Penalty Points in Formula 1 – In-depth Guide for 2023

penalty points f1 via the race

Formula 1 is all about pushing the limits and going full throttle towards the checkered flag.

But what happens when a driver steps out of line and violates the rules? Cue the F1 penalty points system.

Let’s take a deep dive into the world of F1 penalty points, exploring what they are, how they work, and what they mean for the drivers.

The penalty points system is like a scorecard, but not the good kind. When a driver does something naughty on the track, like maybe bumping into another driver or breaking some rules, they’ll get some penalty points.

These points don’t just vanish into thin air; they keep adding up throughout the season. And here’s the kicker – if a driver collects too many points, they could end up facing some serious consequences.

Now, you might be wondering why they came up with this system in the first place. Instead of just disqualifying or suspending a driver for a single mistake, the penalty points system offers a more transparent approach that promotes ongoing cautious driving.

What is the maximum number of points?

If a driver wants to burn rubber on those high-speed tracks, they’ve got to have FIA Super License in their pocket.

But here’s the catch: since 2014, things got a bit stricter. The FIA Super License comes with a set of rules, one of which concerns penalty points. If drivers rack up twelve points within just twelve months, they face the dreaded race ban.

How are penalty points given?

It is quite simple. If you break the rules, you’ll be given F1 penalty points. One or more penalty points can be given for a single offense.

For example, drivers often get one point for a minor infraction, such as repeatedly driving too wide. But two or more points are given for a more serious offense, such as ignoring flags.

Source: The Race

How to get penalty points?

The FIA Formula One Sporting Regulation has five categories of penalties, ranging from a gentle tap on the wrist to a full-blown “You’re outta here!”

1️⃣ Reprimand

It is a firm warning when a driver has done something not so cool. Drivers are allowed three reprimands per season, and each one brings a ten-place grid penalty once it’s official.

These reprimands, also known as non-driving reprimands, are dished out for ignoring any of the FIA’s pre-race rules, such as cutting corners or going all-out aggressive and pushing someone off the track.

To avoid any confusion, stewards make sure drivers know the rules specific to each circuit before every session.

Source: Total Motorsport

2️⃣ Time Penalties

Stewards can give these penalties when a driver has committed anything from minor to major infractions. And there are four types:

  • The five-second time penalty
  • The ten-second time penalty
  • The drive-through penalty
  • The ten-second stop-go penalty

3️⃣ Grid Place Penalties

If a driver messes up before the session even starts, they might find themselves starting lower on the grid. It happens when they exceed the allowed number of power unit or gearbox replacements.

4️⃣ Disqualification

Drivers that keep misbehaving despite warnings, ignore previous penalties, or cause crashes on purpose, are in trouble. They’ll get the dreaded black flag with their number on it, signaling disqualification.

If they keep accumulating similar offenses or commit something outrageously bad, stewards might go for the ultimate punishment, suspension.

5️⃣ Suspension

That means not just disqualification but some time off from the action.

Penalty points ahead of Belgian GP

⚫️ Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton – 0
George Russell – 4
– Two points: Causing a collision with Sainz during the 2022 F1 US GP (Expiry: 23rd October 2023).
– Two points: Rejoining the track in an unsafe manner at the 2023 Monaco GP and causing a collision with Perez (Expiry: 28th May 2024).

🔵 Red Bull

Max Verstappen – 2
Two points: Causing a collision with Hamilton during the 2022 Brazilian GP (Expiry: 13th November 2023).

Sergio Perez – 2
Two points: Failing to stay within ten car lengths of the Safety Car (Expiry: 2nd October 2023).

🔴 Ferrari

Charles Leclerc – 1
One point: Leaving the track and gaining an advantage in the 2022 F1 Japanese GP (Expiry: 9th October 2023).

Carlos Sainz – 2
Two points: Causing a collision with Alonso during the 2023 F1 Australian GP (Expiry: 2nd April 2024).

🟠 McLaren

Lando Norris – 2
Two points: Causing a collision with Leclerc during the 2022 F1 Sao Paulo GP (Expiry: 13th November 2023).

Oscar Piastri – 0

🟢 Aston Martin

Fernando Alonso – 2
Two points: Causing a collision with Ocon during the sprint at the 2022 Sao Paulo GP (Expiry: 12th November 2023).

Lance Stroll – 7
– Two points: Causing a collision with Gasly during the 2023 F1 British GP (Expiry: 11th July 2024).
– Two points: Causing a collision with Alonso during the 2022 F1 US GP (Expiry: 23rd October 2023).
– Three points: Dangerous maneuver on Vettel during the sprint at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix (Expiry: 12th November 2023).

🔷 Alpine

Esteban Ocon – 0

Pierre Gasly – 5
– Two points: Speeding under the red flag at the 2022 Japanese GP (Expiry: October 2023).
– Two points: Falling more than 10 car lengths behind the car in front during the Safety Car period at the 2022 US GP (Expiry: 23rd October 2023).
– One point: Forcing Stroll off track and gaining an advantage at the 2022 Mexican GP (Expiry: 30th October 2023).

🟦 Alpha Tauri

Daniel Ricciardo – 6
– Two points: Causing a collision with Stroll during the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix. (Expiry: 30th July 2023.)
– Two points: Causing a collision with Tsunoda during the 2022 Mexico City Grand Prix. (Expiry: 30th October 2023.)
– Two points: Causing a collision with Magnussen during the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix. (Expiry: 13th November 2023. )

Yuki Tsunoda – 3
– One Point: Pushing Zhou off track during the 2023 F1 Spanish GP (Expiry: 4th June 2024).
– Two points: Failing to slow for yellow flags during FP2 for the Italian Grand Prix (Expiry: September 9th, 2023).

🟦 Williams

Logan Sargeant – 0

Alex Albon – 1
– One point: Going off track and holding onto position during the 2022 US GP (Expiry: 23rd October 2023).

⬜️ Haas

Kevin Magnussen – 1
– One point: Overtaking by leaving the track during the 2022 Italian Grand Prix (Expiry: 11th September 2023).

Nico Hulkenberg – 2
– Two points. Causing a collision with Sargeant at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix (Expiry: 29th May 2024)

🟥 Alfa Romeo

Valtteri Bottas – 0

Guanyu Zhou – 0