Caldwell banned from next F2 round after another track limits penalty

Formula 2

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Oliver Caldwell has been banned from the next round of the Formula 2 championship at Spa-Francorchamps after incurring 12 penalty points on his licence.

He reached the limit today after the stewards found he “left the track without a justifiable reason on several occasions” during the feature race at the Hungaroring.

The threat of a ban has hung over Caldwell since the opening round, when he picked up seven penalty points in the second race at Bahrain International Circuit. Five of those were for repeated track limits infringements.

In the races which followed Caldwell picked up further individual penalty points for a series of other incidents such as impeding and a further track limits offence at the Red Bull Ring.

He was given another penalty points after a near-miss with a DAMS mechanic in the pit lane at Imola. Caldwell entered the pits in order to perform a second reconnaissance lap before it began, found the fast lane partly blocked by people and equipment and had to take avoiding action while the mechanic jumped clear.

On that occasion the stewards ruled Caldwell “could have and should have done more to avoid making the situation worse” but noted that “while pit lane is open mechanics must avoid vehicles in the fast lane and bear some responsibility for this as well.”

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Caldwell reached 11 penalty points at the Austrian round, meaning he would only avoid a ban if he completed the six remaining double-header events without collecting a single further penalty point. He has now reached that threshold and his Campos team will require a replacement driver when the series reconvenes at Spa-Francorchamps following the summer break.

He is the second driver this season to reach 12 penalty points and trigger an automatic ban. Amaury Cordeel was banned from the Silverstone round, reaching the threshold in Azerbaijan, the sixth round of the year. Since his return, Cordeel has already collected a further four penalty points.

Oliver Caldwell’s F2 penalty points

EventSessionOffencePenaltyPenalty points
BahrainRace twoOut of position at Safety Car line one on formation lap10 second stop-and-go penalty2
BahrainRace twoExceeded track limits at turn four on four occasionsFive-second time penalty1
BahrainRace twoExceeded track limits at turn four a fifth time10-second time penalty2
BahrainRace twoExceeded track limits at turn four a sixth timeDrive-through penalty2
Saudi ArabiaQualifyingImpeded Juri Vips at turn 22 during qualifyingThree-place grid drop1
Emilia-RomagnaRace twoNearly made contact with a mechanic in the pit lane while performing a second reconnaissance lapThree-place grid drop1
MonacoQualifyingImpeded Marino Sato from turns one to fourThree-place grid drop1
AustriaRace oneExceeded track limits on four occasionsFive-second time penalty1
HungaryRace twoLeft the track without a justifiable reason on several occasionsFive-second time penalty1

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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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9 comments on “Caldwell banned from next F2 round after another track limits penalty”

  1. Seems a little ridiculous. Surely race bans should be applied only for dangerous driving. Not a single “caused a collision penalty” in the list. It’s hardly a Grosjean 2012 list of offences.

    1. Grosjean’s ban was funny in terms of mentioning his repeated collisions, yet he had not been given any penalty for them earlier.

    2. He does have a “contributed significantly to nearly colliding with a mechanic” on his list, which is no better. The rest of it is pretty minor, though.

  2. Drivers banned for track limits offence… shows what a joke FIA have become

  3. Woke fia, no contact, banned. One near miss and that is it.

  4. Surely this is not the point of the penalty points…
    Track limits should be punished in the race, not by giving penalty points which are meant to discourage and punish dangerous offenses.

  5. Neil (@neilosjames)
    31st July 2022, 20:00

    Seems a bit silly to award more penalty points for accidentally driving on the wrong side of a white line a few times, and potentially gaining 0.05 seconds, than for irresponsible driving in the pit lane.

  6. Is this train of thought false:
    – Exceeding track limits and leaving the track without justifiable reason indicate that the driver struggles to retain control of the car.
    – Loosing control of a car can lead to dangerous consequences, whether avoidable or otherwise.
    – He’s had plenty of warnings to drive within the limits of the car, and hasn’t responded.

    The FIA are making sure the drivers that make it to F1 aren’t out of their depth.
    The whole grid hasn’t got a ban, just a few less competent drivers.
    This may seem harsh, but can indicate the system achieving it’s purpose.

  7. Bahrain race 2 must have been a bit of a disappointment with a 5 second penalty, a 10 second penalty, a drive through penalty and a 10 second stop/go penalty. And 7 penalty points.
    So much for learning from ones mistakes….

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