Formula 1’s grid penalty rules are unacceptable and must be fixed for the sake of the fans, says Martin Brundle.
For the second race in three, there was chaos after qualifying with most drivers having no idea where they would be lining up for the race.
The was triggered by nine drivers – including Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton – taking grid penalties of varying severity, five and 10 place drops as well as ‘back of the grid’ punishments. The final grid wasn't confirmed until Saturday night, much to the frustration of fans, with many branding the penalty system a total farce.
READ MORE: F1 penalty farce leaves drivers, fans and media in the dark over Italian Grand Prix grid
Sky Sports F1 analyst and former F1 driver Brundle is also frustrated by the situation and says another solution must be found.
"It's unacceptable," he said ahead of the Italian Grand Prix. "That's two of the last three races where you watch qualifying and the grid looks completely different.
"There are other ways of doing it. It's too much of a penalty for a driver, taking something that is outside of his control. A journalist friend of mine, Dieter Rencken, said maybe keep the grid as it is, then those who have new engines take a drive-through in the race as a penalty, so the driver is still taking some pain.”
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Brundle then offered his solution, adding: “My idea is a rising scale of per cent of constructors’ points, so the big teams up front would take more pain. Somehow, you’ve got to dissuade big teams from just throwing power units in every weekend. There has to be some type of control function in that but this [current system] clearly is no good for the fans, and that's the main reason we're here."
However, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is not so sure. When Brundle's system was put to him, he said: “It’s always going to be hard to find a solution. If you take it out of the Constructors’ [points], if you’ve got a sensible lead, you can just keep taking [new] engines, so there’s never going to be a perfect scenario to this.
“Maybe three engines for the season feels a bit shy when you’re taking fourth and fifth engines on a world tour anyway. Why not use them?”
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