Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Sepang International Circuit, 2015

Penalty points mount up for Maldonado

2015 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Sepang International Circuit, 2015Pastor Maldonado has eight penalty points on his licence following the Malaysian Grand Prix.

It puts him two-thirds of the way towards being given a race ban and is the most penalty points accrued by any driver since the system was introduced last year.

Maldonado was given three penalty points plus a ten second time penalty for failing to slow to the minimum lap time while the Safety Car was deployed during today’s race.

The Lotus driver collected five penalty points for three different incidents during the course of last year. The points last for 12 months and Maldonado will deduct three before the next round of the championship in China.

When Maldonado will deduct penalty points this year

6/4/2015 – Three points
11/5/2015 – One point
2/11/2015 – One point

2015 Malaysian Grand Prix

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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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36 comments on “Penalty points mount up for Maldonado”

  1. 3 is a lot but I do definitely think he got off a bit lightly last year

    1. @strontium: Is there a defined table, that a particular infarction attracts certain penalty points, or is it on the whims and fancies of the stewards..

  2. Maldonado was given three penalty points plus a ten second time penalty for failing to slow to the minimum lap time while the Safety Car was deployed during today’s race.

    I still don’t agree it has to be both. Either penalty points OR a penalty right away. Basically you punish a driver twice by the end.

    1. @xtwl

      Basically you punish a driver twice by the end.

      That’s exactly the point. You punish once for the infringement itself (the penalty) and you punish again for doing it often (which is measured by the points).

      It doesn’t punish twice for the same thing, as the points per se mean nothing. It’s the accumulation (doing mistakes over and over) what carries a second penalty.

      1. Good reasoning!
        The only problem with this system is that the stewards are giving away penalty points as if they were candy.

        1. Really? You should watch Maldo’s races! Almost every race he has a crash :)

          1. Thank you, but I’ve watched every single F1 race of his and many more. I know he often gets into trouble, and I’m even more aware that there’s a large group of F1 followers who consider him fair game. I don’t think he’s ever been anywhere close to justifying a suspension, and there are other drivers, I’m particularly thinking of Lewis Hamilton in 2011, who’ve shown worse behaviour in the past, but were never subject to a comparable amount of ridicule for it.

        2. Well, think of it this way. Maldonado is the most reckless and even dangerous driver on the grid. Even so, He is in no danger of accruing the 12 penalty points over a 12 month period needed for a race ban.

      2. +1 … Spot on Masque

    2. Basically you punish a driver twice by the end.

      Isn’t that double-jeopardy?

  3. I still believe the penalty point system is way too easy on drivers; Maldonaldo should have received a ban long ago. Race ban at 6 points would or keeping the points for a longer time(24months?) seems like the better option.

    1. I like the idea of 24 months since this is cumulative we are talking about and the impact of a mistake stays longer. However, if a driver like Magnussen doesn’t participate in a season in between and comes back next year, he would technically escape the 24-month window easily. So it should be both probably.

  4. Penalty points are just plain rubbish.

    1. Why? Isn’t the point of punishing a person or team for breaking the rules to encourage the behaviour you want on the race track? All sports have similar rules. Obviously there was persistent flouting of the rules as they once existed, so new rules were introduced so as to get the behaviour the race organisers wanted. There are many ways you can punish people, you can fine them, you can give them an impediment, you can disqualify them, etc. The time penalty and the points are what FOM felt was most suitable for the offence and likely to discourage the unwanted behaviour. The beauty of the penalty point and race ban system is it makes the Team management responsible for the driver’s behaviour on the track, they can’t say “We didn’t know” because the stewards just won’t buy that nonsense. If the driver exceeds the threshold that car just won’t run, meaning they loose out on revenue, meaning the team has a vested interest in ensuring the driver follows the rules.
      After all, there isn’t any reason why they can’t install some sort of speed limiter device into the software to ensure the car doesn’t go under the safety car time limit, in they could even make it a remotely activated system so if the driver “forgets” to activate the switch under safety car conditions the team can do it for them.

  5. Wow, points for team Enstone.

  6. Punishing a mistake is the right thing to do, but, as we saw last year, no one was effected. Maldonado had a relatively quite year but if wasn’t, he would be in the limit again. So, think limit should be lowered.

    But there is a point that is missed i think, Maldonado topped last year’s penalty points classification. Do FIA let him for a third one in 2016, if he repeat it again this year?

    1. Lewisham Milton
      29th March 2015, 17:41

      There should be an FIA Penalty Points Trophy.

  7. Lucky number 13 eh?whe

    1. *When will he realize that maybe it’s the number causing all his problems.

