Romain Grosjean, Haas, Sochi Autodrom, 2020

Albon and Ricciardo given penalty points, Grosjean cleared over turn two infringement

2020 Russian Grand Prix

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Two drivers have been given penalties for violating track limits at turn two during the race, while a third was cleared.

Alexander Albon and Daniel Ricciardo both received five-second time penalties for cutting the corner at turn two without driving through the designated route back onto the circuit.

The pair were also given a single penalty point each on their licences for the infringement. Ricciardo is now on three penalty points, while Albon is on five.

Ricciardo said he “took full responsibility” for his penalty. “I just locked up and went wide and I was like, I’m probably going to get a penalty here.”

He said the penalty “lit a little bit of a fire under my bum” in his fight with Charles Leclerc. “I’d already accepted it in my head and I was like alright well, the only way to eliminate the penalty is to go faster and build a gap to Leclerc behind me.”

“I was proud to not let it get to me,” he said. “And I think we made a really good race of it after that.”

The stewards took mitigating circumstances into account regarding a third driver who went off at the same corner, Romain Grosjean, who was not penalised. The Haas driver was racing with Sebastian Vettel at the time and made contact with one of the barriers as he rejoined the circuit.

“Car eight [Grosjean] left the track at turn two [and] failed to follow the race director’s instruction as defined in the event notes 22.1,” the stewards noted. “But in this case the situation resulted from a racing incident due to the proximity of car five [Vettel] and the driver did all he could to follow the race directors instruction.”

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2020 Russian Grand Prix

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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
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21 comments on “Albon and Ricciardo given penalty points, Grosjean cleared over turn two infringement”

  1. FIA Stewards and Masi. Heaven’s what are you trying to accomplish.
    There are multiple points you can go off on that corner and if you go off much later in the corner it is impossible to accomplish the requirement. Even an elementary school pupil knows a thing or two about tangents and the different directions a perpendicular line points when coincident with any section of a circle or curve.
    As we saw with Sainz’s accident, even though he had slightly more time on his hands and coming straight on, he was never going to make that pass without braking and making several turns on the steering. From other positions even later on, it is impossible.
    Grosjean did the right thing, drive right through it.

    1. the purpose of it is for it to serve you a penalty. So having to slow down makes sense. When Grosjean hit the bollards, he”d been pushed wide by Vettel so had to decide very quickly weather to give himself a penalty or not have enough time to avoid hitting the bollards. Given how late Grosjean made the decision, he didn’t really have time to avoid what happened. Many drivers including himself later on did show how to use it correctly though. Sainz was one who completely misjudged the speed you need to go through it. I actually was thinking on friday that all the drivers should practice the reantry to the track given it has changed this year. It proved very costly indeed for Sainz.

      1. True to serve as a penalty, but as I said, there are many exit points for that corner.
        If you lose the car under braking before negotiating the corner, then its all fine, but if you lose the car much further into the corner then it is a suicide mission because it is not even possible to slow down jumping over those sausage kerbs and then again, that part of the tarmac is dusty so trying to even slowdown there is probably not going to work as expected. It is not a well thought out restriction.
        The analogy that can describe how stupid this is, is like building a road because you only have bicycles and then expecting a truck to negotiate that same road.

  2. This is getting ridiculous. Penalty points are supposed to be for being dangerous, not just to accompany other penalties

    1. @the-edge, I agree. penalty points should be reserved for dangerous driving, cheating, or successive infringements after a warning. Time penalties should be given otherwise.

      I can see a couple of drivers missing a race towards the end of the season at this rate!

    2. Penalty points are always applied when a driver gets a grid or time penalty.

    3. Would you not call it dangerous if you park your car just after a blind corner (pit exit) where people drive 200km/h or so?

  3. This race was worse than watching an EPL game.

  4. Where is penalty for Leclerc causing accident with Stroll and quite a bit on purpose?

    1. Incidents at the start of the race are treated more lenient. Norris and Bottas did also not get a penalty for ‘cutting’ turn 2.

      1. That accident by Leclerc looks quite deliberate and not usual 1st lap incident. he should have been given penalty for causing an avoidable collision.

  5. Wow. Go wide 12 times in a season, get a ban. Great incentive for racing

  6. This has been a problem corner for years. I think the issue is that the run off is way too generous and therefore by definition encourages drivers to be too aggressive into the corner as there is no real penalty (eg race ending damage).

    Rather than trying to create an increasingly tighter route to re-enter the track, surely investigating a tighter barrier setup is worthwhile.

  7. I liked Ricciardo attitude accepting the penalty, but that rule that you should not be going over the curb…what a bs. Look at Grosjean incident. He just remembered the rule last second, so it changed his trajectory and ran over the barriers. Luckily no traffic at the time and it did not damage his car.

    1. Was anyone else watching that and wondering if Masi was going to use the need to replace those bollards to justify deploying the safety car to close the field back up?

  8. Don’t like to see penalty points for petty things like this. The five-second penalty is sufficient.

  9. The direction penalties and rules are heading under Masi is not good. There’s stamping your own mark on a job, then there’s what he’s doing: going so far beyond the mark you just appear to have Napoleon syndrome.

  10. Wait– They get a single penalty point for rejoining the track unsafely– Hamilton gets 2 points for not endangering anyone?

    I know they rescinded the points on Hamilton, but… that’s crazy.

    1. Except that the only one who rejoined unsafely was Sainz, who was attempting to do the “right” thing.

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