F1 considering ‘demerit point’ penalty system (Update)

UPDATE (GMM) F1 team bosses have voted to introduce a penalty points system for 2014 that could see drivers banned for repeat offenses.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, and Speed Week, said that during a meeting with Charlie Whiting on Wednesday, the scheme – with drivers allowed to accrue only 12 'demerit points' against their super licenses before a race ban is imposed – survived a vote by 7 to 4.

The proposal will now be taken to the FIA's World Motor Sport Council for approval next month.

The new system would not completely replace the current regime comprising fines, grid penalties and warnings, but stewards will also be able to impose points penalties for on-track infractions.

As the vote demonstrated, not everyone is supportive.

"What happens if Vettel has 12 points before the German grand prix, or Alonso before Spain — are they going to ban them in their home race?" an unnamed and skeptical team boss told German correspondent Michael Schmidt.

Reportedly, drivers will earn penalty points for pitlane speeding, causing a collision and dangerous driving, driving over the pit exit white line, ignoring flag signals, and many other infractions.

At the same Barcelona meeting, team bosses voted down Ferrari's proposal to bring back extensive in-season track testing, although some teams were in favor.

05/04/13 (GMM) Formula one chiefs will meet next weekend in Barcelona to discuss a potential demerit-points system that could lead to drivers facing race bans for repeat misbehavior.

Reports, including by the news agency AFP and the British newspaper the Times, said the FIA's Charlie Whiting will meet with team bosses to talk about the new regime.

The reports said the new system could replace the mainly grid penalties and fines that are currently levied against drivers for on-track misbehavior.

The new system would see drivers tote up demerit points against their mandatory super license, with multiple indiscretions to add up to race bans.

"It's a complex question," Whiting is quoted as saying, "and we need to get the balance right because banning a driver is a serious issue.

"We need to make sure a driver genuinely deserves any ban.

"We will be monitoring offences and running a (hypothetical) system in the background to see how it would all work if put into practice."

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