F1 reprimand rules partially relaxed for 2022 incidents

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso arriving on the grid. Formula 1 Abu Dhabi December 2021.

Fernando Alonso arriving on the grid with El Plan on rear wing of his Alpine. Abu Dhabi December 2021.

Formula 1 is to relax the reprimand rule for the 2022 season, increasing the number from three to five before a driver is hit with a grid penalty.

Reprimands are handed out for anything from a pit lane entry incident, such as what Lando Norris received in Russia, to failing to remove a t-shirt for a national anthem, as Sebastian Vettel discovered last year in Hungary.

These offences normally fall into the grey areas, not punishable with a penalty but also not okay in Formula 1.

Three year cards during a single season has up until now meant a 10-place grid drop. “Any driver who receives three (3) reprimands in the same championship will, upon the imposition of the third, be given a ten (10) grid place penalty for the race at that event,” read the rule.

But to add a bit of grey to the situation, as Formula 1 is wont to do, the regulation also states that “the ten (10) grid place penalty will only be imposed if at least two (2) of the reprimands were imposed for a driving infringement.”

That has been tweaked for the 2022 season.

Instead of three offences, drivers now have to commit five, which must be driving infringements, for them to incur the penalty. That stays the same, a 10-place grid drop.

Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel at the start of the race with Valtteri Bottas ahead of him. Qatar November 2021

According to Auto Motor und Sport “the rule change was introduced to respond to the increased number of races.

“When the corresponding paragraph was included in the sporting law, a season still comprised 17 races. With 23 grand prix weeks now, you get into the dangerous zone much faster.

“Those responsible want to reduce the risk of drivers suddenly getting a handicap in an exciting final sprint of the season.”

Last season 11 drivers were handed reprimands with Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Esteban Ocon all given two.

As for the sport’s penalty points system, “nothing will change here for the time being” reports the German publication.

The penalty points system is held over a 12-month rolling period with Yuki Tsunoda starting his second with AlphaTauri with eight to his name. Red Bull team-mates Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez both have seven.

Tsunoda’s first point will expire in April as will Perez’s. Verstappen has to wait until 12 September before his tally drops.


Any driver who reaches 12 points in 12 months is handed a one-race ban.


PlanetF1 Verdict


Drivers given a bit more leeway with reprimand system

The reprimand system is changing to give drivers a bit more leeway in the 2022 season.