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Gasly avoids F1 race ban as no action taken in Ocon Australian GP clash

Pierre Gasly has escaped punishment from the FIA for his late crash in the Australian Grand Prix to spare the Alpine driver from a possible Formula 1 race ban.

Pierre Gasly, Alpine

Pierre Gasly, Alpine

Alpine

Following a second red flag, caused by Kevin Magnussen clipped the wall to rip off the right-rear tyre from his Haas, Gasly lined up fifth for the race restart but locked up into Turn 1 to miss the rear of Fernando Alonso.

He careered across the runoff but rejoined alongside team-mate Esteban Ocon, who had formed on the grid in 10th, but then appeared to drift over the circuit to pinch his compatriot against the wall.

Both Alpines were eliminated as a result of the contact, with the duo subsequently summoned to the stewards for allegedly breaching an article of the FIA International Sporting Code pertaining to driving standards.

The code of conduct reads: “Causing a collision, repetition of serious mistakes or the appearance of a lack of control over the car (such as leaving the track) will be reported to the stewards and may entail the imposition of penalties up to and including the disqualification of any driver concerned.”

Almost five hours after meeting with the stewards, the outcome was to take no further action on Gasly.

This spares the former AlphaTauri driver from a potential race ban, with Gasly already having 10 of the 12 points necessary on his race licence to be suspended from an event.

The FIA reasoning states: “The stewards heard from the driver of Car 10 (Pierre Gasly), the driver of Car 31 (Esteban Ocon), a team representative and reviewed positioning/marshalling system data, video and in-car video evidence and determined that it was a first-lap racing incident.

“Both cars recognised and accepted this as such. In the circumstances, we took no further action.”

The damaged car of Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523, on a flatbed truck

The damaged car of Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523, on a flatbed truck

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Gasly has the most points on his race licence by two over ex-McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and must wait 12 months after each reprimand for his tally to come down.

That means Gasly runs the immediate risk of being benched until after the Emilia Romagna GP, with the following Monday (22 May) marking a year since he was found to have caused a collision with Stroll in the 2022 Spanish GP.

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While Gasly will not retroactively have points deducted for when he was adjudged to have exceeded track limits that, by the rulebook, constitute dangerous driving, the system is being reviewed to soften the punishments for less egregious errors so they do not determine a race ban.

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