Sergio Perez, Force India, Monza, 2017

F1 to consider changes to grid penalties

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Formula One may change its grid penalties after the last race saw the second-highest number of position drops in the sport’s history.

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Felipe Massa, Williams, Monza, 2017
Massa and Verstappen traded blows
Bart reckons Felipe Massa was fortunate to get away with some of his moves at Monza:

Inevitably, during a race there will be many situations where two drivers end up side by side when they get into a corner. One of those will always be the attacker, the other the defender.

Both drivers should leave a cars width to the side of the track if the other car is in between. Being the defender is no license to shove the other driver aside at will.

Massa did push Perez wide (who was defending position) in the first lap and Verstappen (who was attacking) onto the apex of turn two in the third lap. He got away with it undamaged and unpenalised. I’m still baffled.

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  • 87 comments on “F1 to consider changes to grid penalties”

    1. Maybe Haas is punished more than others because they have Grosjean and K Mag as drivers. Find better ones, and it’ll be just fine. That car is capable of better things.

      1. What do you know about the Haas car that we don’t? Do tell.

        1. Lets put Alonso in it and find out.

          1. That’s a big +1.

      2. Magnussen, for whatever reason, is not a favorite of the stewards.

        I think if Haas can figure out their braking issues, they’ll be one of the best cars in the midfield.

    2. I am fine with grid penalties but for mechanical changes they are far too big. Any power unit component or gearbox change should only carry a penalty of one or two places each, NOT five or ten places like now. They should leave the larger grid penalties for driving infringements.

      1. If there are to be grid penalties at all then your proposal makes sense. The current system is meaningless with its astronomical numbers of places penalized that then just magically disappear unfulfilled. Just because they are not carried over, thankfully, does not justify such ridiculous penalties.

        Since the objective is supposed to be cost saving, which costs more? Fresh components, or being pushed down the field and scoring less points? Or, is it a moot point since the teams still have to spend the money on the components and then get penalized which costs more in prize money ultimately.

      2. Exactly, this is what I have said all along. And changing sounds all very well but they haven’t any ideas what to do. Grid penalties have been around for so long because they work well and fairly. Just reduce the size of them a bit (from 2018) and they’re good to go.

        Also, as I commented yesterday, they should stop applying them in chronological order and apply them all at once, so the bigger penalties go to the back.

        1. @strontium, the thing is, if you make the penalty too small, such as only one place (as suggested in the original post), then it doesn’t act as much of a disincentive.

          1. I’d say grid penalty proportionate to the constructor’s standing. If you’re up ahead, the penalty will scale up and hurt you more. If you’re towards the back, its smaller.

            Typically, the midfield and tail-end teams are not well funded, so there’s lesser chance of them using this as an excuse to bring new engines for each race.

        2. I think that’s how they actually do with penalties. This is how the positions looked with qualification positions and subsequent penalties. Note that there are two duos of same grid positions – in those cases I can see the order of penalties deciding:

          1 Hamilton
          4 Stroll
          5 Ocon
          6 Bottas
          7 Räikkönen
          8 Vettel
          9 Massa
          14 Kvyat
          16 Magnussen
          16 Perez
          18 Ericsson
          19 Wehrlein
          22 Verstappen
          22 Hülkenberg
          25 Sainz
          28 Ricciardo
          32 Palmer
          35 Vandoorne
          48 Alonso

          Grosjean (last regardless of penalties as he failed to get within 107%)

      3. My apologies if I sound harsh, but is nobody thinking anymore these days? Let’s divide this discussion into two parts: first the debate on whether there should be any grid penalties at all and second about the amount of grid drops one receives when an engine (part) is changed.

        Regarding the first debate, I agree that the driver should never be penalised for technical issues, just as they shouldn’t be for things like an unsafe release. So regardless of the solution, I’m all for dropping the grid penalties altogether.

        However, regarding the second debate that seemingly keeps a lot of people busy today I feel the way I started this comment: people don’t think anymore. Let’s analyse this: what’s the purpose of a grid penalty? To prevent manufacturers/teams to keep changing engine parts every race. Does the current penalty work for Sauber? No, they’re already near the back of every GP, so they don’t feel any pain in starting P20 instead of P16. Does it work for McLaren? Well… it’s starting to now they’re getting into points positions almost every race. Does it work for Mercedes or Ferrari? Oh yeah! Starting P6-10 instead P1-5 is a huge loss and at least (in normal circumstances) will put them behind their direct competitors, meaning they need a hell of a race to end in front of one or more of the other Ferrari/Mercedes drivers.

