Alpine has tried to have Pierre Gasly’s penalty points waived, but has been unsuccessful due to opposition from other teams. According to team boss Otmar Szafnauer, some competitors see their chance to benefit from the Frenchman’s penalty points.
Gasly has collected a lot of penalty points during the 2022 Formula 1 season. As a result, the Frenchman has no fewer than ten penalty points to his name at the time of writing. The first penalty points will not expire until May 22, 2023, which means that the Alpine driver will have to be very careful for the time being. He may only receive one penalty point before that time, otherwise he will have to sit aside for a race. It was recently announced that starting this season there will no longer be any penalty points for minor infractions, such as exceeding the course limits. According to Szafnauer, it is abundantly clear that this should be introduced retroactively and that points should therefore be deleted.
“There are two elements,” he tells the German branch of Motorsport.com. “First, what should you be penalized for in the future? I think it is right that you are not penalized for things like track limits, but for dangerous driving, which is what it was always meant to be. I don’t know how it got that way that things like the track limits or the distance on the safety car were ever included in this rule, because that’s not dangerous driving. But that’s one thing. I agree with the FIA’s new interpretation” However, according to the team boss, it should be be implemented retroactively. “If we all stand up, raise our hands and say we made a mistake, then we have to counteract that mistake too. Look ahead,” he says.
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Opposition from competition
Szafnauer tried to get this done during the previous meeting of the Formula 1 committee. If the new rule were introduced retroactively, Gasly would only be left with six points. This would give the Frenchman some breathing space again. While some competitors thought it was a good idea, the majority didn’t think it was necessary to do so. “I was in the minority.” According to the Alpine team boss, only three or four teams were on his side. According to him, some of the opponents also frankly admitted that this was for opportunistic reasons. “They hope something happens to us.”