Otmar Szafnauer suggests Alpine wouldn’t fight Pierre Gasly race ban

Pierre Gasly is perilously close to a race ban, and looks almost certain to serve a suspension in 2023 with Alpine.

Pierre Gasly has spoken at length about his disappointment surrounding his penalty points situation, with the French driver now finding himself only two points away from being forced to serve a one race suspension.

The 26-year-old took his points total to ten in Mexico after forcing Lance Stroll off the track as he locked up while attempting the overtake.

Gasly admitted his disappointment at the decision of the stewards to award the points, suggesting that if race control told him to give Stroll the position back he would have done so, and therefore not picked up any penalty points.

He also spoke about how nearly every driver was dropping too far behind the safety car in Austin, but somehow it was only him who was penalised, and has now asked for a conversation with the FIA with regards to his situations.

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The driver’s penalty points will carry over to next season, where he will be racing for Alpine, and Gasly’s new boss Otmar Szafnauer has claimed that it is not fair that his new driver should miss a race for Alpine, having picked up the majority of his penalty points for AlphaTauri.

“It’s unfortunate that he got those points with a different team,” said the Alpine team principal.

“If he does happen to cross the threshold of having too many and has to miss a race with us, I’m not sure that’s what the rule was intended to do, to punish a different team. But it is what it is, unless we can get it changed.”

Some fans have suggested that Gasly should intentionally pick up two penalty points in Brazil in order to miss the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, because this will mean that he joins Alpine with a clean slate.

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Szafnauer agrees with Gasly’s complaints regarding his recent penalties, suggesting that it would be easier for the FIA to try to correct the wrong-doings on track, rather than retrospectively.

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“I’m sure there are considerations this year to give places back where perhaps the team said ‘don’t’ and you get penalty point and some other things,” he said.

“I think we have to re-look at it and make sure that it’s equitable.”

The last thing that Gasly will want to do is to annoy his new employers by joining with a race ban looming over him, as he looks to compete higher up the grid that he has been able to do with AlphaTauri.