Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2018

Should F1 award a bonus point for fastest lap?

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A bonus point could be awarded to the driver who sets fastest lap under a new rule which is being considered for the 2019 F1 season.

The plan would award a bonus point only if the driver who sets the fastest lap finishes in the top 10. It will be introduced if it receives the majority approval of F1’s Strategy Group and unanimous approval of the F1 Commission.

Would this new rule be an exciting new addition to the grand prix format or an unnecessary gimmick? Have your say in the debate below.


The plan has the support of Formula 1 bosses because they believe it will give drivers an extra incentive to drive faster in the closing stages of races. In recent seasons drivers have tended to reduce their pace when possible during races to conserve their cars, fuel and tyres.

There is a historical precedent for awarding a point for fastest lap. Between 1950 and 1959 the driver who set the fastest lap in a race was awarded a bonus point.


Giving a point for fastest lap will make the points system more complicated: A maximum points score will now be 26 instead of 25, and the bonus point may not be awarded at every race if someone outside the top 10 sets the quickest lap.

It will give drivers an incentive not to try to overtake each other at the end of races, as they may decide they have a better chance of scoring an extra point by dropping back to get into clear air and making a bid for fastest lap.

I say

Would offering a point for fastest lap going lead to loads of drivers trying to set the fastest lap at the end of races? No, it will largely be a question of which of the few drivers in the fastest cars has enough of a gap behind them to pit for fresh tyres. That will most likely mean only one or two drivers – the rest will be aware there’s no point risking their car.

But the fact it is unlikely to make much of a difference isn’t a reason to support it. A slightly bad idea is still a bad idea.

Awarding a point for fastest lap would unnecessarily complicate the scoring system – most people can multiple 25 in their head far more easily than 26.

Worst, at a time when F1 is supposed to be concentrating on how to make it easier for drivers to follow each other closely and overtake, it has now proposed to give drivers an incentive not to tackle their rivals, but to back off, find some clear space and make a bid for fastest lap.

Is a grand prix supposed to be a race or a qualifying session? Those who have proposed this pointless gimmick (pun intended) haven’t thought it through.

You say

Should F1 introduce a point for fastest lap this year? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Should F1 introduce a point for fastest lap for 2019?

  • No opinion (1%)
  • Strongly disagree (55%)
  • Slightly disagree (13%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (6%)
  • Slightly agree (14%)
  • Strongly agree (11%)

Total Voters: 306

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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...

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89 comments on “Should F1 award a bonus point for fastest lap?”

  1. Raul A Xavier
    8th March 2019, 17:42

    Next stop, participation medal.

    1. Sush Meerkat
      8th March 2019, 19:35

      Paddy Lowe would love that

    2. Sush Meerkat
      8th March 2019, 19:35

      Paddy Lowe would love that

    3. Paddy Lowe would love that

    4. Paddy Lowe would love that

    5. Paddy Lowe would love that

      1. Paul (@frankjaeger)
        8th March 2019, 23:50

        Paddy Lowe would love that

        1. Would Paddy like it?

          1. Tommy Scragend
            9th March 2019, 13:23

            He’d love it.

    6. Paddy Lowe would love that

    1. Yeah just a technical polling note for future reference. Yes/No answers are expected here. If the ‘answers’ are in the agree/disagree format, the ‘question’ ought to be a statement, for instance:
      “F1 should introduce a point for fastest lap for 2019.”

  2. Eduardo Pimentel
    8th March 2019, 17:59

    A point for pole position makes more sense than fastest lap

    1. Agreed – the pole lap is far more often the true fast lap than an in-race fast lap.

      And I don’t quite get the argument that it might decide a title on a Saturday. Even today, we have many dead rubber races given the domination that Mercedes (and prior to them Red Bull in alternate years) have had, so it’s not like we’re headed into unknown territory here.

      1. Sush Meerkat
        8th March 2019, 19:31


        Pole position is POLE POSITION

        1. I disagree! The huge benefit of pole position is the start into clean air and confidence of less probability of collision. A point for fastest lap encourages drivers to take a risk on old tyres with low fuel which may improves the show by introducing a way for the top 10 finishers to “grab” a point.
          Although I would prefer it to apply to all positions – didn’t Fernando get one fastest lap in the McLaren?

  3. this pointless gimmick

    Ah, you finally used that pun, Keith!

    1. @phylyp: Indeed. Keith has made his racing point.

      1. @jimmi-cynic – but can he force India to host a GP again?

