Pierre Gasly very likely to get race ban at Alpine

A driver needs 12 penalty points in order to receive a race ban, with each point remaining on a driver's licence for a year.

Pierre Gasly enters the 2023 season perhaps with a sense of nervousness, with the Frenchman being just two penalty points away from becoming the first driver in Formula 1 to receive a race ban for accumulating 12 penalty points.

The penalty points system has been massively criticised in recent years, with some drivers having received points for incidents which perhaps don’t warrant them.

An example of this is exceeding track limits, with Gasly having received four points in the last 12 months for this reason.

The F1 Commission recently proposed that exceeding track limits should no longer result in penalty points, especially as a driver receives a penalty during the race anyway.

READ: Mika Hakkinen explains ‘naughty’ Sergio Perez comment

However, it’s not expected that Gasly will have four points taken off his licence, something Alpine wants to see happen, according to Auto Motor und Sport.

With that in mind, the Alpine driver will need to be on his best behaviour for the opening six rounds of the season, with none of his points set to expire until May 22.

Each penalty point remains on a driver’s super licence for 12 months, starting from the date on which it was awarded.

Behind Gasly on the penalty points list is Lance Stroll, with the Canadian currently sitting on eight points.

Article continues below

Just behind Stroll on seven points is Alex Albon, who’ll be hoping to lead the Williams charge for a second consecutive season.

Overall, 13 drivers have penalty points on their licence heading into the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend, with Lewis Hamilton, Carlos Sainz, and Valtteri Bottas being the only drivers without any points who also raced last season.

READ: Aston Martin break silence on prospect of beating Red Bull and Ferrari

Of course, rookies Nyck de Vries, Logan Sargeant and Oscar Piastri don’t have any points either, with the returning Nico Hulkenberg also being part of the ‘zero points’ club.

“13 F1 drivers will start their 2023 season with penalty points,” wrote Motorsport.com, as shared on Reddit.

“Pierre Gasly is only 2 points away from a race ban and won’t shake any off until 22 May. That means he will have to be careful not to pick up any penalties in the first six races this season.”