Alpine’s Pierre Gasly has suggested that there should be a higher threshold on Formula 1 penalty points amid his proximity to a race ban.
The Frenchman has picked up 10 points since May, so if he collects another two between now and the end of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix next year, he will be forced to sit out a race.
The reasons for Gasly’s penalties have varied, with punishments being handed out for exceeding track limits in Austria, as well as falling back by more than 10 car lengths under the Safety Car in Austin.
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The 26-year-old was also handed two points for speeding under red flag conditions in Japan, where he controversially encountered a recovery vehicle parked on the circuit.
Gasly reckons it would be a “shame” if any driver, not necessarily himself, were forced to miss a race due to “silly” penalty points.
“I try not to think because I see myself as not as a silly driver or dangerous driver,” he told Motorsport.com.
“I try to be careful with all the, let’s say, silly penalty points you could lose with procedures and stuff like that.
“So I try to be on top of that. I think my approach to racing has been the same. And I really hope we can have a review on the whole system over winter, because I do believe I’m not going to be the only one in trouble if we keep it that way.
“And it will be a shame to see four or five racing drivers banned for a race and having a championship with some guys missing out on a race.”
Due to the sheer volume of races on the calendar – 23 are currently pencilled in for next year after the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix – The former AlphaTauri driver reasons that the penalty system should provide a greater margin for error.
“We talk about it all the time. And some guys are only four points away with 24 races and six sprints, so 30 races a year, and when it was introduced, we had only 19 or 20 races. So clearly it will make sense to get more points on this licence,” explained Gasly.
“But I believe that the FIA will look into this and find solutions to make it more fair for everyone.”
The author Rob Kershaw and the headline writer are confusing Penalty points on a driver’s racing license with Super License points required for drivers in lower series such as F2 and Indycar to get permission from the FIA to race in F1.