Pierre Gasly, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2019

Poll: Has the point for fastest lap improved the racing?

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In a last-minute rules change before the start of the new season, Formula 1 announced it would award a bonus point to which ever driver set the fastest lap of the race at each grand prix.

The point is only awarded if the driver who sets the fastest lap finishes in the top 10 positions. It’s been awarded at every race so far this year as follows:

RacePoint for Fastest Lap winner
AustraliaValtteri Bottas
BahrainCharles Leclerc
ChinaPierre Gasly
AzerbaijanCharles Leclerc
SpainLewis Hamilton
MonacoPierre Gasly
CanadaValtteri Bottas
FranceSebastian Vettel
AustriaMax Verstappen
Great BritainLewis Hamilton
GermanyMax Verstappen
HungaryMax Verstappen

But has the competition for the extra point made the races more entertaining?

For

It took a few races for teams to wake up to the importance of not leaving the extra point on the table. At race three Red Bull became the first to perform a late stop for new tyres to gain an extra point for Gasly. Ferrari followed suit with Leclerc at the next race and even Mercedes got over their initial reservations about the tactic, bringing Bottas in for fresh rubber in Canada.

The pursuit of the extra point has also added interest on-track. In Germany Vettel nearly lost second place to Daniil Kvyat on the final lap when he went off while trying to set the fastest lap time.

Against

At best, the bonus point for fastest lap has done little more than provoke a few extra pit stops at the end of the race. More often than not it’s had no effect on the race at all: the winner has simply reeled off a quick one on the penultimate lap to score 26 points instead of 25.

More to the point, is anyone really excited by the prospect of a few extra pit stops per race? That point for fastest lap has made a difference is not in doubt, but the difference made hasn’t been significant or positive in terms of the action which happens on track. Or merited: It’s often been scored by whoever was running last of the front-running drivers.

I say

My problem with the point for fastest lap comes from watching championship deciders which have been spoiled by it. Such as the dismal spectacle of Formula E’s 2015 championship finale, where Sebastien Buemi had to abandon any pretence of racing so he could score the vital bonus point. Or Hamilton winning the 2006 GP2 title due to a stewards’ decision on a yellow flag several hours after a race.

These examples are few and far between. But I fear for the ridicule F1 would face by ruining something as significant as a championship decider by something as trivial an unrelated to true racing as giving an extra point for setting the fastest lap.

It’s a distraction from racing. I don’t want to see teams pulling their drivers out of fights for position at the end of races to make an extra pit stop, I want them out on the track fighting for position until the bitter end. For me the bonus point has added nothing.



You say

Has the bonus point for fastest lap made this year’s races more exciting? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments:

Has the bonus point for fastest lap made the first 12 races of 2019 more exciting?

  • Strongly agree (7%)
  • Slightly agree (29%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (14%)
  • Slightly disagree (16%)
  • Strongly disagree (33%)
  • No opinion (1%)

Total Voters: 284

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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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  • 65 comments on “Poll: Has the point for fastest lap improved the racing?”

    1. FLAP still is a gimmic like those double points for last round of F1.

      1. FLAP is hardly a gimmick and has always been part of racing, and recorded in the racing results.
        The only difference is that it now is rewarded with 1pt.

        With 1pt I have no problem with it as it does not stop a driver from fighting for position (a position is worth the same or more).
        And so far this year it has added some risk-taking and excitement to the end of the races. It’s not just the driver pitting who is taking the risk, but also the ones who try to defend or regain that point; Hamilton on many occasions drove some daring/stellar laps at the end without making an extra pitstop.

        1. To some everything F1 does is a gimmick, even helmets. Oh, and everything was better way back when… But don’t bother trying to improve anything, it won’t work anyway.

    2. I totally agree with Keith on this, total gimmick, it’s a distraction from racing, no real strategy involved, and due to the gap between F1 and F1 1.5 teams, that will only benefit the big 3 teams. It also shows how the big 3 are cruising during the race during most of the time, and that is also a bit embarrassing. If they decide to keep this, I think it would be better to provide this point for drivers on 7th place to 16th. At least there we would se some real gamble and exclude this bonus points from top teams. Will this ever happen? No. Just drop it, in my opinion.

    3. For the most part I don’t think it’s really had any significant effect on the racing at all.

      And I still maintain what i’ve said a few times over the year. I don’t think fastest lap is worthy of an extra point because it’s a largely irrelevant metric, Especially in the cases where a driver pits with a few laps to go for fresh soft’s & grabs the fast lap point by default. To me that isn’t really an achievement, Isn’t worthy of an extra point & makes scoring the fastest lap even mean even less than it already did.

      And as Keith said I also don’t like the prospect of it been a deciding factor in the championship. People say it’s just 1 point so won’t make much difference but title’s have been won by less than that so it could make a huge difference & the prospect of teams/drivers playing games with it at the end of the year to take points off rivals is something I really don’t want to see decide a championship.

      Points should be awarded purely off finishing positions. Bonus points are an unnecessary gimmick.

      1. @stefmeister, the thing is, when Keith complains about “teams pulling their drivers out of fights for position at the end of races”, how many times has that actually occurred, and how many times has it really been a case of a driver who was already in a somewhat distant position compared to the drivers around him who has then gone for that fastest lap attempt?

        Let us look at what has actually happened with the races this season where a driver scored the fastest lap.
        Verstappen: 3 fastest laps, which occurred in Austria, Germany and Hungary.
        In the first two cases, those fastest laps came whilst Verstappen was pushing for the lead of the race, whilst in the latter Verstappen went for the fastest lap because Hamilton had passed him and was pulling away with ease as Verstappen’s tyres gave out.

        Leclerc: 2 fastest laps, which were in Baku and Bahrain.
        Again, in Bahrain the fastest lap came whilst Leclerc was pushing for victory and aiming to build a gap over Hamilton. As for Baku, Leclerc’s contra-strategy meant he was 30 seconds off Verstappen and the same distance ahead of Perez when he made his stop, so Leclerc wasn’t remotely close to fighting anybody on track.

        Gasly: 2 fastest laps, which were in Monaco and China.
        In China, Gasly was 33 seconds behind Leclerc and 33 seconds ahead of Ricciardo when he made his pit stop – again, he was in completely clear air and not fighting anybody either ahead or in front of him.
        As for Monaco, Gasly was 11 seconds behind Bottas and 24 ahead of Sainz when he stopped. Gasly was slightly catching Bottas before his stop, but the pit stop did little to change the results – he wasn’t really fighting Bottas for position at the time, and being Monaco, he’d have not really had a chance to pass him.

        Bottas: 2 fastest laps, which were in Australia and Canada.
        In the first, Bottas was leading and pushing hard to get the fastest lap – we heard how he wanted to get it to make a point in that race. As for Canada, Bottas was 28 seconds behind Leclerc, and slowly dropping away from him, whilst Verstappen was 23 seconds behind and slowly dropping away from Bottas too – again, it was a case where Bottas was fighting nobody and not even remotely close to fighting anybody.

        Hamilton: 2 fastest laps, which were in Spain and Britain.
        In the former, the fastest lap attempt came as Bottas and Hamilton were fighting for the lead, with Hamilton trying to build a lead over Bottas. Now, in Britain Bottas was somewhat close to Hamilton, but with the differing strategies, Bottas was going to stop again – so, in reality, Bottas wasn’t in a fight (he was actually starting to drop away from Hamilton when he pitted).

        Vettel: 1 fastest lap, which was in the French Grand Prix.
        This is possibly the only case this season which I think might have involved a team “pulling their drivers out of fights for position at the end of races”, but even then the claim is tenuous. Vettel was about 5 seconds behind Verstappen when he pitted, but he’d only been closing at a few tenths per lap – with only a couple of laps until the end of the race, Vettel wasn’t able to catch Verstappen at a quick enough rate to really challenge him on track for his position. With Sainz nearly a minute behind him, Vettel wasn’t really fighting for position on track.

        Analysing the races critically, I would say that Keith’s assertion that we’ve had “teams pulling their drivers out of fights for position at the end of races to make an extra pit stop” hasn’t happened this season. When you look at it, the fastest lap attempts have usually boiled down to the following categories:
        1) A driver pushing to catch the leader and setting the fastest lap in the process;
        2) A driver in the lead pushing to build a gap to his rivals;
        3) A driver who was in a distant position and made the pit stop to deny a rival from getting the point.

        1. No one in their right mind would pull a driver out of a fight for position to get the flap. In the top 6, if the guy ahead makes a mistake or you just straight up overtake, you could gain 2 or 3 points, compared to just 1 for flap which isn’t even guaranteed.

        2. anon…No! @hugh11 is correct no team is going to risk a multi point position for a single point, 1 lap glory does not win a WMC or a WDC.
          Oh and by the way you were wrong about Renault not being the biggest manufacturer in F1
          I accept your apology.

          1. @johnrkh, and that is precisely the point that I am making – that the claim that Keith has made about “teams pulling their drivers out of fights for position at the end of races” does not match up with what has actually been happening on track over the course of the year.

            The post above was to emphasise that very point, so I don’t get why you are having a go at me for pointing out the very thing that you are pointing out (i.e. that teams are not pulling drivers out of close fights on track solely for the single point from a fastest lap, and therefore that Keith’s argument is wide of the mark).

            On a counter point, since you wish to bring up the question of whether the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is or isn’t the largest manufacturer, I would point out a few counter points to your argument.

            Firstly, you are incorrect to state that there is a joint board controlling the alliance from a single entity in the Netherlands. There are in fact two different companies – Renault-Nissan BV and Nissan-Mitsubishi BV – which control different parts of the alliance, and those two companies have separate governance and operations procedures. Indeed, part of the case that Nissan has made against Ghosn stems from Nissan claiming that Ghosn was able to take advantage of the difference in governance rules between the two.

            Now, in March this year there was a proposal to merge the two organisations into a single organisation that would establish a single set of governance and operational procedures across the group. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-11/nissan-renault-mitsubishi-are-said-to-plan-shift-to-one-board

            However, Nissan has rejected the idea of merging those two management companies and has rejected the idea of a combined governance board. Furthermore, whilst Senard might have been appointed to that committee, it is worth noting that, unlike previous Renault managers, he does not have a position on the board at Nissan – so, in that sense, there has been a shift in the relationship between Nissan and Renault.

            Furthermore, the sales figure that you have quoted (that figure of 10,756,875) is maybe not quite as reliable as you think it might be. The problem comes because most manufacturers, and most nations, have very different definitions of what counts in those sales figures – some manufacturers include “heavy vehicles”, such as trucks, vans and so forth, whilst others report “light vehicles” and “heavy vehicles” separately, whilst some companies only provide partial sales figures for some of those categories.

            There is also a variable definition of what “light vehicles” and “heavy vehicles” actually are – in Europe, for example, an SUV which is classed as a “passenger vehicle” can be classified as a “light truck” in the USA. However, the USA, along with some Asian nations, Russia and so on, also allow a “light truck” to be classified as a “passenger vehicle” – part of the reason for the popularity of pick up trucks in the USA is because they’re technically a “light truck”, giving certain tax advantages, and also a “passenger vehicle” – whilst, in Europe, a “light truck” is defined as a “light commercial goods” vehicle.

            Depending on how exactly you define what is and isn’t included, therefore, gives rather different answers as to which manufacturer is actually the biggest. Depending on how you define it, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance might be the largest, but it might also only be in third place, with Toyota and VW Group both being larger.

            The OICA is generally one of the more reliable sources, but unfortunately they’ve not yet published a full breakdown of figures per manufacturer for 2018 – so, at the very least, when you assert that the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is the biggest, my immediate question would be “by what sales criteria”?

