Ex-F1 driver Mark Webber has called for an end to grid penalties in F1 for mechanical failures in the cars.
Currently, each car is allowed 4 of each engine component for the year. As such if they use any more than that, grid penalties are applied for each component over the limit.
The 9-time race winner said:
“There’s too much policing, I don’t want any penalties for a driver that’s had nothing to do with it.
“For example, if a mechanic has put a brake disc in the wrong way, and a driver is at the back of the grid.
“A lot of people don’t watch qualifying, they turn on [the TV] and are like, ‘why is my favourite driver at the back of the grid?’ and so we lose people for that.
“It’s hard enough to get the quality at the front of the grid as it is, let alone having guys diluted down the back through no reason of their own, so we don’t need all that junk in there.”
Asked what he would do instead of grid drops he said:
“Constructors’ points, whatever,” Find a way that you don’t hurt the driver.
Find a way that you don’t hurt the driver.
“There have been so many ridiculous penalties over the last five years that the driver has had nothing to do with, and it’s had a big impact on how the weekend would have been in terms of entertainment.”
The problem with engine grid penalties has come to head recently with Mclaren and Honda.
The latter’s engines have been so poor on reliability that their drivers have gone into races with up to 45 place grid penalties. Which given at the time there were only 20 drivers, it was pretty ridiculous.
With regards to the effect the situation is having on Alonso he said:
“It’s a total waste and an absolute travesty that he’s at the back of the grid, driving a car that’s uncompetitive.
“But he’s still in a situation where he’s driving phenomenally. I think his value has never been higher, what he’s done at the Indy 500, and then what he’s done sometimes with that McLaren.”