Who were the saints and sinners from F1’s penalty points system?

Formula 1 drivers may give everything to finish as high up as they can in the official world championship standings, but there’s one points table they would rather not top.

Who were the saints and sinners from F1’s penalty points system?
Listen to this article

Ever since the start of 2014, F1 has had a penalty points systems in place where any breaches of the rules means a drivers’ superlicence is given endorsements.

If any driver racks up 12 points over a 12 month period, then he will face an automatic one race ban.

The 2020 season saw a remarkable turnaround for the driver who had started the year as the unofficial bad boy in top place in the penalty points ranking.

For Sebastian Vettel, who came in to 2020 with seven penalty points to his name, ended the year as a saint having not had a single point handed out to him over the course of the campaign.

The same could not be said for this year’s penalty points leader Alex Albon, who found himself at the top of the pile after earning seven points during the season.

They were handed out at Silverstone (colliding with Magnussen), Monza (pushing Grosjean wide), Sochi (driving around a bollard incorrectly) and at the Nurburgring (collision with Kvyat).

Albon would not have been top though were it not for world champion Lewis Hamilton having two points removed after a change of heart from the FIA at the Russian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver had originally been given two penalty points for conducting practice starts in an unauthorised position. That left him, until subsequent points were wiped away at the Turkish Grand Prix after hitting their 12 month expiry date, briefly on the verge of a race ban.

Without those extra two points, Hamilton ended the year in equal second spot with George Russell on six points.

Four of Hamilton’s points had been picked up in the season opener at the Austrian Grand Prix when he was punished for not slowing sufficiently for yellow flags in qualifying, and then a collision with Albon in the race.

Hamilton’s other two points were quite controversial. He picked them up at Monza after entering the pit lane, which was closed because of Kevin Magnussen's Haas being removed from the side of the track. The associated penalty ultimately cost him victory in the Italian Grand Prix.

Read Also:

George Russell has only been penalised twice this year, but heavily: three points each at Silverstone and Istanbul for disregarding yellow and double yellow flags.

Fourth overall on the 2020 list was another British driver, Lando Norris, who ended the 2020 season with five points.

The list of drivers who did not pick up any points last season grew. In 2019 only two drivers managed to have a completely clean campaign, whereas in 2020, eight drivers steered clear of any sanction.

This included Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), who had already gone without a point in 2019 and thus kept a clean slate for the second year in a row.

Also without a point were Vettel (Ferrari), Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), Nicholas Latifi (Williams), Nico Hulkenberg (Racing Point), Pietro Fittipaldi (Haas) and Jack Aitken (Williams).

The current points are taken into the new season and expire after exactly one year.

No driver is at risk of a ban, as this only occurs when 12 points have been scored. However, the drivers will have to be careful in not picking up offences early in the 2021 campaign.

The next round of points to be removed comes at the beginning of July (when the 2020 season opened), and if the current planned 2021 calendar goes ahead unchanged, that will mean there are 10 races before that date. 

shares
comments

Related video

Vettel: Mick Schumacher has to "find his own path" in F1
Previous article

Vettel: Mick Schumacher has to "find his own path" in F1

Next article

F1 could become battleground of energy, says Renault

F1 could become battleground of energy, says Renault
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022