            1. Toyota reports production and sales. Volkswagen reports “deliveries” to wholesale – which can be cars dumped on dealer lots, or actual sales to customers. The Alliance numbers used to be a blend of production data reported by Nissan and Mitsubishi, and deliveries reported by Renault. As of September 2018, Renault started to report sales only, forcing us to use those

            2. anon The question was who is the biggest manufacturer in F1 not the world even if the figures are not 100% Renault are it. Also you based your previous argument on Renault not being able to share tech or resources when clearly they do.
              Also I’ll remind you again Renault own a controlling share of Nissan, the fact that at the moment Renault do not have a person on the Nissan board is political.
              Thierry Bollore will sit on the new Nissan committees controlling executive nominations and compensation, giving Renault a say in Nissan salaries and corporate governance.
              What happens in the future, will the alliance change? Probably. Will Fiat come back to the table…don’t know.

            3. anon

              The post above was to emphasise that very point, so I don’t get why you are having a go at me for pointing out the very thing that you are pointing out

              Sorry didn’t mean to have a go at you.

            4. @johnrkh, fair enough – I appreciate that the tone is something that can be hard to bring across, and I imagine that your comment was not intended to come across as quite as sharply as it did.

    4. I don’t think the point is to make the championship exciting in terms of who wins the championship. It is more for the rest of the grid. And the rest of the grid should use that point to climb up the rankings. Maybe (and I’m not sure if it is a good plan), the fastest lap point should not be awarded to the top 10, but maybe for anyone outside the top 10. Which will allow the backmarkers and the rest of the grid to fight for that one point. Which would probably make the grid a bit more interesting?

      1. I think so too.
        Seeing the size of the field, perhaps only allowing outside of top 10 is too narrow. Perhaps give it to anyone outside top 6, so realistically for formula 1.5

    5. I’d say it’s added very little, as most at the front won’t do it to risk track position and the midfielders are usually too close to take advantage of it. If it was opened up to the whole grid, seeing cars at the back deciding to abandon the race for it would be alright. Though the idea of a championship being decided purely by a fastest lap is a bit distasteful.

      Is it potentially something interesting? Yes, though in its current format not so much. Has it made the races this year more exciting? Not in the slightest.

    6. I think it’s added very little, and I’ve also been surprised by the really poor coverage of it – sure, you get a little symbol next to a driver’s name when they are the current Fastest Lap holder, but I was rather expecting that towards the end of a race, especially when it’s obvious that one or more driver(s) is/are attempting to get the Fastest Lap, that we would see split times shown prominently so we can easily follow whether or not they are going to get it. The poor coverage means that it’s not exciting in any way, so it’s failed as a concept – not only is it a gimmick, it’s not even an exciting one!

    7. I follow F1 for a long time. I like every aspect of It but the politics involved.

      The extra point for fast lap showed a part of It that some people seemed to forget: the driver again on the the driver’s seat, not the engineer.

      You can clearly see that when Bottas went for the It in Austrália.

      Half of It were driver’s call during the first races. You can see the pride in their radio messages asking for It. Like a who’s who between all that tyre and fuel saving that races have become.

      Of course next year the engineers will have better strategies ready for that flying lap, maybe taking the driver a little bit out of the call.

      But can you imagine what If the Worlds Driver Championship is to be decided by that one point? Like It happened twice in Brazil? Or Lauda’s infamous half point in 1984?

      That fastest lap would be worth a dozen of millions…

      1. Agreed, F1 is such an engineering series. This is one of the little things back in the drivers hands. With all the fuel saving tire saving wait for my engineer to tell me what to do races, this is a little bit of excitement.

        I’d like to see it expanded beyond the top 10, let the little teams take a shot if the big guys don’t want to pit. I haven’t done the math but maybe you have to finish on the lead lap rather than the top 10 ?

        1. Most laps lead (extra point), rookie of the year, fastest pit stop…

          I know It sounds like Indy, but does that make It wrong?

    8. Only benefit is to open some fans eyes to how much a team is cruising, just to make it look remotely close.

      1. Indeed, @peartree.
        Let’s award 25 points for fastest lap (and 18 for 2nd fastest, 15 for 3rd fastest, etc.).
        No more cruising to the finish.

