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Gasly: Prospect of race ban "embarrassing"

NEWS STORY
10/11/2022

Pierre Gasly admits that the prospect of a race ban for exceeding the number of permitted penalty points is embarrassing.

Having picked up points in successive races in Japan, the US and Mexico, the Frenchman is just two points away from an automatic ban having picked up 10 points over a rolling 12 month period that doesn't end until next May.

This means the AlphaTauri driver, who heads to Alpine at season end, must avoid any misdemeanours until seven races into next season.

"I am not going to lie, it is a very unpleasant situation and quite delicate," he told the media at Interlagos today as the Sao Paulo weekend got underway.

"In some ways, it is also quite embarrassing to be in a situation where I could be banned for a race after the season I have done," he continued, "and I don't really feel I've been particularly dangerous over these past 12 months.

"It would definitely be a harsh penalty," he insisted, "and there has been a lot of discussion with the FIA to try and find a solution. I want to finish the season in the best way with AlphaTauri, and I want to do all the races in 2023 and get the maximum chances to perform for Alpine.

"There is a lot at stake because no-one knows what is going to happen in 2023," he admitted. "I could end up with an amazing car, fighting for the championship for example and I can't take the risk to be banned for a race and lose all my hopes for the championship. It is a very tricky situation."

Some believe the Frenchman's case wasn't helped by his public criticism of officials at Suzuka after they allowed a recovery vehicle on track whilst the field was following the Safety Car.

Though his criticism was fully justified, Gasly picked up a number of penalty points due to the fact that he was speeding at the time despite the fact the track was under red flag conditions.

Other misdemeanours include forcing another driver off track and falling too far behind the Safety Car.

"I've been discussing quite a lot with the FIA to try and find solutions," he revealed, "because the way the regulations are written at the moment, it is quite strict on the drivers. There are some quite harsh penalties, even though it is not always related to dangerous driving and definitely the penalties have a massive reflection on the team and the championship.

"I hope we are going to have more conversations and can find a solution this weekend to avoid ending up in a silly situation where I'll be banned for a race and that will be terrible for myself. It is not the way I saw F1 growing up and don't think it is the correct approach, because I can't really go into next year only two points from a ban and that risk hanging over my head."

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1. Posted by ian_w, 17/11/2022 5:18

"And to top it all off, there was the Tsunoda unexpectedly unlapping himself while in pit lane and ending up more so in traffic than he was before. At least he did the honorable thing and let the leaders past with the widest berth possible. And the FIA has the audacity to claim everything was performed in accordance with the regulations.

Is there not a single legal expert who also is a passionate race enthusiast who understands how racing works that can be consulted when writing the regs ?"

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2. Posted by ian_w, 17/11/2022 5:08

"Well, it almost happened in quite possibly the most ridiculous possible way ...
Gasly was generously given only a warning for "Driving unnecessarily slowly" while the Safety Car was on track during the Sprint race. Part of his justification for going slowly was "there were people on the grid just after SC Line 1".

Can you imagine if that is what got him the FIRST points suspension !!! And he'd just keep getting them after that since the points aren't removed for "time served"."

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3. Posted by ian_w, 12/11/2022 12:10

"It is certainly embarrassing, for the FIA. Today Hasn't is in jeopardy. AND regardless of any race suspension, he will remain in jeopardy until No ago, and possibly into the future, since points are only removed at the end on the 12th month. There is no credit for time served.

Imagine he gets another point this weekend and is suspended for Abu Dhabi. That's bad for the sport. But imagine next season in Bahrain he gets another point for exceeding track limits. Well, now he'd have 13 and face another immediate race suspension! And he's at risk of another few more suspensions before Monaco!

Maybe he's better to take half the season off and Ricciardo can take his seat ?

Seems to be yet another case of the FIA not reading and thinking through the circumstances of the permutations of the rules. Same as the red flag fiasco w/Max and the partial points. Credit for time served? Remove 3 or 6 points."

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4. Posted by rambler, 11/11/2022 5:08

"The stewards have certainly been picking on Gasly and any driver who made derogatory comments about their actions at the Japanese GP. "

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