The FIA today announced that a penalty point system will be brought in for drivers next year.
The current rules see drivers handed either reprimands (three of which can lead to an automatic penalty), a penalty (mid-race pitlane penalty, monetary penalty or a grid penalty), or a race ban. However, there is no current way for a driver to accumulate penalties towards an automatic ban.
With the new rules, to be introduced in January, a driver racking up twelve points will be handed a one-race ban. Once a point is received, it remains on the driver’s license for twelve months which means points can carry into the next season.
Last year, Lotus’ Romain Grosjean was the first driver to be banned for a race since 1994, when he caused a pile-up at the beginning of the Belgian Grand Prix, subsequently missing the Italian Grand Prix.
The FIA also announced that four two-day tests will take place on the Tuesday and Wednesday’s following selected Grand Prix. This is expected to replace the Young Driver’s Test. Finally, testing will be allowed next January to help teams get to grips with the new regulations.