Motorsport: Penalty process is wrong

Shane van Gisbergen's best form of defence is attack. Picture / Getty Images
Shane van Gisbergen's best form of defence is attack. Picture / Getty Images

The saga of the 15-second penalty given to Jamie Whincup and the appeal process has got me thinking things need to be done to stop it happening again.

Bathurst is the biggest race on the Supercars calendar and it means a lot to teams and this has been messy.

If I was in Whincup's position, I would have had a crack at passing Scott McLaughlin, too - I think any racer would have. But he made a small error and I think he probably needed some sort of punishment.

A 15-second penalty might have been a bit too harsh so maybe 10 seconds could be about right.

I am not a fan of the redress rule. I just think there are so many scenarios that make that so difficult to play out. You have drivers looking in their mirrors trying to weave their way backwards through the field to allow another driver to get past. There are situations like at Bathurst where the redress became impossible.

There was another situation at Bathurst between Rick Kelly and Chris Pither.

Kelly's radio wasn't working but he knocked Pither off the road. He accepted it was his fault but he didn't redress because Pither had gone 10 or 12 spots back from where he was. Is that really what we want drivers doing? Pulling over and waiting and letting other cars go past. I'm not a fan of it. There are just too many scenarios where it won't work.

There are too many layers and complexities in the system and it needs to be simplified.

It is a precarious topic and a difficult one to get right.

I don't think Red Bull Racing will take the matter any further so Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen will take a 139-point lead in the championship to this weekend's Gold Coast 600.

Some people are wondering whether Van Gisbergen should start thinking about driving to protect his lead now but I don't think he should. That isn't his style anyway.

There are still 900 points on offer between now and the rest of the year. His best method of defence is to go out and win races and drive as fast as he can.

All you have to do is look what happened at Bathurst and the things that changed there. Whincup was 30-odd seconds down the road before the first safety car and in control of the race and then it all turned upside down.

There are just too many variables that can interfere that are outside of your control.

The two Red Bull Racing cars are incredibly fast - there is no question they are the fastest cars out there. I can't see anyone else making a run now and fighting them off to win the championship - it will be between Van Gisbergen and Whincup.

- NZ Herald

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