Why Does Each Driver Have Their Penalty Points? - WTF1
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Why Does Each Driver Have Their Penalty Points?

Ah, penalty points. They’ve been a big talking point recently, but what actually are they? Well, they’re handed to drivers if they do something that the FIA consider to be dangerous. This could be causing a collision, ignoring yellow flags, or even driving too fast under the safety car.

When a driver receives a penalty point, they remain on their licence for a year before expiring. However, there is big trouble if you total up to 12 of these points over the space of a year. Simply put, you earn yourself a race ban.

This article will also be updated over the season, so be sure to bookmark as your one-stop place for all penalty points news and updates. Any new penalties will be highlighted in orange. This article was last updated after the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix.

Here is a breakdown on why each driver has their penalty points, and when they eventually expire!

Six Penalty Points

Surprisingly, reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton is one of two drivers on the grid with the most penalty points to his name at this moment in time. The seven-time champ has a total of six points, but this total could have been even higher.

Austrian GP – Two Points
Expires: 5th July 2021
Reason: failure to slow for single-waved yellow flags during qualifying.

Austrian GP – Two Points
Expires: 5th July 2021
Reason: collision with Albon during the race.

Italian GP – Two Points
Expires: 6th September 2021
Reason: entered the Pit Lane when closed during the race.

No Penalty Points

Valtteri Bottas has not scored a single penalty point in the last two years. A* student, Valtteri.

No Penalty Points

Verstappen has also not got any penalty points on his licence.

Four Penalty Points

As well as being handed these points, Checo was also given two reprimands for separate incidents during the Portuguese Grand Prix weekend. These reprimands had no impact on his penalty points, but if he earnt another during the 2020 season, Perez would have been handed a 10-place grid penalty.

Spanish GP – One Point
Expires: 16th August 2021
Reason: ignoring blue flags during the race.

Tuscan GP – One Point
Expires: 11th September 2021
Reason: caused a collision with Raikkonen in FP2.

Emilia Romagna GP – Two Points
Expires: 18th April 2022
Reason: overtaking two cars during a safety car period.

Five Penalty Points

Lando Norris started 2020 without any penalty points, but currently has five to his name in 2021.

Styrian GP – Two Points
Expires: 10th July 2021
Reason: overtaking Gasly at Turn 5 under yellow flags in FP1.

Turkish GP – Three Points
Expires: 14th November 2021
Reason: failure to respect yellow flags at Turn 8 during qualifying.

One Penalty Point

Ricciardo started the 2020 season with seven penalty points on his licence, but now only has one.

Russian GP – One Point
Expires: 27th September 2021
Reason: failure to follow Race Director’s instructions (left the track at Turn 2) during the race.

Three Penalty Points

Heading into the 2021 season, Leclerc has three penalty points.

Styrian GP – One Point
Expires: 11th July 2021
Reason: impeding Kvyat during qualifying.

Sakhir GP – Two Points
Expires: 6th December 2021
Reason: collided with Perez, causing Verstappen to take avoiding action and hit a barrier during the race.

One Penalty Point

Ferrari’s newest recruit, Carlos Sainz, has just a single penalty point on his licence.

Turkish GP – One Point
Expires: 14th November 2021
Reason: impeded Perez during qualifying.

No Penalty Points

As Fernando didn’t compete in F1 last year, he didn’t pick up any penalty points and hasn’t so far this season.

One Penalty Point

Esteban has kept things fairly in-check over the last year and only has the one point.

70th Anniversary GP – One Point
Expires: 8th August 2021
Reason: impeding Russell during qualifying.

Five Penalty Points

Sebastian had no penalty points coming into the 2021 season, however after a nightmare weekend at the first race of the season he picked up five points in a single across qualifying and the race.

Bahrain GP – Three Points
Expires: 28th March 2022
Reason: failure to respect double yellow flags at Turn 1 during qualifying.

Bahrain GP – Two Points
Expires: 28th March 2022
Reason: collided with Ocon at Turn 1 in the race.

Four Penalty Points

Stroll currently has four penalty points to his name, collecting three during the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix and another when F1 visited Imola in 2021.

Portuguese GP – Two Points
Expires: 25th October 2021
Reason: causing a collision with Norris during the race.

Portuguese GP – One Point
Expires: 25th October 2021
Reason: leaving the track without a justifiable reason multiple times during the race.

Emilia Romagna GP – One Point
Expires: 18th April 2022
Reason: leaving the track and gained a lasting advantage for passing Gasly.

Four Penalty Points

Kimi currently has four penalty points on his licence after three separate incidents during 2020.

Hungarian GP – One Point
Expires: 19th July 2021
Reason: car was out of position at the start of the race.

Tuscan GP – One Point
Expires: 13th September 2021
Reason: failure to enter the Pit Lane to the right of the white line during the race.

Eifel GP – Two Points 
Expires: 11th October 2021
Reason: causing a collision with Russell at Turn 1 during the race.

Three Penalty Points

British GP – One Point
Expires: 2nd August 2021
Reason: failure to slow under the safety car during the race.

Italian GP – Two Points
Expires: 6th September 2021
Reason: entered the Pit Lane when closed during the race.

One Penalty Point

Gasly picked up his first penalty points during the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix weekend. He misjudged the position of his AlphaTauri on the starting grid, earning himself a five-second penalty and a point on his licence.

Spanish GP – One Point
Expires: 9th May 2022
Reason: Gasly was out of position at the start of the race.

One Penalty Point

Yuki has earned himself his first penalty point for breaking track limits over the Imola weekend.

Emilia Romagna GP – One Point
Expires: 18th April 2022
Reason: leaving the track without a justifiable reason multiple times.

No Penalty Points

With this being the 2020 F2 Champion’s first year in F1, Mick has no penalty points to his name.

Two Penalty Points

Portuguese GP – One Point
Expires: 2nd May 2022
Reason: ignoring blue flags during the race.

Spanish GP – One Point 
Expires: 9th May 2022
Reason: impeded Norris during qualifying.

Six Penalty Points

George Russell is also on six penalty points – equalled with Lewis Hamilton.

British GP – Three Points
Expires: 1st August 2021
Reason: failure to respect double yellow flags at Turn 7 during qualifying.

Turkish GP – Three Points
Expires: 14th November 2021
Reason: failure to respect double yellow flags at Turn 3 during qualifying.

No Penalty Points

Russell’s teammate, Latifi, enters the 2021 season with a completely clean licence having being handed no penalty points in his debut season. Good work!

This article was last updated on 2nd May 2021.

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