      2. @peartree absolutely. Like Lewis did in… was it Silverstone? Clinching the FLAP on old hards?

    9. It is just boring. In about every race you already know who is going to get the fastest lap even before it happens because there are typically just couple of drivers who are in position to get it.

    10. You should have phrased it as a statement rather than question if you want the answer selection to make sense.

      (Sorry – Sunday afternoon and I’m at the Rum again)

      I have gone for strongly disagree though I don’t actually object to it.
      It doesn’t make the race itself more interesting but it does add another element to be considered for the points table.

      If forced to choose I would say scrap it but I don’t think it is worth throwing a fit about.

    11. Definitely hasn’t improved the on-track racing itself, that’s a given, but it has brought in is an interesting tactical/strategic aspect to the game. I voted for ‘neither agree nor disagree’ because I see neither pros nor cons behind this minor rule-change brought for this season.

    12. It’s pointless (pardon the pun).

    13. it has not improved anything at all and has proven to be a really pointless addition to things.

      drivers who pit late for fresh tyres who get fastest lap frankly do not deserve the extra bonus point as pitting for the new set of the softest compound available late on with low fuel and almost automatically getting the fast lap is not much of an achievement and therefore why should it be deemed worthy of an extra point?

      it is a silly gimmick that add’s nothing of any value whatsoever! it should be hopefully dropped for future seasons!

    14. I thought it was a bad idea at the time. And still do. It doesn’t add excitement. Excitement is the actual race and – when it happens – actual racing. The extra point, at most, and this is being generous, adds ‘intrigue’ – who will get it. But very little as it’s actually mostly very predictable. A driver from the top 3 teams with track room to make the attempt. Usually only one or two have the opportunity.

      That’s on the ‘positive side’ – what the extra point is intended to do, add excitement. It doesn’t. On the negative side, the prospect of a title being decided on these points. In some ways, it’s not that important. I doubt we’ll be thinking back at the end of the season to previous races and calculating which drivers won which extra points. But winning the title with an extra point in the final race would be bad, especially if the person winning it did so because, as in many cases this season, they were actually underperforming compared to the other top drivers.

      In sum, it just (mostly) seems a bonus point for a lacklustre race performance. How is that possibly any good?

      1. Hamilton got an extra point during the last lap of British 2019 – while leading – on 30 lap tires.

        Guess his performance was lackluster then.

        1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
          25th August 2019, 17:08

          That was exceptional and won’t happen very often.

          1. @canadianjosh but clearly shows how much more we could get if cars and drivers weren’t limited by fuel and tire saving

        2. Yaru: that’s why I included the ‘mostly’.

        3. And his fuel tank was almost empty

    15. What makes no sense is the TV graphics tracking the FLAP and the announcer (shows how much he really knows or cares) discussing it …. and we’re on lap 25 of 72.
      If they wanted to promote the concept, start forming the coverage with 10 laps to go. Prior to that, the whole thing is completely meaningless.

    16. Don’t see why it makes no sense to track it early. Its just there to show who has it.

      I mean by that logic we might as well not show race position graphic until the final ten laps, because the position during the end of the race will not necessarily be the same and subject to change.

    17. FIA/FOM, abolish this artificial farcical “race improvement”.

      Enough said.

    18. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      25th August 2019, 17:08

      A point for fastest lap to me is a NASCAR style gimmick and the only time I think about it during the race is when the announcers bring it up with 5 to go and whoever has a free pit stop usually gets a free point.

      1. @canadianjosh It’s not so much a NASCAR gimmick as it is an auto racing gimmick. NASCAR used to give out bonus points for leading a lap and most laps lead, but I also remember the old CART series gave out bonus points for pole positions. I’m sure there are plenty of other racing series that give out points for things other then finishing position.

    19. When I first started watching F1 (1957) there was a point for Pole and a point for Fastest Lap. And, since there were only 9 for a win, they really meant something.

