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Ricciardo: penalty points 'need a lot of thought'
11 May 2013
The proposed new driver penalty points system needs more thought before it's properly introduced, reckons Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo, who is concerned that the current proposals lack proper details of how it would work.
"We haven't received any paper how it would work yet, it would be pretty complex, you would imagine," said the Australian, adding that driver reaction to the new system was one of wariness so far.
"I think everyone's looking for clarity," he said. "It's been a topic we discussed a little bit today, just trying to understand how it would work and if it's a good thing or not."
Some reports have suggested that the introduction of penalty points have already been approved by the Sporting Working Group, but Ricciardo was of the view that it was still very much up in the air.
"Still nothing is close to being confirmed I don't believe, but it's basically like a car licence," he explained. "Maybe you have 12 points and by speeding in the pit lane or causing a collision you might lose one point or two points and eventually if you are to lose all 12 it could result in a one race ban.
"This is the talk, so I don't know what will happen," he said. "We've obviously got to discuss this and make sure that it is not a bad thing." He pointed out that there wasn't even an agreement whether all penalty points would be reset at the end of a season or carry over to the next year.
One of the big issues with the new system is knowing when someone might receive a drive-thru, when they might get a post-race fine, and when they might get nothing at all. Ricciardo felt that the potential for inconsistency and claims of unfair application of the rules could cause problems if the issues are not properly thought through in advance of being introduced.
"People want to know, 'Alright, this guy crashed in to me - is he going to get a drive-through? Is he going to get a five-place grid penalty? Is he going to get anything?'" he explained. "Just having maybe a points system like this could clarify what exactly the cost of an incident is.
"But saying that if they start bringing things in like unsafe pit release and you get a deducted point that's not really your fault that's the team's fault," he pointed out. "I think there should not be penalties unnecessarily; if it's a racing incident it's a racing incident, let it be and move on.
"They have to be careful with how they do it," he warned. "A one-race ban is a really big penalty, but obviously it will take a bit to get up to 12 points so you've probably earned your one-race ban if you lose 12 points."
But Ricciardo is certainly not against the system in principal and reckons that it might help avoid some of the in-race penalties that seem grossly unfair but which can't be undone retrospectively.
"I think the toughest one is if you're racing, you have an incident and you get a drive-through or something," he agreed. "If the incident is not so clear that's when it really hurts you, so in that respect it would probably be a better thing to have a decision after the race."
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