Sainz seeking fix to ‘lottery’ penalties in Formula 1

by Paul Hensby

Carlos Sainz Jr has called for more consistency to the penalties applied to drivers for incidents during Grand Prix, especially after feeling some drivers in the recent Mexican Grand Prix got away without a penalty when he himself was penalised for the same offence.

The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver was handed a five-second penalty for pushing Fernando Alonso off track on lap one at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, but believes the inconsistency of the stewarding decisions within Formula 1 is hurting the sport.

“This is what Formula 1 needs to understand, either to look at it incident by incident or to put a fixed rule,” said Sainz on Autosport. “Nowadays it’s difficult to know what will happen to you if you do a certain move that is a tiny bit on the limit.

“It’s a bit of a lottery to get a penalty or not. I heard that [in Mexico] there were very similar situations with mine and Fernando’s incident and that there were no penalties.

“Us drivers need to race with a very clear thing in mind when we overtake a guy. When we go [to the stewards] we need to know what they think about these rules.”

Sainz believes the inconsistency of the decisions is a good reason for Formula 1 to introduce fixed stewards for every event rather than rotating them, with ex-drivers all taking turns at present.

“I’ve said [F1 should have fixed stewards] my whole Formula 1 career,” insisted Sainz. “It’s understandable – humans are humans – you will have a different opinion to me, so every race there will be very different opinions.

“At the moment we never know what to expect about a move or after an accident. “After seeing Fernando on the grass in Mexico do they give me a penalty or do they think it was a great move?

“[With fixed stewards] probably the criteria will be a lot closer every weekend. Maybe not always the same, but a lot closer.”

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