Verstappen hits out at penalty points system

Date published: December 21 2015 - Editor

Max Verstappen has hit out at the penalty points system in Formula 1, saying that it makes drivers hesitate before overtaking…

Should a driver reach 12 points in 12 months, they will receive a race ban for the next race on the calendar.

While no driver is yet faced this, Verstappen is pushing the limits as he has already notched up eight penalty points. Three of those points came in two incidents involving contact at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last month.

The Toro Rosso driver believes the system could inhibit drivers from overtaking, making the sport less of a spectacle for fans.

“It’s a shame, they shouldn’t stop us from racing,” the 18-year-old told Autosport.

“I can’t change it now but definitely I have to be a bit more careful.

“I don’t think that is what the fans want to see, that I have to back off when I want to overtake because I’m scared to touch someone.

“We have to maybe revise the system a bit but it’s not up to me. Maybe they should do it in a different way rather than penalty points and eventually a race ban.

“They should come up with a fine or whatever. That is also painful but it’s different than a race ban, because it’s really bad for you career if you get a race ban.”

As a result of the penalties, Verstappen will be forced to take it easy in the opening races of the 2016 season. However, he said that contact during overtaking was a risk worth taking.

“Maybe when you want to try a risky move when maybe you’re touching someone, I can’t so it’s a shame, but I will try to overtake people anyway,” added the Belgium-born driver.