        Now let’s think about what would happen if we reduce the grip penalty for each component from 5 places to 1 or 2 places. That means Hamilton can swap a part each race and still start P3 or P4. Does that hurt him or the team? No, since the team will most likely earn even more championship points than they would in the current situation.

        On to the financial costs of this situation. The limit on engine components per year is meant to bring the costs down. Is that necessary for Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull or Renault? No. Those are all works teams (with the exception of Red Bull of course). For all other teams, costs do make a difference. That’s why they look for the best customer engine deal every couple of years. So what happens if we reduce the grid penalties even though theoretically the limit is 4 parts per engine component per year? Teams will take more penalties throughout the year, meaning more components. Who does that benefit? Again, only those 4 works/top teams.

        Like I said before, I don’t know all solutions of course, but one solution would be to stop giving drivers grid penalty, but give the team a penalty in the form of championship points. We all know that the drivers championship is of much less interest to the team than the manufacturers championship primarily. Sure the driver can be marketed, but the team itself even more within the brand.

        And to top it off, I would suggest to give them a penalty as a percentage of the total points a team earned within that given GP, with the minimum half what the lowest points scoring driver scored (if a driver became P10, it would become 1 point as well to prevent those ridiculous half points).

        If that doesn’t work (enough), I would suggest financial penalties. I don’t have any knowledge on this part except the top teams spend hundreds of millions each year. But I do know that the teams earn money from tv licenses and such, the FIA/FOM could work out a percentage per component above the 4 total to be deducted from that total. The money that the FIA/FOM doesn’t have to pay out (or receive back) at the end of the year can be used in the following year to spread out over all the teams again or used by the FIA/FOM itself. In the latter case I think they’d need to focus their newly received money on fans, circuits and such.

      4. Take points off the team’s total (not the drivers).

    3. McLaren Honda could be a good partnership again, but Honda were not and are still not ready for F1.

      McLaren should be sending a chassis to Japan to be driven around their test tracks 7 days a week with unlimited engine testing. When Honda can reach certain benchmarks for power, torque and reliability they can be welcomed back into F1.

      If the bigwigs are serious about keeping Honda in F1 they will have to make concessions.

      1. “McLaren should be sending a chassis to Japan to be driven around their test tracks 7 days a week with unlimited engine testing”

        hahaha…ask Ferrari, Merc and Renault if they’d agree.

      2. @kazinho, as @jaymenon10 notes, why would the other engine manufacturers agree to such a proposal, especially when they have been able to make performance gains under the current rules? They’d probably take the attitude that, if they can do it, then Honda should be able to do it.

        1. I don’t think there are any rules stopping them bolting an engine into a superformula and doing days of track testing. :)

          1. No I think that would be fine. They could also use an old F1 car.

            1. So why haven’t Honda bolted an engine into a old F1 car and driven round their own race track???
              Would love to hear a answer…
              Also if we did not have penalties….the engine would be better developed and McLaren would not be wanting a change….

          2. They’ve only just admitted they should be running more than one cylinder on a dyno! Give them another few years for more sensible ideas like non-F1-chassis track testing….

      3. I thought it was okay to test using cars that were 3 years old or older. Anyone know if that’s correct?

        1. Once again this is one of the silliest rules of the sport: F1 is the only sport competitors cannot train for. Imagine bikers dealing with Tour de France only training on a treadmill, tennis players competing in the Rolland Garros after playing Wii al the time! Not talking about the fact sim rigs are now more expensive than real world test. Just ridiculous…

      4. That would be illegal. However, if they were to put the PU into a WEC-style car, they could claim they’re testing an engine for Le Mans, and beat the crap out of it.

    4. Honda should be given a dispensation in order for them to not incur any more grid penalties.

      1. I disagree. Everyone is feeling the pressure of component changes – to allow McLaren-Honda to change at will, while around them people are dropping back with penalties, would make a farce of the sport.
        I agree with sentiments expressed that penalties for equipment failures seemed outsized in comparison to penalties for driving failures, and I’d support a reworking of penalties for component changes and driving infractions. But whatever the rules end up being, they absolutely must be applied equally across all teams.

