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Gasly race ban averted as 10 penalty points go back to zero

pierre-gasly-miami-getty grid f1

Alpine driver Pierre Gasly moved away from the risk of a Formula 1 race ban on Monday after dropping two of the 10 penalty points accrued for a series of minor offences over the past year.

Twelve points in a 12-month period trigger an automatic suspension for errant drivers. The first two of Gasly’s points were collected when he was driving for AlphaTauri at the Spanish Grand Prix on May 22 last year and collided with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.

The cancellation of last Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola removed the risk of Gasly incurring any more points before the ones from Spain expired.

The Frenchman, who reached his tally of 10 at the Mexican Grand Prix last October, still has more penalty points than any other driver on the starting grid.

F1 stewards have adopted a new approach to penalty points this season, restricting them to examples of unsafe driving rather than breaches of the sporting rules such as exceeding track limits.

Four of Gasly’s 10 to Monday were for collisions, two for speeding after red flags were waved, two for being too far behind the safety car and the others for repeatedly exceeding track limits and gaining an advantage by going off.

Gasly lies tenth in the 2023 F1 World Championship, on eight points, two more than he had at the same time last year with AlphaTauri but not what he expected stepping up into a works team that last year finished fourth in the F1 constructors’ standings.

The showcase Monaco Grand Prix is next up this weekend where Alpine will be targeting a strong result amid a below-par to their season, one in which team boss Otmar Szafnauer has been awarded to get the house in order by big boss Laurent Rossi. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)