        1. Thanks for a Saubering reminder, @phylyp. Keith isn’t that Tyrrellannical. Well balanced reporting is his Matra.

          1. Ah you guys… are you just going to play word TAG all day

          2. @dbradock – Every Heuer of every day, all the way to Infiniti.

  4. They should also award a bonus point for leading the most laps like NASCAR.

  5. Awarding a point for fastest lap would unnecessarily complicate the scoring system – most people can multiple 25 in their head far more easily than 26.

    Seriously? Not that one again.

    1. Hey, I guess they could always drop a win to 24 points so the max points for a race is still 25. But I’m with you, @coldfly, this mental arithmetic argument doesn’t really add up to much

      1. @picasso-19d-ftw, as you say, of all the arguments that could be raised, the argument that it is overly complex seems to be one of the weaker ones.

        After all, before 1990 you had the system of drivers having to drop a number of results over a season – so, it therefore meant that if you wanted to work out what a driver’s points total was, you would need to know every single one of their results over the season up to that point in time, rank them in terms of finishing position and then work out which ones would need to be excluded from their overall points total for the season.

        When you consider the relative complexity of the “dropped scores” systems that were used, adding a single point for fastest lap is comparatively trivial.

    2. @coldfly One can be against by heart, but this argument is a bit silly. I don’t count in my head the points for 3 wins, 4 second places and one third place.

      And 26xN is just 25xN+N anyway.

  6. It could add interest at the end of a boring race – but apparently I will only see Silverstone this year, so I’m told.

    1. Sush Meerkat
      8th March 2019, 19:32

      If your in the UK you can watch re runs of Jake Humpries on BBC iplayer

      You lucky dog you

    2. I shouldn’t say this, but… A couple of minutes before the race starts, go to Reddit and search r/motorsportsstreams

  7. I voted “Neither agree nor disagree”, but my basic approach to these questions is “Is it broken? Then why are you trying to fix it?”.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      8th March 2019, 22:18

      I voted the same. For me, there is a lot that is broken but I’m not sure fastest lap for someone in the top 10 fixes anything. I’m not necessarily against it because it may add a bit of interest to an otherwise boring, processional race but at the same time, ,it’ll potentially just help Mercedes and Hamilton win the titles even easier.

  8. Womble Hunter
    8th March 2019, 18:33

    I think it should be 5 points (or more) simply because it will make it “required” for championship leaders, leaders of the race would be then required (well sort of) taking a risk to get the extra points, Hamilton leads Vettel by 10 seconds, 30 to 3rd … who pits for fresh tyres to get the points ? Do you make a un-required pitstop and risk a position or get the points if you are 3rd ?

    1. while i think that would make the battle for the fastest lap better, would it make the actual race better? or just needlessly more complicated? do we want to see a complicated qualifying session play out in the middle of a race? or do we just want to watch a race that’s entertaining on its own merit?

      1. Womble Hunter
        9th March 2019, 8:55

        I don’t disagree with you, point I was trying to make was that if the points are enough, they would have a influence on the championship, not just be a “needless compliction” 7 points is seen as enough to go for the win, second + 5 is well … worth having if you can’t have the win .. and enough for the person in first to not want it to happen

        I agree better racing is what we want, but if we are going to have a points per fast lap, make it worth fighting over

    2. Well at that point, guy in 2nd pits only after guy ahead pits, and if they leave it til 2 laps to go and guy in 1st hasn’t pitted, then guy in 2nd pits, with the gap to 3rd, and gets 1 lap at the end to go for fastest lap. It would over-complicate the race for casual viewers while being quite obvious how to go for it for the teams.

      1. Womble Hunter
        9th March 2019, 7:19

        I was only using those numbers as a example that they could play in tactics of the race. not as a absolute, I wasn’t looking for a “what would they do in this specfiic scenerio”

        Really, we complain that races aren’t interesting, nothing usually happens the last pitstop (yes yes you will come with some expamples where it has happened) and we think that casual viewers (who want to see some excitement) are going to be put off by a (sometimes) extra pit stop and points for a fastest lap , I think “look stroll has pitted in a attempt to get the 5 extra points, will he be able to get the race fastest lap of the race in the next two laps” would be more interesting that … lap 40, only 30 more laps to go

        1. Womble Hunter
          9th March 2019, 9:24

          Sorry, I though this post had been refused

      2. Womble Hunter
        9th March 2019, 9:03

        I don’t believe that the person in 1st, would want to see his 7 points points advantage be reduced to 2 (or less) which is why I said 5 points, and say 3rd was closer … risk 3 points to gain 5 .. which then casascades down the whole field, on faster tyres, dropping to 3rd might be worth the risk if you think you are going to get it back … and then first place, see’s his 7 points advantage dropped to 2, you don’t think he would want to do something about that and make it 12 ?