      2. Honda received enough gifts. After three years Honda is still nowhere. They now need to experience a real failure (McLaren’s split) to wake-up.

    5. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      5th September 2017, 0:59

      Well grid penalties weren’t so bad before this era? Probably should just up the allowance by 1 each season instead of making it marginal.

      Haas making a lot of noises at the moment. Seems like they might be considering pulling out. Wouldn’t be entirely surprised if teams do start pulling out soon. There’s very little chance of them competing for a title or even the occasional podium/win.

      1. haas, in all likelihood, is not selling as many cnc machines as they thought they would by racing in f1. not sure what gene haas was thinking about or how some of these guys even became billionaires in the first place.

        1. There is no way a sponsorship investment in F1 can be correlated with “instant results” in quantifiable sales. The sponsorship would likely form part of a marketing strategy to raise brand awareness and help position the brand in the marketplace. Likewise you cannot possibly believe for one moment that Haas sat down, calculated his F1 investment and set this against potential sales in a routine “cost of sales” analysis? That would be too ludicrous. Haas has achieved significant success already despite his lowly grid position. He has raised his status considerably on the world stage because his team has achieved far more success in a short time than many other newcomers. However, he is now finding the limitations of a ‘customer chassis’ and a ‘customer engine’ . He may never progress any further up the grid because of these self imposed limitations and he may well decide to withdraw, but if he does, it certainly won’t be because “he didn’t sell enough machines”.

    6. I like grid penalties as they are. It’s a team sport and the penalties reflect work done to the car.

    7. I understand grid penalties as a tool to restrict Teams from introducing different and/or better parts.
      If you were allowed to basically rebuild your machine as brand new and go racing from your qualifying position, it would seem unfair. But there are a number of other ways to police that, homologation being the biggest one.
      Nobody is building a quali-spec car and then change it to a race-spec during “necessary repairs”.

      1. @uneedafinn2win the sole purpose of the grid penalties for engines is to control costs. Smaller teams couldn’t bear the financial burden of replacing parts every session and the gap with the major teams would be even bigger.

        They already made a big change this year: engine development is unrestricted (no tokens anymore) BUT engine price must remain the same (manufacturers have to bear development costs alone) AND still limited to four engines per season. (If I recall correctly)

    8. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      5th September 2017, 8:01

      Tinfoil hat time….. could McLaren have started rumours about ditching Honda as a desperate role of the dice to see if the F1 chiefs will give Honda some kind of preferential treatment to catch up and stay in the sport?

      1. more tinfoil. what if the whole lack of results was mclaren’s fault rather than honda’s. maybe that’s why ron was pushed aside.

        1. How would it be Mclarens fault more than Hondas? It is quite clear that the lack of speed is due to power issues.

      2. @rdotquestionmark Are you American? If you were, it would certainly go some way towards explaining the reasoning behind your question.

    9. Regarding the grid penalties, i would propose a compromise between grid penalties and not counting the penalised car’s points towards constructors. There are 4 different types of grid penalties (that i can think of) :
      • PU components penalties
      • Gearbox penalties
      • Grid drops because of blocking someone in Quali
      • Grid drops because of an accident at a previous Race

