Alex Albon calls for change: 5-second F1 penalties “aren’t strict enough”

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Alex Albon has stated that 5-second penalties are not enough following more controversy involving Sergio Perez at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Photo credit: Williams Racing

At the Singapore GP the weekend before, the Mexican hit Yuki Tsunoda in the sidepod on the opening lap which caused terminal damage to the AlphaTauri.

On lap 58, he tried a desperate lunge on the Thai into turn 13 for P10. Once again it was the sidepod that was hit. Albon could continue but lost valuable time and points.

Perez barged him out of the way unfairly and was only handed a 5-second penalty. He retained P8 due to the pace of the RB19 and gap he could pull over Liam Lawson’s AlphaTauri in the last few laps.

At Suzuka last Sunday, another desperate lunge from Perez on Kevin Magnussen at the hairpin on lap 12 saw the Danish driver end up in the spin.

Ironically, Albon was the car behind the fight and got a perfect view of what went on, as well as stating the Red Bull driver had tried the same move on him earlier.

“In Turn 11 he did the same move again to me on track today.

“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.”

Magnussen said afterwards that the clumsy move isn’t a good luck for the 33-year-old.

“I think he’s penalising himself, there’s a natural penalty for him doing that.

“It doesn’t look good for him, but it is what it is. We’re racing. He was in a shitty position, and he made a shitty move.”

Although Perez did eventually serve his penalty, Guenther Steiner believes it had no real significance as the Mexican had to retire because of damage, leaving the Haas boss frustrated.

“I think obviously Checo can feel the pressure. 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.”