Mahaveer Raghunathan, Formula 2, MP Motorsport, Yas Marina, 2019

Rules loophole means no ban for Raghunathan despite reaching 12 penalty points again

Formula 2

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Mahaveer Raghunathan will not be banned from participating in any F2 races despite reaching the threshold of 12 penalty points for the second time this year.

The MP Motorsport driver was already banned earlier this year from the Austrian round of the championship after collecting his first 12 penalty points of the season. Those points were then deducted.

Further penalties, the latest of which came yesterday, have led to Raghunathan again reaching the 12-point threshold at which the F2 rules state a driver will be banned from his next event.

However the FIA confirmed to RaceFans Raghunathan will be allowed to participate in this weekend’s two races at Yas Marina and will not be barred from competing in any further events if he returns to the championships. Two clauses in the rules explain why Raghunathan has been able to escape a ban.

He will not be banned from today or tomorrow’s races as they constitute part of the current event, not his next event. There are no further events in the 2019 championship.

The rules also state “penalty points will remain on a driver’s record until the end of the season after which they will be removed”. This is understood to mean he will be allowed to compete in a further event if he returns to the championship in future.

Raghunathan’s first ban, which was incurred after the first race in France, had already prompted FIA race director Michael Masi to reconsider the regulations around driver suspension. Raghunathan was able to compete in the second race of the weekend after incurring his ban, and was then suspended from the following event.

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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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    15 comments on “Rules loophole means no ban for Raghunathan despite reaching 12 penalty points again”

    1. Serious driver injury seldom occurs because of the deliberate actions of another driver at any level. I wouldn’t be surprised however if someone from the FIA or MP had a ‘quiet word’ in the corner, and that regardless of imposing any ban, it’s perhaps not a good idea to continue.

    2. Imagine being so bad at something that no one ever dreamt of making rules to cover that level of stupidity!

      1. Common sense is uncommon.

        1. @Chaitanya No such thing as ‘common sense’.

    3. No respect for this guy whatsoever.
      But it’s not a loophole. The rules were intended like this: ban has always been ‘next event’ for everyone. Points are removed at end of season for everyone.

    4. Given what happened in F2 this year with Hubert and Correa, letting this guy roam freely is a utter disgrace

    5. Some are born great. Some have greatness thrust upon them. And some should probably look at other career options.

    6. As always, it takes certain edge cases to find flaws in the framing of rules and give the opportunity to tighten them up for the future. Yay to Raghunathan? ;)

      Probably a good time for the FIA to decide if the lifetime of penalty points is to be based on a count of events that a driver participates in, instead of time-based (and do away with wiping the slate clean at the end of a season).

      So, penalty points are valid for the next 20 FIA-accredited events (of the same or a higher category) that the driver participates in, irrespective of when that participation occurs.

      I’m fine with the ban applying to the next event, it gives the team in question the time to draft in a replacement.

      1. @phylyp
        Might sound a daft question, but are the penalty points in F1, F2 and F3 actually anything to do with the FIA or are they independently part of each individual championship?
        If the latter, then the FIA needs to take control and mandate the disciplinary system across the board using the F1 12 month rolling points tally system (just like they do with super licence points).
        Then any points in any of the three championships (you could even extend to regional F3 and F4) should persist to the next season, irrespective of the championship you may move to.

        1. @eurobrun – nothing daft there, it is a good question to clear up any assumptions.

          I’ve assumed the penalty points system is owner and managed by the FIA, as they issue superlicences, and the stewards issuing penalty points are also assigned by the FIA.

          I fully agree with your comment that if this isn’t the case, it ought to be.

    7. That’s the law😏🤪🤛!

    8. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      30th November 2019, 11:20

      AH, Formula 2’s comic relief strikes again

    9. If I were his “fellow” driver or even his team’s member, I would have made sure he has some pre-race accident (no bodily harm), and can’t participate.

      Jammed lock and broken phone line in hotel room… some girl/guy who can strapple him to bed during some pre-race fun… broken fuel line “discovered” on grid before start…

      Possibilities are endless.

    10. I often think who is worse, this guy or Philo Paz Armand. Then I remember Armand pulled of the greatest overtake in motorsports history when he overtook the entire GP2 field including the safety car in one corner as they were heading to the pits following a red flag. As far as pure pace goes, it has to go to Raghunathan. I’ve never seen anyone so far off the pace in any category.

    11. And yet he still hasn’t had all the other drivers sign a petition demanding he be removed, which has happened before in GP2/F2.

    Comments are closed.