Raghunathan escapes F2 ban due to rules despite penalty points
The Indian has had 24 penalty points in 10 months.
MP Motorsport driver Mahaveer Raghunathan will not face a ban from FIA Formula 2 (F2) Championship in Abu Dhabi despite having accumulated enough penalty points.
Raghunathan already served a ban earlier in the 2019 F2 season at Red Bull Ring after accumulating nine points in Paul Ricard to make it 12. He was replaced by then Red Bull junior Patricio O'Ward for the weekend, who joined Jordan King at MP Motorsport.
Having had the points written off then, Raghunathan accumulated further 12 points until the practice of the Abu Dhabi weekend at Yas Marina circuit, where he was penalised to start the feature race from the pitlane as he failed to adhere to red flag procedure.
Following the penalty announcement, the FIA clarified that Raghunathan won't be banned in Abu Dhabi as the F2 rules state that the driver can only be banned from the following event rather than the current one he/she is competing in.
Since Abu Dhabi is the final round of the 2019 F2 season, it means the ban will be nullified and not carried over to 2020 if he stays in the championship. The rule seems odd but since it is not often used, it only comes into view when something like this happens.
The Indian racer has become a common name for all the wrong reasons among media and fans but amazingly, he has a point to his name from the rookie F2 season. He is a BOSS GP champion but hasn't raced consistently enough to be ready for the highest level.
The FIA is looking into altering the rules, so that such things do not happen in the future. Effectively, Raghunathan has had 24 penalty points on his superlicense in not even one year but within 10 months as the first round took place in March 2019.
It remains to be seen if he continues in F2 next year but considering the amount of negative publicity he has had, it might be better bet to move back to F3 and or switch to sportscar racing and start with LMP3.
[Image courtesy: FIA Formula 2 Championship] [Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]