      1) Rewrite Gearbox penalties rules to reflect the PU penalties.
      As of now a gearbox MUST last 5 (i think) consecutive races. If it doesn’t, then it’s a 5-place grid penalty. Change that rule to say, a driver is allowed X number of gearboxes in a season, if a driver uses more than X gearboxes in a season, then there will be a penalty.
      2) Keep the grid PU + Gearbox penalties, but make them smaller, say 3-place drop for every component change after the fourth (6 PU + 1 Gearbox = 7 components).
      So for example, say a driver gets a fifth Turbo and a fifth Gearbox … 3+3 = 6-place grid drop.
      3) Continuing from above, the maximum grid drop from a component change will be a 9-place grid drop (3 new components). After that, if a driver gets another new component that requires a penalty, the driver will still get the 9-place grid drop, but the points that this car will score in the Race, will not count in the constructors championship.
      That way there is an incentive not to fit a new component without a penalty, but the penalty is smaller (max 9-place) so as to not end up with ridiculous 100-place grid drops and also discourages the teams, especially the big, to change all the components, start 9-place down and score big points in the constructors. Also unlike other proposed systems that dock points from the constructors, it won’t hurt the smaller teams who struggle to score.
      4) Rregarding grid drops because of blocking in Quali or an accident at a previous Race, because these are driver’s faults, i wouldn’t like to add more grid drops. The only solution appropriate i can think of is to translate them to penalties in the following Race.
      For example, a driver is penalised for blocking in Quali … he’ll serve 5-second time penalty in the Race
      Or if a driver caused an accident in the previous Race … he’ll serve a drive-through in the following Race
      5) Last, apply all penalties (grid drops) at the same time, say 30 minutes before the Race.

    10. Just deduct 20% WCC points scored in the race where engine was changed. 10% for gearbox.

      % is adjustable and open to negotiation.

      1. How would that help? It could have a larger impact on the financial state of the team than the current grid penalties.

        1. I think it would be good, it’s %, so if a team really struggles and gets 1 point, it will be 0,8, almost no loss, and if a top team has to change the engine on their top driver and win, it will be 5 points lost out of 25, which would generally also be less damaging than a grid drop cause even just being 2nd would be more of a loss.

          If anything it has LESS impact here, at least with the % proposed.

    11. Whatever changes they will make regarding the grid penalties, please make them after the current season (instead of during the season).

    12. Regarding the COTD, I’m really annoyed about the (current?) attitude of pushing drivers off who are more than a half car length alongside. Whether it is Massa and Verstappen in Monza, or Kmag in Hungary or Alonso in Spa. When someone is that much alongside of you, you both need to make sure you leave just enough room to both make it through the corner.

      1. as a sim racer I have to agree with this

      2. @matthijs
        Agreed, pushing another driver off the track reeks of desperation. It’s unsportsmanlike.

    13. Grid penalties at the moment may be ridiculous but any reduction in points or unable to score points because of an engine change is even worse. That would be a turn off for many and would probably be no less confusing to a casual fan than what we have now.

      Just increase the engine limit or reduce the grid drops from 5 to 2 for example, as suggested above.

      1. Few fans care about constructors points but they are vital to teams, hit them with the penalties there.

        And the 3 engine limit proposed for next year is actually ridiculous and will result in much more ‘cruising’ whenever possibly. I hope that decision is also reversed, 5 was just fine.

        1. @offdutyrockstar – I didn’t know a 3 PU limit was under consideration for 2018.

          At this rate of dropping 1 engine per year, I know the 2021 engine formula will consist of Flintstone style cars. It would literally be “may the best man win”.

            1. @offdutyrockstar – Thanks for both the links. Cheers!

    14. Let’s recap the whole thing.

      – We want a budget cap, so we force everyone to a maximum number of things, this way everybody spends less
      – If you need more things, you have a penalty

      This system can’t be right. They’re not containing costs in two ways, IMHO:

      – Backfielders change things and supposedly they end up spending more than top teams: I think 4 engines cost less than 8
      – Backfielders are given positions (or, as suggested, points) penalties, which causes them to gain fewer championship points, which leads to fewer shares at the end of the championship, which again fails in terms of cost control

      My humble (and surely short-sighted in some ways) suggestion is “second tier” cars should be helped by F1 itself: F1 buys or contributes to the expenses for buying engines for instance, without giving anyone limits in this sense. More competition ahead, more competition behind. The point for small teams should be to stay in business and compete in the backfield; the enormous difference between them and top teams will always be there, there’s no reason to try to equalize all the field. They need to worry less about some of the problems, with help of F1 (this can go up to logistics and other stuff) and concentrate on building and maintaining a racing car.

      1. @m-bagattini

        I think 4 engines cost less than 8

        I’m wondering if that is true in the end. If it’s extremely expensive to make a engine durable, than 8 ‘throw away’ engines might be cheaper than 4 durable engines.

        1. @matthijs It is probably true, but I hope Honda (to say one) is trying to make a durable PU, so spending money like other manufacturers.

