Verstappen, Vettel question "harsh" penalty points system

Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel have questioned the FIA’s Formula 1 penalty points system after a “harsh” sanction given to Lewis Hamilton was rescinded.

Verstappen, Vettel question "harsh" penalty points system

Hamilton was hit with a 10-second time penalty during Sunday's Russian Grand Prix for completing two practice starts en route to the grid that went against the FIA's pre-race instructions.

The FIA stewards initially handed Hamilton two penalty points on his FIA superlicence, taking him up to a total of 10 for the last 12 months. Drivers receive an automatic one-race ban if they receive 12 points in 12 months.

But the sanction was ultimately withdrawn after the FIA stewards agreed that Hamilton had only followed the Mercedes team's instructions, and fined the team €25,000 instead.

Had Hamilton kept the penalty points, he would have been one incident away from receiving a ban for the next four races.


Hamilton himself called the penalty "ridiculous" and said he felt officials were "trying to stop me", while the sanction also received criticism from a number of his peers.

Red Bull driver Verstappen said it was "a bit harsh" to penalise Hamilton for a mistake made by the team.

"If you causes a crash it's difference, but the penalty Lewis got was already painful enough," Verstappen said after finishing second in Sochi, one place ahead of Hamilton.

"I don't know how many points you got – two points? – it's a bit harsh, he's up to 10 points.

"I mean, it was not correct where he stopped but penalty points for that, I'm not sure that's correct.

"He was penalised enough by having this penalty in the race, so I don't think you'd need to hand out penalty points for that.

"But I guess we'll talk about it in the next briefing we have and see if something will happen or not."

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel echoed Verstappen's thoughts, feeling penalty points should only be handed out for dangerous moves on-track and not for team errors.

"I think if you really do some crazy moves on the track and some dangerous driving, then they're justified," Vettel said.

"But if you're speeding in the pit lane or minor infringements, it's probably not the point to apply penalty points."

Vettel's Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc felt there should be some review of the system, believing Hamilton had not made any notable mistakes that required sanction.

"I don't think he has done anything particularly wrong this year," Leclerc said.

"Maybe there's a better way to do it. I don't know, it's not my job either, so the FIA will look into it."

Read Also:

But Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto felt it was important that the FIA had the rules in place accordingly, with strict punishments preventing repeat offences.

"You may feel they are quite harsh, especially if you are the victim of it," Binotto said.

"But on the other side, if you are not harsh sometimes, then you leave the door open to drivers to repeat it in the future.

"I think it's never easy to judge, I think the FIA in that respect is doing a great job. So I think I'm overall happy."

shares
comments

Related video

Ten things we learned from the Russian GP
Previous article

Ten things we learned from the Russian GP

Next article

Horner: Mercedes' latest error could be sign of complacency

Horner: Mercedes' latest error could be sign of complacency
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021