Penalty points system an improvement – Sutil

2014 Chinese Grand Prix

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Adrian Sutil says the new penalty points system for drivers is a change for the better because handing out grid penalties alone was not always effective.

Sutil is one of five drivers who has already collected penalty points under the new system. During the Bahrain Grand Prix he was hit by Jules Bianchi, who received his second pair of penalty points and now has the most of any driver, with four.

“I think it’s OK,” said Sutil during today’s press conference when asked about the new system.

“I’m not sure if anyone will reach the full twleve but after three races having four then he should reach it very soon so let’s see how it’s going to be.

“What’s important is there was a change from last year because there were certain times some penalties for especially the backmarkers which were not doing anything. If you’re last and you get ten places [penalty] you’re still last, and that’s it. So there was a reason why to change it.

“Now this is a little bit different, so there was a reason to change it, and need a bit of time to see if it’s really working. But I hope so.”

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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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16 comments on “Penalty points system an improvement – Sutil”

  1. Well, I guess this system is better – people know what to expect and it does give punishments to drivers that keep doing stupid things. Not sure the level of points for a given infraction s quite right though.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      17th April 2014, 10:49

      That’s the only question mark about this penalty system. Will incidents that require penalty points, award the correct, or justifiable number points?

      I guess if the FIA is consistent, then an incident as severe as Spa 2012 should be worth the full 12 points.

      1. @tophercheese21

        I’m not 100% with you on your Spa comment. I think driver’s should be penalised based on the infraction that was made, rather than the seriousness of the consequences. I can’t remember the Spa incident perfectly, but was Grosjean’s misjudgement much more severe than Bianchi’s in Bahrain? I think both outbraked themselves and took out the driver on the outside, just Grosjean’s had much more severe consequences because it was at the start and there was a chain reaction of collisions.

        It’s a difficult call to make, but i always thought Grosjean’s race ban was harsh when at least he admitted the mistake – and subsequently seems to have made improvements since then. I was more concerned with Maldonado who rarely admits any mistake and has even intentionally swiped at two drivers in anger without any serious penalty (so far).

        The idea of penalty points is to punish each individual incident equally, rather than having to account for previous behaviour. Hopefully it will work out and maybe drivers will be forced to learn when they’re sitting on 9 points (before that would be preferable).

    2. The system in itself is OK, the problems exist in the implementation. In Malaysia Bianchi got 2 points after he was hit from behind, got a puncture, and consequently tagged Maldonado. It doesn’t seem fair at all to punish him for that. I’m also unsure about Bianchi’s points in Bahrain. Seemed like a racing incident where he didn’t do much wrong, had the inside line to the corner and there was more than space enough for Sutil.

      They seem far too eager to put the system to use right now.

      1. In Malaysia Bianchi got 2 points after he was hit from behind, got a puncture, and consequently tagged Maldonado.

        He got the penalty because he was deemed to have initiated the whole thing by moving across the track & driving into Vergne’s front wing which then caused the puncture.

        They showed the onboard camera from JEV’s car on sky & it was pretty clearly Bianchi’s fault. JEV was going dead straght & Bianchi just came across the front of his car & took his front wing off.

  2. What happens when someone is banned for the race? Does the team race with one car? Does the driver miss the race and the number 3 race for them? What happens to the points if they managed to score any?

    1. @timpey

      They will be allowed to use a reserve driver as when Grosjean served his ban. The reserve driver would score points both for himself and the team as usual.

      1. Ah I thought so. I couldn’t remember what happened to Grosjean

      2. Similar question – if a driver receives his 12th penalty point during qualifying, is he excluded from the race (which means that the team would only have 1 car in the race), or is he banned from the next race weekend?

    2. Unless you’re Lotus, then you have to call the guy who was dropped by the backmarkers

      1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        17th April 2014, 21:30

        the reply was expressed wrong! you are not allowed to use a reserve driver! you are allowed to USE ANOTHER DRIVER: youd thought the obvious choice would be the third drivers, but if a team wants someone else like lotus did with kovi, they can do it!

  3. Ok so how many Penalty points Maldonado has? accordin to me he has to get maximum considering the way he drives around….

    1. As of now he has 3 for his incident with GUT in Bahrain. But I felt it needed at least 5 points looking at the footage.

  4. Amazing, Sutil sounds like the voice of reason while Maldonado is quoted as saying this new penalty system will ruin racing. LOL!
    Also said his wreck at Bahrain was a “soft crash” and a misunderstanding. Sadly, the new system is needed for drivers like him who can’t seem to correct themselves.

  5. I think there will be a lot of teams third drivers getting a turn this season as there is so many people who already have penalty points next to their name

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