Mahaveer Raghunathan, F2, MP Motorsport, 2019

‘Raghunathan rule’ closes one Formula 2 ban loophole

Formula 2

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Formula 2 has introduced new regulations to stop drivers avoiding bans if they collect 12 penalty points on their licences, as Mahaveer Raghunathan did this season.

The MP Motorsport driver collected 12 points on his licence on two separate occasions this year. On the second occasion, during practice in Abu Dhabi, he went on to compete in that weekend’s races, which comprised the final round of the season.

F2 has now approved new regulations which will ensure bans take effect more rapidly.

“If a driver accrues 12 penalty points during a free practice or qualifying, he will be suspended for the remainder of the event,” states the revised rules. “If a driver accrues 12 penalty points in a race, he will be suspended for the following event. After the suspension has been issued, 12 points will be removed.”

However the rule will not necessarily ensure drivers avoid serving bans at the end of a season, as Raghunathan did. A driver who reaches 12 penalty points in race one of an event would still be able to compete in race two.

The FIA has previously confirmed Raghunathan’s ban will not be carried over to the start of next season if he returns to Formula 2 next year.

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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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    26 comments on “‘Raghunathan rule’ closes one Formula 2 ban loophole”

    1. No mention of the team bosses F1 top 10, Keith?

      1. In yesterday’s round-up; where it should be.

      2. Cristiano Ferreira
        14th December 2019, 22:02

        If Keith did an “F1 Top 10 team principals for 2019” my list would be something like this

        1- Andreas Seidl

        2- Toto Wolff

        3- Christian Horner (took too long to dismiss Gasly, which cost Red Bull the third place in the standings. And he should have hired Hulkenberg to drive alongside Max, instead of Albon)

        4- Franz Tost

        5- Otmar Szafnauer

        6- Frédéric Vasseur

        7- Claire Williams (she’s here just because the others bellow have done a worse job than her, but she is just as bad as the others bellow her)

        8- Gunther Steiner (Haas went backwards, and he also choose to retain Haas bad lineup of drivers)

        9- Cyril Abiteboul (Renault is a joke and doesn’t seem to improve a bit under this guy)

        10- Mattia Binotto (Ferrari season said it all. Maybe he is good for a “behind the scenes” work, but not so good as team principal. I don’t know if their season would be better with Arrivabene, but Ferrari went backwards under Binotto)

        1. LOL :) and agreed.

        2. Cristiano Ferreira
          14th December 2019, 22:59

          And i meant which cost Red Bull the second place in the standings (not the third place as i said)

        3. 8- Gunther Steiner

          That’s of course the preliminary ranking before the Netflix docu.

          1. Cristiano Ferreira
            15th December 2019, 0:55

            @coldfly do you think Gunther will rise through the rank because of the Netflix documentary?

            1. You are rigth, Cristiano Ferreira, that would be short-sighted.
              It’s not only Guenther who can expect a major boost. If Honer repeats his wit of last year he will rise beyond #1, and it’s a big ‘?’ how Wolff’s table will be portrayed. Too many variables.

    2. Life goal achieved: Get a rule named after yourself.

      1. Up to step 2; get a proverb inspired by you. @phylyp
        when dry swim, when warm run, when cold fly.

    3. The rule should be amended so that when a driver reaches round 2 of a 12-point streak (24 points), he/she should be banned for the next 2 events. 36 points -> 3 events, and so on… And this is more lenient than perhaps it should be.

      1. You are on to something. If a driver can get banned from a race and then continue on like nothing happened and even get banned again then the system doesn’t work. The reason for having a penalty system should be to keep bad-behaving drivers away from racing and to discourage that behavior in the first place. I would go even further just like you are hinting. I say let penalty points stay on the license for 12 months from the date they are issued, and if you have more than 12 you are not allowed to race. Simple as that. You just have to wait until your oldest point is removed 12 months after it was issued, and then you’d be down to 11… The only tweaking I see necessary is to make sure points are really handed out for the right reasons.

      2. Still way too lenient. There need to be real consequences if a driver keeps doing dangerous things frequently.

        1. Agree, especially when Raghunathan has consistently ignored rules and regulations.

    4. How they can be this lenient after a driver died this year is beyond me.

      1. The Spa incident was a tragic accident. Letting drivers rack up this many penalty points is a liability.

    5. It’s still not hard enough. In my honest opinion if a driver racks up two lots of twelve points in one season they need to have their licence suspended for a solid period of time like 6 months. Because clearly the first one race suspension isn’t enough deterrent.

    6. What is the likelihood of Raghunathan being in F2 next season?

    7. Can´t help myself, but Ragunathan´s photo looks like Rowan Atkinson from the first season of Blackadder.

      1. Hahaha. I cant unseen that now!

        1. *unsee. Damn auto correct

    8. “If a driver accrues 12 penalty points during a free practice or qualifying, he will be suspended for the remainder of the event,” states the revised rules. “If a driver accrues 12 penalty points in a race, he will be suspended for the following event. After the suspension has been issued, 12 points will be removed.”

      But there’s still a loophole here right? If a driver accrues 12 penalty points in race 1, they can still take part in race 2, because afaik that doesn’t qualify as ‘the following event’, it’s part of the same event.

      1. I agree, the ban should be immediate and complete for the whole of that Grand Prix. The reason for this is because presumably you don’t have the skill to race at this level, don’t understand the rules well enough, or don’t have the self control necessary to race safely, so what’s the point in allowing you to go straight out to race after visiting the Stewards? The other competitors have a right to race in safety. It seems reasonable to think you could easily commit the same offence during that next race as well. You need time to gain the expected skill, learn how the rules are interpreted so you can race safely, or attend an anger management course.
        I don’t know if this is overreacting but why shouldn’t a ban at this level should cover a complete GP, so if you get a ban for some offence in Race 1, then you’re banned from Race Two at that GP and then all the various sessions up to and including Race One at the next sanctioned event.

      2. @hugh11 You’re absolutely right. I hope someone finds your comment if this ever happens in the future!

    9. Kind of makes me think, Why did I never hear of Raghunathan’s name in Indian motorsports circle at par with names like Maini,Daruwala,Ebrahim,Chandhok,Sureshwaran etc.. ??
      HE has come in quite rapidly and now I know why.

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