Every Formula One driver is fast, but is the race winner really the fastest? Since 2007 DHL has defined a new standard of speed with the 'DHL Fastest Lap Award'. One driver sets the fastest lap at each race - the award will go to the man who sets the most over the season. To win will require pure speed - something DHL, as the world's leading logistics provider and Official Logistics Partner of Formula 1, uses to achieve its goals, shortening international routes, facilitiating global trade and making the world a smaller place.
Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit
Fastest Lap Video
Valtteri Bottas clocks DHL Fastest Lap in Melbourne
Valtteri Bottas made a perfect start to the new Formula 1 season in Melbourne. The Mercedes driver celebrated a convincing victory in the Australian GP and also posted the DHL Fastest Lap, for which there is an extra point in the World Championship this season for the first time since 1959. As a result, Bottas was able to take the maximum of 26 points from the first of this season’s 21 races.
He assured himself of victory at the start by overtaking teammate, Lewis Hamilton, who had been on pole. The Finnish driver then quickly drew away from the rest of the field to finally win with a lead of some 20 seconds on Hamilton. Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in third place completed the party on the podium at Albert Park.
"This feels so good - I don't think I've ever had a race like this", said Bottas. We could not have asked for a better start to the season - getting maximum points for the team is a perfect result and we couldn't be happier. The key was the start; I think Lewis may have had a bit of wheel spin, so I was able to take the lead. My race pace was really strong, I could pull away and build a gap. In the end, I managed to get the fastest lap as well, which of course means an extra point this season, so I went for it."
The DHL Fastest Lap was hotly contested between Bottas, Hamilton and Verstappen in the final stages of the race. All three drivers set their personal best times on the 57th and penultimate lap with Bottas once again showing outstanding form on the day, beating the competition by almost half a second with a time of 1:25.580. Mercedes driver Bottas was thus able to reconnect with his form from last season when he won the DHL Fastest Lap Award.
Record-breaking world champion Michael Schumacher still holds the lap record in Melbourne. He clocked a time of 1:24.125 for the 5.3-km circuit in 2004.
|Season||Driver||Team||DHL Fastest Laps|
|2013||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||7|
|2012||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||6|
|2011||Mark Webber||Red Bull||7|
|2009||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||3|