Formula 1 teams are set for fresh discussions at the Spanish Grand Prix about implementing a driver penalty points system.
FIA race director Charlie Whiting is scheduled to meet teams at a gathering of the Sporting Working Group ahead of the Barcelona race to discuss potential future rule changes. As well as discussions about framing a testing schedule for 2014 – which would require a change to the F1 regulations – the agenda also includes further talks about the introduction of penalty points on licenses.
Although there has been support for the move from a number of teams during initial talks on the matter, there has not yet been the unanimous support that will be needed for an introduction later this season.
In a bid to try and ease concerns from some teams that a host of minor infringements by a driver could lead to a costly penalty later in the campaign, the FIA has already been testing a mock system to show the impact of adding up penalties. This will be evaluated at the SWG meeting to try and win over the skeptics.
Whiting said earlier this year that one of the key issues that needed resolving was that any hefty punishments handed out as a result of penalty points being accrued were deemed worthy.
"It's a complex question and we need to get the balance right, because banning a driver is a serious issue," said Whiting (BELOW). "We need to make sure a driver genuinely deserves any ban.
"We will be monitoring offenses and running a [hypothetical] system in the background to see how it would all work if put into practice. We need to do that for a while."
F1 drivers want the penalty points systems because that would then bring an end to the fines they have been handed for pitlane speeding offenses this year.
Earlier this season, the Grand Prix Drivers' Association had sought clarification from the FIA about why they were still being fined for speeding this year when a deal agreed over a hike in superlicense fees was supposed to have stopped financial penalties.
Following discussions with the FIA, the GPDA has agreed to wait on the fines issue until the penalty points issue is resolved.