endurance formula’ zzzz

    Anything that prompts balls out speed and the chance for a Williams or a… well a Williams to score a point is a good thing.

    Extra pitstops to actually go faster and not just because the regulation said so are also a good thing.

  23. not that i am in favour but… why not give a point for a driver that gets 3 or more fastest laps in a race. that way its not just a matter of slapping on tyres and going for just 1 lap.

    1. creative thinking wayne!

  24. I disagree.

    The drama of teams scrambling to try taking that last point. We would have quali like attempts in the middle of end race processions.

    Just the given examples: “In Mexico Max Verstappen was leading Sebastian Vettel by 15 seconds at the end. That’s not a big enough gap to make a pit stop for fresh tyres, but Vettel had a 30-second lead over Kimi Raikkonen, so could easily have pitted, taken on new set of Pirellis and collected the bonus point for fastest lap.”

    Exactly what I would like to see. Driver with 0 chance of overtaking for the next highest position, pitting in and putting in a scorching lap in the end, where everyone is in limp home mode.

    It should only be available to people in the points I agree on that. But still imagine, a Mercedes crashing early in the race, then come back on track, trying to do a fastest lap, maybe that would be entertaining aswell?

  25. No no no!! Fastest lap is already rewarded in qualifying, it has no purpose in a race.

    It would have to be only available for the top 10 otherwise we will have the ridiculous sight of everyone from 11th down pit with 3 laps to go to try and get that point. None of them have anything to lose. Unless of course we give points to all…….Oh!

  26. Lewisham Milton
    7th March 2019, 12:11

    If the race gets stopped early, does fastest lap get half a point?
    If nobody’s watching F1 on TV any more, does it matter?

  27. Well put Keith

  28. In reference to this extra point only be available to those who can afford an extra stop at the end of a race…surely we need to recognise that the driver needs to build that 30s cushion first? And if we are talking about the lead drivers then it would actually push those behind to catch up and avoid giving them that luxury…

    Not saying its perfect, but there could be equal benefits to having this than negatives. But yes it is inevitable that the FL will be set on the last lap each race, but maybe it will provide incentive for teams not to tune down the cars and allow those in front to build enough of a gap to “have a go” at gaining the extra point…

  29. It makes collecting the set actually worth trying. Rather than stroking around at 75% of your potential for the final 30mins.

    I say give it a try and see how it pans out

  30. Liberty – “We won’t use gimmicks”.
    Also Liberty – “Let’s make DRS more effective and bring in points for fastest lap”.

    Liberty might even believe what they say when they say they won’t use gimmicks, because they probably don’t think this stuff IS gimmicky. Maybe it’s a cultural thing. I feared it when they took over, and it does seem to be coming to pass. Even if this is voted down. The fact remains they suggested it, and that hints at their intentions and their philosophy.

  31. @keithcollantine Maybe a point for fastest race lap is not a great idea, but with all due respect, I for one don’t see your arguments compelling enough. Point system would become too complicated…really? Personally, I have no problem with this and believe it’s worth a try…it brings into play another 20 odd points that someone could earn. At the same time I doubt it will happen, because too many people would need to agree on a single thing, and that usually does not happen in F1. Points for qualifying are more questionable because of the Saturday thing…but I probably would not be fundamentally opposed to that either. In fact, I would consider points for leading most laps. Crazy, I know…

  32. Not to mention the costs (including environmental) of several teams ruining brand new rubber for one lap.

    1. True, and burning more fuel.

  33. As Coldfly mentioned, strategy knows no limits, and it is not correct to assume that the only difference would be that whoever could have pitted safely would have pitted. Some drivers would have worked actively towards securing a sufficient gap for pitting, or even avoiding a rival to get a sufficient gap. Maybe one point is not enough to take too many risks, but the race for the fastest lap could well start well before the end of the race. More points at stake and a driver could even try to pit, come out behind a rival, and try to overtake him back. That would be real fun.

  34. perhaps they should not give points but another type of reward that could be used in the next race like some sort of an extra set of tyres or extra fuel or something… i for 1 would like to see some excitement the last 10 to 15 laps of the race and not a proceasion to the end. dont want gimmicks but at the same time we cn have pure races and no one watching.

  35. MaliceCooper
    7th March 2019, 18:21

    Award a crate of Rich Energy for the fastest lap, and £500k to the slowest team.

  36. Adding such a contrivance merely on the hopes of increasing interest certainly builds the case that those in charge believe there is not enough spectacle in the racing itself. If implemented, it will like create drama of an undesirable kind that will actually detract from the actual racing. Please, just make the racing better.

  37. u write bull. but how? thats the point to this discussion.

  38. Maybe exclude the top ten. Only rewarded the point to those on the lead lap. Only rewarded to those that do not pit in the last ten laps. This sport is primarily entertainment. It is filled with gimmicks. Have a closer look at the whole thing. Bands playing. Planes flying overhead. Grid girls – oh hang on :-) Celebrity races. The list goes on and on. It’s called entertainment. Granted some ideas are worse than others. If an idea makes something a bit more interesting without detracting from the spectacle then good. Not much is happening at the back of the field at all. I feel for them. I would like to see a bit more incentive for those outside the top ten to race a bit harder and perhaps have a chance to earn a point other than position 10. Now due consideration is needed of course. Just a thought. Please don’t crucify me. Just a thought.

  39. Why not points for the fastest pitstop. It is a teamsport they say.

  40. I think we could see an extra stop being done by all front-running teams at some tracks (the ones which are already marginal between two different stop strategies). Even where the probability of having a clear shot of the fastest lap turns out not to be on (and those outside the top 10 will certainly try it if they’re a top team and aren’t highly damaged, in an effort to deny that point to another team), doing so helps protect fastest laps from being overtaken (especially at places like Spa, where it’s easy for a fastest lap attempt to go wrong due to the sheer length of the track). On the other hand, the harder-to-slower progression, already generally optimal strategy, is now de rigeur for frontrunners.

    As a general rule, expect the last of the frontrunners to have the clearest shot of the point – but at tracks where the pitlane is relatively short compared to the lap time of the track (I believe Baku and Singapore are good examples), it may be possible for some people to break away enough elsewhere in the field to challenge this. However, when someone ends up at the back of the frontrunners, there’s often a reason for it – meaning even new tyres might not necessarily allow them to surpass the benchmark that already exists, or indeed a different top-10 runner switching to fresh tyres.

    Finally… this increases the chance of Safety Cars at the end of races. Sooner or later, someone’s attempt at a fastest lap on the final tour is going to end in the wall!

Comments are closed.