Red Bull’s Sergio Perez will be entering the 2024 F1 season with the most penalty points on his superlicence after being found to have caused several incidents in 2023.
With his team-mate Max Verstappen also having a couple of points under his belt, the Red Bull team have the most penalty points of any team.
What are driver penalty points?
The F1 penalty point system is in place to try and control driver behaviour and minimise racing incidents.
Similar to a regular driving licence, if a driver is given 12 penalty points on their superlicence over a 12-month period, they will be punished with a one-race ban. If a driver receives a ban, then the points will be removed from a driver’s superlicence when they return.
The superlicence is a mandatory requirement for any F1 driver to compete and is awarded by the FIA. The system was first introduced in the early 1990s, with penalty points brought in in 2014.
Any points given to drivers expire 12 months after they were awarded.
Here are all the penalty points that were handed out to drivers in 2023 and when they will expire:
Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, in Singapore
Photo by: Michael Potts / Motorsport Images
Sergio Perez – Seven points
Sergio Perez was given seven points during the 2023 season, with four of those coming at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver’s first penalty point came at the Singapore Grand Prix on 17 September, when he caused a collision with Alex Albon. Perez managed to finish in eighth place after a contact with the British-Thai driver on the Turn 13 left-hander.
Albon was deflected off-line, having to then brake hard, which resulted in a lock-up of his tyres as he tried to avoid hitting the wall.
Both drivers were summoned to the race stewards, who decided that Albon had attempted to take the normal racing line through the corner but was unaware of the precise location of Perez. They also concluded that the Mexican’s move up the inside was considered to be an “optimistic late manoeuvre” and he was predominately to blame for the collision.
Perez was then awarded four points at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix the following week for two separate incidents. The first two penalty points were awarded after he passed Fernando Alonso under safety car conditions following a Lap 1 collision between himself, Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton. Perez managed to limp his car back to the pits but in the process overtook the Aston Martin.
The Red Bull driver was handed a five-second penalty for the incident, which he served 10 laps later during a pitstop. He rejoined the race behind Haas’ Kevin Magnussen but attempted an unsuccessful overtake on the hairpin.
Red Bull retired Perez’s car to repair the damage, however, later in the race the car was then sent back out to serve another five-second penalty before being retired for good on lap 43. The crash with Kevin Magnussen also resulted in two more superlicence penalty points for Sergio Perez.
Perez’s final two penalty points were given to him at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after causing a collision with Lando Norris. During an intense battle for fourth place, the Red Bull attempted to drive up the inside of the McLaren during the Turn 6-7 chicane.
However, a correction by the Mexican resulted in him crashing into the front-left wheel of the British driver, forcing Norris to go wide. Perez finished the race in second place but after being hit with a five-second penalty, dropped to fourth.
Causing a collision with Alex Albon
Overtaking Fernando Alonso under safety car conditions
Causing a collision with Kevin Magnussen
Causing a collision with Lando Norris
Logan Sargeant managed to obtain six points on his superlicence in his rookie year, and received his first two penalty points for causing a collision with Valtteri Bottas at the Italian Grand Prix.
The Alfa Romeo driver had successfully overtaken the Williams on Turn 1 of lap 43, but Sargeant then attempted to come back at Bottas into the second chicane. The American pulled inside of the Finnish driver, where he then locked up and went into the Alfa Romeo sidepod.
Sargeant then received two more penalty points for colliding, again, with Valtteri Bottas at the Japanese Grand Prix. The pair clashed on lap five at Suzuka’s hairpin when Sargeant hit the Alfa Romeo’s right-rear tyre as he tried to overtake him on the outside of the corner.
Both cars attempted to carry on but, with terminal damage, the Alfa Romeo and Williams were both retired from the race.
Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45, Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Sargeant’s final two penalty points came during qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix after he was deemed by stewards to have overtaken Yuki Tsunoda during yellow flags conditions.
The Williams driver had said he had seen a green panel before overtaking the slow-moving AlphaTauri, but stewards noted: “Overtaking can only occur after passing the green panel or flag. It was also noted that he did not make a sufficient reduction in speed.”
Causing a collision with Valtteri Bottas
Causing a collision with Valtteri Bottas
Failure to comply with a yellow flag during qualifying
Lance Stroll was given five penalty points during the 2023 season, and his first two points were awarded after a collision with Pierre Gasly at the British Grand Prix.
A previous manoeuvre earlier in the race between the pair had left the Alpine driver “extremely confused” that the Aston Martin driver had not been punished for gaining the advantage off track. Gasly was able to reclaim the position back later in the race, however on lap 48 Stroll attempted an overtake on Vale corner, which resulted in a collision.
The crash left the Alpine with damage, which saw Gasly retired from the race. Stroll was then awarded a five-second penalty and two points on his superlicence after stewards determined that Gasly was “entitled to the line at the exit” and that the Aston Martin driver was responsible for the collision.
Stroll was then awarded three penalty points at the Las Vegas Grand Prix for overtaking under yellow flag conditions during FP3. Stroll overtook Carlos Sainz as double yellow flags were being waved, after Albon collided with the barriers.
The Aston Martin driver then claimed he had his “head down” and looking at his dash, but it was decided by the stewards that he could have done more to avoid the incident.
Collision with Pierre Gasly
Overtaking under yellow flag conditions
Lewis Hamilton – Four points
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton obtained four penalty points no his superlicence during the 2023 season.
His first two points were awarded after causing a collision with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez at the Belgian Grand Prix. The pair were wheel to wheel during Turns 14 and 15 before Hamilton’s car punctured Perez’s side pod. The Red Bull was forced to retire after being passed by multiple other cars and ending up in the gravel following the incident.
