Formula 1 appears set to award a bonus point for setting the fastest lap of the race this year, an initiative which has already been approved the by FIA World Motor Sport Council.
Only those drivers who finish inside the top 10 would be eligible for the point, which would significantly reduce the scope for a car otherwise out of contention to score points having new tyres bolted on for a late charge.
The point would be credited to both the driver and his/her constructor.
The system still requires approval from the Strategy Group and F1 Commission, both of which would normally have done so prior to the WMSC’s decision this week in Geneva.
However, the impending Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, on March 14-17 (F1 practice starts on March 15) has seen the steps changed in a bid to ensure it is passed in time.
F1 previously awarded points for fastest laps in the 1950s.
In theory, the last time such bonuses would have changed the outcome of a championship was 2008, when Felipe Massa would have beaten actual champion Lewis Hamilton.