For 2014, drivers can now be handed points on their F1 superlicense by the stewards. If a driver accrues 12 points in the space of 12 months, he will be handed a one-race ban.
Five drivers have already accumulated points on their license. Jules Bianchi has four after the first three races of the year and Pastor Maldonado has three, while Valtteri Bottas, Kevin Magnussen and Adrian Sutil each have two.
“I think it’s OK,” Sutil said when asked for his thoughts on the new regulation during the FIA driver press conference on Thursday. “I’m not sure if anyone will reach the full 12 but after three races, having four, then he [Bianchi] should reach it very soon. Let’s see how it’s going to be.
“Most important is that there was a change from last year because there were at certain times some penalties, especially for the backmarkers, which were not doing anything. If you’re last and you get a ten place penalty you’re still last and that’s it. This is a little bit different and I think there was a reason why it should be changed and now we need a little bit of time to see if it is working. I hope so.”
Daniel Ricciardo added: “Yeah, I think you reach 12 if you’re a bad boy but yeah, I think this system is OK. It’s trying to keep us in line, really, so if it helps then yeah.”
Esteban Gutierrez says the new rule will make drivers respect each other more: “I think it’s a good system. It puts some conscience on ourselves to not do wrong moves and to respect each other and to race in a fair way, which is how racing should be.”
Image courtesy of Sauber F1 Team