Hamilton was then awarded a further two penalty points at the Italian Grand Prix for causing a collision with Oscar Piastri.
The pair came together at the second chicane, which forced the McLaren to pit for a new front wing. Hamilton was quick to apologise to Piastri and take full blame for the accident but was awarded a five-second penalty and two points on his superlicence.
Causing a collision with Sergio Perez
Causing a collision with Oscar Piastri
George Russell was awarded four points on his superlicence during the last F1 season, with the first two points coming at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Russell skidded off the track at Mirabeau after switching to intermediates as it began to rain. He then rejoined the track tightly in front of Sergio Perez, resulting in the Red Bull colliding with the back of the Mercedes.
Russell was then given two penalty points and a five-second penalty for rejoining the track in an unsafe manner and causing a collision with the Perez.
George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
Russell received a further two points on his superlicence after causing a collision with Max Verstappen at the Las Vegas Grand Prix. The two cars made contact on lap 25 after Verstappen went for an inside overtake on Turn 12.
There was minor damage to both cars, which resulted in a safety car due to the debris on the track. Stewards decided that Verstappen had “a significant portion of the car alongside” during the corner and that Russell was at fault for the collision.
Despite the damage, both cars were able to finish the race with Max Verstappen claiming another victory.
Rejoining the track in an unsafe manner, causing a collision with Sergio Perez
Causing a collision with Max Verstappen
Yuki Tsunoda – Three Points
Yuki Tsunoda was given three points on his superlicence during the 2023 season. His first point came at the Spanish Grand Prix, where he was found to have forced Zhou Guanyu off the track.
On lap 56 the Alfa Romeo driver used DRS to challenge Tsunoda on the outside of Turn 1 before the pair moved into Turn 2. Stewards ruled that the AlphaTauri driver forced the Alfa Romeo off at Turn 2, which resulted in Zhou being forced to take an escape road before rejoining the circuit.
Tsunoda was also awarded two penalty points for causing a collision with George Russell at the Dutch Grand Prix. The pair came together at Turn 1, which caused damage to the Mercedes’ tyres. Russell revealed at the end of the race that the collision had led to “massive vibrations” in the car.
Forcing Zhou Guanyu off track
Causing a collision with George Russell
Valtteri Bottas – Two points
Valtteri Bottas was given two penalty points on his superlicence for causing a collision with Lance Stroll at the Mexican Grand Prix.
The pair went wheel to wheel on lap 67 as Stroll looked to overtake Bottas for 13th place. The Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo then made contact at the penultimate corner, which sent Stroll spinning.
The Canadian was then forced to retire his car from the race.
Causing a collision with Lance Stroll
Zhou Guanyu – Two points
Zhou Guanyu was awarded two penalty points at the Hungarian Grand Prix for causing a collision with Daniel Ricciardo.
The Chinese driver had a slow getaway at the very start of the race before he crashed into the back of the AlphaTauri, who was braking for Turn 1. This forced Ricciardo into Estaban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, which saw both Alpine cars retired.
Zhou suffered front wing damage and finished the race in 16th, just ahead of three retired cars and Kevin Magnussen in 17th. Stewards ruled that the Alfa Romeo driver “simply did not slow down enough when approaching the corner, resulting in an unnecessary collision”.
Causing a collision with Daniel Ricciardo
Nico Hulkenberg was found by the stewards to be at fault for causing a collision with Logan Sargeant at the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Haas driver attempted an opportunistic pass at the Mirabeau corner during Lap 1, where he lunged down the inside of the Williams. The American driver moved left to avoid the German on his inside, but the two cars ended up making contact.
Causing a collision with Logan Sargeant
Carlos Sainz – Two points
Carlos Sainz was given two points on his superlicence as a punishment for causing a collision with Fernando Alonso at the Australian Grand Prix.
Following the second red flag race restart, the Ferrari clipped the Aston Martin as they exited Turn 1. Alonso restarted in third place, in front of Sainz, where he moved to the outside of the track before cutting back across. Sainz clipped the AMR23, which sent it spinning into the wall.
The crash resulted in a third red flag and the safety car to lead the field over the line. Sainz was given a five-second penalty but, under safety car conditions, was not allowed to fight to regain positions.
Alonso spoke following the race, calling the penalty “too harsh”.
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23 in Melbourne
Photo by: Lionel Ng / Motorsport Images
Causing a collision with Fernando Alonso
Max Verstappen – Two points
Max Verstappen has two penalty points on his superlicence for forcing Charles Leclerc off the track at the start of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
The incident occurred during Turn 1 when the Red Bull pulled alongside the Ferrari as they entered the hairpin. Verstappen ran Leclerc off the edge of the track, with the pair arguing that their front axles were ahead at the apex.
Stewards decided that the Red Bull was at fault before awarding the Dutch driver a five-second penalty and two points on his superlicence.
Forcing Charles Leclerc off track
Although Nyck de Vries lost his F1 seat with AlphaTauri following the British Grand Prix, the driver still has unexpired penalty points on his superlicence.
De Vries was awarded two points on his superlicence for forcing Kevin Magnussen off the track during lap 35 of the Austrian Grand Prix. The AlphaTauri driver was fighting with the Haas for 15th place before Magnussen was forced into the gravel trap, making him drop to last place.
It was the second altercation between the pair, after an incident on lap four. Following a safety car restart, the Danish driver attempted to go round the outside of the Dutch driver at turn four.
Magnussen did not fully come alongside De Vries who was able to keep his line, resulting in the Haas driver running into the gravel.
Forcing Kevin Magnussen off the track
F1 driver penalty points at the start of 2024
Here are how many penalty points each driver has at the start of the 2024 F1 season: