DHL to sponsor Formula 1's fastest laps trophy

LONDON - Delivery service DHL is to honour the Formula 1 driver who accumulates the most fastest laps during the racing season with a DHL Fastest Lap Trophy.

This trophy is the first time the sport has awarded the driver who completes the fastest lap.

Formula 1 will start the new season on March 18 in Australia and DHL will serve as a global partner and the official logistics provider for F1. In this role, it moves race cars, replacement parts, pit-crew equipment and special fuel.

Wolfgang Giehl, director of corporate advertising and branding at DHL owners Deutsche Post World Net, said: "Given these shared demands, an active role in Formula 1 was the obvious choice for us. By linking the DHL brand to the fastest lap during a race and the trophy for the driver with the largest number of fastest laps during the season, we want to show that you can be fast only if performance, endurance and reliability are finely tuned and all team members pull together."

Michael Schumacher holds the record for the largest number of fastest laps in the history of the sport, with 76. He is followed by Alain Prost with 41 and Nigel Mansell with 30. Ferrari holds the lead among racing teams with a total of 193 fastest laps.

In 1993, Damon Hill drove the fastest lap of all time while competing in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, with an average speed of 249.8kph.

Bernie Ecclestone, chairman and chief executive at F1 Management, said: "The DHL Fastest Lap Trophy recognises the very things that make Formula 1: speed and organisation, the very things that DHL portray. We rely on the most successful partner in this sector."