These two drivers are at risk of a race ban in 2022

Two drivers are at risk of a race ban from one of the final four events of the season.

As the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship draws ever closer to an end, it’s that time of the year when the penalty points are looked into, to discover who is at risk of a potential race ban before the end of the season.

The penalty points system sees drivers awarded points based on rule breaks, with 12 points being needed to achieve a race ban.

The system was introduced in 2014 in a bid to make racing cleaner; however, penalty points appear to be awarded occasionally for truly bizarre reasons.

Junior categories also use the penalty points system, with Alpine junior driver Olli Caldwell having been banned from the Belgian Grand Prix in Formula 2 and Amaury Cordeel having been banned from the British Grand Prix.

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Whilst drivers in junior categories have reached 12 penalty points, no Formula 1 driver has ever reached the limit; however, two are dangerously close to being awarded a one-race suspension.

One of the drivers at risk probably doesn’t come as a surprise, with Yuki Tsunoda currently sitting on eight points with four races remaining.

The Japanese driver has been on his best behaviour seemingly since FP2 at the Italian Grand Prix, where he was awarded with his most recent penalty points, making him the top of the leaderboard in F1 for the most penalty points.

He will see his total reduced in the middle of November, with points lasting 12 months.

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His team-mate, Pierre Gasly, is interestingly the other driver at risk of a race ban, after being awarded two points at last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix for speeding under red flag conditions.

The Frenchman sits on seven points but was initially on nine following Japan; however, two of his points expired due to them having been awarded a year ago.

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Gasly’s awarded points at Suzuka are somewhat controversial, with all the drivers having seemingly hit out at the FIA for allowing a recovery vehicle onto the circuit, something which appeared to spook the AlphaTauri driver.

Whilst the AlphaTauri duo are at the top of the penalty points leaderboard, three drivers are joint bottom on zero points.

Sir Lewis Hamilton, Carlos Sainz and Mick Schumacher are all part of the zero-points club, making them the best-behaved drivers on the grid.