Simply a nice bonus once upon a time, now drivers can pick up an extra point if they set the fastest lap of a race.
From 2019 it was decided to again reward the driver who clocks the fastest lap of a grand prix with a bonus point, as long as they finished that race in the top 10 and as such, the points-paying positions.
Since then, it has triggered an interesting dynamic for race strategies, with drivers commonly stopping for a fresh set of tyres if they have very little to lose so they can bag themselves an extra point.
So who has been delivering the fastest laps so far in 2022? Here are all the drivers to claim this honour so far:
Bahrain Grand Prix fastest lap
Charles Leclerc – 1:34.570
Charles Leclerc not only took home the win from the #BahrainGP, but also the DHL Fastest Lap award! 💪
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 22, 2022
It was a perfect start to the season for the Ferrari driver, who claimed pole, the fastest lap and race win in Bahrain.
He set a 1:34.570 on the 51st lap to ensure that he departed Bahrain with the maximum total of 26 points.
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix fastest lap
Charles Leclerc – 1:31.634
Leclerc was at it again come the following round in Saudi Arabia, clocking a 1:31.634 on the 48th lap.
Although the bonus point came his way, he was forced to settle for a further 18 rather than 25, after losing out in his battle with Max Verstappen late on, meaning P2 was the best that Leclerc could do.
Australian Grand Prix
Charles Leclerc – 1:20.260
Drivers returned to a new-look, faster Albert Park for the 2022 Australian Grand Prix, and Leclerc once again was setting the ultimate pace in the race, delivering a 1:20.260 on the final lap.
It was another pole, fastest lap and victory in the bag for the Ferrari driver.
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
Max Verstappen – 1:18.446
Verstappen needed to find a response to Leclerc in the title race, and it came at Imola.
Claiming pole, the sprint victory, race victory and fastest lap on Lap 55 of 63, it was a dominant weekend for the Red Bull driver.
Miami Grand Prix
Max Verstappen – 1:31.361
Max Verstappen claimed the extra point in Miami, winning his second @DHL_Motorsports Fastest Lap Award of the season! ⏱👏
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 10, 2022
Formula 1 then moved on to uncharted territory as the Miami Grand Prix made its debut.
And Verstappen took his place in the history books as not only the first winner, but also the first to set a benchmark for fastest lap, clocking a 1:31.361 on Lap 54 of 57.
Spanish Grand Prix
Sergio Perez – 1:24.108
Come Spain a new name joined the party for 2022, Perez claiming the fastest lap of the race when he delivered a 1:24.108 on his 55th tour in the 66-lap race.
He finished P2, behind team-mate Verstappen, to make it a Red Bull one-two.
Monaco Grand Prix
Lando Norris – 1:14.693
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 30, 2022
It took until the Monaco Grand Prix for a driver outside of Red Bull or Ferrari to claim the fastest lap, Lando Norris joining the club.
The McLaren driver set a 1:14.693 on the 55th lap of a shortened race, due to earlier heavy rain. Finishing P6, it meant that Norris also picked up a bonus point for his achievement.
Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Sergio Perez – 1:46.046
Checo beat Max to the @DHL_Motorsports Fastest Lap by 0.004s 😱
— Formula 1 (@F1) June 13, 2022
After winning in Monaco, Perez was enjoying a patch of strong form and claimed the fastest lap at the following round in Baku, doing so with a 1:46.046.
He set that on Lap 36 of 51, going on to finish P2 behind Verstappen in Red Bull’s latest one-two. The pair’s best times were separated by a mere 0.004s!
Canadian Grand Prix
Carlos Sainz – 1:15.749
Leclerc’s team-mate Sainz opened his account by clocking the fastest lap of the Canadian Grand Prix during his pursuit of leader and eventual race winner Verstappen.
A 1:15.749 on Lap 63 of 70 meant that Sainz claimed an extra point to go with his P2 finish.
British Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton – 1:30.510
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 4, 2022
There has been plenty of difficult moments for Hamilton in 2022, but he had a lot to smile about on home soil.
On the final lap, crossing the line to take P3 and a spot on the podium, the Mercedes driver also delivered the fastest lap of the race, a 1:30.510, to claim the bonus point.
Austrian Grand Prix
Max Verstappen – 1:07.275
The Red Bull driver had to settle for P2 at the end of the race around the Red Bull Ring, though on that weekend he did take pole, the sprint qualifying victory and set the fastest lap of the Austrian Grand Prix.
A 1:07.275 on Lap 62 of 71 saw Verstappen make it a hat-trick of fastest laps in 2022.
French Grand Prix
Carlos Sainz – 1:35.781
Congrats to Carlos 👏
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 25, 2022
A 1:35.781, set on his 51st tour, established Sainz as the fastest driver to lap Paul Ricard in that race.
