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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Changes to Formula 1 Race Penalty system

Autosport have a story that the FIA have been reviewing the current race penalty system and are discussing ways of changing it in order that the punishment might be seen to fit the crime, as it were.

How to make changes to the current system was discussed at a recent meeting of the Stewards Council on the basis that a drive through penalty might be too harsh a punishment for some incidents while others might merit a harsher penalty.

They're wondering now how alternatives might be implemented and, obviously, what those alternatives may consist of.

If you remember the old penalty system consisted of a 10 second "pit and box" penalty where the mechanics were not allowed to do any work on the car, which was even more harsh than the current drive through penalty.

I'm going to suggest something relatively simple, which will provide a range of lesser timing penalties while retaining the drive through punishment and reintroducing the "pit and box" penalty for the more serious infringements.

The lesser timing penalties can be delivered during the pitstop windows.  A driver makes his pitstop as normal (circa 3 secs) and then is held in the box with no work being undertaken for the set period of the penalty (5, 10 or 15 secs) before being released.  This was the entirety of the penalty is served in the box and no extra loss of time is incurred by entering and leaving the pits.

If the infringement takes place after the last pitstop, a double penalty is incurred in the first pitstop of the next race. The drivers will then know that if they do anything silly towards the end of the race they will seriously compromise their chances at the next track.

The drive through is then the mid range penalty with the "pit and box" penalty being the ultimate on-track punishment.  The box part can then be for 5 or 10 seconds and upwards, depending on the severity of the infringement.

It all sounds pretty simple