Paris, Tuesday: The FIA and its Formula One race stewards have been criticised today for pre-emptively issuing penalties ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix, which takes place in Sao Paulo in less than two weeks’ time.

Penalised: Brazilian Grand Prix starters
Penalised: Brazilian Grand Prix starters

After the madness of qualifying in the Japanese GP at Suzuka, where five drivers were given grid penalties for failing to adhere to yellow flag regulations, the stewards in Japan have decided to issue every driver with a pre-emptive five-place grid penalty for the next race.

“The reasoning behind this is very simple,” one of the stewards said. “What happened at Suzuka was a real problem because it meant that we had to spend an awful lot of time deliberating over who was deserving of a penalty, and what penalties should be handed out. Then after that, we had to spend hours trying to work out what the actual starting grid for the race would be. All this detracted from the very limited and valuable time we have to drink tea, sit on our arses and stare out of the window.

“Therefore we have decided to pre-empt the rule violations some drivers are bound to make for the next race, and penalise them for it in advance. That way, if they transgress, they’ve already been punished.

“And if they don’t, well, we’ll find some reason. Blocking penalties aren’t really in vogue any more, maybe it’s time to bring those back.”

Penalising the entire grid at the same time means that the drivers will start in Brazil in the order in which they qualified. “But they’ll have a very strong reason not to do whatever it is they may or may not have done again,” the steward added.

In other Brazil GP news, Toyota’s Timo Glock is glad that it was his left leg, not his right that was injured ahead of the race, “because sometimes on that last bend my foot just slips off the accelerator. Oops.”