    15. Deducting constructors points seems to be a popular view but IMO, very unfair. Imagine at the end of this season, Ferrari, who will be assured of 2nd place in constructors championship will give Vettel a new engine each race forgoing their own points. Mercedes, knowing this Ferrari strategy will also do the same. So, the whole purpose why we had brought this extra-unit penalties (to reduce costs) is lost.

      I think they should keep it 5 or 10 unit penalties but make it penalty for every 1st, 4th or 7th new units being used. So the draconian penalty remains, but the driver also gets 3 extra units for the same. Also, there should be time penalties (5 seconds or 10 seconds) that should be served during the race by the driver.

      1. Except that the monies come from the WCC, not the WDC. Now indeed one team could still sacrifice WCC and all the tens of millions to see one of its drivers bag the championship. But that would be a costly decision.

        1. @spoutnik which makes it more unfair actually. For instance, Mercedes has loads of points they can deduct but still be wcc while Ferrari are tied with Red Bull. Mercedes can then give Hamilton a new engine while Ferrari cannot give Vettel a new one (Just imagine that Ferrari values constructors too like all the other 9 teams).

    16. There is another penalty process that can be applied here that no one seems to be talking about. How about we keep all the outrageous grid drops and just convert that into a time penalty before the start of the race? As an example, Alonso had a 48 place grid drop. Since the maximum he can drop back is only to 20th, why not continue building a hypothetical grid that extends to 48 + 13(Alonso’s original qualifying spot) = 61, which might extend to around halfway down the track. From here, you can take the time the polesitter takes to get from this hypothetical grid spot to the start line and concert it into a time penalty, meaning Alonso would start let’s say 10 seconds after the race gets underway. This would also provide a better penalty to stop the component stacking that Mercedes did for Hamilton last year in Belgium. Thoughts?

      1. I meant to say convert

      2. @rishikkapadia: I remember well belgium 2016, I honestly doubt under what you proposed mercedes wouldn’t do the same, they had the most dominant car in the field, hamilton could’ve recovered the 10 seconds or more he was behind in very few laps and then rushed through the field, for such a strong car I see it as an irrelevant change, look how much time verstappen lost with the 2nd best car at monza after the puncture and he still made it in the points, see how little 10 sec would do.

        1. Yeah i agree it wouldn’t make him lose too much but the point is, wouldn’t starting 10 secs later than the field or even taking that penalty during a pit stop be a much better alternative to getting a 60 place penalty on a grid of 20? And later even moving up the grid because someone needed to change a gearbox on Sunday morning.

      3. I suggested something like this a couple of days ago in one of these pages
        I think you’re making it too complex though, just make the drivers take the time penalty during the race, when it’s best for them/team
        Others seem to want complex % deductions, just don’t see it myself
        prefer the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle

    17. Re: COTD… there’s no requirement to leave a car’s width everywhere, definitely not in corners. The rule applies mainly to conduct on straights.

      Pushing a rival wide, running him out of road and taking advantage of having the racing line/high ground in a corner are all parts of racing. If you stop drivers doing those things, you might as well stop them racing.

      1. It’s not clean, however, i much rather see clean defending and overtakes rather than those like Alonso’s at Spa or Massa and Verstappen(although Verstappen have done that numerous times too). It’s much better to see being able to defend but still leave a width for the other

        1. I’d put both examples (Alonso at Spa, Massa at Monza) into the ‘hard but fair’ category. Alonso’s was slightly more robust but still acceptable, while Massa’s was more a consequence of physics than any deliberate action to push Verstappen off.

          Suppose it’s another of those topics where each one of us will have our own different view of what’s OK.

    18. The penalties should reflect more on the team than the driver;

      It cannot be grid penalties or a fine for component changes. It needs to be a deduction of WCC points somewhere, whether a fixed number, or a percentage of the points earned during the race of which the component was changed..

      1. Probably:
        If penalty under current rules would be 10+ places: No WCC points for driver’s performance
        If penalty under current rules would be 5 places: Points according to 5 places lower position. So it would be 8-6-4-2-1 for top 5 positions, no points for P6-10. No point reallocation.

    19. Could races where drivers have penalties simply not count for points at all? Still race, keep your grid spot, and race for podiums and wins, but no points?

      Of course cheaper and simpler engines could also fix things…

    20. Again, f1 is totally looking at a “problem” and comes up with the wrong solution and fail to try and solve the long term issues. The grid penalty system is fine. It seems a couple of manufactors have problem building an engine that lasts. Found out why. Is the tech to complicated, is the testing to restricted? Once you found out why the McLaren and Renault keeps failing a lot more, you can potentially solve it. Doing away with grid penalties will not solve the underlying problem with the engine. The reason for grid penalties was a good one. Engines should last, so cost are cut. And cost cutting is still a very important part of f1 as no new team wants to get involved, because of it.

    21. Grid penalties are a necessary evil. The article on Autosport in which Force India comment on the situation is spot on (). You need to have an incentive to sport teams from just saying “I don’t care that I am supposed to use this engine for 5 races, I’ve got loads of cash, so I’ll use a new engine every race”.

      I think what people are annoyed at is the absurdity of a driver being penalised by more places than there are on the grid and the fact that competitive drivers like Ricciardo, Verstappen and Alonso have regularly been on the receiving end of big penalties this season. If they sort out the level of the penalties (and the manufacturers pull their socks up), this issue will go away.

      1. Link to the autosport article…

    22. So the Honda situation seems pretty straightforward to me, the obvious solution for McLaren or Toro Rosso in 2018 would be a Renault engine branded as Honda ;-p

    23. The complaints about the scale of grid penalties seems kind of childish, because the main issue seems to be about the perception. The 65 place penalty is purely nominal. In practice, it is relative—you may not even be starting last even with a 20+ spot penalty. If the penalty system were simply replaced with as reported as a total penalty adjusted for start position, then Leigh Diffy would be able to end his lame jokes about people starting the race in the next county or whatever. The question is whether you want grid penalties to account for the relative advantage gained with new components where component use is constrained for cost. If you do, it makes no sense to curtail the penalties because they look so bad. Indeed, you should want stronger penalties as it now appears that the better teams are taking them strategically, because they know they will finish where they would have without the penalty. See RBR.

    24. I propose to just increase the number of engines per season(around 5-6). You did not hear much about engine penalties during the v8 era’s despite being limited too because 8 engines are very much doable. Only Honda has exceeded 6 components and we know they are a special case while Renault are just into their 5th. in addition, the number might seem inflated too since they stockpile on other elements even when they do not need it much yet.
      In addition make each component amount to 3-4 grid penalty only because the problem today is that the first element cost 10 place and not 5 and it made much more sense to just replace all compare to replacing only one because they are almost at the back anyway with the 10 place penalty
      3 for next year is just absurd

    25. The Honda article makes no sense. The ONLY way McLaren can switch to Renault power is If and Only If Torro Rosso agree to give up their Renault engines (under contract) and accept Honda engines. And if that does not happen then McLaren has only two options: race with Honda engines or pull out of Formula One. The only scenario where Honda leaves F1 is if McLaren pulls out of F1.

    26. No one pretends that the engine penalty system is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that EPS is the worst form of penalties except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

      – Duncan Hamilton

    27. I really want McLaren-Honda to work. The more variations and competitors the better the sport. But Honda has been a nightmare for 3 years now. Honda has shown no progress in any areas other than PR damage control. McLaren at least has the data to back up their chassis is above average.

      I now hope McLaren get an allocation of Renault PU’s; brand it Nissan, and take the fight to the midfield at least. McLaren has a distant connection to Nissan with their road car engine architecture. McLaren-Honda was partially designed from nostalgia. Maybe utilize this lesser known connection with Nissan at least until the 2021 revisions.

    28. Everybody seems to be focused on making the engine penalty team focused instead of driver focused like the grid drops are. Seems to me that the penalty should be manufacturer focused not team focused.

      Why should Sauber or Force India have to suffer a loss of constructor points or a fine or whatever replaces grid penalties for an engine failure and going outside the 4 per season requirement? They didn’t make the engine.

      For customer teams how about if a PU component does not meet its specific lifetime requirement in the regulations there is no penalty to the team to replace it and the engine manufacturer replaces it for free. This solves the grid drop issue (because there are none) and it solves the costs (customer teams do not pay any extra for engines). It goes some way to solving the reliability issue too (if manufacturers build an unreliable engine they have to pay for it out of their own pocket).

