Pierre Gasly, Alpine, Yas Marina, 2022

‘Four or five drivers’ could earn bans if penalty system doesn’t change – Gasly

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In the round-up: Alpine driver Pierre Gasly suspects “four or five” Formula 1 drivers could collect bans of the current superlicence penalty points system is not revised.

In brief

Gasly “not going to be the only one in trouble” if penalty points system unchanged

Alpine driver Pierre Gasly believes the current superlicence penalty points system needs to be revised to avoid multiple drivers being banned over the coming season.

Gasly sits on 10 penalty points – two away from a one-race ban. He will not have any points removed until the end of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in May.

When the system was first introduced in 2014, there were 19 rounds in a season. Next year will likely see 23 grands prix and six sprint races, for a total of 29 racing sessions. Gasly believes the superlicence rules must be amended to compensate.

“I try not to think, because I see myself as not a silly driver or a dangerous driver,” Gasly said. “I try to be careful with all the, let’s say, silly penalty points which you lose with procedures and stuff like that. So I try to be on top of that.

“I think my approach to racing has been the same and I really hope we can have a review of the old system over winter, because I don’t believe I’m not going to be the only one in trouble if we keep it that way. And it will be a shame to see four or five racing drivers banned for a race and having a championship with some guys missing out on a race.”

Ricciardo ‘would have been better off staying at Red Bull’ – Verstappen

Daniel Ricciardo’s former Red Bull team mate Max Verstappen believes that Ricciardo would have had more success if he had remained at Red Bull rather than departing the team for Renault and McLaren.

Ricciardo has returned to Red Bull as a third driver for 2023 after he was released from his three-year contract with McLaren a year early. Asked by Formule 1 magazine whether Ricciardo made the wrong career choices despite his driving abilities, Verstappen said that “in retrospect you cannot ignore that”.

“It would have been better for Daniel if he had stayed with Red Bull longer at the time,” Verstappen said.

PHM Racing run Charouz’s F2 and F3 programmes

German outfit PHM Racing will take over Charouz’s entries into the Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3 championships next season.

The Charouz team will operate the team’s programme in F2 and F3 in 2023 but will be retitled ‘PHM Racing by Charouz’. PHM – founded by Paul H. Mueller, has competed in the UAE, German and Italian F4 championships this year.

“Joining Formula 3 and Formula 2 is the next step in our evolution as a comprehensive development program for young driver talents,” Mueller said. “We are excited to offer drivers a team that can take them from karting all the way to the doorstep of Formula 1.”

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Comment of the day

With Ross Brawn admitting he is unsure what the “optimum” number of sprint races will be on the F1 calendar, @tomez believes F1 risks asking too much from viewers…

After careful analysis of recent sprint races with current technological and financial restrictions I’d say the ‘optimum number’ would be zero. Also, the ‘optimum number’ of grands prix per season is 20. Anything more decreases the individual race worthiness to something less than ‘grand’.

I really enjoy F1 and the thrill of each GP weekend, but I also value occasional free weekends to do something else than watch motorsports. On top of having too many races already, sprint races add to that and they tend to disrupt the buildup of the Grand Prix weekend in a way that the main race sort of loses the special moment factor for me.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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27 comments on “‘Four or five drivers’ could earn bans if penalty system doesn’t change – Gasly”

  1. Hong Kong billionaire considering launching new F1 team amid investment talks

    Good luck with that, considering F1 won’t let Andretti in.

  2. I thinks that Gasly is the most complainant driver of the grid. Despite Ver or Ham complaints that are derived from the constant interviews and attention, Gasly, without anything else to say other than low performance driving (resulting on that penalty points), he still cry and cry about his lack of success to other issues like Red Bull didn’t give him a second chance, or remainding that a crane accident was fatal, while driving recklesless at his side.

