FIA criticised for not banning Pierre Gasly from Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Pierre Gasly remains two penalty points away from receiving a race ban.

Pierre Gasly was both the luckiest and the unluckiest driver at the Australian Grand Prix, after the Frenchman lost a potential fifth-place finish but avoided a race ban for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Up until the penultimate lap at the Albert Park Circuit, Gasly had been enjoying an exceptional race, with the Alpine driver having been in a group which consisted of Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz and himself.

Gasly showed great pace and seemed to follow Sainz comfortably, suggesting that Alpine do indeed have a solid car for the 2023 F1 season.

However, his race took a dramatic turn after a red flag was flown with three laps remaining, due to Kevin Magnussen having crashed on the exit of Turn Two.

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It was decided that the race would be concluded with a two-lap sprint, meaning the remaining drivers lined-up for a standing start.

Gasly lined-up in fifth and made a good getaway; however, he locked-up at Turn One and cut across the grass, before re-joining the circuit.

Upon re-joining the circuit, he then made contact with team-mate Esteban Ocon, sending them both into the wall at Turn Two.

Both drivers endured a heavy impact with the wall, resulting in a double Alpine DNF.

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At the same time, Sainz tagged Alonso and sent the Aston Martin driver into a spin, something which saw the Ferrari driver slapped with a five-second time penalty.

Weirdly, Gasly wasn’t awarded any penalty for causing a collision with Ocon, much to the surprise of the F1 paddock.

It was expected that he’d be slapped with two penalty points for causing a collision, which would’ve resulted in him being banned from Azerbaijan at the end of the month.

Several fans took to social media to share their confusion of the situation, including F1 content creator Matt Gallagher.

“Gasly & Ocon collision = No penalty,” wrote Gallagher on social media.

“Sainz & Alonso collision = Penalty.

“Make it make sense????”

Several fans in the comments agreed with Gallagher, with most believing the FIA didn’t award Gasly with a penalty to help him avoid a race ban for accumulating 12 penalty points.

“FIA trying to avoid giving Pierre Gasly a race ban for having too many penalty points?! Only thing I can think of,” wrote @realBenBloch.

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Many also believe that Alpine encouraged the FIA not to implement a penalty, given that the incident involved only the Enstone-based team.

“It wasn’t in Alpine interest as a team to blame one of the driver for the incident + with Gasly’s super licence a penalty would have meant a race ban for Baku for « only » crashing in his teammate,” wrote @sangsterpromise.

“If it would have been with another driver, the sanction would have been different.”