George Russell demands FIA make change to driver penalty system

Pierre Gasly goes into 2023 just two penalty points away from a one race ban.

2022 has certainly been an eventful year for motorsport’s governing body, with the FIA having an incredible amount to review with everything that has gone on this season.

Topics like the budget cap and most importantly, the penalty points system are likely to be top on the FIA’s agenda, with George Russell having called for a “review” into the controversial penalty points system.

The penalty points system has been a common talking point in 2022, with some drivers having been awarded points for things like gaining an advantage off-circuit, despite having then been given an in-race penalty.

Each driver can accumulate 12 penalty points before a race ban is awarded, something that has never been seen before in the sport.

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However, unless changes are made then Pierre Gasly is likely going to become the first driver to receive a race ban for being awarded 12 penalty points.

The Frenchman currently sits on 10 and isn’t set to lose any until the Spanish Grand Prix, which takes place at the start of June.

Each point remains on a driver’s licence for 12 months, starting from the date on which they are awarded.

All 10 of Gasly’s have come during 2022, staggeringly, putting him at real risk of a race ban at the start of 2023.

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Drivers have asked for the number of points needed to be slapped with a race ban to be increased, given that the championship consists of more races nowadays than it did when the system was introduced in 2014.

Russell, who is director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, has revealed that conversations with the FIA have taken place regarding the system.

According to the 24-year-old, the governing body will look into the system over the winter break, with Russell calling for the “capability to change things”.

“They have expressed to us that they will have the conversation in the off-season and review all of this,” said Russell

“There is a lot to review this [past] season in many different regards so the FIA are going to have a busy off-season.

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“But in sport, you have got to be ready and able to adapt.

“You do have these regulations in place and it does only take one incident to realise that regulation isn’t quite right.

“We need to have the capability to change things or take penalty points away afterwards if we all agree it was incorrect.”