Masi: Nothing wrong with F1’s penalty points system

FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi is adamant that there’s no reason to revisit the penalty points system following the Austrian Grand Prix.

Accumulating 12 penalty points within a 12-month period obliges the driver concerned to serve a race ban.

Points are awarded automatically by the FIA stewards via a “shopping list” of offences on top of any penalties such a drop of grid places or added race time that the driver receives.

Some observers have suggested that an accumulation of points for a series of relatively minor offences could unfairly penalise a driver who has a generally good record.

The case of Lando Norris put a spotlight on the subject in Austria last weekend, with the McLaren driver earning two points for his incident with Sergio Perez in addition to being given a five-second time penalty to serve earlier in the race.

That put him on 10 points and close to a ban, although two expire before the next race at Silverstone.

McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl noted: “From my point of view, it needs a review. I think we all agree that for an incident like [in Austria] getting a race ban as a consequence can’t be the right thing.”

Michael Masi, Race Director, FIA

Michael Masi, Race Director, FIA

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

However, Masi says the system has been discussed in meetings with team managers, and the consensus was to keep it unchanged.

"To be fair, it's a penalty point system that exists,” he said. “So it's been there all the way through, no different to those driving on the road in a lot of countries that have the maximum number of points that they have to abide by.

"And they have to adjust driving style and so forth accordingly. So no, I don't think they're harsh. It was discussed late last year. And it's funny because it affects different drivers in different teams in different ways.

"And the consensus was at the end of last year from involving everyone, teams, the FIA and F1, that there shouldn't be a change for this year. And it's not something that we would ever change mid-year.

"The penalty scale is something that the teams all agree upon, and actually have input into at the start of the year. That is what the stewards use.”

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