Pic given drive-through penalty for race

2013 Japanese Grand Prix

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Charles Pic has been given a drive-through penalty for tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix.

In a first, the stewards have handed down the penalty before the race has even started. He is required to serve it during the first five laps of the race.

Pic was found to have left the pits when the red light was displayed at the pit exit during qualifying. He committed the same infraction last weekend in Korea and was reprimanded.

The stewards took this into account when confirming Pic’s penalty, noting: “Car 20 [Pic] crossed the pit exit line at 14:17:10. The red light was at 14:17:05.”

“It is noted this is the second consecutive event in which the driver has driven through a red light.”

Pic already has a ten-place grid penalty for tomorrow’s race having picked up his third reprimand of the season in Korea.

Last year Pic was given a 20-second penalty ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix for failing to respond to red flags during practice.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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49 comments on “Pic given drive-through penalty for race”

  1. Good decision, as apposed to a grid drop or a simple time penalty.

    1. Yeah. This weekend’s stewards seem to have taken sensible pills before the event.

    2. Its interesting to see that the stewards are starting to think more about the impact of the penalties they hand out, I agree that a drivethrough in the first few laps is something that will hurt.

    3. I dunno, something about giving a driver a mid-race penalty for something which did not happen during that race doesn’t sit right with me.

      1. Go drive through some red lights and see what comes in the post :)

        1. I’ll get a penalty to be taken part way through my next formula 1 race? I don’t get your point I’m afraid.

    4. On the funny side, we could wonder if Pic is colorblind … Has some issues with red !
      Very sensible penalty given he already start on the 31 st spot on the grid.

  2. What a joke,2 back to back races he has breached the rules,
    and 10 place grid penalty ,reprimands, drive through…
    might as well not take part in the race ;)

  3. Penalties are getting sillier and sillier.

    1. You’d have given him a grid place drop instead? He already has one of those IIRC. At least this penalty has an actual measurable effect.

      Yes, I know the grid place drop is consistent with others ;-)

    2. Problem now is if he goes a lap down quite early on, and then with a safety car there has to be 3 extra safety car laps to let him pass and catch up the pack at delta speed – despite the incident already having been cleared. There are always numerous anomalies in the rules..

  4. Maybe he’s just colourblind or something?

  5. BOO!!! stewards. BOO!!!

    1. Booing is bad for the sport.

  6. Is that even legal? Sounds pretty harsh to me, but it also sounds like a silly mistake to make on Pic’s behalf, a red light is there for a reason after all.

    1. And, as the article says, this is the second time in as many races that he has done it. Since he has already had a ten-place grid penalty for it (and other offences), something a little more extreme was needed.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys you’re spot on. It would help if I actually read the article, but I’m too lazy. Meh.

  7. This is a really sensible penalty. A grid drop would move him from… last to last, so is no real penalty, unless they make him start on the support race grid before 130R! Giving a penalty like this should be done more often, I think!

  8. The penalty seems like an odd one but it’s actually a very good and logical call from the stewards for a change. Grid drop does nothing to hurt Marussia or Caterham drivers and they punish Pic for his dangerous error and not the team. Good call.

    1. Yes, I agree. Unlike another grid penalty, this has real detriment.

      With the introduction of the penalty points system next year, I imagine we won’t see this one repeated too often, though.

  9. I wonder if he could try taking it on the formation lap. It wouldn’t really affect his grid position.

    1. @alfie haha! That’d be genius!

      1. only problem is that pit lane might be full of team mechanics scrambling back to the team garages during formation lap

        1. drivers have often pitted at the end of warm up lap. That is allowed (or assume it still is).

          No idea if there is a mention of not taking a penalty then? as this is the first time im aware of such a penalty. They tightened the end of race penalty rules up when schumi finished british gp in pits.

  10. Lewisham Milton
    12th October 2013, 10:20

    They should put the red light on just as he’s driving through.

