Formula 1

“I’m just disappointed”: Pierre Gasly Two Penalty Points Away From First-Ever Race Ban

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Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Pierre Gasly has entered incredibly dangerous territory following the Mexico City Grand Prix, as the Frenchman finds himself on the brink of becoming the first-ever Formula 1 driver to receive a race ban. The Scuderia AlphaTauri driver has amassed ten penalty points since May, meaning that if he is awarded two more, he’ll receive a race on the side-lines.

The Frenchman’s total isn’t set to reduce until May 2023, meaning that he’ll need to be on his best behaviour for the remaining two races of this season and the start of next season, to avoid an embarrassing ban. The BWT Alpine F1 Team, who Gasly is, of course, joining next season, will likely need to prepare a Reserve Driver to complete a race next season, with the odds certainly being against the French driver.

He endured a messy race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, despite finishing eleventh. Gasly was awarded a five-second time penalty during the race for forcing Lance Stroll off the circuit at Turn Four, where he then failed to relinquish the position. Gasly dived down the inside of the Canadian at the corner in question, but was out of control of his AT03. Stroll had nowhere to go but off the track, meaning that the AlphaTauri driver should’ve returned the position.

As well as the time penalty Gasly was also awarded a sole penalty point, which took his tally to ten.

The Frenchman labelled the race as a “real shame”, after being “disappointed” to have failed to score any points.

“It’s a real shame, but we knew it would be difficult starting from P14. I gave everything I could today, and we were close to finishing in the top 10, if we’d had one more lap I think we could’ve been in it. The atmosphere has been insane, as always in Mexico, so that’s been great, I’m just disappointed we’ve come away without points.”

Daniel Ricciardo’s error was “such a silly mistake” – Yuki Tsunoda

Yuki Tsunoda faced the most unlucky of retirements at the Mexico City GP, after being on the brink of the top ten with twenty laps remaining. The Japanese driver was forced to retire after being hit by Daniel Ricciardo at the tight Turn Six, which caused substantial damage to the AlphaTauri driver’s right sidepod.

The move was certainly bold by Ricciardo, who did, in fairness, see a gap; however, that gap quickly disappeared. Given that he was driving considerably faster, perhaps the Australian driver could’ve timed his move better. It really was a shame for Tsunoda to be forced to retire, after having what was a solid race in Mexico. Ricciardo was awarded a ten-second time penalty for causing a collision, which had no impact on the McLaren F1 Team driver finishing seventh.

Tsunoda was left incredibly frustrated by Ricciardo’s “silly mistake”, after admitting he expected more from “such an experienced driver”.

“It’s such a shame about today’s result. My tyre management had been really good in the race up until that point, and I was feeling confident in that final stint, so I’m very disappointed that it ended with such a silly mistake.

“Daniel was on a different strategy and would’ve easily made it past later on, so for such an experienced driver to try to overtake in an area that it’s just not possible to is so annoying. We were close to being able to finish in the points, which are so valuable to us right now. There are some positives to take away from this weekend, but for now I just need to go away and reset, then come back stronger for Brazil.”

Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool
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