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Mid-season penalty changes would be “bad governance” - FIA

Mid-season penalty changes would be “bad governance” - FIA

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Mid-season penalty changes would be “bad governance” - FIA

Mid-season penalty changes would be “bad governance” - FIA

The FIA has said it will not make any changes to the way penalty points are handed out this season despite numerous calls from the drivers for an overhaul.

Recently the drivers have stated penalty points should only be given for dangerous incidents rather than for frivolous infringements.

FIA race director Michael Masi has stated, however, it is “not fair to say” the stewards see situations differently, with the rules in black and white and needing to be adhered to.

“This has been discussed with all drivers involved,” said Masi. “At the start of each year, the FIA, together with all the team sporting directors, sit down and review the penalty table and guidelines the stewards actually use.

"(We) generally come to a consensus on the penalties and associated penalty points. They get reviewed annually for their relevance overall, so from a team perspective, it is not a surprise where penalty points are and aren’t allocated.

“We have discussed at drivers' meetings and said we will do the same review again for 2021, however, it is not something we would change mid-year through the middle of a championship.

“So, no change, and the drivers have all been told there would be no change for the year. It would be bad governance.”

More than 100 drivers had lap times removed for exceeding track limits during Friday practice at the Portimão circuit for the Portuguese Grand Prix, resulting in the stewards taking a more lenient stance throughout the rest of the weekend.

Lance Stroll and Romain Grosjean, however, were handed time penalties during the race for continually exceeding the revised guidelines.

The use of asphalt run-off around circuits means there is limited risk of going beyond the track limits. As a result, drivers often go wide to gain more speed through corners and restricting this has become quite a challenge.

Masi added: “The management of track limits has been ongoing for a while. There have been various solutions looked at over time. The solution we have now, is it the best in the circumstances? It seems to be doing the job quite well.

“From a team perspective, you would certainly know the manner in which it is being applied is consistent to each and every car. We have always said we will only do it in a manner that it can be consistent and repeatable with every car.

“It’s an ongoing review of technology, physical solution, whatever it may be, and it’s not necessarily over the European winter it will be looked at. It’s something that is already being looked at and is continually being looked at.”

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