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Pierre Gasly and Otmar Szafnauer weigh in on the possible race ban

If the FIA penalise Gasly with two more points, he will suffer a race ban

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Over the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend, Pierre Gasly and his future team principal, Otmar Szafnauer, commented on the penalty points and potential race ban.

As of the Mexican Grand Prix, Pierre Gasly has 10 points on his licence till May 2023 (Image Credit: Scuderia AlphaTauri)

Piette Gasly finds himself with 10 penalty points on his licence. If he suffers two more, he’ll face a race ban. With only two races to go in the 2022 season, Alpine fear that if the points don’t clear up by May, Gasly might suffer a race ban when he joins them in 2023. The points will be dropped off on May 22, 2023. Until then, Gasly needs to make sure to avoid mistakes or another two points will ban him from a race. Unless he makes a mistake in Brazil, Gasly will miss out on the season finale in Abu Dhabi. However, if he makes the wrong foot then, Alpine will have to suffer the consequences.

The Frenchman is convinced that the offences he committed are not bad enough to affect his points like that. F1 introduced this point system to help produce better-quality racing. But now, Gasly claims that it got too much while Szafnauer said that the regulations need a change. He explained how it’s unfair for Alpine to suffer because of the mistakes Gasly did at AlphaTauri. The Alpine team principal compared it to how in football it would be unfair for a player to miss out on a match because of a mistake he did when he played for another team while speaking during FP1 with Sky Sports.

Pierre Gasly’s take

Pierre Gasly spoke to the media on Thursday at the drivers’ press conference. He explained how the situation has left him feeling embarrassed. The Frenchman risks either missing the last ever race he’d race with Red Bull, or having to miss out when he joins his new team in 2023.

Gasly said, “I’m not going to lie, it’s a very unpleasant situation and quite delicate, in some ways a bit embarrassing to be standing in a position where I could be banned for a race after the season that I’ve done. I don’t really feel like I’ve been particularly dangerous over these last 12 months and that would definitely be a harsh penalty.”

The 26-year-old said that they are trying to convince the FIA to take a different turn and realise that this is an unfair situation to put a driver in.

He added, “(There’s) definitely a lot of discussion with the FIA trying to find a solution because personally I want to do all of the races. I want to finish the season in the best way I can with AlphaTauri. I want to do all of the races in 2023 and get the chance to perform for Alpine. Obviously, there’s a lot at stake because no-one knows what’s going to happen in 2023, I could end up in an amazing car fighting for the championship for example. I can’t take the risk to then lose all my hopes for the championship. So, it’s a very tricky situation.

“I’ve been discussing it quite a lot with the FIA to try and find solutions because the way the regulation is 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.”

He added, “We’re going to have more conversations today and I do hope we can find solutions out of the weekend to avoid ending up in a silly situation where I’ll be banned for a race. 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.”

Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports

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