MARCH 14, 2019
New point for fastest lap rule criticised
Figures in the F1 paddock have criticised a new rule that will grant an extra point to the driver who posts the fastest lap of each race.
From 2019, if a driver finishes in the top ten, he will get an extra point if he also posts the fastest lap of the race.
"It will benefit the third fastest car the most," Auto Motor und Sport quotes a strategist as saying.
"The gap to the midfield is normally so big that they can afford an extra change of tyres without damaging their result."
Indeed, Red Bull's Max Verstappen told Servus TV he is looking forward to chasing extra points.
"It can mean a lot of points," said the Dutchman. "Five or six fastest laps are five or six points extra."
Dr Helmut Marko also welcomed it, saying of the initiative: "This is what makes for different tactics."
However, Alfa Romeo team manager Beat Zehnder said the fastest lap point is not overly interesting to the team because the other midfield teams are "far too close" together.
The move could also give Ferrari an advantage, thanks to its satellite teams Alfa and Haas.
"Just imagine, a Mercedes driver has the fastest lap. Ferrari cannot risk an extra pitstop, but Haas or Sauber could be asked to give fresh tyres to their drivers to take the point from Mercedes," a team boss said.
"Mercedes could also do the same with Racing Point or Red Bull with Toro Rosso."