Brawn happy to see positive effects of fastest lap point

Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn says the bonus point for fastest lap scheme introduced this season is gaining traction with teams and drivers.

In a bid to spice up the show in the closing stages of a race, F1 and the FIA decided to award an extra championship point to the driver that secures the fastest lap, under the condition that he finishes the race among the top ten.

In China, Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly elected to make a free pit stop towards the end of last Sunday’s race and bolt on a fresh set of soft tyres to grab the fastest lap and subsequent bonus point.

For Brawn, the move was another validation of the positive impact the new rule is having on the show.

“I was particularly pleased to see that the innovation introduced in partnership with the FIA for this season, that of awarding a point to the driver setting the fastest race lap, is beginning to have an effect,” Brawn said in his post-weekend debrief.

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“The lure of an extra point, as long as it’s set by a driver who is in the top 10 at the flag, was driven by the desire to add a bit of spice to the final stages of a race, especially when the order seems more or less set. China worked out just that way.”

Brawn admitted he got caught up in the ongoing intrigue and action that was taking place between the teams and drivers in the final laps of the race.

“It was great to watch the timing screens on the penultimate lap, seeing Gasly post personal bests in all three sectors to eventually steal the fastest lap from Sebastian Vettel,” Brawn added.

“Prior to Gasly’s stop, you could also listen to other drivers discussing their options in the closing stages with their team on the pit wall, even though none of them took any extreme risks.

“This was a rule invented to please the fans and I think that today we saw that it really works.”

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