Anderson calls for F1 to change fastest lap rule – “Creates a risk of stupid tactics”

Gary Anderson has called for F1 to change the fastest lap rule, saying that it is essentially a legal, but dirty tactic.

Setting a fastest lap awards the driver a world championship point provided he finishes in the top ten. However, that is a loophole teams have quickly figured out the answer to.

If one driver of a team is running out of the points, and a rival holds the fastest lap, the team calling that driver into the pits to try and set the fastest lap is a common tactic.

However, it takes away the fun from the racing, because there is nothing to lose if you are in 11th or in last place.

This was particularly evident during the recent Mexican GP, where Mercedes pitted Valtteri Bottas for the fastest lap two times. He succeeded in taking that point on his second attempt, but it was an eyesore to see the team compromise his race for it.

Anderson called for F1 to change the fastest lap rule, and said that the current one was sucking the joy out of holding that point.

In his column for the Race, Anderson wrote, “Bottas sacrificing 13th place to drop to 15th doesn’t make any difference in terms of points.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Mexican Grand Prix Race Day Mexico City, Mexico
Bottas (pictured) took full advantage of the fastest lap rule. Source:

“But the aim in a race is to race to achieve the best position possible, not to set the fastest single lap – that’s what qualifying is about.”

Loophole city

“When the fastest lap point came back in 2019 (it was awarded from 1950-1959, which is even before my time) the idea was it would create an extra dimension to the race,” he continued.

“But much of the time, it just gets taken by whichever driver happens to have a suitable gap to make a stop and put in a lap. Often this is a driver in a quick car who isn’t doing as well as they should be, so that’s a reward for not doing well.

“F1’s fastest lap bonus point can add a little interest, but it makes sense to award it to the fastest lap among the top 10 finishers to avoid causing confusion for fans and creating the risk of stupid tactics,” he concluded.

Read more: Gary Anderson baffled by Verstappen’s wing setup at Spa

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