Max Verstappen facing race ban if F1 incidents continue in 2022

Formula One world champion Max Verstappen faces the possibility of a one-race ban during the 2022 season – if he continues to add penalty points to his racing license.

Verstappen accumulated seven penalty points over the closing stages of the dramatic 2021 campaign, which saw the Dutchman battle with Lewis Hamilton for the world title.

it is against FIA regulations for drivers to pick up more than 12 points across a 12-month period, meaning that Verstappen will have to be careful over the opening months of the new season.

Verstappen was handed penalty points following incidents in Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Qatar – with those points only expiring after 12 months.

The first of those incidents, which came as Verstappen collided with Hamilton and landed on top of his car at the Italian Grand Prix, was not until 12 September 2021.

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Verstappen will therefore have to negotiate 16 races during the 2022 season until the first of his penalty points are wiped from his record.

The penalty points system, which has been in place since 2014, sees drivers face the possibility of an automatic one-race ban if they exceed 12 points over 12 months.

So far, no driver has ever reached the 12-point mark.

Yuki Tsunoda (eight) and Sergio Perez (seven) also enter the 2022 season with a considerable tally, although they will see the first of their points wiped on 18 April.

Hamilton, who was beaten to the world title by Verstappen on the final lap of the season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, will enter the season with two points on his racing license.

The seven-time world champion was penalised for causing Verstappen to crash out of the British Grand Prix in July.

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