Fernando Alonso believes F1’s superlicence penalty points system is punishing “racing mistakes” when it should be reserved for instances of dangerous driving.

Formula 1 drivers can receive penalty points from FIA stewards for infringing the regulations. Any driver who collects 12 points over a 12 period receives in a one-round suspension.

Aston Martin driver Alonso moved onto eight penalty points at the Austrian Grand Prix. He is four away from a race ban and will not deduct any for another 15 rounds.

He gained two penalty points last weekend for colliding with Zhou Guanyu on lap 20 of Sunday’s grand prix and was involved in a separate incident in the sprint race when Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg pushed him off track and caused him to lose two positions.

Speaking to media including RaceFans ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, Alonso argued that he disagreed with the philosophy behind the current penalty points system.

“I think when penalty points were introduced, it was to avoid dangerous drivers, who keep accumulating penalties without a race ban or something,” Alonso said. “Just to avoid dangerous manoeuvres and putting in danger anyone on track.

“I think now we are mistaking racing mistakes with dangerous driving. I made a racing mistake in turn three and I hit Zhou and I deserved a 10-second penalty. I think maybe Nico – or another driver, I don’t know, in the race – made a racing mistake and you pay the price – or you give back the position, or you have five seconds or 10-second penalty. This is a racing mistake. It always will happen and it did happen in the past.

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“What I don’t get is the ‘danger’ involved from those manoeuvres – because there is no ‘danger’. We are taking away the incentive to try an overtaking manoeuvre, because if you make a racing mistake you will get penalised with penalty points. So it’s better sometimes to stay behind, because they are just promoting only DRS overtaking. Because you cannot make an attempt to pass anyone, because it’s going to be penalty points for one of the two drivers. So this is, for me, wrong.”

Only one driver has received a race ban in the last 15 seasons in Formula 1. Romain Grosjean was suspended for a round for triggering a multi-car crash at the start of the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix, which was one of several incidents in the years leading up to the superlicence system being introduced in 2014. Alonso suggests that the current regulations are too overbearing when it comes to restricting wheel-to-wheel racing and punishing minor incidents.

“We try to prevent dangerous drivers taking penalties every two or three weekends and putting people in danger,” he said. “In the past, I think, this was back when Grosjean had the accident in Spa with Lewis [Hamilton] and myself involved, something like that.

“Now, I think we’ve definitely never had so many rules as we have now. We cannot overtake on the pit lane, we cannot go fast in the pit lane, we cannot go slow on track – we cannot do basically anything. This is probably over-regulated and we drivers feel frustrated sometimes – teams as well. But we need to find a solution between all of us. We cannot leave the FIA alone on this. We need to propose something that is better than the current rule and this is something that we need to do between all of us.”

Alonso says the complexity of the racing rules does not mix well with the split-second decision making and intense pressure that drivers come under during an on-track battle.

“You’re always racing, trusting the other drivers,” he said.

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“You forget the rules for a moment when you are in the heat of a battle and you are fighting sometimes for points, sometimes for podiums and sometimes even for world championships. I’ve been fighting for world championships five times at the last race, in the last moments of the season. How can you think about the rules in that moment? You go for an overtake or you go for a defence and you try to be fair and you need to trust the other drivers. So that’s probably the way we always race.”

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