Three drivers in Formula 2 have received suspensions for an entire weekend as a result of picking up too many penalty points, with DAMS’ Roy Nissany being the latest to be punished. F1 Feeder Series spoke Monza Sprint Race reverse-grid polesitter Frederik Vesti about the general level of driving standards for F2 in 2022.
By Tyler Foster
It was Amaury Cordeel who first reached 12 penalty points following Round 6 in Baku, being banned for Silverstone. Then Campos’ Olli Caldwell was next, missing the weekend at Spa-Franchorchamps. Since then, a chaotic couple of races in Zandvoort led to a suspension for Williams Racing Test Driver, Roy Nissany.
Three drivers being penalised in one Formula 2 or GP2 season has never happened before. The last time multiple drivers got banned was in 2006 when Lucas di Grassi and Sergio Hernandez’s team Durango were banned from competing in the Silverstone Sprint Race.
Safety cars breed safety cars
One reoccurring hazard has been Safety Car restarts. When speaking to F2 rookie and Mercedes Junior, Frederik Vesti, he explained the problem regarding the restarts and why it needs to be changed.
“You can always pick out different situations and say that one was crazy or that shouldn’t have happened. Just talking about the Safety Car restarts: we’ve had issues in Jeddah, we’ve had issues in Baku, we’ve had issues in Zandvoort and every time the leader tries to go really late, not that the leader is doing anything wrong from the regulations, but there’s this effect where everyone stops and in the back it’s impossible to control. I was in the middle of it in Jeddah, my car was luckily fine but the two cars behind me was in the wall. So, there is something to talk about and how we can make it more safe, because there is no meaning to crashing cars under the Safety Car. It’s not the purpose and there is stuff to discuss there for the future.”
“I think this year a lot of people have quite high penalty points, I’m on seven and the maximum is twelve. It’s mainly from the track limits. If you do three track limits, the fourth one is a penalty point, so it’s quite easy to get those points. That’s also what’s happened to a couple of drivers.”
Respect for track limits
The focus for the FIA this year has been clamping down on track limits, with numerous drivers having since picked up penalty points as a result of exceeding track limits more than three times during one race. This would lead to a five second penalty in the race, and a penalty point on the offending drivers’ racing license. As a result of the stricter ruling from the FIA, more drivers than ever have received points. Vesti was impressed with the way that this has been governed, saying that the limits are now respected.
“One other thing I would like to add is also, this year the FIA has been a lot more strict on track limits, which has sort of put everyone a bit more in respect for the track limits. This is a really good thing, because it means that if you do [abuse] track limits, the FIA will see it and they will penalise. So, everyone has really great respect for it, whereas previous years no one was really penalising so everyone was sort of taking the shot and do as much as they want. So, we are in a good place.”
Header photo credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd
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