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Gasly to continue FIA talks to avoid "embarrassing" F1 race ban

Pierre Gasly wants to continue talks with the FIA over the "silly situation" surrounding his Formula 1 penalty points tally as he finds the possibility of a race ban "embarrassing."

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri

Erik Junius

The AlphaTauri driver has been reprimanded with penalty points six times this season, taking his total to 10 - two shy of a race ban.

His most recent offence came during the Mexican Grand Prix, when the French racer was adjudged to have left the track and gained an advantage while battling Lance Stroll.

Under article 4.2 of the sporting regulations, should a driver accrue 12 points then their race licence will be suspended for the following event, after which the slate will be wiped clean.

The points remain on the driver’s licence for a period of 12 months, after which they will be respectively removed on the one-year anniversary of each offence.

In Gasly’s case, that means he must get by without punishment until 22 May 2023, a year after he was pinged for understeering into Stroll during the Spanish GP.

Speaking ahead of the Brazilian GP this weekend, Gasly reckoned he did not deserve any possible ban and the prospect of it left him ‘embarrassed’.

He commented: “I'm not going to lie. It's a very unpleasant situation and quite delicate.

“In some ways, also a bit embarrassing to be standing in a position where I could be banned.

“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 will be definitely a harsh penalty.

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“But there has 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.”

Gasly, who will leave the Red Bull stable to join Alpine in 2023, added that missing a race could potentially skew a title battle should he find himself with a competitive car next season.

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

“There is a lot at stake because no one knows what's going to happen in ’23.

“I could end up with an amazing car fighting for the championship, for example.

“I can't take the risk of being banned for a race and lose all my hopes for the championship.

“It's a very tricky situation.”

Gasly's F1 penalty point collection

Event Incident Time Penalty Licence Points
Spanish GP Deemed wholly to blame for understeering into Lance Stroll at Turn 1  5 seconds 2
Austrian GP Collided with Sebastian Vettel at Turn 4 5 seconds 2
Austrian GP Exceeded track limits 5 seconds 1
Japanese GP Speeding under red flag conditions 20 seconds 2
United States GP Dropped "significantly" more than 10 car lengths behind safety car 5 seconds 2
Mexican GP Left the track and gained an advantage while passing Stroll at Turn 4  5 seconds 1

Gasly will seek further talks with the FIA to avoid the “silly situation”, which he reckons is compounded by copping a point for exceeding track limits rather than dangerous driving.

He said: “I have been discussing quite a lot with the FIA to try to 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 then related to dangerous driving.

“I do hope we can find solution ahead of the weekend to avoid to end up in a silly situation where I'll be banned for a race.

“That will be terrible for myself and definitely not the way that I've seen the sport growing up.

“I don't think that's a correct approach because obviously I can't really go into next year with only two points and have that risk over my head.

“But at the same time, at the moment, there's no clear solution. Hopefully there can be a good plan going forward for 2023.”

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