Alpine boss admits race ban concern for Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly has received five penalty points just in October alone.

If a Formula 1 fan were asked to name a driver who they think would amass 12 penalty points in a single year, Pierre Gasly is probably not the first name on their list; however, that is exactly the situation the Frenchman risks finding himself in.

Since its introduction in 2014, no driver has ever achieved 12 penalty points in a 12-month period, something Gasly is just two points away from.

The Frenchman truly is on the verge of perhaps the most unwanted record at the pinnacle of motorsport, with it potentially having a dramatic effect on his first season with Alpine.

Gasly has been awarded five points alone just in October, with the 26-year-old having been slapped with two at the Japanese Grand Prix, two at the United States Grand Prix, and another point at last weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.

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These points, plus the two he achieved at the Spanish Grand Prix and the three he was awarded with at the Austrian Grand Prix, have put the driver in an awkward position.

Each point awarded remains on a driver’s licence for 12 months, meaning that Gasly’s total won’t be reduced until May 2023, with the Spanish Grand Prix having taken place in May this season.

His most recent point was truly a ridiculous one that Gasly could’ve easily avoided, had he done the obvious.

Gasly was awarded a five-second time penalty and a penalty point for forcing Lance Stroll off the circuit, following a late dive on the Canadian at Turn Four.

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The Frenchman could’ve avoided a penalty by simply giving the position back; however, he failed to do so.

To avoid a ban, Gasly must now be on his best behaviour at the final two races of this season and the opening seven rounds of 2023.

Should he receive two or more points before then, then he will get a race ban.

This is evidently an issue for Alpine, who, of course, Gasly is joining next season from AlphaTauri.

Based on his current behaviour, it does seem likely that the Enstone-based team will need to field a reserve driver at a race next year, with nine races being an incredibly long time to go without a penalty.

With that in mind, Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has sent a warning to his new driver.

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“He will have to be careful,” Szafnauer said.

Gasly didn’t feel that he deserved the penalty at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez but has been left to feel like he needs to “change something”.

“It was racing but I still got a penalty, so I guess I have to change something,” the 26-year-old told Viaplay.