To prevent an increase in unavoidable accidents, the FIA decided to introduce a penalty point system. The F1 penalty points system works in a way that if a driver accumulates a certain number of penalty points to his license, the subsequent punishments will get worse. The worse case scenario is a race ban.
In the aftermath of Max Verstappen’s collision with Sebastian Vettel, Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting says that Max’s penalty points record will set him straight.
The Dutch driver admitted that he was in the wrong and apologised for the incident with Vettel in the closing stages of the Chinese Grand Prix. He had locked his rear brakes and slid into the German, sending both of them into a spin.
Verstappen was slapped with a 10-second post-race time penalty for his role in the incident. He dropped down to fifth place behind Lewis Hamilton in the final race results. Vettel had it even worse by finishing eighth after sustaining damage.
Whiting admitted that reprimanding Verstappen would be useless and his F1 penalty points tally will speak for itself.
The Vettel collision resulted in Verstappen picking up two penalty points, bringing his 12-month period total to five. The rules state that If an F1 driver picks up 12 penalty points over a one-year period he will face an automatic one-race suspension.
“I think the stewards have done their bit, I don’t think there’s any necessity to do speak to Verstappen,” Whiting said. “I think he made a mistake and he got penalised for it.
“There is probably is a little bit of criticism but that’s what the penalty point are there for. They’re there to make stop habitual offenders. It will make him take notice that he’s got five penalty points now so he’s going to be a bit more careful.”
Current Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean was the last person to cop a 1-race ban. He was the catalyst of a first corner pile up at the start of the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix.