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GP Week : Issue 182
Monaco Singapore Abu Dhabi Austin 24/25/26 May 21 / 22 September 1 / 3 November 15/16/17 November AMBER LOUNGE THE ULTIMATE VIP GRAND PRIX EXPERIENCE 2013 CELEBRATING 10 YEARS VIP Parties Fashion Shows Dining Hospitality Live Acts BlackBook-210x282.indd 1 01/03/2013 17:52 F1 >>> NEWS BAD BOYS TO COP POINTS PENALTY? Formula One’s naughty boys will have to clean up their acts with the possible introduction of penalty points starting next season, in a tweak to the sanctions system aimed at improving driving standards while formalizing the process of issuing race bans. In a meeting over the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, a majority of the teams voted in favour of a points system that will see stewards issue penalty points to drivers based on the severity of the offence committed. If drivers hit a yet-to-be- determined number of penalty points they will be handed a one race ban. It is a system familiar to those with road driving licenses, although F1 penalty points will only last for a year before being expunged. At present, drivers can be issued with drive- through penalties, stop and go penalties, and fines, or they can be docked grid places for infringements such as causing a collision, speeding in the pitlane, not maintaining the required distance to the Safety Car, impeding other drivers, and ignoring flag signals. The introduction of the penalty points system will not see an end to penalties for offences such as causing a collision or impeding in qualifying, but will instead tally up points for the offences committed. It is hoped this change will discourage drivers from repeatedly committing the same offence, as was demonstrated by Romain Grosjean’s numerous start-line collisions in 2012. Seven of the 11 teams backed the introduction of the system, Autosport discovered, with Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Williams, and Lotus voting against it. The proposal will now go to the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council for ratification during their June meeting. But concerns remain over the application of such a system, with Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo saying in Barcelona that the system needed a lot of thought before it is implemented. “ We haven't received any paper on how it would work yet,” Ricciardo said. “It would be pretty complex, you would imagine. I think ever yone's looking for clarity. It’s been a topic we discussed a little bit today, just tr ying to understand how it would work and if it's a good thing or not.” FIA race director Charlie Whiting (pictured above) has in the past said that any such system would need to be applied carefully, so that a driver who had accumulated points through a series of minor offences did not end up with a severe punishment. “It's a complex question and we need to get the balance right because banning a driver is a serious issue. We need to make sure a driver genuinely deserves any ban,” he said. 7 GPWEEK.com // 7 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: