George Russell has suggested that a position drop penalty could be a more effective way to deter drivers from overtaking off-track.
The current system of a five-second time penalty has been criticized for being too lenient, as drivers can often gain more time by overtaking off-track than they lose with the penalty.
Russell, who is the director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA), believes that a position drop would be a fairer and more effective way to punish drivers who go off-track.
“I think we need to find a way to stop drivers from trading the advantage of a pass off the circuit for a five-second penalty,” Russell said.
“A position drop would be a fairer way to penalize drivers who go off-track, as it would put them back where they were before they made the illegal move. It would also make drivers think twice about going off-track, as they would know that they could lose a position as a result.”
Russell has himself been guilty of overtaking off-track on several occasions this season, including at the US Grand Prix sprint race last weekend. He was given a five-second penalty for passing Oscar Piastri off-track, but he still finished the race in a higher position than he would have if he had not made the move.
Russell’s suggestion of a position drop penalty is likely to be met with support from other drivers, as it would make it fairer for everyone. It would also make for more exciting racing, as drivers would be less likely to go off-track if they knew they could lose a position as a result.
The FIA has not yet commented on Russell’s suggestion, but it is something that they are likely to consider. The current system of penalties is not working effectively, and a position drop penalty could be a better way to deter drivers from overtaking off-track.
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