Revealed: Rivals voted against FIA move to reduce risk of Pierre Gasly race ban

Alpine driver Pierre Gasly is just two penalty points away from being slapped with a race ban this campaign.

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has revealed that he was unsuccessful in getting some of Pierre Gasly’s penalty points removed from his super licence, following a change of the rules by the FIA.

Last season saw plenty of criticism fired towards the governing body, who were awarding penalty points to drivers for incidents which didn’t really make sense.

Gasly, for example, was awarded with a penalty point for leaving the track and gaining an advantage in Mexico and for exceeding track limits in Austria, two incidents which certainly weren’t as a result of “dangerous driving”.

The Frenchman is currently just two points away from a race ban, with the Alpine driver not set to lose any points until the day after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

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Following so much criticism, the FIA will no longer award penalty points for minor incidents, with them set to only be awarded for “dangerous driving”.

This doesn’t solve Gasly’s current issue, though, given that the points on his licence for several minor incidents won’t be wiped.

Gasly was less than impressed by the FIA’s announcement regarding penalty points ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, as revealed when asked if he welcomes the changes.

“I won’t even answer that question. You get it [my response] the way that you want. But I won’t make a comment,” Gasly told Autosport in Saudi Arabia.

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Gasly and Szafnauer are both unhappy that the FIA haven’t taken penalty points away from the French driver, given the fact that the governing body have admitted that they were wrong to award them in the first place.

Szafnauer believes it’s the only “fair” thing for the FIA to do, given that their mistake could result in Gasly receiving a race ban in the near future.

“There’s two elements to the rule,” Szafnauer told Autosport.

“One, going forward, what should you get penalty points for? And I think it’s right that you should get penalty points for not things like track limits, but dangerous driving, which was always the intent.

“I don’t know how things like track limits or being too far away from the safety car ever got in there, because it’s not dangerous driving. Anyway, that’s one thing, and I agree with the FIA’s [new] interpretation.

“Now, should that be retroactive? I’m always going to say yes, mainly because I think that’s fair.

“If we all stand up, raise our hands and say we made a mistake: then correct the mistake looking backwards not just looking forwards.”

Szafnauer tried to get Gasly’s points removed in a vote at the recent F1 Commission; however, too many sides rejected the plea after seeing it as an opportunity to gain points on the Enstone-based team.

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“I was in the minority, Szafnauer revealed.

“There were probably three or four out of the 10 teams that supported it.

“Some of those that did not admitted the reason they are not supporting it was for opportunistic reasons, hoping that something happens to us.”