      I think that added interest, in the race, in the context of the overall championship. I still consider the idea a good one.

      To the survey question, I don’t think it does anything much to the “racing”. It’s more the championship.

      1. Indeed, I think how points are allocated now really skews everything. Front runners get way to many points. And especially for the teams it distorts way too much. Top 3 teams only have to show up and not screw up, to get the lion’s share of points.
        If you look at the points up to now:
        1 Hamilton 250
        2 Bottas 188
        3 Verstappen 181
        4 Vettel 156
        5 Leclerc 132
        6 Gasly 63
        7 Sainz Jnr 58
        Gasly has screwed up massively, but apart from that, you see that nr 5 Leclerc has more than double the amount of points of nr 7 Sainz.
        How would it look like with the 9 to 1 point system?

        1. ChrisVB, there is actually a site that can calculate that, which is https://formula1.markwessel.com/

          Under the 9,6,4,3,2,1 points system, you’d actually distort the points haul even more in favour of the top teams than the midfield teams – hardly surprising when they mostly finish in the top 6 positions.

          That system would result in the following points haul:
          1) Hamilton: 86
          2) Bottas: 59
          3) Verstappen: 51
          4) Vettel: 43
          5) Leclerc: 33
          6) Gasly: 8
          7) Sainz: 7

          Under that system, the relative gaps between drivers would be even higher than it is now – Bottas would only have 66% of Hamilton’s points, rather than 75% under the current system, Verstappen would have about 86% of Bottas’s score instead of 96%, Vettel would have 84% of Verstappen’s score instead of 86%, whilst Leclerc would have only 77% of Vettel’s score, rather than 86%.

          Gasly and Sainz, meanwhile, would be even further afield than they are now, with both drivers having less than a quarter of the points that Leclerc would under that system, rather than being closer to 50%.

          It would also have a notable impact on the shape of the midfield battle – Kimi, rather than being in 8th, would be in 15th place and have no points under that system, with Kvyat taking his place in 8th on 4 points. Stroll, meanwhile, would be in 9th on 3 points instead of 12th place, Norris would hold 10th (on 2 points): you’d then have Ricciardo, Magnussen, Albon and Perez in that order, all on 1 point each.

          1. Thanks for clarifying that!

        2. The reason why other teams get so many points compared to the rest of the grid is their sheer speed, not the points system.

    20. After the first race they had it I honestly haven’t noticed that it even exists. Either the race is compelling and I am focused on the it or I am dozed off. Might as well keep it since it is so meaningless.

    21. There is a disadvantage to the Fastest Lap Point: rightly or wrongly this extra Point has ended up in the hands of an extra-special bonus team. So far this season none of the more normally funded teams (I’m including teams with a meagre bonus in this) earned this point. Since teams get paid by each point they get, this simply means more money given to those with the extra-special bonuses, which indirectly reduces the amount given to the more normally funded teams.

      1. Teams don’t get paid based on points (position only).
        But interestingly drivers have to pay FIA based on points.
        So this might all be a big money grab by Todt ;)

      2. @drycrust, as ColdFly notes, the indication is that prize money is allocated solely based on the relative position of the teams in the World Constructors Championship – it doesn’t matter if your beat the next ranked team by 1 point or 100 points, your prize money is the same either way.

        In fact, as he notes, the fee that the teams have to pay is a function of the total number of points they score over the season. All teams have to pay a basic entry fee of $546,133, and then have to pay an additional $5459 per point they score – however, that increases to $6553 per point for the team that wins the World Constructors Championship. Unless a team did score enough points for the fastest lap award to change their championship position, going for a fastest point would very slightly reduce their net earnings by slightly increasing their

        Now, as there is no indication that the point for a fastest lap is any different to that for a regular points finish, and assuming that the fastest lap always goes to a driver in the top 10, that means the FIA would earn a minimum of $114,600 in additional fees from the teams. In practise, it would probably be slightly more than that, since you can probably fairly safely assume whichever team wins the WCC, either now or in the future, will likely have picked up at least a couple of fastest laps and would therefore have to pay the slightly higher fee per point scored.

