Webber wants end to Formula 1 grid penalties for component changes

Former Formula 1 driver Mark Webber says he would prefer to see teams docked constructors' championship points rather than handing drivers grid penalties for mechanical problems outside of their control

Webber wants end to Formula 1 grid penalties for component changes

Each driver has a strict limit on the number of engine components and gearboxes they can use over the course of a season and are demoted from their qualifying positions every time they take another component over the limit.

"There's too much policing," Webber said at the FIA Sport Conference in Geneva.

"I don't want any penalties for a driver that's had nothing to do with it.

"[For example] if a mechanic has put a brake disc in the wrong way, and a driver is at the back of the grid.

"A lot of people don't watch qualifying, they turn on [the TV] and are like, 'why is my favourite driver at the back of the grid?' and so we lose people for that.

"It's hard enough to get the quality at the front of the grid as it is, let alone having guys diluted down the back through no reason of their own, so we don't need all that junk in there."

When asked how squads could be punished more suitably, nine-time grand prix winner Webber expressed his preference for a points penalty for the teams involved.

"Constructors' points, whatever," he said, "Find a way that you don't hurt the driver.

"There have been so many ridiculous penalties over the last five years that the driver has had nothing to do with, and it's had a big impact on how the weekend would have been in terms of entertainment."

One team that has been on the receiving end of a high number of grid penalties in recent years is McLaren, due to issues with its Honda power units.

Fernando Alonso was awarded a 40-place penalty on the Azerbaijan Grand Prix grid as a result of component changes, while team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne dropped 30 places after taking a new MGU-H and turbocharger.

Webber described his disappointment at McLaren's performance situation, but said it was helping to highlight Alonso's talent.

He said: "It's a total waste and an absolute travesty that he's at the back of the grid, driving a car that's uncompetitive.

"But he's still in a situation where he's driving phenomenally.

"I think his value has never been higher, what he's done at the Indy 500, and then what he's done sometimes with that McLaren."

shares
comments
Force India: Clashes due to Ocon's inexperience, not Perez tensions

Previous article

Force India: Clashes due to Ocon's inexperience, not Perez tensions

Next article

Magnussen: Haas F1 team-mate Grosjean faster than Button on his day

Magnussen: Haas F1 team-mate Grosjean faster than Button on his day
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021