Albon calls for review of F1 penalties following Magnussen debacle

The Williams driver believes drive-through penalties could prove more effective than time penalties

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Alexander Albon during 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix | Williams Racing
Alexander Albon during 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix | Williams Racing

Williams driver Alex Albon has levied criticism at the current Formula 1 penalty system, sharing his belief that simple time penalties do not affect all teams and drivers equally. 

In Albon’s view, a drive-through penalty would prove more effective than a 10-second penalty, particularly where the top teams are concerned. 

“Five to ten seconds is still not really a punishing situation, especially when you’re a top team,” Albon told members of the press in Australia.

“You can easily pull out ten seconds, if you do it early enough in the race. Tyre degradation, generally around most tracks, can be one to two seconds a lap, so it only takes five laps to achieve it.

“Let’s see how it goes, but I do think it needs a review.”

Kevin Magnussen during the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP | Haas F1 Team / Zak Mauger / LAT Images
Kevin Magnussen during the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP | Haas F1 Team / Zak Mauger / LAT Images

Fallout from the Magnussen incident continues

Albon’s comments come in the wake of Kevin Magnussen’s controversial tactics at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. After accruing two 10-second penalties – one making contact with Albon and another passing Yuki Tsunoda off-track – Magnussen abandoned his own race in favour of his teammate. 

Magnussen was accused by RB of driving deliberately slowly in order to hold up the cars behind him, opening up a gap for teammate Nico Hulkenberg to pit.

In cases such as this, Albon has suggested that having a driver rescind the position may be a better solution than a penalty.

“I know there’s kind of been an incentive to leave it up to the teams and the drivers to decide if they need to give the position back,” said Albon.

“But in such a clear cut situation like [Magnussen’s manoeuvre], if you’re forced to give the position back that could also work.”

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