Through with Penalties

There were three interesting penalties handed out in Japan. Let’s look at the details: Hamilton is punished for out-braking himself in the first corner and driving Raikkonen (and others, I think) off the track. Raikkonen regains the circuit several places in front of Hamilton.

Then, Massa is punished for driving over a corner, both wheels off the circuit, and into Hamilton. Hamilton spins and rejoins at the back of the pack, Massa carries on where he is.

Lastly, Bourdais is punished for not getting out of Massa’s way when exiting the pits. Massa spins and rejoins behind Bourdais, losing a few seconds (they are out of sequence anyway as Massa hasn’t pitted yet).

Do all, or any of these instance deserve penalties, let alone the same ones? Are they comparable? Should we take into account the results or the intentions? When compared to what has happened throughout this season, we can only say that penalties this year have been inconsistent. Without doubt, we need a new system of analysing and distributing penalties. Perhaps, however, we should do away with them altogether – every driver for himself?

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