‘I’m not harming’: Pierre Gasly admits ‘unpleasant and embarrassing’ situation

Pierre Gasly is on-track to become the first driver banned from a race as a result of accumulating 12 penalty points.

Pierre Gasly will perhaps be taking a cautious approach to this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix – the venue where he claimed his first-ever Formula 1 podium back in 2019 – with the Frenchman just two penalty points away from a race ban.

Since the penalty points system was introduced in 2014, no driver has ever been awarded 12 points in a 12-month period, the amount needed to be slapped with a race ban.

The points work on a rolling 12-month basis, not a season basis, meaning that a point awarded in the month of July, for example, who expire and be taken off a driver’s licence in July the following year.

Gasly has amassed 10 points since May alone, with the AlphaTauri driver not set to have his total reduced for another nine races.

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That is a huge issue for Alpine, given the increased likelihood that they’ll need to field a reserve driver for a race next season should Gasly receive two more points.

He could even miss the season finale in Abu Dhabi next weekend if he receives two penalty points this weekend, a situation he admits is a “bit embarrassing”.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s a very unpleasant situation and in some ways also a bit embarrassing,” Gasly said in Brazil.

A number of drivers have defended Gasly by admitting that the system doesn’t work, with things like exceeding track limits also resulting in penalty points.

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Alex Albon doesn’t understand why exceeding track limits results in the FIA awarding penalty points, especially when the driver isn’t “harming” anyone.

“I think I have three points on my licence and they’re down to track limits,” Albon.

“I’m not harming any other driver or myself in that situation.”

The Williams star went on to reveal that the system is set to be changed, with discussions currently taking place amongst the governing body.

“We are discussing it and I think there is going to be a change,” said Albon.

“I don’t think any of us are dangerous drivers.”

Valtteri Bottas also confirmed that the system is set to see “some changes”, which could see Gasly avoid a race ban.

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The Finnish driver thinks the points should only be awarded for “really dangerous” behaviour, that could “harm” either the driver themselves or “somebody else on track”.

“But from my understanding, there will be some changes made for the future,” said the Finn.

“I think the points should be only given when it’s really dangerous and can cause harm to yourself or somebody else on track.”