F1 may introduce penalty points system

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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.”