Chandhok calls for 'natural penalties' to punish track limit abusers

  • 16 Jan 2019 09:42
  • comments 16
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Former Grand Prix driver Karun Chandhok says he would like to see 'natural penalties' implemented in Formula 1, and see on-rack debates solved on the asphalt rather than through the Stewards after the race.

F1's penalty system has been questioned in recent years as certain decisions have not gone down well with fans, who have also been upset by the Stewards' lack of consistency. 

At the US Grand Prix in 2017, Max Verstappen overtook Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap to take third place. However, the Stewards handed him a five-second time penalty after they deemed the Dutchman got past Raikkonen off the circuit, and gaining an advantage in doing so.

The penalty was handed to Verstappen despite the Stewards' leniency on track limits throughout the weekend up to that point. Chandhok also pointed out the incident between Verstappen and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel at last years' Japanese Grand Prix.

"Look at Suzuka when Seb and Max hit each other, Max lost half a second by running way off at Spoon curve and coming back on – that’s just wrong,” he said. “When drivers go off track they should be penalised and there should be a natural penalty.

"I want races decided on the race track, I don’t want it decided in the steward’s room. I don’t want a situation like Austin with Max and Kimi, it’s discussed in the stewards, you see the chequered flag and somebody finishes third but then another bloke is on the podium.

“It’s just messy and complicated and the stewards shouldn’t have to get involved in that, that sort of stuff should just be decided on track. I think that’s what racing should be.”

Chandhok also voiced his disapproval at the lack of consistency: “It’s also inconsistent. For everyone looking on TV, you go ‘hang on, at Turn 9 they are allowed to go way off track, way beyond the white line, yet if they do it at Turn 19 they get their lap time taken away’. So how does that work? How is it OK at one corner and not another?”

Replies (16)

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  • He is literally regurgitating what most fans have been saying.

    What is needed is a gravel replacement. Gravel is a perfect penalty except that it is carried back onto the track by the offending driver and then causes a clean up issue (marshal safety and time)or penalises the next drivers to pass there due to a slippery dirty track. The two main reasons it has lost favour. If we could find a replacement that slows the cars down and reduces grip but is not carried back onto track then that would be the solution. Possibly a slippery polyurethane foam that the cars will partially sink into. Only problem is the hot tyres might destroy it and scatter bits on the track. Somebody somewhere must have a solution?

    • + 1
    • Jan 16 2019 - 10:49
    • mcbhargav

      Posts: 891

      Gravel might not be safe( for the following car). But, i agree with the premise.

      • + 0
      • Jan 16 2019 - 13:54
    • RogerF1

      Posts: 368

      Carpet tacks!

      • + 0
      • Jan 16 2019 - 19:10
    • LOL Rodg, but there's no denying that those sausage curbs teach the lesson and make sure that they don't take unfair track advantage without punishment. Gravel is ok as we've all seen our favourites go into the gravel and continue racing, but the higher curbs insure that they don't cut the boundaries.

      • + 0
      • Jan 17 2019 - 00:16
  • I for one dont think we do. Its like the age old coffee discussion. Everyone says they want a rich, dark roast, because that sounds good and proper, but still most buy the milky stuff. Everyone says they want gravel traps, because it sounds cooler, because its what the pundits say and its what we used to have in the good ol' days. To me, graveltraps are nothing but a hassle. Increased costs due to parts being ruined by gravel, increased track maintenance due to gravel getting all over the tarmac, and more retirements where we could've had a driver remain in competition, get slowed down by grass or the likes, join in at the back and race up. Gravel wont increase competition and overtakes, the main issues of F1.

    • + 0
    • Jan 16 2019 - 12:28
    • Gravel is never coming back to most tracks because of safety and that's a compelling enough reason. However, what Karun is saying is absolutely true. I think that overly abrasive asphalt would be a nice middle ground because it would slow cars down, but also wear out tyres, maybe ruining them, which would penalize exceeding track limits.

      • + 1
      • Jan 17 2019 - 04:23
    • Yeah, a rougher or more slippery surface could probably be a decent addition. But gravel is a nono.

      • + 0
      • Jan 17 2019 - 05:41
  • Freguz

    Posts: 159

    I agree totally.
    Not gravel, but instead some small imperfections in the run off tarmac that makes it hard to drive at full throttle.

    • + 0
    • Jan 16 2019 - 13:56
    • mcbhargav

      Posts: 891

      Perhaps, sand, or some sort of lower viscous material.

      • + 0
      • Jan 16 2019 - 14:21
    • f1dave

      Posts: 593

      Ditches, great big ones !

      • + 0
      • Jan 16 2019 - 16:12
    • RogerF1

      Posts: 368

      Maybe carpet tacks a bit severe. Seriously, severe rumble strips over the entire run off half way between the thick painted ones on the road and the kerbs F1 circuits already have. So they have to slow down and can’t floor it but have a steady drive through and the vibration doesn’t shake the car to bits.

      • + 0
      • Jan 16 2019 - 19:16
    • Higher curbs. If you F%%k up your car then you won't exceed the track limits.

      • + 0
      • Jan 17 2019 - 00:18
  • xoya

    Posts: 313

    Put landmines off track and job done.

    • + 0
    • Jan 16 2019 - 14:01
    • Also add turrets to all the cars, and spiked wheels and wheelnuts!

      • + 0
      • Jan 16 2019 - 16:39
  • Bring back gravel traps. I'm sick of tracks with 10 miles of tarmac run-off, which the drivers abuse all the time. Enough! get gravel back and then they'll be punished when they go off.

    • + 1
    • Jan 16 2019 - 14:41
    • The problem with gravel is that a lot of the tracks are used for bike races and bike spills and gravel make for a messy combination. Gravel also makes the track a mess when they come back on.

      • + 0
      • Jan 17 2019 - 00:19

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