Formula 1 drivers could face sporting sanctions if they lose their racing licenses for traffic offenses, under plans being considered by FIA president Jean Todt.
With Todt having highlighted improved road safety as one of the main priorities of his presidency, he has revealed that he thinks it wrong F1 drivers can carry on without punishment if they commit serious offenses on the roads.
In an interview with Le Parisien newspaper, Todt said: "Last year, 1.3 million people died on roads in the world – 90% in developing countries. The forecasts for 2020 are terrible, and they estimate that nearly two million people will be killed if no action is taken by then. Now, with a minimum of dialogue, that figure could be halved. This requires education, improved road networks, and the involvement of new technology on cars."
When asked if, on the back of that push, it would make sense for F1 drivers to face sanctions if they committed traffic offenses, Todt said: "I have actually asked this question.
"There is an incompatibility between the status of a role-model champion, and a possible infringement on the road. A driver is a driver like the others. We are therefore trying to see whether to do something, and how."
Todt's comments come in the wake of the high-profile incident involving Lewis Hamilton at the Australian Grand Prix, when he was charged after being caught by police for driving recklessly as he exited the Albert Park venue.