Alpine: Rivals ‘opportunistically’ blocked Gasly penalty points cut

Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer says a proposition he submitted to have benign offenses wiped from Pierre Gasly’s superlicence was “opportunistically” rejected by several of the French outfit’s rivals.

Last year, during his final campaign with AlphaTauri, Gasly accumulated ten penalty points on his superlicence, which means he’s just two points away from incurring an automatic one-race ban.

Based on F1’s 12-month rolling schedule, the Alpine charger’s tally won’t start to expire until May 22, so if he commits an offense in the next four races and receives two more penalty points, Galsy would become the first driver since the system was introduced to earn a mandatory ban as a result.

    Read also: Gasly at risk of race ban: ‘I’m not a silly or dangerous driver!’

Gasly’s transgressions out on the track included such benign offenses as exceeding track limits and falling too far behind the Safety Car on a restart, while more serious violations included speeding under red flag conditions and causing a collision.

Szafnauer argued that certain punishments or penalty points handed to his driver simply didn’t fit the crime, and thus brought forward at a recent F1 Commission meeting a plan to scrap from any driver’s slate the corresponding minor offenses and their points.

However, save for a handful of Alpine’s competitors, the proposition was not accepted by a majority of F1’s teams, even despite the FIA taking a more relaxed approach this season to benign transgressions.

“I was in the minority,” Szafnauer told Autosport. “There were probably three or four out of the 10 teams that supported it.”

“Some of those who did not admit the reason [why] they are not supporting it was for opportunistic reasons, hoping that something happens to us.”

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