F1 penalty system comes under fire with Lance Stroll and Kevin Magnussen disqualification argument

Jamie Woodhouse
Daniel Ricciardo is rear-ended by Lance Stroll

Daniel Ricciardo is rear-ended by Lance Stroll

Leading Spanish Formula 1 broadcaster Antonio Lobato was left furious with what he saw as inconsistent steward verdicts in China, arguing Lance Stroll and Kevin Magnussen should have been at risk of disqualification going off the Fernando Alonso verdict.

Aston Martin driver Alonso and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz battled over P3 in the Chinese GP Sprint, but that resulted in contact as Alonso attempted to fight back against his fellow Spaniard. Alonso picked up a puncture and was forced to retire his AMR24, but his woes were not over.

Lance Stroll and Kevin Magnussen verdicts highlight inconsistency?

Alonso was given a 10-second time penalty and three penalty points for his Super Licence as a result of the Sainz incident, while the next day, Lance Stroll and Kevin Magnussen received a 10-second penalty each for wiping out an RB, Stroll lifting Daniel Ricciardo’s car off the ground in a shunt ahead of a Safety Car restart, while Magnussen eliminated Yuki Tsunoda from the Grand Prix.

However, on top of their time penalties only matching Alonso’s, Stroll and Magnussen received just two penalty points apiece, which Lobato said made his “blood boil”. Judging versus the Alonso-Sainz incident, Lobato felt Stroll and Magnussen should have been flirting with disqualification in comparison.

“I don’t want to be a pest with this topic, but it makes my blood boil,” he told SoyMotor.com.

“I’m looking at the penalties applied during the Chinese GP and I see that Kevin Magnussen has been given a 10-second penalty and two points on his Super Licence for a suicidal manoeuvre on Yuki Tsunoda and ruining his race after destroying his car.

“Lance Stroll has been given a 10-second penalty and two points, just two, on his Super Licence for crashing into Ricciardo and Piastri. And you ask yourself: ‘Did they change the stewards between Saturday and Sunday?’. How is it possible that the judgement measurement has changed!

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“Fernando Alonso in the Sprint race for fighting against Carlos Sainz, where they made contact but nothing else happened, and they gave us a good battle, he was handed a 10-second penalty and three points for his Super Licence.

“Are they trying to tell me that what Alonso did is more dangerous than what Magnussen or Stroll did? Does anyone really have a look into this and questions him or herself: ‘There is something wrong here’.

“This doesn’t make any sense. Any at all. You can’t apply the regulations so subjectively. If what Alonso did yesterday was a 10-second penalty and a three-point penalty for the Super Licence, this should have been almost a disqualification for Magnussen and Stroll.

“Maybe you are setting the judgement bar too high, or you just set it too high just for Fernando? I don’t want to think about any theories or persecutions, because I don’t believe in them, but it’s just too much.

“Fernando has a six-point penalty on his Super Licence already because of Russell’s incident back in Australia where there wasn’t even any contact and here in China a minor contact with high consequences for him. It’s just a bit surrealistic, but it is the way it is.”

Any driver who collects 12 points over a 12-month period would receive a one-race ban.

Read next: Oscar Piastri issues scathing criticism on Lance Stroll after China GP crash