Ex-F1 driver turned Sky Sports pundit Martin Brundle has urged Formula 1 to find a “solution” to reduce the number of grid penalties, following a confusing grid at the Italian Grand Prix last weekend.
Staggeringly, nine of the twenty drivers were awarded grid penalties for last Sunday’s race at the ‘Temple of Speed’, after opting to change components of their power unit.
It saw the official starting grid changed several times, with the stewards seemingly confused themselves as to who starts where.
The official grid wasn’t released until several hours after qualifying had finished, with drivers like Nicholas Latifi having been promoted from P16 to P10 for the race.
All the grid penalties almost made a mockery of qualifying, with it having had such little relevance to the final starting grid.
Brundle described the current grid penalty system as “unacceptable”, with it becoming somewhat impossible for fans to understand where drivers will be starting.
“This is an unacceptable situation because when the fans turn up trackside or switch on their TV sets to watch qualifying, they should reasonably expect that they’re watching the race grid being formed,” Brundle wrote in his Sky Sports F1 column.
“Instead, we waited for several hours for the tortuous and complex process of how penalties were applied.”
Brundle did go on to raise his own solutions to ensure that the order in which drivers qualify, is the grid for the subsequent race.
“We need solutions here because this is a bad look for F1,” added Brundle.
“The initial concept is necessary to stop teams throwing new power units and ancillaries at their cars.
“Options might include simply giving each driver more power units per season, applying an in-race penalty such as a pitlane drive through to be taken at some point in the race, or giving the teams commensurate financial and championship points pain rather than the drivers having to carry the burden through no fault of their own.”
Should the current system not be adjusted, then it will most likely cause even more chaos next season than it already has this year.
The championship will feature 24 races in 2023, which will obviously put more strain on various engine components should the teams not have their legal limit increased.
Brundle wants to see the regulations “sorted out”, to guarantee that the sport is offering the greatest spectacle possible, involving the fastest drivers on the grid fighting in the correct positions.
“A mixed up grid can make for an interesting race observing drivers making their way through the field, but better still is when the six cars with a realistic chance of winning the race are wheel to wheel in the correct grid places,” said the Briton.
“With 24 races next season and either three or six Sprint races, F1 clearly needs to get the regulatory allocation of power units and sporting regulations sorted out.
“In the multi-billion dollar world of F1 it looks ridiculous that the teams appear to be short of engines, which of course they’re not.”