FIA set to review Formula 2 driver ban anomaly

Mahaveer Raghunathan pic: FIA Formula 2 website

The FIA is set to review the penalty system in Formula 2 following an anomaly which saw banned Mahaveer Raghunathan continue to compete in Paul Ricard.

Raghunathan picked up three separate penalties in the opening race of the weekend, accruing 12 points on his licence in the process.

Drivers in Formula 2 have the same licencing system as Formula 1, where drivers are allowed 12 penalty points in a rolling 12 month period before being forced to sit out an ‘event’.

The wording of that regulation, however, allowed Raghunathan to compete in Race 2 in Paul Ricard after being banned for this weekend’s event in Austria.

“I don’t think it is a loophole,” explained race director Michael Masi.

“It is an unintended consequence when the penalty points regulations, from my understanding, obviously not having been around when they were designed, (were) obviously designed on a Formula 1 event with one race, not two.

“The regulations are quite specific, being effectively a mirror to a degree of each other, that it’s non-participation in the next event and an event is Thursday to Sunday, the entire weekend.

“It’s one of those that we sort of had a long chat about but yeah he (was) allowed to participate today and it’s something we’ll look at with the steering group and go from there.”

Ragunathan’s three Race 1 penalties related to Virtual Safety Car infractions.

It’s not the first time he’s fallen foul of officials, having twice passed the chequered flag in Bahrain which saw him pick up three penalty points.

With the nine from Paul Ricard’s opening race, it’s enough to see him sit out the Austrian event.

Furthermore, the points accrued remain on his licence, meaning another infraction this season will likely see him sit out another event.

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