Gasly “asking for consistency” after incidents with Stroll at Silverstone

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Photo Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team

If Pierra Gasly can take any consolation from his British Grand Prix retirement, it’s that he is no longer the Formula One driver with the most penalty points on his superlicence.

The French driver was forced to retire after a coming together with the AMR23 of Lance Stroll at Club on lap 46. The Canadian had ran wide at Vale and upon rejoining the track, gave Gasly’s Alpine a clout, resulting in suspension failure of the Alpine and a double DNF for the Enstone-based team, as Esteban Ocon had retired earlier in the race because of a hydraulic issue.

This followed an incident one lap earlier with the two drivers battling for position which had seen Stroll leave the track and gain an advantage on Gasly at Stowe by passing him, one which the stewards did not see fit to penalise, though he did receive a 5-second penalty for causing the later collision.

Alpine F1 Team Principal; Otmar Szafnauer said that Gasly “had his race ruined when Lance came back on track and hit him.

“It’s hard to finish a race with a broken suspension.”

An understandably frustrated Szafnauer, with both drivers failing to finish at Silverstone, continued:

“You can’t cause an accident and put somebody out of the race and say, ‘ah, not my fault’.”

Gasly, who had been threatening to catch Alonso in the early phase of the race found himself out of position after the pit stops before his first tussle with Stroll at Stowe, dropping the Frenchman to 12th position.

The 27-year-old was adamant that his opponent in the Aston Martin had all four wheels off the track:

“On everything that I’ve seen he had four wheels off the track passing me, and that’s gaining an advantage.”

After pointing out that he himself received a 15 second penalty in the previous race at the Red Bull Ring for track limits he said he was “extremely confused” with how things played out at Silverstone, particularly in light of Victor Martins – competing in Formula Two earlier that day – was penalised for leaving the track and gaining an advantage. Ultimately, he reflected, this first incident only set up the later one:

“It just changes what follows after that…Get back behind him, I managed to get past him on the outside of Turn 7….And then Lance takes us out of the race in the last chicane. So just extremely disappointed because the first part of the race was going well.”

Not for the first time recently, this has a driver calling for more consistency and clarity in terms of delivering (or indeed not delivering) penalties for on track incidents:

“Last week, we got penalised for stuff where we feel like we’re not getting the warning properly….And this situation for me as soon as I saw him going off the racetrack, I was like ‘he’ll give the position back’. And I spent three laps behind losing time in his gearbox where I should not be there….So yeah, just asking for consistency. If that’s allowed, fine. But it’s got to be allowed for everyone.”

Photo Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team

Stroll on the other hand, see’s things a little differently, voicing his own confusion:

“I got forced off the track both times I passed him, So I’m not really sure why I got a penalty because I was given no room…I was forced wide and then I came back on the track and we touched. If I was given more room I wouldn’t have had to come back on the track and we wouldn’t have touched.”

This double DNF for Alpine couldn’t have come at a worse time, with championship rivals McLaren looking resurgent following their extensive upgrade package.

30 points scored at Silverstone for McLaren now sees them 12 points clear of Alpine in the constructors’ standings at a crucial time of the season. The Woking outfit look like they could hold the upper hand on pace as well on the basis of Austria and Britain.

Photo Credit: Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team