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GP Week : Issue 168
One of the most interesting sidebars to the Singapore race weekend was the stewards’ decision to change their approach to penalties for unsafe behaviour on track. For overtaking a car under red flags during FP3 in Singapore, Pic was issued with the unusual – but not unprecedented – punishment of a time penalty in the race plus a day’s community ser vice for the FIA. The stewards’ decision read: “Penalty of 20 seconds to be added to the driver’s race time and in addition the driver and his team engineer to perform one day’s Community Service for [the] FIA Action for Road Safety campaign at the instruction of the FIA President.” The FIA’s decade of action for road safety has been a cornerstone of Jean Todt’s presidency, and eagle-eyed fans will have noticed that this season, the top three race finishers are all photographed in front of a road safety promotional backdrop on their way to the podium. Pic is the guinea pig in this modern era of community service as a means of moderating driver behaviour. It appears that the FIA have caught on to the fact that €5,000 fines are not much of a deterrent for well-paid drivers, and that the loss of some precious – and rare – free time could be a more effective means of punishment. After his Jerez 1997 incident with Jacques Villeneuve, the FIA ordered Michael Schumacher to take part in road safety work. While there was no immediately obvious change to the German’s aggressive driving style, Schumacher caught the community service bug and has spent the past 15 years promoting road safety around the world, among a host of other good works. The punishment was a fitting one for the Marussia driver, who was unlikely to suffer much from a grid penalty, given that his usual qualifying position sees him towards the back of the pack. But irony of ironies, the Singapore Grand Prix saw Pic in his best finishing position of the season, and the 20 second time penalty was far more of a punishment for the young Frenchman than it would have been at any other race thus far. PIC’ED FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE EDITOR: Adam Hay-Nicholls firstname.lastname@example.org ASSISTANT EDITOR: Kate Walker F1 ANALYST: Peter Windsor MOTOGP EDITOR: Michael Scott email@example.com RALLY EDITOR: Martin Holmes firstname.lastname@example.org STAFF WRITER: Adam Leveridge PRODUCTION ARTIST: Cedric Dufour PHOTOGRAPHY: Sutton Motorsport Images www.sutton-images.com Keith Sutton email@example.com: Mark Sutton, Patrik Lundin, Dirk Klynsmith, Emily Davenport PUBLISHER: Chris Lambden firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHED BY: Grand Prix Week Ltd 61 Watling Street, Towcester Northants NN12 6AG United Kingdom ADVERTISING: n Richard Partridge email@example.com Ph: + 44 1273 232 566 Mob: + 44 7771 567 644 n Mark Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org n Adam Hay-Nicholls email@example.com n SE Asia, Australasia GPWEEK (Australia) firstname.lastname@example.org .com WEEK F1 >>> NEWS 6 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: