Solution to end fan confusion over F1 grid penalties is ‘pretty simple’

Formula 1 could easily come up with a computer system to publish provisional grids that included penalties within seconds of qualifying finishing, reckons Alpine’s sporting director Alan Permane.

Solution to end fan confusion over F1 grid penalties is ‘pretty simple’

Fans and some teams were left in a state of confusion for nearly four hours after qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix when nobody was sure how the FIA would implement a spate of grid penalties and settle on the final line-up.

The uncertainty about the grid, and the length of time it took to be confirmed, prompted suggestions that a better system should be implemented – especially as the FIA regularly waits until scrutineering is complete before issuing any provisional grid.

But F1 stalwart Permane, who has worked in the sport for decades, thinks an obvious solution would be to set up a computer programme that would instantly be able to work out the penalties the second the final cars crossed the line.

For he reckoned that while some teams fully understood the penalties and how they are implemented – which changed in 2020 with drivers now locked in to their grid drops – making things clearer for fans would help everybody.

“We have guidelines from 2020, and I think the grid was formed exactly how it stated in that guideline,” explained Permane.

“That guideline has been developed, was developed with F1 and the FIA, and has been applied consistently since then. So I don’t think there’s any surprises in it. But there might have been among people who didn’t have the guideline, I guess.

“But I do agree that three and three-quarter hours is a bit long to wait for a grid. I think it would be relatively simple for them to publish it as the last car crosses the line, with the proviso it might change after scrutineering or whatever.

“They could plug all the known penalties into something, and it would be better for everybody.”

Fans look on as the grid launches for the start

Fans look on as the grid launches for the start

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

The way in which the FIA process documents on a grand prix weekend is laid down in the sporting regulations, and the only proviso it has is that a provisional grid has to be published at least four hours before the formation lap.

Any tweak to procedures to allow a potential expected grid could need a change of rules, but would be something that would be unlikely to have much resistance.

Asked by Autosport if it would be straightforward to come up with a computer programme that sorted the grid penalties instantly, Permane said: “I’d imagine so but I’m not an expert!

Read Also:

“But you would know that the car that is in first, it’s going to have a 10-place penalty. You have all of the information at the end of qualifying, and I’m sure they’ll look at it.

“I don’t quite know why it took so long [at Monza]. I guess they were double checking, triple checking everything.

“They’re supposed to have a grid published four hours before the start of a race, so anything we get on a Saturday night is a bonus, and they publish a provisional grid.

“I get it for you guys [the media], it’s important, and it's also important for us to start building our strategies and things like that.”

shares
comments
Binotto says Shwartzman worthy of F1 race seat ahead of FP1 debut
Previous article

Binotto says Shwartzman worthy of F1 race seat ahead of FP1 debut

Next article

Ferrari: FIA should allow more engines after Monza F1 penalty chaos

Ferrari: FIA should allow more engines after Monza F1 penalty chaos
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Plus

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022