Pierre Gasly is on the brink of a race ban in Formula 1 after picking up another penalty in the Mexican Grand Prix.
Gasly was given a five-second time penalty and one licence point for gaining advantage by going off track – and forcing Lance Stroll to do likewise – while making a pass in the opening stint of the race .
The AlphaTauri driver locked up and ran deep into Turn 4, going beyond the white line himself with Stroll on the outside.
The two penalty points take Gasly to 10 in a 12-month period. That is just two from a race ban and he will not lose any of his existing penalty points until next May.
It means Gasly must complete the final two races of 2022 and the first seven races of next year without any incidents that earn him two penalty points.
GASLY’S PENALTY SITUATION
|Spain||Collision with Stroll||2|
|Austria||Collision with Vettel||2|
|Austria||Leaving the track without a justifiable reason multiple times||1|
|Japan||Speeding under red flag conditions||2|
|United States||Fell more than 10 car lengths behind during the safety car||2|
|Mexico||Going off track and gaining advantage in Stroll pass||1|
Gasly had acknowledged earlier in the weekend that he was “quite close to being banned for a race” expressed frustration to be in the position when “I don’t feel like I’ve been that dangerous over the last 12 months”.
“It would be a shame to get a race ban for slowing down a bit too much behind the safety car and a couple of track limits [infringements] this year,” he said.
The strict nature of the F1 penalty points system has been criticised by several drivers at various times in recent years.
Currently any penalty issued also comes with licence points by default.
The stewards are supposedly limited with what they can do as there is effectively a set list of sanctions and associated licence penalty points to choose from.
Gasly suggested that the FIA is “working on it” and claimed “probably for next year there’s going to be changes”.
“At the moment you’re losing points for these safety-car infringements or track limits, and obviously the penalty for it is a race ban, which we all agree and also the stewards agree is quite harsh,” said Gasly.
“I think they’re working on it and there’s something that should be different for next year.”