With Sainz finishing the 53-lap race in P5, hampered by a five-second time penalty for an unsafe release, that bonus point was very much a welcomed one.
Hungarian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton – 1:21.386
An extra point for Lewis Hamilton! 👏
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 4, 2022
Hamilton loves the Hungaroring, a venue where he has won eight times before, and although unable to make that nine in 2022, he did set the fastest lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
A 1:21.386 on Lap 57 of 70 sealed that bonus point for Hamilton, taking his score to 19 after a P2 finish.
Belgian Grand Prix
Max Verstappen – 1:49.354
Max Verstappen claimed the extra point in Spa, winning his fourth @DHL_Motorsports Fastest Lap Award of the season! ⚡️
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 29, 2022
If Max Verstappen wasn’t dominant enough already come race day at Spa, he added more salt into Ferrari’s wounds by claiming the extra point for fastest lap, too.
Ferrari tried to take it away from him but, in true Ferrari fashion, messed it up. The Scuderia pitted Leclerc for fresh rubber, only to see him lose a place to Fernando Alonso on track. He re-took the place back, but was back behind Alonso on the final classification due to a speeding offence in the pit lane triggering a five-second penalty. And, after all that, he still didn’t manage to set the fastest lap.
Dutch Grand Prix
Max Verstappen – 1:13.652
It was another perfect day for Verstappen as he earned maximum points in front of his home crowd. On fresh soft tyres, Verstappen set the quickest lap of the day during the final stages of the race as he pulled away from Hamilton at the front of the race following the Safety Car restart.
There was to be no catching him as the Red Bull driver disappeared over the horizon and on his way to the full complement of 26 points.
Italian Grand Prix
Sergio Perez – 1:24.030
An early pit-stop and a brake disc on fire meant Perez’s race at Monza did not go entirely plan, a small consolation being that he walked away with an extra point for the fastest lap.
His time of 1:24.030 was set on hard tyres on the 43rd lap as he went from P19 to finish P6. While it was the Mexican’s lowest race finishing position since Bahrain, it kept him in front of George Russell in the Drivers’ standings.
Singapore Grand Prix
George Russell – 1:46.458
George Russell earned his first fastest lap of the season in Singapore and while he did not walk away with the extra point due to him finishing outside of the top 10, it could prove valuable to Mercedes.
With Russell well out of the running having started from the pit lane and then been the guinea pig to see if the damp track was ready for slicks, the Mercedes man was well out of points contention but he could limit Ferrari earning them.
With the race coming towards its conclusion, Mercedes opted to pit Russell for some fresh tyres so that he could set the fastest lap and prevent either of the Ferrari drivers doing so, a move that could prove to be crucial in the race for the P2 spot in the Constructors’ Championship.
Japanese Grand Prix
Zhou Guanyu – 1:44.411
For the second time in as many races, the bonus point for the fastest lap was not awarded after Zhou Gunayu picked up the accolade. Running near the back, he was allowed the luxury of a switch to a new set of inters and it worked in his advantage.
He finished with the quickest lap of 1:44.411 to earn the first award of both his season and his F1 career even if he did not receive the one extra point for doing so.
United States Grand Prix
George Russell – 1:38.788
Like London buses, fastest laps have come two at a time for George Russell. Having never earned the award before the Singapore Grand Prix, the Mercedes man has now earned two in the last three races with his latest attempt in Austin. His time of a 1:38.788 was earned late on when he swapped to the soft tyres.
Mexico City Grand Prix
George Russell – 1:20.153
Russell’s late flurry of fastest lap awards continued in Mexico City on what was a very frustrating afternoon for the Mercedes drivers as they made no impression on the hard tyres in their hunt for a first win of the season. On the last lap of the race, Russell did claim an extra point, though, after managing to snatch it away from home favourite Sergio Perez with a 1:20.153 on the soft tyres.
Sao Paulo Grand Prix
George Russell – 1:13.785
Russell’s maiden Grand Prix victory was taken in perfect fashion, with the added cherry on top of gaining the fastest lap of the race in the meantime.
He scampered away from Lewis Hamilton on the late restart to get the crucial gap he needed to get out of DRS range, and a string of fast laps after the Safety Car got him the one-second buffer that helped him on his way to a well-earned win at Interlagos.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Lando Norris – 1:28.391
The McLaren man swept up the final fastest lap award of the season as he moved level with Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz on two for 2022.
Norris put in a time of 1:28.391 in the 44th lap with an average speed of 215.085 kph on his way to securing his joint best race result since the Singapore Grand Prix.
Who has recorded the most fastest laps this season?
Max Verstappen – 5
George Russell – 4
Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez – 3 each
Lewis Hamilton, Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris, – 2 each
Zhou Guanyu – 1