F1 likely to reject grid penalty alternatives for 2020

The FIA, the F1 organisation and the teams have been discussing ways of streamlining the grid penalty system for 2020 and beyond, although it seems unlikely that there will be radical change.

F1 likely to reject grid penalty alternatives for 2020

Grid penalties for infringements such as power unit and gearbox changes have been called into doubt in recent years, not least by F1 sporting director Ross Brawn.

Recent meetings of the Sporting Working Group have looked a range of possible alternatives, including ballast, fuel usage restrictions and even – for 2021 onwards – a financial penalty in the form of a reduction in the cost cap for the team concerned.

Read Also:

However, all of the mooted alternatives have a downside. Extra weight is unpopular, while the financial suggestion has not gained traction because teams believe that they could potentially feel the hit months after the actual offence, in the form of a reduction in spending on R&D – one that could even impact development of the following year’s car.

The consensus is that grid penalties are still the best solution, at least for 2020, although they remain under study.

Ways of ensuring that they are distributed equitably, with the full hit taken each time rather than drivers climbing back up the grid due to others also having penalties, are being explored.

“It is something that we are certainly looking at,” said FIA race director Michael Masi. “And grid penalties [are an] ever-going evolution.

“It is not a process where we change in determining how we do that during the year. It is part of the sporting regulations, but we have discussed together with the sporting directors, looking at other proposals for 2020.”

Haas team principal Gunther Steiner acknowledged that it was hard to find a better alternative to the current system.

“I think it’s difficult to find another solution,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com. “If the penalty is too little the chance that you do something just by spending money and getting an advantage… It’s easy to do.

"It’s like when you get a fine for example for an unsafe release. You know what 5000 Euros is worth to the teams in F1 – nothing. If you can get a tenth of an advantage for 5000 Euros, you do it every day.”

Steiner explained why he felt solutions like handicapping drivers with more weight or less fuel would not work.

“I think that is even more confusing that grid penalties, because a grid penalty is explained at the beginning of the race, then you’re OK, but if you have ballast or less fuel, for commentators to explain why all of a sudden that car is slower than the other one [is difficult]. Therefore at the moment they haven’t found a better solution, so it’s a status quo.”

shares
comments
Vettel is facing the biggest challenge of his career

Previous article

Vettel is facing the biggest challenge of his career

Next article

Kvyat: Praise for Albon's Red Bull debut overblown

Kvyat: Praise for Albon's Red Bull debut overblown
Load comments
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021