      The only issue I do see is if Merc or Ferrari just want to keep putting new engines in their own cars every race there is now nothing to stop them. Is this a big deal? Well it’s an uneven playing field that the cost cutting drive was supposed to reduce so I would argue yes. Maybe in this case something like a fine that is paid to the FIA could be implemented. That pool of money from fines could then be handed out to other teams at the end of the year. So Ferrari/Merc/Renault/Honda could just throw new engines in every race if they wanted for their own gain, but they would effectively be then contributing money to their competitors budgets at the same time.

    29. Haas needs to quit whining. The drivers ,the team all of them. Every problem they have had was self inflicted.

    30. 1 place per component.

      That’s all they need to do.

    31. I think the grid penalty system is being criticized only because honda has so bad reliability that every time they change something they might just as well change everything. So they rack up bizarre looking 60+ grid penalties even if just 3-5 would already send them to the back of the grid. Mclaren is also abusing the system on purpose by changing the full engine on race weekends that are weak for them so they can then have fresh good engine in the next race where they have better chance to score points.

      The system looks bad because of two reasons mainly. Main reason is honda. The other reason is the way teams always change every engine part if they end near the back of the grid because of single part change penalty. Or just change parts to get a competitive edge in the next race.

      Solution to first issue is also related to the second issue. Personally I don’t think the system is broken because mclaren needs to take 60+ grid penalties because of their bad engine. Those numbers are also misleading because of the way mclaren abuses the system. The system is kinda broken in the way the teams like mclaren can essentially change all engine components and start where they’d start anyways if they only changed one or two engine components. It is also wrong that teams can change fully functioning parts just so they can be more competitive in the next race.

      Solution is pretty easy. After first two broken components have been changed during race weekend any additional components can be changed only if the team can prove to fia that those components are broken. Broken could be defined as part having cracks, deformation, bearings not rotating freely, overheating, bad data coming out from sensors. Those additional replacements would not add more penalties. Fia should also force a team to fix the part instead of replacing it. If possible.

      To prevent teams from gaming the grid penalty system all components need to be proven faulty before they can be changed. This way a team can not change two perfectly functioning parts for small penalty and then change the actual broken parts they originally wanted to change without extra cost.

      This rule would still mean mclaren takes a lot of penalties but at the same time it would punish big teams if they try to change parts just because they can afford it. The rule would also prevent teams from changing all parts at the extra cost of nothing. It would also put a stop on teams like mclaren gaming the system. Only problem here is that does fia have the technical understanding to tell whether an engine component actually needs to be fixed or not? And in similar vein putting fia in charge could lead into horrible decisions when late in the season a championship contender needs an engine change. Would fia have guts to penalize a team in such situation?

      1. @socksolid As Alonso said, “this is just a test”. Literally the whole season. Since there are far fewer tests than in the past, Honda is capitalizing test hours from race days. Since there’s no difference in having 20 or 200 penalty spots, why not having fresh components?

        Any solution that builds upon the current system will tend to overcomplicate an already complicated (for the average audience) sport. They need to build from the ground up, not applying patches.

        1. Changing engine components because it makes no difference in regards to penalties goes against the intent of the rules. The goal of the rules was to reduce costs and make the engines last longer. None of that is achieved when teams can change all engine components all the time and only lose couple grid positions.

          Rule making is all about making patches. Sometimes the wording is too vague so you need to add clarifications. Sometimes the teams invent something that does not directly break the rules but is not meant to be legal (f-duct, double diffusers, engine oil burning). To fix those you add a patch. There is no point starting from zero everytime someone finds a way around the rules. The engine allocation rules are ok. Just little clarifications and little different procedures is all that is needed. Not a completely different ruleset.

    32. Massa has had a career of getting away with it because of his market, Max is the new Massa in that respect.

    33. How about bonus points for reliability? Say, if you can make a part last x number of races before changing, you get y number of bonus points.

      Even the smaller, slower teams could gain something from the season, from using less components and being consistently reliable.

    34. It’s the HAAS drivers (and apparently team boss) who don’t understand the rules. There is no inconsistency other than that their take on incidents with their drivers involved is usually inconsistent with the rules

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