Pierre Gasly has waved away suggestions he is a dangerous driver as he sits on the verge of a potential one-race ban.
The Frenchman has had a poor season in terms of World Championship points with only 23 going into the final two races compared to the 110 he clocked up last year, and this is almost certain to be his worst campaign since 2018.
But he is top of the chart for penalty points, for the 10 he has racked up mean only two more would trigger a one-race ban – and none of that tally will be scrubbed from his record until the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.
That leaves the Frenchman in danger of missing a race for his new team next year, Alpine, within the first few months after joining them – unless he was to get it out of the way by committing a misdemeanour in Brazil while still with AlphaTauri that meant sitting out his intended Abu Dhabi farewell.
Despite his charge sheet, however, with all of those 10 points accumulated since May, Gasly insists he should not be considered a “dangerous” racer – with some of them incurred for incidents such as falling too far back behind the Safety Car and exceeding track limits.
“I’m quite close to being banned for a race but in my opinion, I don’t feel like I have been that dangerous over the last 12 months,” said Gasly, quoted by GPFans.
“It would be a shame to get a ban for slowing down too much behind the Safety Car and a couple of track limits this year.
“They [the FIA] are working on it and probably for next year there will be changes. That is good to hear.”
The 26-year-old is not alone in thinking penalty points, especially when added up to put a driver’s participation in jeopardy, are being issued for offences that do not warrant them.
“The regulations say in case you do dangerous driving, you lose points,” said the 2020 Italian Grand Prix winner.
“At the moment, you are losing points for Safety Car infringements or track limits and obviously the penalty for it is a race ban.
“We all agree, and the stewards agree, it is quite harsh, so I think they are working on it and should come up with something different for next year.”
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