  8. 3 for faster than safety cars window? Personally I find it too much. Last year was also pretty inconsistent, I thought at the point, stewards has forgotten to apply it on some races.

    1. I’d say it’d be in response to the Jules incident…

      1. He didn’t cause that. Perhaps FIA should look at their selves before throwing out points in response for their own previous poor performance.

        Speaking of which the marshals again stupidly run on the track BEFORE the SC was released and before any driver would of had a chance to slow down enough to yellow flags. & with a JCB on track. The sauber driver was clearly ok so there was no need.

  9. 1. i’m not convinced if it was neccessarily a safety car situation. there was almost a whole lap of 100 seconds until the race leader would have come that way again which should have been more than enough to remove the car from the corner or push him back as he didn’t stall.

    2. neccessary or not, when the safety car is deployed, you have to respect the rules, the minimum time and the relative speed limit.

    3. this safety car deployment altered the outcome of the race. safety car and safety car-like rules should ensure the safety of the drivers and the marshals during a technical rescue, and nothing else.

    4. this time it didn’t have real consequences that someone didn’t respect the rules, but as soon as a trademark monsoon would have come, another Bianchi-like accident could easily have happened because of this.

    5. FIA does state a minimum time for completing the given sector or sectors or lap during this phase. but this obviously differs from the pitlane rules, where a very exact speed limit applies to everyone. how can one calculate the appropriate speed to complete that distance surely slower that he minimum time? how can one sure about that his closest ontrack rivals won’t go faster than him but still slower than the time limit? no way, i guess?

    6. penality points is not the solution. the solution is that everyone crosses that particular sector with the exact same speed Mr. Whiting allows. and the only way to do that is to take this kind of control out of the drivers hands. there were arguments that these are the best drivers in the world, why would one take anything out of their hands and treat them like gokart kids. well, maybe if they don’t have the tools the break the rules, they won’t? sounds good from the sport aspect, from the safety aspect. doesn’t sound good from the entertainment aspect, because safety car phases used to provide some mix up in the order.

    7. why do you carry your penality points from year to year? maybe Maldonado will pick up some intelligence in the next few years and learn how to drive when he is not the only one on the track (not much chance, but for the examples sake), why should he be affected by the mistakes he has made years earlier? i guess noone would ever reach the limit to be banned from a race this way, anyways…

  10. At the beginning of last year, the FIA was handing out penalty points like sweets, but after the China/Bahrain period, they became increasingly rare. Maybe they forgot all about them? Or maybe they saw that Maldonado would spend more time out than in racing

  11. 5. I believe that they have a safety car delta readout on their dash that tells them where they are relative to the minimum sector time required under safety car. So they can monitor it and adjust their speed accordingly. Of course, the driver’s aim is to get the delta exact without going under to go as fast as possible but not be penalized.

    6. The only way to do this is to use the virtual safety car mode more than the safety car. Because performance over safety is so ingrained into racing drivers throughout their careers, and while they are in the car they are so conditioned to banish from their minds any thought that they personally could be hurt, even experienced “best drivers in the world” will push the envelope in any and every situation in order to make up time on their opponents. They are not thinking about safety, they are thinking only of their finishing position and gap to rivals. Which is why the virtual safety car rules that takes all safety decision making out of their hands is necessary even at this level. For a discussion of this “human factors” analysis of Bianchi’s accident see comments section of Gary Hartstein’s blog articles at the time of Bianchi’s crash.

    1. This, times infinity.

  12. Could someone clear this out for me: as I recall Kimi Raikkonen was behind Pastor and complaining that the car in front of him was going to slow during the Safety Car period. When the safety car was gone Kimi had already passed Pastor. How could it be possible that Pastor had driver to fast? I can’t find any info about the whole incident and find it rather strange. Furthermore I think 3 points is way to much compared to the shunt Perez pulled on Grosjean that ruined his race but got penalized for only 2 points.

    1. Mr win or lose
      6th April 2015, 10:27

      Kimi was behind Nasr.

  13. Maybe is time for Maldonado to re-think the choice of his driver number…

    1. @camo8723 I’ll never understand why people say things like this.

      1. Because they are backwards and superstitious

  14. With Maldonado missing two races already, will it make any difference if after a year he accumulates enough points for a ban…

    One race ban would not affect a driver like Maldonado, IMO.

  15. Something about Maldonado cracks me up. I think it’s his facial expressions…

    Anyway, he’s a clear favourite for the WPC (World Penalty Champion). He is like the Mercedes of penalties, with Perez in 2nd

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