Formula One may develop a new “penalty points” system for driver infringements.
A report by Autosport indicates this would be one of the items discussed by the Sporting Working Group think tank, along with a revised testing schedule and clarification of pit lane speeding penalties, for future 2014 rule changes.
Driver licenses would be hit with penalty points at small increments, only building later on. A mock system may appear later this year.
Such an introduction comes in the face of some the over-aggressive driving that populated last year, particularly by Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado. Grosjean earned a one-race suspension after causing the crash at La Source of last year’s Belgian Grand Prix.
But this year, the incidences of contact have been fairly reduced; in a “penalty points” system, Esteban Gutierrez’s smash into Adrian Sutil at China could be a penalty-enforcing example.
It’s a delicate balance for the FIA to achieve, and would need unanimous support from the 11 teams before implementation, said FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting.
“It’s a complex question and we need to get the balance right because banning a driver is a serious issue,” Whiting told Autosport. “We need to make sure a driver genuinely deserves any ban.
“We will be monitoring offenses and running a [hypothetical] system in the background to see how it would all work if put into practice. We need to do that for a while.”
Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost hopes to see sacked driver Daniil Kvyat return to Formula 1 in the near future, saying the Russian “deserves” a place on the grid.
Toro Rosso dropped Kvyat twice through the 2017 season due to poor form, with his final dismissal coming after the United States Grand Prix in October.
Kvyat is no longer part of Red Bull’s motorsport program and is exploring options both inside and outside of F1 for 2018, and Tost feels he could be energized by some time away before returning.
“I am still convinced that Daniil has a very high natural speed. He was sometimes even faster than Daniel Riccardo, but somehow last year and this year he couldn’t show the potential that is within him,” Tost told the official F1 website.
“He was involved in many incidents, but in his defence I also have to say that he had many reliability issues and that didn’t help build up confidence. Being the victim of too many incidents killed the performance he would have been able to show.
“Maybe a short break – to get organized again – and probably we will see Daniil back at his usual performance level with another team.
“Sometimes he was too aggressive at the beginning of the race. The first corner was his weak point. He wanted too much in the first hundred meters – success by any means!
“That puts you under pressure – unnecessary pressure – and that never works.
“I hope for him that he gets another chance, as I think he deserves to be in F1.”