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FIA ‘quite harsh’ with F1 penalty points, says Gasly

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Lance Stroll (CDN) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR22 and Pierre Gasly (FRA) AlphaTauri AT03 battle for position. 30.10.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City, Mexico, Race Day. – www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images

Pierre Gasly believes that the FIA is being “quite harsh” with its penalty points system, as he nears a race ban for accumulating too many.

Gasly picked up one point during the Mexican Grand Prix, which was his fifth in the whole month of October.

The Frenchman has tallied 10 penalty points in the last 12 months, putting him just two away from being handed an automatic race ban.

The stewards penalised Gasly in Mexico when he overtook Lance Stroll off the track, with the AlphaTauri driver expressing disappointment that he wasn’t told over the radio to hand the position back.

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“I’m a racing driver, if I see a gap I go for a gap,” he said. “If you are not happy about it then tell me to give the position back and I’ll try again. I wasn’t given any comments, so that’s a shame.

“[They] just need to say it on the radio. That’s what they’ve done in the past, but for some reason not this time.”

Drivers that pick up 12 points across a 12-month period are banned for one race, with Gasly currently the closest to that mark on the F1 grid.

He won’t have points drop from his Super Licence until May 23 next year, placing a heavy weight on his shoulders for the next several months.

“They [FIA] seem to be quite harsh lately,” Gasly said. “Last weekend [in the USA] half the grid was given too much space behind the Safety Car and I was penalised.

“This weekend was quite tight, I don’t know why I wasn’t given a message to give the position back. At the end of the day, I try my best inside the car, the last thing I want is to [pick up] stupid penalty points and lose race time.

“At the moment, they’re unhappy with what I’m doing so I will have a discussion with them to understand exactly what I got to change.”

Gasly ended the race in 11th place having also served a five-second time penalty during a pit stop, suggesting that the punishment denied him a point-scoring finish.

“We ended up four seconds short of P9, so without the penalty we know what was on the table,” he said.

“It’s a shame it’s the same story, last weekend we came P11 with the penalty, it’s just a shame to be involved in these incidents.

“I’ll have to change my approach because every weekend it seems to be quite the same story so I’ll have to change something.”

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