Formula 1’s new rule to award one point for the driver who sets the fastest lap finishing inside the top 10 has been confirmed by both the FIA and F1’s management groups ahead of the 2019 season opener in Australia.

Having already been approved by the FIA's world motor sport council (WMSC) last week, the move has also been ratified by the F1 Commission and the Strategy Group and is now part of the sporting regulations ahead of the opening race in Melbourne.

It will be the first time since the early years of the world championship during the 1950s that F1 has awarded a point for fastest lap.

While the initiative has been pushed through in a bid to add another element of intrigue to the sport, such a move would have had little impact on the complexion of recent world championship fights.

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Since the turn of the millennium, points for fastest lap would have changed the outcome of a title on just one occasion in 2008, with Felipe Massa coming out on top of his duel with Lewis Hamilton.

Starting from this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, one point will be awarded to the driver who achieves the fastest lap in a race, provided that driver is also classified in the top 10. A point will also be awarded to the Constructor of the driver setting the fastest lap.

The FIA approved the change to the 2019 Sporting Regulations at its last meeting on March 7 in Geneva, before being voted through in an e-vote by the F1 Strategy Group and the F1 Commission. This process was concluded today and unanimous approval given.

“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,” Ross Brawn, F1’s managing director for motorsports, said. “We felt that the reintroduction, after sixty years, of a point for the driver of the fastest lap in the race goes in this direction.

“We have been considering this 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 even more interesting. Sometimes it is useful to remind ourselves of the heritage of our sport to move forward.”

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