        I can’t see that casual viewer would be put off by this, somebody suddenly pitting and the commentators paying interest to if they get the fasters lap has to be more interesting and exciting that “lap 40, pit stops are over, only 30 laps to go”

    3. Risk a smooth, fast pitstop for one point? No.
      Teams would need to save a fresh set of softs, which would mean less free practice running, or compromise their Qually. They have said for years that if they had more tires, they would run more in practice.

      1. Womble Hunter
        9th March 2019, 7:09

        Wish I why I said 5 points or more .. first sentence of my post

        1. Womble Hunter
          9th March 2019, 9:25

          Sorry, I though this post had been refused

      2. Womble Hunter
        9th March 2019, 8:43

        Which is why I said 5 points or more (first sentence, original post)

  9. How to promise one thing and a week later do 100% the opposite?
    How to show the world that there’s no vision and strategy to develop the sport (especially from 2021)?
    How to alienate even more long-time fans?

    Introduce fully artificial gimmick (with the sole purpose of “spicing up” the last few laps of a race) a week before new season starts.

    Bernie did such idiotic things, and you decided to copy his steps? Or is it his influence? (there was a report he is being consulted about how to improve sport…)

    Well done, Liberty! Totally disappointing.

    1. Precisely.

    2. Isn’t this an FIA decision?

    3. 100% not an artificial gimmick, not even close.

      Fastest laps are already classified, even awards have been given out for whoever set the most.
      F1 even started with points for fastest laps in the beginning and many other series award them as well.

      Any change in F1 can only be for the better if you look at the state of the sport right now. Let’s just hope that at some point in the future they can also finally get rid of that god-awful qualifying format, the worst we ever had.

  10. Good with the poll, but a bit late? Wasn’t the voting today?

    1. @balue There are three votes, the WMSC one was on the day this article was published:

  11. MaliceCooper
    8th March 2019, 19:05

    600 points for fastest lap. Make it really count for something.

    1. This is the best idea. 600 points would make sure all drivers are trying to put in the fastest lap…

  12. Points for the fastest pitstop. Team play and additional entertainment.

    1. This is actually a much better idea than either for fastest lap or pole position. Both of which are bad ideas in my eyes (and, contrary to what Liberty claimed yesterday, most fans here agree).

      Although I’d really like to see stops slowed down significantly for this. I think we could reduce crews by at least 4 (one of the wheel guys on each corner) to make it a bit more athletic. Also aiding pit-lane safety and helping, marginally, with costs.

      I know F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle, but for me these crazy 2s pit-stops do nothing to add to the show. The potential gains are minute while potential loss is enormous.

  13. I voted slightly agree because I think this might be something interesting or at least worth experimenting with for a season.

    I hadn’t read or thought of the scenario of a driver backing off just to find clean air to go for this, rather than charging forward and trying to make a pass. I would think that would only happen if there was only one point difference in positions in the lower points placings, but fighting for the podium offers far more than just a point or two with little difference in the haul like it is for 10th to 9th to 8th etc.

  14. I’ve gone for Slightly Disagree.
    I don’t think it is going to make any difference overall. The race strategists will already be factoring it into their race plans.
    It might however create some entertaining situations to spice up the race.
    I don’t mind the point calculating/predicting complications as that is part of the overall entertainment for me.

    Given the choice I am a “Bring back manual gear sticks and ban team radio” type of guy … but I’m 59 and getting grumpy ;)

    1. @nullapax, why would you want to eliminate technology that is older than you are?

      1. No need to “eliminate” it – just keep it out of my racing ;P

  15. Magnus Rubensson (@)
    8th March 2019, 19:55

    I voted “slightly against”. I’m not completely opposed to a point for fastest lap. However, in my humble opinion, the following sentence ruins the entire idea.

    No point will be awarded if the fastest lap is achieved by a driver who was classified outside the top 10.

    Meh. Better to not have the extra point at all.

    1. That’s one of my issues, too.

      I voted neither agree not disagree: I doubt it’ll have a significant impact on the races our championships. But excluding those outside the top ten seems stupid to me. They’re three ones who are most likely to work for that bonus point, as it would be their only point. It could make the closing stages of a race more exciting as those from 11th down push hard to try to get that point, and so do the leaders, while the middle of the pack are battling for the more rewarding extra place.

