Red Bull’s Sergio Perez will be entering the 2024 F1 season with the most penalty points on his superlicence after being found to have caused several incidents in 2023.
With his team-mate Max Verstappen also having a couple of points under his belt, the Red Bull team have the most penalty points of any team.
What are driver penalty points?
The F1 penalty point system is in place to try and control driver behaviour and minimise racing incidents.
Similar to a regular driving licence, if a driver is given 12 penalty points on their superlicence over a 12-month period, they will be punished with a one-race ban. If a driver receives a ban, then the points will be removed from a driver’s superlicence when they return.
The superlicence is a mandatory requirement for any F1 driver to compete and is awarded by the FIA. The system was first introduced in the early 1990s, with penalty points brought in in 2014.
Any points given to drivers expire 12 months after they were awarded.
Here are all the penalty points that were handed out to drivers in 2023 and when they will expire:
Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, in Singapore
Photo by: Michael Potts / Motorsport Images
Sergio Perez – Seven points
Sergio Perez was given seven points during the 2023 season, with four of those coming at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver’s first penalty point came at the Singapore Grand Prix on 17 September, when he caused a collision with Alex Albon. Perez managed to finish in eighth place after a contact with the British-Thai driver on the Turn 13 left-hander.
Albon was deflected off-line, having to then brake hard, which resulted in a lock-up of his tyres as he tried to avoid hitting the wall.
Both drivers were summoned to the race stewards, who decided that Albon had attempted to take the normal racing line through the corner but was unaware of the precise location of Perez. They also concluded that the Mexican’s move up the inside was considered to be an “optimistic late manoeuvre” and he was predominately to blame for the collision.
Perez was then awarded four points at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix the following week for two separate incidents. The first two penalty points were awarded after he passed Fernando Alonso under safety car conditions following a Lap 1 collision between himself, Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton. Perez managed to limp his car…