Phillip Horton  |    |   0  |  14 October 2018

F1 penalty points - who's in the bad books?

Formula 1 stewards frequently distribute penalties for an array of driving offences, leading to sanctions such as time demotions or drive throughs, but they also usually come with penalty points.

Under a system introduced in 2015 drivers are permitted 12 penalty points over a rolling 12-month period.

Should they reach that tally then their Super License will be revoked for one Grand Prix – effectively meaning that they would be banned for the following event.

A driver has not been suspended since Romain Grosjean was forced to sit out the 2012 Italian Grand Prix for causing a multi-car pile-up at the preceding round in Belgium, a sanction that was applied before the current system was introduced.

As the 2018 season cruises towards its finale who is on top of the unwanted penalty pile this year?

Somewhat fittingly, perhaps, it is actually Haas driver Grosjean, who has amassed nine points across the past 12 months.

Grosjean is walking a tightrope for the next couple of races though loses one point after Mexico and two post-Brazil, meaning in theory he should drop to six at the end of 2018.

Second on the list is Red Bull's Max Verstappen, with eight, and five of those have been amassed at the most recent four Grands Prix.

One of Verstappen’s points will be erased next weekend: the point he picked up for illegally passing Kimi Raikkonen at last year’s United States Grand Prix.

Sauber's Marcus Ericsson is third on the list, with seven points, two of which will be wiped following the US Grand Prix.

Williams rookie Sergey Sirotkin is the only other driver to have reached the halfway mark.

Of the remaining drivers Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez are both on five, with a quartet of drivers – Nico Hulkenberg, Brendon Hartley, Valtteri Bottas and Pierre Gasly – on four.

Gasly in turn heads the reprimanded drivers, having been the only person to pick up two for driving standards in 2018, meaning one more will result in a 10-place grid penalty.

Sebastian Vettel, Kevin Magnussen and Fernando Alonso are on three penalty points, while Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen, Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz Jr. have just two, with Stoffel Vandoorne on one.

Two drivers on the grid have not amassed any penalty points in the last 12 months: title leader Lewis Hamilton and rookie Charles Leclerc.

Hamilton, though, picked up a non-driving reprimand in Germany, meaning Leclerc is the sole driver without either a reprimand or a penalty point.

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