'Embarrassing' race ban threat 'unpleasant situation' for Gasly

By Sports Desk November 11, 2022

Pierre Gasly says the "embarrassing" threat of a looming race ban is "a very unpleasant situation" as he prepares for this weekend's Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

The AlphaTauri driver, who will move to Alpine next year, has amassed 10 penalty points so far this term, leaving him two shy of the threshold to automatically trigger a one-race suspension.

If he reaches a dozen at Interlagos, he will miss the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend, while his remaining points remain valid for a year, meaning he could still be banned next season - with Brazil the first of nine races where the threat of a ban looms over him. 

Gasly feels the sanctions have been tough on him however, and says he is in dialogue with the FIA to seek clarification on rulings in order to avoid incurring any time spent off-track.

"I'm not going to lie, it's a very unpleasant situation and quite delicate," he stated. "In some ways, [it is] a bit embarrassing to be standing in a position where I could be banned for a race after the season that I've [had].

"I don't really feel like I've been particularly dangerous over these last 12 months and that would definitely be a harsh penalty.

"I've been discussing it quite a lot with the FIA to try and find solutions because the way the regulation is written at the moment, it's quite strict on the drivers, even though it's not always related to dangerous driving."

"I hope we can find solutions out of the weekend to avoid ending up in a silly situation where I'll be banned for a race. That would be terrible for myself and definitely not the way. I don't think that's the correct approach."

Gasly's penalty points have mostly been amassed through collisions this term, including with Lance Stroll in Spain and Sebastian Vettel in Austria.

He was also handed points for exceeding red flag limits during a controversial Japanese Grand Prix.

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