There has been a lot of discussion surrounding Pierre Gasly and his penalty points situation, with the French driver picking up ten points so far, which puts him two away from a race ban.
The 26-year-old has held talks with the FIA as he believes that he is being harshly treated with these penalties, for example he did not believe he was the only driver to drop too far behind the safety car in Austin, but was the only one penalised.
The interesting dynamic to Gasly’s situation is that the penalty points total will not reset until the Monaco Grand Prix next year, meaning that he will be on thin ice for the beginning of his Alpine career.
Some fans have suggested that the current AlphaTauri driver should intentionally pick up two points in Brazil, to ensure that he missed the race at the Yas Marina Circuit and enters his Alpine career with a clean slate.
Intentional or not, Gasly was close to a penalty in the sprint race on Saturday as he was called to face the stewards following an infringement that had been noted prior to the start of the race.
The stewards believed that Gasly was driving unnecessarily slowly on his reconnaissance lap before the sprint race began, with there being a certain maximum time set for drivers to pass certain markers on the track.
Gasly has avoided being penalised for the infringement after the stewards decided not to punish the Frenchman after meeting with him.
It is so far unclear as to whether Gasly is following the fan’s advice and purposefully trying to pick up two more penalty points to get a race ban while still at AlphaTauri, or if his slow driving was a genuine mistake, but this should become more as the Frenchman participates in the race on Sunday.
Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has suggested that there should be a re-think of the rules with regards to the penalty point period, as he believes that should Gasly pick up a race ban for his new team then it will be Alpine being punished despite the majority of the incidents occurring while their driver was with AlphaTauri.
Should he make it through the rest of this season unscathed, Gasly will have to walk a tightrope until Monaco next year is he wants to avoid angering his new employers with a race ban.