The FIA and Formula 1 have confirmed that extra points will be awarded for a driver setting the fastest lap in grands prix this year. The extra point will be awarded to both river and constructor – provided the time was set by a car finishing in the top 10.
The move emerged last week and has passed through various stages of voting – including one by all 10 teams – in time to be implemented for the start of the 2019 season this week in Australia.
Initial reaction to the plans was mixed, with many deriding it as a gimmick by Liberty Media, although it is hoped that the measure will keep excitement fresh through to the end of races.
Bonus points have not been awarded for a fastest lap in F1 in 60 years.
F1 managing director Ross Brawn said: "Together with the FIA we have been committed to evaluating ideas and solutions that can improve the show whilst maintaining the integrity of our sport.
"We felt that the reintroduction, after sixty years, of a point for the driver of the fastest lap of the race goes in this direction.
"We have been considering the solution – which represents a response to detailed research carried out with thousands of our fans around the world – for a number of months.
"How many times have we heard the drivers on the radio ask the team about who holds the fastest lap?
"Now it will no longer be only a matter of record and prestige, but there will be a concrete motivation that will make the final part of the race more interesting. Sometimes it is useful to remind ourselves of the heritage of our sport to move forward."