    I don’t know why Alpine (other than having a 100% french drivers) has giving Gasly a drive with them. The Ocon – Gasly battles would be a lot of fun for the rest oif us, but for Alpine it will only give them headaches… Sorry for them

    1. Although Gasly has a tendency to complain a lot (especially about FIA), it doesn’t really affect driving skills. This year his performance was much of a disappointment, but based on the earlier years he is the best of the solid midfield drivers.

  3. The FIA elected not to give him further penalties in Brazil.

    Politics over consistency.

    1. Yeah, really cannot find much sympathy there for Gasly – in the end he did rack up those penalty points by himself over about half a year, far more than many others. And if the FIA had gone with its regular way of adding points to infringements, he would have already been banned.

      He might get lucky and see them being scared to give him penalties for another 5 races. Or heck, maybe he should overthink his racing to get less of them? What about that? Did it even occur to him?

      1. With the FIA noone knows when any driver will incur a penalty, or not, or how many points.

        3, 6, 10 – all totals are possible.

  4. Agree with COTD. Once I finally realized out that I could skip a race or three because there was a race on too many weekends, it was really easy to check out of the sport after watching regularly for 20 years. But I also came to F1 with Kimi, Jenson, JPM, and Alonso, maybe I’m just losing interest as “my” generation of drivers finish their racing careers.

    1. Agree by experience – I’m back to watching two day old replays for quite a few of the races like streaming was never invented.
      This year I don’t really recall each event distinctly & how the season unfolded race by race – over-saturation or early onset alzheimers (time won’t tell if it’s the second, I’ll forget it was ever a question).

    2. I agree that there is too many races. Of course we (the old guard) want more of the races styles we use to see. I begin ti see F1 with Prost, Senna, Mansell, Villeneuve, Hakkinen, etc and at some point (in the late 2000s and start of 2010s I also lose some interest, but came again. Hopefully you will be too.

    3. Exactly the same experience for me. Every race used to be must watch for me, but I can’t dedicate time to that anymore with so many races, and its then very easy to slip into the mode of just watching a race if you’ve got nothing better to do and it happens to be on TV.

  5. 52 races, 52 sprint races. That’s about the optimal number right here.

    1. I would keep it to 51 races and 51 sprint races there is always Christmas so 1 week off should be enough…. If they spread the races beter they can keep 24 races but with the current schedule i would keep it with 21 races.

  6. Not going to take the Daily Mail as a reliable source – surely such information would have been prominently figured in Italian newspapers?

    Although there has been some reports of changes in Ferrari team management happening for weeks there, so far it hasn’t happened. So let’s wait until we get it in a more reliable source.

    1. It says offers it doesn’t mean Ferrari accepted that.

      1. Indeed it doesn’t. But since in the mean time it was actually confirmed by Ferrari that Binotto did in fact resign to the job and will leave the team, I guess they did (in this case) have the right sources @macleod

  7. What’s the point of penalties if no one’s at risk of ever receiving one? Being at risk is no valid argument, only why and how.

  8. A Sprint Race would work well at the end of a Grand Prix on Sunday. I explain:

    Let’s take the Silverstone Grand Prix as an example. The race on Sunday has 54 laps. What we could do, is:

    The first part of the race has 44 laps. It is the usual tactical race with regular pit stops. After 44 laps the race is red flagged. The remaining cars return to the grid where they get new tires. The second part of the race is a sprint race. The sprint race starts with a standing start and lasts for 10 laps.

    This way we could have both: 23 measured tactical races and 23 flat out sprint races. The drivers would be encouraged to take risks as well as they are fighting for the final result.

    1. Sounds like the Indy500.

  9. No need to wait for change Pierre. I have done all the reviews and amendments required!

    The good news is that the penalty points limit is increased to 15.

    Even better the only penalty will be 1 point. Such penalty can be given for an infraction during practice,quali,sprint and/or GP.

    The not so good news is if you accumulate 15 points you lose your licence. It would then be necessary to gain enough points in another series to regain your superlicence.

    But all is not lost. To compensate for these harsher measures and to ensure stewards only issue point penalties for serious offences, time penalties have been scrapped altogether.

    In their place will be championship penalties.

