Pierre Gasly is at increased risk of picking up a Formula One race ban after accumulating nine penalty points over the course of this season. However, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen do not appear to be in any immediate danger, with the Brit boasting none on his record while the world champion has five, all of which will expire before the end of the year.
Drivers can be banned for one Grand Prix if they receive 12 penalty points in a single year, although this has never happened in F1 since the system was brought in ahead of 2014 season. The limit has been reached in Formula Two however, with Alpine junior Olli Caldwell missing this year’s event at Spa just weeks after Amaury Cordeel was suspended for Silverstone.
Gasly took his points record to nine at the US Grand Prix having picked up two for failing to maintain a gap of 10 car lengths behind the safety car. It was the second time in as many races that he was punished having also got two points during the race in Suzuka for speeding behind the safety car.
He will not see a reduction to his points value until May 2023, leaving him at severe risk of picking up a race ban if he does not improve his conduct. The Frenchman will join Alpine next year so his new team are likely to monitor his situation closely and may need to choose a strong reserve driver as a result.
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Two drivers who are not at risk however are Hamilton and Verstappen. The Brit, alongside Carlos Sainz, boasts the best record on the grid with both drivers having no penalties. The Dutchman should join them in the near future as the five points he picked up during the final stages of his tense title fight with the Mercedes man last season drop away.
It looks more likely than ever that Formula One could see its first race ban given Gasly’s recent record. The Frenchman will now need to be on his best behaviour to ensure he does not pick up the unwanted accolade.