Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014

Drivers criticise “too harsh” unsafe release penalties

2014 German Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014The new penalties for unsafe releases introduced this year are too harsh, according to some F1 drivers.

Esteban Gutierrez is the most recent driver to have been penalised for an unsafe release. As well a being given a time penalty during the race he had to serve a ten-place grid penalty at the following event.

Sebastian Vettel described the penalties as being “like going to prison for stealing a chocolate bar”.

“It’s too harsh for the drivers,” he added, “it’s more for the team. There’s not much you can do as a driver but it is what it is.”

Kevin Magnussen echoed Vettel’s view, saying “it’s good that if we, us drivers, don’t get points or penalties that harsh because it’s not really our fault.”

“Of course we are a team and we should be penalised somehow together but I think it’s good if it doesn’t just go to the drivers.”

However Nico Rosberg pointed out that if the rule is changed it should still be severe enough to stop people taking risks with safety.

“It’s one of the most dangerous situations for the people who are working in the pit lane,” said Rosbaerg, “so definitely it should be harsh to try and avoid people doing that and things like that happening.”

“But we need to find the best way, what sort of penalties to do.”

2014 German Grand Prix

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