Pierre Gasly nearly faced a one-race ban when he was summoned to the stewards after the F1 Brazilian Grand Prix sprint race. The representatives of the Frenchman and AlphaTauri were called to race control for “driving unnecessarily slow during the recce laps”.
However, Gasly already has ten penalty points after racking up nearly a dozen in recent races. It means that just two more points will result in a ban in an upcoming event.
The FIA document states: “The driver and the team representative must inform the Stewards of the Race at 17:45 in relation to the following incident: Reason: Alleged non-compliance with the instructions of the Clerk of the Course (point 4.1 Event Notes of the Clerk of the Course) and alleged breach of Article 12.2.1.i of the FIA International Sporting Code: driving unnecessarily slow during recce laps”.
Gasly earned two penalty points for driving too fast under red flags at the Japanese Grand Prix. He also earned two points for failing to stay within car lengths at the United States Grand Prix.
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It was later confirmed that Gasly only received a warning in Sao Paulo and will receive no further penalty points. Before the decision was announced, Sky Sports presenter David Croft revealed the danger surrounding the situation.
He said: “If you are found guilty of driving too slowly, any punishment that comes your way will most likely be accompanied by a penalty point or two. I don’t think there are more than two. It may only be one. But Pierre Gasly, if he has been going too slow, he is walking a very thin tightrope with the FIA and the stewards at the moment.”
Gasly earned another penalty point after he was deemed to have forced Lance Stroll off the track in Mexico. The points will remain on his record until the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix next May, meaning he could be banned from one of his first races with his new Alpine team.
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Gasly vented his frustration to the FIA before the weekend at Thursday’s press conference after claiming he had not been a dangerous driver. He admitted that he was willing to hold talks with the FIA in a bid to avoid being banned from the race.
He explained: “I’m not going to lie, it’s a very unpleasant and quite delicate situation, in a way also a bit embarrassing to be standing in a position where I can be banned from a race. After the season I’ve done, I don’t really feel like it’s been particularly dangerous in the last 12 months. It would definitely be a harsh penalty.
“There have been many discussions with the FIA, trying to find a solution because I personally want to do all the races. I want to end the season in the best possible way with AlphaTauri. I want to do all the races in 2023 and have the maximum chance to perform for Alpine.”
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