    For example the old 5 second but maintain track position penalty is replaced by 3 WDC penalty points and 5 WCC penalty points.So please take care and avoid those “silly penalties”

    Any team finishing with negative points will have their slice of the “anti-dilution pie” transferred to a marshals/volunteers benevolent fund.

    The only exception is for a deliberate and dangerous act.

  10. What’s to change in the system?

  11. “‘Four or five drivers’ could earn bans if penalty system doesn’t change – Gasly”

    Hopefully. Then the system can prove that it works.

    Anyone opposing this would do well to remember that the rules aren’t just about safety, they are about attitude and fairness too.
    Play within the rules, and you’ll have nothing to worry about. Repeatedly breach the rules, however, and it shows a lack of respect for them and the people/organisations who apply them.

  12. Bring it on – I’d like to see more race bans and opportunities for new drivers, instead of the same stodgy old field for race after race. Covid shook things up a little bit, and gave us George Russell…
    But I agree points shouldn’t be for minor racing collisions, but dangerous acts – like going stupidly fast behind a safety car in zero visibility.

  13. Honestly, what is the use of having a ban system, which practically never hands out bans?

    On the other hand, I would not award penalty points for cutting track in general. Maybe 1 or 2 points if paired up with an unsafe rejoin, depending on the severity. So I would focus a bit more on the rejoins. And generally I would like to see that they are coming up with a system which will be capable of analyzing the severity and the time gain of a cut and a rejoin in the future.

    Similarly, I not really like that, almost all causing a collosion case worth 2 penalty points. There are some shich should worh more penalty points, and maybe there are some which should worth onyl 1 penalty point.

    So I agree, the penalty points system should be tweaked. Sometimes it awards penalty points for not really dangerous offenses. Sometimes it seems a bit ad hoc.

    I do not really like the 10 car length rule at following the saftey car either. The cars of various teams are not even having the same length. So which car’s length is considered here? And imo it is a can of worms for other reasons: the distance can vary based on the lines the following and the follower car drives on, so maybe if one is on the inner line, and the other is on the outside line, or vica versa, the distance will not be the same. For the same reason, it depends on the track’s width as well. (As they like to build newer and newer, wider and wider tracks to fit the bigger and bigger cars, even this might become a consideration in the future ;) ). Imo they are not capable of accurately taking all of these into accout, so for me apparently it is a not so good rule.

    And iirc even for this 10 car length rule there can be penalty points awarded. As this is not really a dangerous offense, and the rule is what its like, I consider awarding penalty points for it plain horrible.

    As a quick fix, I would drop the act of awarding penalty points for bengin cuts, and the aforementioned, and similar bengin, almost never dangerous events. While in some cases I would award more penalty points. And the stewards, race direction, FIA, etc. as an authority should be strong, and reputed enough to act like that in the exceptional, precedent like cases. But to achieve this, imo even the teams and manufacturers of the sport have some work to do as well.

    1. About the last paragraph: imo dropping penalty points for the bengin things, would be at about enough to make up for the increased length of the season, for the more and more races. So presumably, there would not be too many bans handed out.

  14. I always find it.. interesting that fans of a sport go to a Fanatic website then complain that there’s too much sport in a year. And that those comments get COTD. I wonder if there’s a baseball fanatic website where the users just complain about too many baseball games in a year.

    I’ll continue to watch every quali, race, sprint race and enjoy the only ‘sport’ I really care about.

    PS I think they should add more races!

    1. It is ‘interesting’ isn’t it….
      Football fans (of any code) don’t seem so upset with their number (potentially hundreds) of matches each season either. They watch the ones they want to watch and skip the rest. No issues.
      And they play during the week, not just on weekends.

      The level of protectionism F1 is surrounded by is fascinating. It goes through so many changes that everyone has their ideal image of what it should be and will loudly defend their idea, rather than simply accepting it for what it is and that is constantly evolving.

      We all want it to be the best it can be, but what does that actually mean?
      It’s different for every viewer.

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