Sergio Perez faces one-race ban as the 2024 Formula 1 season begins

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Sergio Perez

Getty Images / Red Bull Media Pool

Before the 2024 Formula 1 season has even begun, Sergio Perez is dangerously close to a one-race ban as he heads in to the first Grand Prix of the season at Bahrain with 7 penalty points on his Superlicense.

He’s not the only one. 10 other F1 drivers also begin 2024 with points on their license which puts them that much closer to a ban.

F1 penalty points

Formula 1 drivers can receive penalties for a number of different driving offences such as forcing another driver off track, causing a collision or overtaking under yellow flags.

Sometimes the penalties that are given as a result of these driving offences must be served during a race (stop / go penalty or drive-through penalty) or sometimes they carry over to the next race (grid position drop).

However, each Formula 1 driver also has a Superlicense on which they can accrue points, just like on a normal driving license.

If they accrue 12 points within a rolling 12-month period then they will face a ban from the following race. This is done to dissuade drivers from continually driving recklessly or dangerously.

If they never make it to 12, the points will disappear off their license exactly 12 months after they’re received.

Sergio Perez

Coming in to the 2024 season, Sergio Perez is starting with 7 points on his Superlicense. If the Mexican driver misbehaves on track enough to receive an additional 5 points he’ll be banned from a race.

Perez’s 7 points were all accrued in the final third of the 2023 season, as the table below shows:

Sergio Perez Penalty Points
Grand Prix Points Date received Reason
Singapore 1 17-Sep 2023 Causing a collision
Japan 2 24-Sep 2023 Overtaking under safety car
Japan 2 24-Sep 2023 Causing a collision
Abu Dhabi 2 26-Nov 2023 Causing a collision

The first point Checo received was at the Singapore GP on the 17th September 2023. That means he has to wait exactly 12 months, until the 17th September 2024, for any points to come off his license.

Another couple of offences before then could well result in the Red Bull driver facing a one-race ban if he makes it up to 12 points.

No doubt those points will be on Sergio’s mind as the season begins. Knowing he’s only a couple of clumsy collisions away from a potential ban will make him second-guess how aggressive to be during races. That might make him less assertive and decisive at the crucial moments.

Other drivers with penalty points

Perez isn’t the only one starting the season with a penalty-point cloud looming over them. 

10 other drivers also have points on their licenses which they racked up in 2023 and are still in effect at the start of this year.

F1 Drivers Penalty Points at the start of 2024
Driver Points Date of first expiry
Sergio Perez 7 17-Sep 2024
Logan Sargeant 6 3-Sep 2024
Lance Stroll 5 9-Jul 2024
Lewis Hamilton 4 29-Jul 2024
George Russell 4 28-May 2024
Yuki Tsunoda 3 4-June 2024
Max Verstappen 2 19-Nov 2024
Carlos Sainz 2 2-April 2024
Valtteri Bottas 2 29-Oct 2024
Zhou Guanyu 2 23-Jul 2024
Nico Hulkenberg 2 29-May 2024

Logan Sargeant is a close second behind Perez, with the American driver sitting on a total of 6 points and already half way to facing a one-race ban.

Behind him is the Canadian F1 driver Lance Stroll with 5 points. Stroll was the only driver to be awarded 3 points for one specific incident last year, receiving the hat-trick for dangerously overtaking under a yellow flag during FP3 at the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Of those 11 drivers above, Carlos Sainz has to wait the shortest amount of time for the points to come off his license. He was awarded two points at the 2023 Australian Grand Prix, so by the 2nd April 2024 he’ll be back down to zero.

It’s reigning champion Max Verstappen who has to wait the longest for any of his points to be removed from his license. He received two points on the first lap of the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix for forcing Charles Leclerc wide on the first corner. 

Max has to wait until 19th November 2024 for those points to be removed.

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Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport travel guides based on my experience as racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who are planning on watching some racing themselves.

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