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F1 drivers back Gasly with 'embarrassing' ban looming

With Pierre Gasly dangerously close to a one-race ban for accumulating too many penalty points, several drivers have come to his defence.

Several Formula 1 drivers have leapt to the defence of Pierre Gasly, after the Frenchman said it was "embarrassing" to be on the verge of a race ban for racking up too many penalty points. F1 drivers are allowed to accumulate 12 points on their Super Licence in a 12-month period before an automatic one-race ban is triggered, with Gasly currently sitting on 10. Gasly's 10 points have been through a variety of reasons, namely causing collisions (four points), exceeding track limits (one), speeding under red flag conditions (two), forcing another driver off the track (one), and falling too far behind the Safety Car (two). Discussing how the penalty points are meted out, Alex Albon said he thought the current system was too harsh, and penalised drivers for acts which were not dangerous. "I'm quite high up there as well and I completely agree with Pierre," the Williams driver told media. "I think I have three points on my licence, and they're down to track limits, which is not dangerous at all. "I'm not harming any other driver or myself in that situation. I think I've got another two points for collision with [Lance] Stroll in Jeddah, which, as drivers, we deemed wasn't my fault. So there are a lot of points on my licence which I don't think I deserved. "I think there is going to be a change. We've already got the points on our licence, so what happens then? "Because even if we do make steps forward into next year, do the points that we got for previous races, do they stay on? "I think we do need to do something about it, and I don't think any of us are dangerous drivers. "I do understand, you should punish drivers if they do dangerous things, but I think a lot of the points that everyone has right now aren't because of dangerous things."

Bottas, Perez also slam excessive penalties

Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas also threw his support behind Gasly, agreeing with Albon that some punishments are heavy handed and that reform is needed. "From my understanding, there will be some changes made for the future, because for sure, some of the points that [Gasly] has been getting, it's not dangerous. "I think the points should be only given when it's really dangerous and can harm yourself or somebody else on track. "So, I think we will see progress being made but I don't think Pierre would deserve to be in that kind of situation on the edge. That's the rule now, but the main thing is how we act with that in the future." Red Bull's Sergio Perez also added his voice to the chorus of drivers suggesting that the current system needs tweaking, adding that it would be unfortunate for Gasly to receive a race ban. "It will be good for Pierre to miss a race!" Perez quipped, before striking a more serious tone. "No, I definitely feel like there are things that are not even related to his driving, and we get points for that. "So I think when it's not related to bad driving or mistakes, there shouldn't be a penalty, and it will be really bad if he ends up losing a race for that."

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