Formula 1 is expected to change its point-scoring system to include a point for the fastest lap, starting from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
As part of plans to increase interest in races when positions appear to be decided late on, a car finishing in the top 10 will be eligible to score a point for the fastest lap — both for the driver and the constructor — as long as no penalty was received.
Due the fact there is no in-race refueling under the current regulations, fastest laps are most likely registered in the closing stages of a race when the cars are at their lightest.
The tweak has already been approved during a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in Geneva this week, and now needs the unanimous support of all the teams as it goes through two more avenues of governance.
First the Strategy Group — comprising six of the teams, the FIA and F1 — will need to ratify the change, before it then needs approving via the F1 Commission that also includes the remaining teams, as well as some sponsors and circuit representation.
Due to the tight timeframe before the start of the new season, the WMSC has already approved the new rule, when usually that would be the final step of a process that starts with the Strategy Group and then the F1 Commission.
Last season, all bar one of the fastest laps were set by a driver from Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull, with Kevin Magnussen setting the pace in Singapore. However, the Haas driver would have been ineligible for the fastest lap point in that race as he finished outside the top 10, crossing the line two laps down in 18th place