        In practise, it’s not a huge difference in income for the FIA though given that the entry fees for the teams to register for 2019 came to about $17.4 million (I’m aware that ColdFly meant his comment as a joke, but I thought I would answer the question for those interested to know how much the teams do actually pay in fees to the FIA).

        1. Thanks Anon and ColdFly (@coldfly) for correcting me.

    22. Maybe needs reviewing. How about fastest achieved only after a set of tyres having done at least 10 laps?

      1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
        25th August 2019, 23:01

        Which would only add a gimmick on top of a gimmick. How about scrapping it next year all together? NASCAR has added gimmicks on top of 20 gimmicks since 2004 and look how they ended up faring.

    23. I don’t find the extra point making much of a difference. Both in the racing and in the championship standings.

      Here’s how it breaks down
      Verstappen-3
      Bottas-2
      Gasly-2
      Hamilton-2
      Leclerc-2
      Vettel-1

      Red Bull-5
      Mercedes-4
      Ferrari-3

      Th biggest gain in the WDC is Verstappen on Vettel, but that amounts to a 25 point lead vs. 23. On the WCC side, Ferrari is ahead of Red Bull by 44 points instead of 46. It would take a DNF by one of those drivers to close the gaps before the FLAP really comes into play.

      Right now the closest gap between the Top 6 is 7 points between Verstappen and Bottas. Without the FLAP, it would be 8. FLAP could play a role here, both with the difference only being 1 point, we could see the two drivers on equal FLAP’s thereby negating the points.

      The only driver in the field that will benefit the most from this is Alexander Albon. Now that he’s in the Red Bull car, he has a real chance to climb the rankings and an extra few points could mean an extra place or two.

    24. As there was 1 point for the fastest lap of the race in 1950s, I have no objection against it nowadays too. I just don’t like the limitation that only a driver in top10 can get that 1 point. I think it should be available either for everyone or for no one. I hope FIA will abandon this limitation for 2020 season.

      1. Indeed, it’s silly and it’s also very rare that a driver that far back could ever get it, unless a top team’s driver ends up so far back he can’t recover while still having a decent car, that if someone like perez etc. can get a fastest lap let them have it.

        1. I disagree. if someone at the back pits and does a fast lap they’ll probably get the fastest lap. even if they’re 15th and have nothing to lose…

          I used to be neutral when this was introduced, now I think the extra point is not a good addition and should be removed next season

    25. doesn’t hurt anything, sometimes helps, i call that a win.

      1. Exactly what i was about to type. That would put me in “slightly agree” i guess.

    26. Pointless gimmick. What I don’t like is that it will put some drivers in a position to try for it since they have a free pitstop, while others will not be in a position to do so. So it’s in large part luck of the draw.

    27. The idea of limiting it to the top ten finishers to to prevent someone who, perhaps is 15 laps down, coming out just to get the fastest lap.
      What would be more fair and interesting would be to allow fastest lap to anyone who will complete 90% of the race distance by the finish.

    28. Voted slightly disagree. Occasionally it creates a bit of excitement when more than one driver goes for it, but as you say it’s usually just whoever has space to pit without losing a place. The downside is that it pretty needlessly makes the scoring more complicated, and quite often the point isn’t particularly earned, it’s just whoever is able to pit and put new tyres on.

      I find in sport generally if you want to engage viewers, particularly casual viewers, then you need to keep the rules as simple as possible, and this is a needless distraction.

    29. Currently, it’s 35% in favour, 50% against and 15% neutral, so I feel this is a quite a close “race”. I fell that majority of those who are against it don’t like that fastest lap often comes from “free pitstop”. Probably it’s a call for Pirelli to make more endurable tyres.

    30. While I tend to agree, I could see a scenario where the bonus point was the decider for the championship at the last round – that would make for excitement as drivers would have to really push for it then, but that is also very unlikely to happen and means nothing for the other races during the season.

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