Pierre Gasly reckons the three-place grid penalty and two penalty points given to Sebastian Vettel as punishment for failing to slow down sufficiently during first practice for the United States Grand Prix on Friday was ‘harsh’.
Vettel was pinged for driving too fast when the red flags were flying after gravel was strewn across the track following an off by Charles Leclerc, and although the Scuderia Ferrari driver did slow significantly in the offending area on the track, the fact he went quicker than the minimum time in between marshalling sectors set out by the FIA caused the penalties.
Gasly however feels the penalty was too harsh for the offence, although the Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver acknowledges rules are there to be adhered to so a penalty was always going to come Vettel’s way.
“It’s quite a harsh penalty, if you’ve been really careful when you pass in front of the crash and just after you don’t pay attention so much and you get a penalty like this,” Gasly is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com.
“Before, if there’s a crash and a red flag you just slow down a lot in the place you had the crash and then after that you drive carefully, and it’s not like you need to respect a certain time.
“It always worked in the past. Now it’s quite strict, but at the same time rules are rules and you need to respect them. It’s a shame, especially looking at the situation, still fighting for the championship, and now he gets a penalty it’s not so exciting.
“It is not the first time, so it shows clearly that there is probably something we should do. Two penalty points for something like this, where you have been careful in the place you had to be, is quite harsh.”