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Gasly avoids race ban after Australian GP Ocon incident

Pierre Gasly has avoided a ban for the next race following the late-race collision with teammate Esteban Ocon in Melbourne.

Pierre Gasly has avoided becoming the first Formula 1 driver to trigger a race ban for penalty points, after Australian Grand Prix stewards decided not to penalise him for the collision with Esteban Ocon. On the Lap 57 restart, Gasly ran across the grass at Turn 1 and rejoined the track, but seemed unaware that Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon was alongside, with both cars retiring on the spot after heavy contact. Upon reviewing the incident, the stewards decided to take "no further action" against either driver. Testimony from both drivers described the incident as a "first lap racing incident" which the stewards accepted, hence no further punishment for Gasly. If he had been issued with two penalty points, Gasly would have missed out on the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the end of April, having reached the threshold of 12 points needed for a ban in a 12-month period. Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer had suggested an increase to the number of points needed for a ban be increased owing to the higher number of races than in 2014 when the system was introduced.

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