    If he ignores it again, there’s clearly a problem…

  11. Probably one of the worst penalty ever. Going into the race knowing that you already have to do one drive through.

  12. If a driver croses the red light twice he should be suspended for the race. At least thats how I see it.

    1. To explain what I mean.

      My cousin has managed to get caught twice by a traffic camera for ignoring red lights twice in the same month. His driver liscence was supsended for two months. Now I know regular trafic isn’t racing however a red light is global; it means stop and on an airfaild a jumbo jet also has to stop for a red light if it is taxiing towards the runway. if you miss it once, OK take the penalty. You miss it twice then we have problem that need to be sanctioned.

      1. It’s a slightly different system in Formula 1. The red light simply means that the circuit is closed. It’s not really a safety issue the way it is on the road, because the drivers enter the pits and rejoin the race all the time. The lane is designed to allow them to do this as safely as possible.

  13. I believe they should be handing out drive through penalties before races more often as opposed to grid drops.

    Having a driver to serve his penalty at his discretion during the race would only add to the spectacle.

    Better than the sprinkler system idea at least.

  14. I remember Montoya being black-flagged for ignoring red light at pit exit during a race, http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2005/6/3158.html, so Pic’s punishment here is small in comparison.

    1. Back in Canada a few years ago Massa and Kubica (I think) were also disqualified for the same.

      The stewards just get worse and worse.

      1. That was during the race though & the penalty for that is an immediate disqualification.

        During practice/qualifying the regulations for missing the red pit exit light have always been different compared to the race (As have other bits of regulation). It used to be a fine but since the FIA can’t fine drivers now they have introduced new penalty’s.

      2. Mr win or lose
        12th October 2013, 20:43

        Yeah and one year later Hamilton tried to do the same. Luckily he was stopped by Räikkönen or else he was disqualified too.

        1. Mr win or lose
          12th October 2013, 20:44

          P.S. It was Fisichella. Kubica stopped as he was supposed to do, but he crashed heavily soon afterwards.

  15. What if he is colorblind?

    1. Then he’d use the position of the lights instead. IIRC, the red light is mounted higher.

    2. Even simpler than that, he just wouldn’t be allowed to race if he couldn’t distinguish the difference in colour. It’d be too big a safety risk.

      1. Strange you should say that I was sat here thinking he has ignored a RED flag and two RED lights it would actually be quite bizarre If he was colour blind and had kept it secret!! Do drivers get tested for colour blindness?

      2. @vettel1 Why would a colour-blind driver be a safety risk? Colour-blinded people are allowed to drive on our roads.

        Also I think Pic will do his stop at the end of the first lap to get some fresh air.

        1. @paeschli that’s because you don’t really need to be able to distinguish colours in everyday driving: you can tell from traffic light position, and that’s about all there is that’s colour dependant!

          Whereas in F1 it’s crucial to be able to distinguish between flag colours. Which most would be able to do I presume unless it’s particularly bad, which it would have to be if you couldn’t distinguish between the red and green lights.

          Say in a hypothetical scenario a driver cannot tell the difference between a yellow and green flag, and all radio communication has been lost. They could potentially come steaming into a yellow flag zone, which would be very dangerous for the marshal’s.

          1. I may be mistaken, but green flags are static, and yellows are always waved. Plus aren’t there lights on the wheel anyway?

          2. Colour-blindness comes in a few different forms. I, myself am red/green colour blind, which is the most common, and I have no trouble telling the difference between them when I see the lights and flags.

    3. Colour vision is a requirement of the racing license. Racing drivers can only have a maximum of three errors on the Ishihara Test. You have to be able to differentiate all of the flags as well.

  16. He’s not exactly going well for him in Japan. Apparently the steward are also looking at forcing him to have sushi for breakfast tomorrow. THAT would be harsh.

    1. As long it’s not Fugu fish.

  17. F1 stewards are a bunch of frustrated grumpy old men whose wives divorced them because they never cared about their families and now they take out their frustrations at work.

  18. I’m confused. I know it doesn’t affect the infringement itself, but why would he be leaving the pits when the light was red?

    1. Given that there was only a five seconds gap between the light turning red and him crossing the line it seems to have been a simple oversight. He was probably leaving the pits to do a practice start.

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