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Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix 2024

F1 drivers question 'joke' penalty points after China

A number of Formula 1 drivers have a hefty number of penalty points on their super licences with some edging close to a race ban.

Press conference Miami 2024
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A handful of Formula 1 drivers have questioned the penalty points system in the sport after several were issued in China.

The penalty points mechanism is in place to deter competitors from reckless on-track behaviour as any driver who is handed 12 points in a 12-month period will be automatically banned for the following race.

Sergio Perez currently has the most points out of the current crop of drivers with eight to his name.

No points will drop off his licence until September, leading the Red Bull driver to call on the system to be reviewed.

“I'm leading the championship currently on the penalty points,” Perez told media including RacingNews365.

“I think that already the penalties, sometimes you already pay the consequences for that and to add some penalty points, and given that we have now more races, I think it's something that definitely should be looked at.

“Every incident if you see of all the points that every driver gets, there are a lot of points that are probably over the line, but the rule is there.

“But hopefully in the future it's something that can be reviewed.”

'A joke'

Williams' Logan Sargeant also has eight points to his name after picking up another two at the Chinese Grand Prix last month.

Sargeant was punished for overtaking Nico Hulkenberg under safety car conditions as he moved ahead at the safety car line while the Haas driver emerged from the pit lane.

The American driver labelled the decision as a “joke”.

“I think mine was extremely frustrating,” he said. “I think the penalty is one thing. I think to get penalty points for what it was, was a bit of a joke.

“I think a lot worse things happen throughout the weekend that you just get reprimanded for. I've had people in qualifying slow down in front of me, nearly have huge crashes, and nothing happens.

“But then when I cross the line at the same time as someone else and you can't even see it, you get two penalty points. And I think it's not a great direction to be heading in.”

Aston Martin's Lance Stroll also briefly weighed in on the topic, hinting he expects little to change.

“It is what it is,” he declared. “Penalty points aren't going away.”

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