F1 Drivers Want Simpler Rules, Equal Treatment for Offenses

f1 grand prix of emilia romagna practice
F1 Drivers Want Simpler Rules, Equal TreatmentRudy Carezzevoli - Getty Images

Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso insists he's not alone in his criticism about the way F1 races are currently being officiated.

The 42-year-old Alonso was particularly outspoken two weeks ago in Miami, seeking face-to-face talks with FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem about alleged anti-Spanish bias in the issuing of penalties for on-track infractions.

But there are plenty of other issues, too—like Kevin Magnussen facing a one-race suspension under the current penalty points system for his defensive driving tactics, and also just general inconsistency in stewarding decisions.

When told that many journalists and fans often don't understand why one driver was penalized but not another, Carlos Sainz said at Imola: "Sometimes the drivers don't either."

Magnussen agreed: "I've raced in IndyCar, and I love the way they race over there. The rules are very clear and very simple, and the racing is great."


When asked about the situation on Thursday, Alonso called for "unity from everyone" in Formula 1 in trying to improve the situation for the good of the sport.

"We are in the process of discussing these things between the drivers, the FIA, the stewards, the future, the regulations, the future driving rules," Alonso said. "And yes, I think the penalties are a little inconsistent from our point of view, even if it's natural that one party always thinks one way and the other side thinks the opposite. That's the natural of sport.

"But we have had some cases, especially in the last two or three years, where both sides think one thing and the 'referee' (the stewards) thinks another way, which is strange in this sport.

f1 grand prix of miami
Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso has wondered if there might even a bias against Spanish drivers when it comes to F1 officiating.NurPhoto - Getty Images

"So this is something we have to work on and I was happy the other day to read that Checo (Perez) and Logan (Sargeant) also said that the penalties are a little strange. So no - I am not the only one," Alonso said.

When asked what he's asking for, Alonso continued: "We just have to simplify it. You know, everyone just wants to have a simple weekend. But we all have to do it together.

"Sometimes we are not united at all, so that is the biggest difficulty I think we have."