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Engine penalties 'completely unfair' to drivers - Hakkinen

Mika Hakkinen on the grid at the Spanish Grand Prix
© XPB 

Two-time world champion Mika Halkkinen believes F1's engine penalty system is 'completely unfair to drivers" and needs to be revised asap.

The former McLaren driver likely won't find many who would disagree with his reproval of a ridiculous system which indeed only undermines a driver's efforts and disappoints fans.

"It is ridiculous that a driver should be put to the back of the grid because his engine needs new parts," wrote the Finn in a column for Unibet.

"I realise it is easy to criticise this system, and hard to come up with the right alternative, but it is simply the case that the driver is not guilty if the team or its supplier has to use new parts.

"The current system is like a child being naughty at school, but instead of the child being punished the whole family gets into trouble!

"It does not really make much sense, and penalties make it very difficult for the fans to follow."

Hakkinen recalled the days when penalties were handed out to drivers for bad behaviour out on the race track, believing that's where the buck should stop when it comes to punishing drivers.

"When I was racing in Formula One we had penalties, particularly if you were naughty on track and the race stewards decided a punishment was required," explained the 48-year-old.

"But that is normal, and we still have those kinds of penalties for drivers today. Under certain circumstances, there would be a financial penalty just to make sure you took it seriously.

"The engine and gearbox penalties today are completely on another level and unfair on the drivers.

"The teams and engine companies know the rules when they design and develop the cars, or bring upgrades to them.

"So when they get their sums wrong and need to make changes it is the teams and engine suppliers who should be penalised, not the drivers who want to race and the fans who expect to see their heroes start the race from the position they qualified."

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