Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen, Suzuka, 2018

Verstappen: “I hate these stupid penalty points”

2018 United States Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen believes Formula 1’s penalty points system is too harsh.

The Red Bull driver is on eight penalty points for the current 12-month period having received his most recent point for an incident with Kimi Raikkonen during the Japanese Grand Prix. If drivers accumulate 12 penalty points they receive an automatic one-race ban.

Verstappen said he believed some penalties are “given a bit easily” but the points system particularly aggravates him.

“What I hate is these stupid penalty points afterwards. For every five seconds or whatever you get, it’s really ridiculous that you get one point, two points…

“For me sometimes, OK, maybe you deserve a penalty, but it’s not that bad that you deserve a penalty point. For me that’s a bit out of proportion.”

Verstappen has one of the highest penalty points tallies of any driver at present. His total will fall by one point on Monday, 12 months on from his penalty for overtaking Raikkonen with all four wheels off the track during last year’s United States Grand Prix.

Romain Grosjean is at greater risk of a ban. He is on nine penalty points and has no deductions due until after the Mexican Grand Prix. He said he doesn’t agree with all of the penalties he received.

Romain Grosjean, Fernando Alonso, Start, 2012 Belgian Grand Prix
Grosjean’s 2012 Spa crash prompted penalty points introduction
“Some points when you look back at the points I got, some you can really explain them, some others are more questionable,” said Grosjean. “But here they are. We just make sure that we get to the end of the season.”

The penalty points system was introduced after Grosjean was given a one-race ban for causing a multi-car crash at the start of the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix. FIA race director Charlie Whiting said previous incidents Grosjean had been involved in prompted the stewards to issue a ban and led to the introduction of the penalty points.

“Apparently I had four incidents that [were worth] three points in 2012,” said Grosjean. “I can’t recall three of them!”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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37 comments on “Verstappen: “I hate these stupid penalty points””

  1. Stop exploring the limits of the rules then, simples.

    1. Max Verstappen’s mentality is the reason why we need a penalty points system.

      1. Yeah exactly he brings some racing action to a further boring event. Just chech Hamiltons recent comment on the current states of F1. Even the champion is missing action.

        1. Why do I get the feeling this is going to descend into a thread that could basically be described as “Dutch fans versus everybody else”? The Dutch really do seem to be some of the most aggressively nationalistic fans in the sport.

          1. @Anon,
            Penalty points sometimes are in place, but what Max means when you give a penalty for minor issues like wheelbanging with Bottas or Raikkonen, is that really worth giving penalty points for…?
            When you seriously take out other drivers it’s logic, though last season both Bottas and Vettel have been in a few incidents with loads of DNF’s as a result and no penalty was give to anyone, while when two drivers touch wheels one of them receives these points wich can cost them a race in the end.

            Until now Verstappen has only taken out one single driver in his whole F1 career, his record is not nearly as worse people and media want us to believe.

          2. @matn
            Then the complaint should be about the application of penalty points, not the system itself. But calling the whole system stupid, when the system has yet gotten anyone banned ever… That’s pathetic. Keep in mind that Maldonado was around still and he never got banned. So one could even make the argument that the system could be stricter.

            Nobody doubts Max’s talent. But he can be a genius and a loose cannon in the same weekend.

          3. @ajpennypacker But he does not call the whole system stupid, no? Just the fact that relatively minor infractions are easily given penalty points too.

            Of course this subtle distinction was missing in the topic title.

    2. stupid comment, F1 is penalizing drivers for making any moves it seems these days, I would hate to race where I have to calculate penalty point infractions into my passing attempt calculations.

      It is not supposed to be easy to pass, so sometimes they bang a bit. Two good drivers driving at the limit is always going to be close affair. If you legislate racing out of racing what is left.

      Drivers always know when they are beat, either leading or passing, it is when they still press the point and cause needless contact I want to see legislated like in other forms of racing. F1 needs promote clean racing, but still promote racing.
      Immediately do a driver through or park them for the day for any pass/defend moves that are pure folly; It would quickly self regulate itself. Do away with the stupid 5 second penalties, they rarely accomplish their goal and often are not warranted. If a driver passes off track, just drop them back behind the driver they passed incorrectly.

      Max’s penalty point from his pass last year in Austin year was plain wrong. He got inside all 4, so maybe give the place back, but damn, what a move. That is why we watch F1, that is a fast fast turn and it tightened up quickly and he went too far inside, but just to make it clean was something I am glad to have witnessed.

      1. You are spot on, can you imagine Senna and Prost’s struggles in todays F1? They would probably both have permanent bans after a few rounds.