  16. No, the slowest of the top 6 will just get a free point now. You shouldn’t reward drivers for being the slowest of the pack. Last year we saw Bottas a few times do a free stop to get that fastest lap.

    I wouldn’t mind if it was constructors championship only, but drivers, no.

    1. @montalvo. That was my thoughts… A couple of seasons ago, I think Alonso got a fastest lap, purely as he had nothing to lose in going for a stop and having a spare set of the softest tyre available, with a safe gap to in order to get the fastest lap…

      As others have said, the fastest pit stop, or even points for all those who complete the race would be better.

      1. @maddme I like the idea of giving points for finishing the race. It would give an incentive for preventing teams from retiring the car with 2 laps to go.

  17. I doubt it will result in a better show.
    If the point system must be changed, give points to everyone that completes race distance. Lapped finishers get less-than-normal points (half? 3/4?). And if there must be a crazy twist to the point system: deduct a point for every car someone laps. eg: Winner lapped 5 cars so would get 20 points (20 – 5), 2nd place lapped 3 cars so would get 15 points (18 – 3), all others lapped no one so would get normal points.

    1. “Winner lapped 5 cars so would get 20 points (20 – 5), 2nd place lapped 3 cars so would get 15 points (18 – 3), all others lapped no one so would get normal points” – Wow, that would be crazy indeed, haha.

  18. @mtlracer: Most here don’t want a ‘better show’ – we want better racing. We can tell the difference between the two concepts. Liberty can’t.

  19. Really not a fan of it. Points should be awarded for finishing positions & the championship order decided by those points rather than bonus points for poles, fast laps or anything else.

    Awarding a point for fastest lap & creating a scenario where a driver pit’s for fresh tyres with a few laps left & with those fresh tyres & low fuel is able to lap 1-2+ seconds faster than anybody else & grab fastest lap by default just makes that point not mean anything. I also don’t think pitting with 4 laps left & having a new set of soft’s that allows you to go 1-2+ seconds faster than anybody else is deserving of a point.

    Plus you just know teams are going to play games with it especially late in the year during a close title fight. If for instance Vettel has the fastest lap & Lewis isn’t fast enough to get it & doesn’t have a gap to make a stop in order to pit for fresh tyres, Mercedes will just pit Bottas & have him take the fastest lap & point off Vettel, Especially during a final race title decider & that sort of thing swinging the championship isn’t something i’m a fan of.

    1. @stefmeister
      I think I understand your objections to it, but with the sketched VET-HAM-BOT scenario you’re kinda giving a wrong example to make your point: The FL-point in this case has no impact on the title fight between VET and HAM thanks to BOT taking the FL, while obviously if VET would’ve gotten it, it would.

  20. I voted for ”neither agree nor disagree” as I’m 50-50 on this matter. On the one hand, yes, not the most necessary thing in the world to have, but on the other, perhaps not too bad after all, so maybe worth a try at least.

  21. As a view have said, completely pointless exercise.

    If the racing is close enough, there are plenty of fastest laps near the end anyway so the challenge is for the top 3 or 4 teams to make sure that the race for the podium is always tight. That will stop drivers from lifting off and cruising to the end. That is the way to “spice things up”, not throw a gimmic in.

  22. Small pros, possibly even smaller cons. Kinda indifferent on this one.

  23. I don’t know where Liberty Media got the idea fans were demanding this, according to that pole 69% of the 148 people who voted disagree with a point being awarded for the fastest race lap (11+ finishers excluded).
    I must admit that eventually you have to throw away an old standard way of doing something and completely redesign the way it is done when you’re trying to improve things. So maybe a revamp of doing points needs to be looked at, but I don’t think it does. Maybe they’d like to run a 30 minutes post-race qualifying session as well, so teams can all fit fast tyres and a small amount of fuel then go out and see if they can better the fastest race lap. Winner takes the 1 point.
    As I said elsewhere, if you are going to bring it in then it should be open to all contestants who participated in the whole race.

