Albon: Five-second penalties 'not teaching drivers anything'

In last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was handed two five-second penalties, the second of which was for “causing a collision” with Haas” Kevin Magnussen.

The incident took place at Suzuka’s Turn 11 hairpin, where Albon was almost punted out by Perez earlier in the race when the Mexican had indulged in the same move that caused Magnussen’s DNF.

Albon had also found himself on the receiving end of the Perez’s clumsiness in Singapore a week earlier when the Red Bull charger divebombed the Williams into a corner, forcing Albon to lock up and avoid the barrier which pushed him outside of the top-ten which Perez carried on.

It’s clear for the Williams driver, using Perez as an example, that the current penalties are neither harsh enough or serving as the deterrent that they should.

  • Read also: Perez handed four penalty points amid catastrophic Japanese GP

“In Turn 11 he did the same move again to me on track today,” explained the Anglo-Thai racer. “I avoided it. And then he did it again to Kevin. I was behind him, so I had the best view of everyone.

“And so clearly it’s not really teaching the drivers anything, because the penalties aren’t strict enough. I mean, that’s two races in a row.”

Addressing Perez’s run-in with Magnussen that led to both drivers’ retirement, Haas team boss Guenther Steiner was also none too pleased with the sanction imposed on Perez given the terminal consequences suffered by his driver.

“I think obviously Checo can feel the pressure,” Steiner said, quoted by “You know which pressure he feels. And these things happen.

“He already had a penalty before he hit us, I don’t know exactly what he did under the yellow, but he did break the rules.

“And obviously some more pressure and then these things happen. It’s five seconds, but there’s no consequence because he retired afterwards.

“I’m never happy that somebody has to retire, but he just destroyed our race, so I’m not happy about that as well.”

Queried on Albon’s plea for harsher penalties, GPDA director George Russell admitted that in some instances it’s hard to separate the consequences of an incident from the incident itself.

“Yeah, I mean I’ve been in the position where I’ve taken blame,” Russell said.

“Austin last year I made the mistake with Carlos and I got five seconds for it. That was probably drive-through worthy.

“It’s difficult because you can’t judge, you shouldn’t judge the consequence of the incident but sometimes you need to judge the consequence of the incident. So I’ll need to review.”

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