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Pierre Gasly can expose an FIA rule in Brazil

Pierre Gasly is at risk of a race ban due to his penalty score and could potentially expose a Formula 1 rule.

With 10 penalty points at the top of Formula 1, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly is just two points away from a one-race ban. To make matters worse for Gasly, his points won’t disappear until May next year.

Penalty points expire after 12 months, but Gasly has accumulated all of his 10 within the last six months. To put that in perspective, teammate Yuki Tsunoda has the second highest total of penalties with eight penalties, but four of those will expire within the next month.

Gasly has a chance to uncover this rule at this weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix at the Interlagos Circuit.

The 26-year-old Frenchman has admitted he cannot afford to face a race ban next year if he joins Alpine as he could theoretically be in contention for a world championship.

The first two of his 10 points do not expire until Monday 22nd May 2023, the seventh race of the 2023 24-race season.

It seems a bit bizarre to suggest, but Gasly’s best bet for not getting banned at all next season is to get banned for the 2022 season finale.

With two more penalties this weekend, Gasly would be suspended for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit next Sunday.

Missing the final race of the 2022 season wouldn’t be ideal considering how long he’s been with AlphaTauri and the Red Bull organization; he certainly wouldn’t want to go out like that. And it’s not like Gasly is going to screw it up on purpose and do something dangerous to force the FIA ​​to act.

But it’s the only way to ensure he doesn’t look over his shoulder for the first seven races of his debut season at Alpine, and the fact that he technically could is not a positive for the FIA.

Gasly has called for this rule to be changed, but there is no easy fix. You can’t just say that all points expire at the end of a season, as that would inevitably lead to more reckless moves later in the season. Drivers would realize that the points they received would not count towards the following year anyway.

On the surface, a safe rider is the easiest solution – and the only truly safe way to avoid lockdown. But some of the six offenses this season that led to Gasly’s 10 penalty points haven’t exactly been controversial. There will always be certain decisions that contain some sort of subjective element.

Perhaps a run of clean races could reduce a driver’s total penalty points, or perhaps the 12-month reset period could be changed to 12 races.

Or maybe no changes need to be made considering there really is only one driver at risk of suspension.

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