f1316 wrote:I agree with virtually all of this. The problem for me, much like with many other things, comes from the lack of refuelling. In the days of refuelling, it was equally possible to set the fastest lap of the gp at the end of any given stint, not necessarily the end of the race. These were the times when pit-stop position changes were made, due to one driver pushing to the absolute maximum on low fuel to maximise the advantage he'd gained from running longer.
The point being that the fastest lap often correlated with the most impressive lap of the race. If we look at Hungary 2012, however, I think you'd be hard pressed to say that Kimi's 1:25 on old tyres was not the most impressive lap - the time it took for anyone to lower it even after new tyre stops bears this out - and yet the fastest lap, I believe, went to a late-stopping Red Bull. It just is less reflective of "the fastest car/driver" in the race than it was and is therefore less relevant statistically.
Refuelling doesn't completely fix the picture though - a late final stopper will have both a low fuel load, due to the limited number of laps left, and new tyres and so is likely to go quicker than someone who stopped ten laps previously but had the better race strategy as they didn't need to stop again.
In any race where you have pit stops of any kind then fastest laps will always be a compromised measure to some degree. Even without stopping you could argue that someone may not have extracted the most from their tyres over the full race distance but had managed to put in one quick lap to get fastest lap. All in all unless getting fastest lap is a necessity then it's going to be a flawed measure of absolute pace.