    1. And it is open to all contestants… If you finish the race inside the top 10

      1. Which seems fair to me.

  24. There is a sinister scenario to this: top teams could use satellite teams to take a point away from rivals.
    Imagine Red Bull and Ferrari fighting for the championship neck to neck. Vettel is holding the fastest lap with 3 laps to go. Suddenly Kvyat in a Toro Rosso, who is running lower than 10th and has therefore nothing to lose, pits and puts hypersofts scoring the fastest lap, effectively taking a point away from Vettel. Kvyat is outside the top 10, the point doesn’t get assigned, however Red Bull’s goal is achieved.
    Imagine the chaos this would cause. Imagine if this happens at the last race if the year and a title is decided this way! (Unlikely but possibile scenario).
    You can swap putting Alfa instead of TR. Point is, you can’t have this rule while allowing satellite teams!!

    1. F1 has to announce all the details regarding this rule, but by the looks of things, you need to be inside the top 10 to be eligible to score this extra point

    2. @liongalahad
      But the outcome of your given scenario, points wise and thus also championship wise, would be no different under last years’ points system.

    3. Same thoughts here. Drivers outside top 10 can pit for new tyres to set the fastest lap and take a point away from rivals in the top 10, making this rule ineffective. RB+TR and FE+AR have the upper hand here.

  25. “it will largely be a question of which of the few drivers in the fastest cars has enough of a gap behind them to pit for fresh tyres”

    This is exactly it. Just a random non-racing and pointless thing like this can decide the championship.

    People can race their hearts out to get 1 point, and then someone can get the same reward for essentially nothing. Totally unfair. Gimmicky too.

  26. Apparently fans were NOT moaning about the slow race pace last season. Apparently lapping 12 seconds slower than qualifying time was all in my head.

    If this tiny reward drags up lap speeds, then good. It’s only one point. The winning driver gets 25. You are looking at a possible increase of 4%.

    It is absolute rubbish that drivers will not want to overtake. If you are 5th and on the tail of 4th, you gain more points by making the pass than if you abort and go for fastest lap. That applies all the way down to 9th.

  27. It should be the other way around; only for outside the top 10 if no blue flags waved.
    And possibly on the hardest tyre.

  28. I understand points from both sides of the fence. I get why some people see it as gimmicky, while others love the idea.
    I personally feel it could work given the rule that you have to finish inside the top 10 to get this extra point.
    An argument I’ve seen against this extra point is that the champion would have changed in 2008, as Massa would have won… It depends. If you use the old points system and you add an extra point for fastest lap, Massa would have been, champion.
    If you used the current points system, Hamilton would have arrived to Interlagos with the championship already decided on his favour.
    My point is, by looking at it, a points system is completely arbitrary, and it can change over the years depending on what you want to encourage (basically that was the idea behind the current points system, encouraging winning). And this extra point is no exception

    1. “(..) a points system is completely arbitrary, and it can change over the years (..)” – Agreed. There have been quite some years in which there was no clear ‘best driver-car-team-combo’ and could have easily had different, and not less ‘deserving’ WCs.

      “If you used the current points system, Hamilton would have arrived to Interlagos with the championship already decided on his favour.” – This however is incorrect. HAM would’ve arrived with a 17 points lead (18 if you wouldn’t give the hypothetical FL-point). So with a possible added 26 (or 25) points, the WDC still was very much open. But the outcome, yes, would still be HAM ’08 champ, whether FL would be awarded with a point or not (ofc teams and drivers would probably have operated differently). Also despite “the idea behind the current points system, (is) encouraging winning”, bc MAS had 6 wins vs HAM 5.

      It’s obvious to see why nowadays it wouldn’t have quite the impact it would’ve had in past times. It just isn’t a big prize,
      points-equivalence of 4% of a race win, less than 1% of the total points given out at a GP. In ’08 the figures would’ve been 10% and 2.6%.
      In ’58 the FL-point did have a decisive say in the WCD, but it had pts-eqs of 12.5% and 4.3%. Even more so, using last years’ points scoring system Hawthorn would’ve won anyway, and with a far bigger margin, even without the FL-point (22 instead of just 1).

  29. not much different from smackdown buffoonery.

  30. Point for fastest pitstop would be better.

  31. Fastest lap and pole. Extra points of you get both. Extra extra if you get that plus wins.

  32. Strongly agree because :

    – Would be great to see the top teams go flat out for one lap of the race
    – Would be great to see drivers out of the points dive into the pit at the end , get the softest tire and go for it. They would probably get more coverage and they would be racing for something useful and just giving up and coasting to the end.
    All this would spice up the race at the end. Races tend to be quite boring in the last 10-15 laps usually.

    1. Would be great to see drivers out of the points dive into the pit at the end , get the softest tire and go for it.

      Why would they do that when only those in the top 10 would be eligible to score a point for fastest lap?

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