Pierre Gasly has labelled the penalty he received post-race at Silverstone as ‘completely ridiculous’ after the Frenchman was penalised for hitting Sergio Pérez when the duo were battling for the final point on Sunday.
The Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver was handed a five-second time penalty for the offence, which dropped him from that tenth position down to thirteenth, promoting Pérez into the points, while the stewards also handed him two penalty points on his Superlicence.
Gasly bemoaned the lack of consistency being shown by stewards with incidents during the British Grand Prix, such as Kevin Magnussen vs. Romain Grosjean, and Grosjean vs. Carlos Sainz Jr. going unpunished, while a simple bang of wheels earns him a penalty.
“For me it’s ridiculous, completely ridiculous,” said Gasly to Motorsport.com. “That’s racing, and honestly there was really small contact.
“It happens sometimes. We have a 2m wide car, on a track which is probably 12m wide, so at some point sometimes you have contact. Clearly this wasn’t a big hit. For me it didn’t deserve to have a penalty.
“And if you look at all the situations that happened in this race, between Magnussen and Grosjean, no further action, Sainz and Grosjean, who completely hit the wall, no further action. And for something like this, a five second penalty and two penalty points, it’s completely ridiculous.
“Looking at the last race, I got hit on lap one, I lost half of my floor on the rear, and no further action. Then there was also the incident quite similar for the race winner [Max Verstappen] in lap one, and no further action.
“They need to do something. To be inconsistent like this in unacceptable at a high level. There is nothing which explains such a penalty. If they don’t do things for others, then they shouldn’t penalise this.”
Gasly admitted he was surprised that Pérez pushed so hard for him to be penalised, and he feels penalties like this are stopping driving from doing what they are paid to do – race.
“Of course, he finished P11 without a point, so he tried to blame me as much as he can,” said the Frenchman. “I’ve told him honestly I enjoyed the fight, it was close racing, close wheels, and at the end of the day, we are racing drivers, that’s what we should push for.
“By doing this sort of penalty it’s just stopping us from racing, so it’s a big shame.
“Doing this pushes the drivers not to take any risks, and have boring races, and no overtaking except on the straight with the DRS, which is honestly not exciting at all.”
Gasly says he will be pushing for Toro Rosso to appeal the penalty, particularly as they are not consistent points scorers in 2018, with the Frenchman having finished only twice inside the top ten in the opening ten races, with team-mate Brendon Hartley only scoring one point in the same period.
“It was a one point, when we’re not consistently in the points, everything is valuable,” said Gasly. “I’ll push and maybe we’ll do an appeal.”