Penalty points not "harsh" insists Masi

06/07/2021
NEWS STORY

FIA race director, Michael Masi has defended the penalty points system which has left a number of drivers, including Lando Norris, close to a race ban.

The points handed to the McLaren driver and Sergio Perez on Sunday brought them up to 10 and 8 respectively over a 12 month period, 12 points being an automatic one-race ban.

Along with many race fans, Norris believes his punishment, in particular, was harsh, insisting that penalising a driver "for someone going into the gravel" is "not what Formula 1 should be", claiming that penalties should only be meted out in more serious circumstances

It is a view shared by, former bad boy, Max Verstappen.

"I don't think you deserve a ban for what he did or whatever," said the Red Bull driver on Sunday. "There's stuff… I've said it before, myself two years ago, that we should look into that but let's see."

"To be fair, it's a penalty point system that exists," said Michael Masi, according to Motorsportweek, "it's been there all the way through. It's no different to drivers on the road in the countries that have the maximum number of points that they have to abide by.

"They have to adjust driving style and stuff accordingly," he added. "I don't think they're harsh, it was discussed late last year, and it's funny because it affects different drivers and teams in different ways.

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

"The penalty scale is something the teams all agree upon, he said of a system first introduced in 2014, "and actually have input to at the start of the year. It's what the stewards use."

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Published: 06/07/2021
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