Fans and some teams were confused for nearly four hours after qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, when no one was sure how the FIA would implement a wave of grid penalties and determine the final line-up.
The uncertainty over the grid and the long time it took to be confirmed led to suggestions for implementing a better system, especially as the FIA regularly waits for scrutineering to be completed before issuing a provisional grid.
But seasoned F1 fan Permane, who has worked in the sport for decades, thinks an obvious solution would be to set up a computer program that could instantly calculate penalties once the last cars crossed the line. .
Because he felt that while some teams fully understood the penalties and how they were implemented – which changed in 2020 with drivers now stuck at their grid drops – it would help everyone make things clearer for fans.
“We have guidelines from 2020 and I think the grid is formed exactly as it is in that guideline,” explains Permane.
“That guideline has been developed, has been developed with F1 and the FIA and has been applied consistently ever since. So I don’t think there are any surprises in it. But maybe there were people who didn’t have the guideline, I think.
“But I do agree that waiting for three and three quarters of an hour on a grid is a bit long. I think it would be relatively easy for them to publish it when the last car crosses the border, with the understanding that it could change after inspection or whatever.
“They could put all known punishments in something, and it would be better for everyone.”
Fans watch as the starting grid is launched before the start
Photo By: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
The way the FIA process documents on a Grand Prix weekend are laid down in the sporting regulations, and the only condition is that a provisional grid must be published at least four hours before the formation lap.
Any modification to procedures to accommodate a potentially expected grid might require a rule change, but probably wouldn’t face much resistance.
When asked by UKTN if it would be easy to come up with a computer program that would instantly regulate grid penalties, Permane said: “I can imagine that, but I’m no expert!
“But you would know that the car that comes in first gets a ten-place penalty. You’ll have all the information at the end of qualifying and I’m sure they’ll look into it.
“I don’t know exactly why it took so long [at Monza]. I think they double checked everything, triple checked everything.
“They should publish a grid four hours before the start of a race, so anything we get on Saturday night is a bonus, and they publish a provisional grid.
“I get it for you [the media]it’s important, and it’s also important for us to start building our strategies and things like that.”