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Hulkenberg avoided Bahrain penalties due to new FIA approach

Nico Hulkenberg avoided Formula 1 penalty points in Bahrain for exceeding track limits in an apparent change of mantra by the FIA.

Grand Prix drivers are allowed to accumulate 12 penalty points on their superlicence before a one-race ban is triggered – something no driver has yet achieved.

The penalty points system was topical towards the end of the 2022 season as then-AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly racked up 10 points for minor driving offences – such as falling too far behind another car in the Safety Car queue.

There were rumours that Gasly could think about getting himself banned for the Abu Dhabi finale on purpose to reset his points ahead of his move to Alpine for 2023 – although this never happened.

And Hulkenberg avoided getting penalty points for something Gasly had done in 2022 on his F1 comeback with Haas.

However, Hulkenberg was unable to profit from a Q3 qualifying result. The Haas driver fell back during the race and finished in a lowly P15 on his F1 race return.

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