Fastest lap point "livened up" Australian GP, says Brawn

Tom Errington

Valtteri Bottas became the first driver to win the point on the way to his dominant victory in Melbourne, with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff claiming both his drivers "ignored" team orders not to seek the fastest lap.

Bottas overcame the previous benchmark in the race set by Red Bull's Max Verstappen to take his points haul from the race to 26.

Brawn says the competition for fastest lap was exactly what the FIA had intended.

"The return to awarding a point to the driver and team who set the race fastest lap livened up the closing stages of the race, as Verstappen tried to nudge out Bottas, who had his hands on that particular prize," he said.

"In a race in which the podium positions seemed set from early on, the fight to claim that one extra point, in the knowledge that it could be vitally important in the closing stages of the championship, certainly livened up the closing stages of the race.

"That was exactly what we and the FIA had in mind when it came up with the idea."

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15 overtakes Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15 overtakes Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 Dirk Klynsmith / Sutton Images

Dirk Klynsmith / Sutton Images