Pierre Gasly is dangerously close to a suspension, but he remains confident his suspensions will not affect his alpine prospects next season.
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The Frenchman is just two demerit points short of automatic disqualification, and no points will be deducted until May 2023.
Some even suggested that Gasly had deliberately accepted the punishment and subsequent ban for the rest of the year in order to start his alpine career from scratch.
However, Gasly has already made it clear that he intends to finish his time with AlphaTauri on high, so it seems like an almost unlikely scenario.
However, it will be crucial for the 26-year-old to avoid accidents or minor infringements in the next stage of the race.
Speaking to the Brazilian media, Gasly revealed what is at stake with his severity:
“We talked a lot with the FIA trying to find a solution because I personally want to compete in all the races.
“I want to finish the season in the best possible way with AlphaTauri, I want to compete in all the races in 2023 and have the best opportunity to drive for Alpine.
“And obviously the stakes are high because nobody knows what is going to happen in 2023.
“I could, for example, have an amazing car that is fighting for the championship, and I can’t risk being disqualified from the race and losing all my championship hopes…
“I had a lot of discussions with the FIA trying to find solutions because the rules are written at the moment, they are quite strict for the drivers and the penalties are quite harsh.
Few would argue that Gasly doesn’t deserve a ban because most of his demerits stem from relatively minor offenses.
Unfortunately for Gasly, regardless of the accuracy of his free kicks, he will be forced to play as cleanly as possible at the next Grand Prix.