Gasly 'embarrassed’ by looming race ban | Drivers want FIA to make changes

Pierre Gasly has admitted his F1 penalty points situation is “a bit embarrassing”, with a race ban looming over his head.
Pierre Gasly (FRA) AlphaTauri in the FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao
Pierre Gasly (FRA) AlphaTauri in the FIA Press Conference. Formula 1…

Gasly has acquired 10 penalty points over the past year - two short of 12 which would result in a race ban.

Since the FIA introduced superlicence points in 2014, no driver has ever acquired 12 penalty points.

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Speaking ahead of this weekend’s F1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Gasly conceded it’s a “very unpleasant situation” to be in.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s a very unpleasant situation, and quite delicate,” Gasly said. “In some ways also, it’s a bit embarrassing to be standing in a position where I could be banned for a race after the season I’ve done.

“I don’t really feel like I’ve been particularly dangerous over the last 12 months, and that would definitely be a harsh penalty.

“But there’s been a lot of discussion with the FIA, trying to find a solution because personally, I want to do all the races, I want to finish the season in the best way I can with AlphaTauri.

“I want to do all the races in 2023 and get the maximum chances to perform for Alpine.

“Obviously, there is a lot at stake because no one knows what’s going to happen in 2023, I could end up with an amazing car, fighting for the championship, for example. I can’t take the risk to be banned for a race and lose all my hopes for the championship. It’s a very tricky situation.”

While Gasly has 10 points to his name, it would be unfair to label him a dangerous or dirty driver.

Four of his 10 penalty points were for incidents not involving other drivers.

He picked up two for falling too far behind the Safety Car in Austin and a further two for ‘gaining an advantage off the circuit’.

Lance Stroll (CDN) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR22 and Pierre Gasly (FRA) AlphaTauri AT03 battle for position. Formula 1 World
Lance Stroll (CDN) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR22 and Pierre Gasly (FRA)…

Gasly confirmed that he’s spoken to the FIA in hope of making the system less strict for F1 2023.

“I’ve been discussing quite a lot with the FIA to try to find solutions,” he added. “The way the regulations are written at the moment, it’s quite strict on the drivers and quite harsh penalties, even though it’s not always related to dangerous driving.

“Definitely, the penalties have massive repercussions on the teams and drivers in the championship. I do hope we are going to have more conversations today but I do hope we can find a solution ahead of the weekend to end up in a silly situation where I’ll be banned for a race weekend. That would be terrible for myself and definitely not the way that I’ve seen the sport growing up. I don’t think that’s the correct approach.

“Obviously, I can’t really go into next year with only two points and that risk over my head. But at the same time, at the moment there is no clear solution so hopefully there can be a good plan going forward for 2023.”

Rivals call for change

Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas revealed there will be changes made to the penalty points rules next year.

(L to R): Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Alfa Romeo F1 Team with Pierre Gasly (FRA) AlphaTauri. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd
(L to R): Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Alfa Romeo F1 Team with Pierre Gasly (FRA)…

“I think there has already been discussions and I think it’s better to keep it internally, Bottas explained. “From my understanding there will be some changes made for the future, because some of the things we’re getting points for weren’t really dangerous. 

“I think the points should be given for something really dangerous where you can do harm to yourself or to somebody else on track. I think we’ll see progress being made, I don’t think Pierre deserves to be in this difficult situation, in the edge, but that’s the rule now, but the main think it’s how it but how it ends in the future.”

Alex Albon - who has seven penalty points - is in a similar situation to Gasly, and called for changes from the FIA.

“I’m quite high up there as well and I completely agree with Pierre,” Albon said. “I think I have three points on my licence that are down to track limits – something which is not dangerous at all and not harming any other driver or myself.

“I think I’ve got another two points for a collision with Lance in Jeddah, which at the end of the race as drivers we deemed was not my fault. So there are a lot of points on my licence which I don’t think I deserve. So we are discussing it and I think there is going to be a change. But we’ve already got the points on our licence, so what happens then?

“Because even if we do make steps forward into next year, do the points we’ve got from previous races stay on or whatever? We do need to do something about it, I don’t think any of us are dangerous drivers. Of course you should punish drivers if they do dangerous things but I think a lot of the points everyone has right now are not because of dangerous things.”

Alexander Albon (THA) Williams Racing FW44. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City, Mexico,
Alexander Albon (THA) Williams Racing FW44. Formula 1 World Championship,…

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