        F1 like many popular sports is now being cynically exploited to promote globalist, marxist politics. You take the elephant out of the circus and you are left without a show.

  2. If they are going to award penalty points, then maybe they should award (negative) style points. Like a great pass, or driver of the race, gets penalty points removed. After all, they do want a good “show”.

    If Max, vettel, Hamilton or a few other fan favorites get a ban, wouldn’t this sink the venue’s revenue? the so-called “Tiger Woods”, or “Serena Williams” effect? If I was a race venue or TV broadcaster, and a big name star was asked to stay away, I would be pretty upset with the FIA.

    1. No. The reward for doing good is doing good.
      The penalties are what they are and we can debate what they should be, but we shouldn’t “subtract” from them just because the driver performs well.
      If a football player scores a slew of amazing goals, are they then “shielded” from red cards? Or somehow two yellow cards don’t result in a red card anymore?

    2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      19th October 2018, 7:45

      Yea i really don’t see how this could work out. Penalty points are to indicate a driver has done something wrong. And Verstappen has done that an awful lot this year. Getting rid of them each time he does something great doesn’t mean that he hasn’t done anything wrong any more. You can’t undo anything. It is generous enough that they only last a year. If they didn’t, Verstappen would have hit 12 points twice.

      1. Well said [TR] and @thegianthogweed – keep penalty points for what they are, to indicate wrong actions, in the hope drivers learn; otherwise you get a guy who’s so good he can never do wrong, effectively. I see that working with the current Dutch motorsport tv guys (sigh), but it is not great for the sport John S

        And Verstappen’s attitude shows exactly why not, in my mind. Compare to Grosjean (in this respect, not saying he’s as good a driver as Max): it happened, you can be unhappy with what stewards decided, just like you can have bad luck in races, but you have to deal with it, so we do. Much more healthy way to go about it than letting annoyance fester like Verstappen seems to be doing.

  3. I see no reason why Verstappen can’t drive AND be race director at the same time. Sure would solve all the complaints he has about these awful performance restraints called rules.

    1. Because of his stupidity driving style these penalty point system should exist. He should learn something by now rather then criticise the penalty point.

      1. +1

        I’m more and more afraid Max won’t learn and change.

  4. Penalty points punish repeat offenders. No driver will agree with all the points they get but they shouldn’t really be able to deny that by the time they hit 12 they’ve had quite a few transgressions worth punishing.
    At least this way it’s transparent, unlike the Grosjean scenario with a ban seemingly from nowhere.
    Granted I also think Max is an ass so I’m hardly likely to defend him!

    1. @bigwilk excellent points, all of them. grosjean’s ban wasn’t really justified (at the time they even said he got a sterner punishment because a title contender was involved – what an awful message!).
      if you get to 12 points, you have obviously been doing something wrong for a long time i.e. many minor offences, which should be punished. there is a tiny argument against this system (double jeopardy) in that you get punished twice (e.g. 5 second penalty plus a license points), but I feel this is deserved.

      one question I have is, what happens if verstappen accrues 4 points this weekend? will he then be banned for mexico? because, by the time mexico happens he won’t be on 12 points any more. perhaps @keithcollantine can help me out here.

      1. @frood19 yes, in that case he will banned from Mexico. Once you reach 12 points, it’s automatic 1 race ban for the next race, effective immediately. Point deduction is after 12 month period, so it will be too late to have any effect.

  5. Max, think yourself lucky you haven’t got more than you have, you certainly deserve more !

    1. Your a fan of the current boring F1 processions I guess. Please no action on the track.

      1. Don’t be ridiculous. It’s possible to have action on the track without being reckless.

  6. Some penaulty points are giving when i thought why? There could be a revising of those penaulties.

  7. I rate Max as one of the very best drivers on the grid. I expect him to eventually become one of the all time greats of F1.
    But leaving the track when it suits you or risking damage to both your own and other drivers cars in the hope that you will come off best isn’t racing – it is cheating.

    F1 definitely needs fixing so that we get better/real racing, but just letting everyone drive wherever and however they wish isn’t the answer in my opinion.

  8. If anything, Max’s tally is showing that one can drive uber-agressively, still get away with lenient time penalties, and avoid a race ban altogether. I think it is rather his opponents that would have something to complain about. Incidents like Baku’s collision or Suzuka’s reentry could have been met with a harsher penalty.

    The penalty point for last year’s Raikkonen pass was a bit strange though. Great try, tried to keep it within the track, almost succeeded, didn’t seem dangerous. It was absolutely correct that he had to forfeit the position gained, but why a penalty point ? Ah well, whatever the system, fans will always complain about it !

