Formula 1

Pierre Gasly Awarded Huge Time Penalty Following Near “Death” Collision

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Credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

The FIA have more questions to ask about their decision making than ever before in the modern history of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, after Pierre Gasly came within “metres of death” at the rain-soaked Japanese Grand Prix.

At a time when trust and faith in the governing body is at an all-time low between themselves and the drivers, they certainly didn’t help themselves at the Suzuka International Racing Course on the second lap.

The incident in question arose following Carlos Sainz Jr‘s, crash at Turn Twelve, which resulted in Gasly hitting a piece of advertising boarding, breaking his front-wing in the process. A Safety Car was released for the second lap, which had behind it everybody except Gasly, who was some distance behind the field following his opening lap stop.

The Frenchman was arguably driving too quickly in a bid to catch the pack; however, what he came across was “unacceptable”. The FIA allowed a recovery vehicle and a marshal onto the circuit whilst cars were going past, albeit behind the Safety Car.

Gasly, though, wasn’t behind the Safety Car and approached the tractor at much higher speed, which resulted in the Frenchman not seeing the vehicle until the last moment. He nearly hit both the tractor and the marshal, who jumped out of the way.

He was furious with the FIA, insisting that they’d learnt nothing from Jules Bianchi‘s tragic crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix. The race just so happened to be red-flagged whilst Gasly was going past the tractor and the marshal, undoubtedly too fast. Gasly’s speed aside, under no circumstance should the FIA have allowed the recovery vehicle and the marshal onto the circuit, whilst visibility was shocking, especially when a red flag was flown moments later.

Gasly was summoned to the stewards’ after the race, where he was slapped with a twenty-second time penalty and two penalty points, which puts him just three away from a race ban. Drivers and Team Principals have supported Gasly’s claims that the FIA haven’t learnt anything from 2014, with the FIA having since announced that a full investigation will take place into what happened.

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