Force India wary of F1 becoming too harsh with collision penalties

Formula 1 must be wary of reverting to a harsher stance on collision penalties says Force India's Bob Fernley, after both his drivers were penalised at the Malaysian Grand Prix

Force India wary of F1 becoming too harsh with collision penalties

Last year the FIA decided to show more lenience over driving standards investigations from the British Grand Prix onwards.

Both Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were given 10-second penalties in quick succession during last Sunday's Sepang F1 race after tangles with Daniil Kvyat and Romain Grosjean respectively, with both drivers feeling the stewards had been excessive.

While Fernley emphasised that Force India accepted the stewards' ruling, he said the decision appeared to be a throwback to the previous rules position.

"It's difficult because I can't see all the data," Fernley told AUTOSPORT.

"You need to look at all the angles the stewards can look at and I think we have to abide by the decisions of the stewards at the end of the day, because they are operating Formula 1.

"But some time ago we looked at it from the point of view that unless it was a blatant or dangerous manoeuvre, we would try to give the benefit of the doubt to racing incidents.

"I just think we have to be careful we don't go back to where we were.

"But equally, we accept fully the decision of the stewards.

"Let's just not air on the side of caution too much and let them race a bit because that's part of the excitement of racing."

Grosjean strongly criticised Perez's driving over team radio after their contact, which happened as the Lotus completed an outside-line pass on the Force India.

Fernley felt Perez had little option in the situation he was in.

"It's a fast corner, Romain was going around the outside, Checo [Perez] was obviously having difficulties in the corner," said Fernley.

"I'm not sure there were a lot of places for Checo to go. I didn't see it as necessarily dangerous.

"It was a strong move from Grosjean, I don't think Checo had a lot of room and it is what it is."

Perez suggested that he would raise his concerns over his Malaysia penalty with the FIA.

"I think we have to try to do something on that but it won't change anything," he said.

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