    1. Verstappen pushing Räikkönen wide in Japan rightfully earned him a time penalty, but I don’t think the penalty points were needed. Baku was a racing incident, pretty much 50-50 or maybe 70-30, and rightfully no penalty points were given.

      I think the penalty system should exclude drivers if they do something really dangerous; for example Grosjean spinning and flooring the throttle at the start in Spain, or Maldonado flipping Gutiérrez upside-down in Bahrain a few years ago. I believe they both received 3 penalty points, so four such accidents are required for a race ban. Madness!
      All in all, I think the system should be more lenient to small infringements (that are more common, so those penalties really add up) and punish really dangerous driving harder to be accepted more by fans and drivers.

  9. Antoon van Gemert
    19th October 2018, 9:18

    The penalty-points system only belongs in one place: the garbage can!

  10. Whilst I sympathise to a degree, Max would be far better off closing his mouth and examining the reasons for the penalties.

    He’s a good enough driver without the need for being reckless. If he doesn’t tone down some of his actions, he’ll find that the WDC that he thinks he deserves will not eventuate. He doesn’t need to put his car and others at risk but if he continues with his current attitude, sooner or later there will be a massive collision – all it will take is another less skilled driver to not avoid one of his “moves”

    Here’s hoping that he’ll mature just that bit more.

    1. I applaud you on your use of “eventuate”.

  11. “Apparently I had four incidents that [were worth] three points in 2012,” “I can’t recall three of them!”
    – Along with the Spa T1 incident: The incident with Webber in Suzuka, the start crash in Monaco, and the third: I can’t recall it at the moment.

  12. I agree with the penalty points system, but not always with the implementation. Generic crimes should not be punished twice.
    Dangerous driving (yellow / red flag or pit lane violations) should trigger points, as should forcing someone off track, but for some minor things where you already get a grid drop, or time penalty it seems over kill at times to have both.
    The weighing seems a bit off too. You could get a ban for a number of relatively small things, but still be fine with 2 or 3 major things.
    I personally think it could be implemented better.

  13. These points are a big farce. The will think twice to ban one of the top 5 drivers for a race. Of course if they give the final point to a driver they have to, but this will never happen. For Max they will never ban him on Spa or Redbull ring. By the way, on any circuit. Do you see all these supporters and fans at the circuit? F1 on his knees and then ban a top driver? No way, the whole point system is a stupid joke and they know it.

  14. The dirtiest driver in f1 doesn’t like penalty points, even if he’s the privileged kid of f1 right now that they allow him to do everything he wants!!
    If point system were working correctly Verstappen will be sanctioned every race, he destroys races of his pals, even world title contenders something that he’s far from doing!!
    If he’s sour this year, imagine next year that he’ll have worst car and a driver near him from the same generation. Next year he will salty as a sea.

  15. @Anon, you are right about the fans. But they are not F1 fans, they are Verstappen fans. Cheering for a somewhat winning team. They are god awefull. At Spa a man with a gun shot a police officer, he was staying near the circuit as Verstappen fan. So you know how some of the people are.

    I am Dutch and I like the racecraft of Verstappen, the Dutch have always chosen for the offensive (in history, in soccer, cycling etc.). The penalty for Raikonnen was the right thing. He came back too agressive. But the penalty points on the other hand, I really can’t get my head around it. The same mistakes or harsher mistakes can go without penalty points in one race or with 3 penalty points the other. The whole point system is not clear and as a fan it’s weird to see it like that. I think a point system is an ok means, but not with different measurements.

    This has all to do with the different stewarts for each race, so they can see things in proportion. Robin van Persie is a soccer player who uses his arms to go faster with some kind of slapping like move, at one time he got a red card because he unpurposely slapped someone (not hard or aggresive) when starting a sprint. The referee was a referee who didn’t whistle in Europe, so he didn’t know the player and his playstyle. The game was death and there was no real match to follow.

    So IMHO, I think not everything that Verstappen does is pure magic, but 9 out of 10 it’s spot on. Plus, who doesn’t like some Villeneuves, Irvines, Briatores, Hunts and some other characters to let it be a show. I want some bad guys who like to wind things up. Verstappen joins and it’s gloves up, Magnussen tries to be a bad boy, Hamilton is going to be coming up when Verstappen is his direct opponent, together with Vettel. If Red Bull is making it worth with the Honda, 2019 and 2020 are some season I’m looking forward to.

  16. I think penalty points are a good idea, but just like other kinds of penalties, the stewards give them way too easily. Every rub on track deserves a decision by the stewards these days, and sometimes even tiny incidents are followed by BOTH time penalties and points. It should be only one or the other unless it was a seriously dangerous thing.

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