FIA has explained why it allowed Pierre Gasly escape penalties for a crash that sent him and teammate Esteban Ocon into the barriers during the Australian Grand Prix following the second red flag restart.
Alpine was poised for a double points finish in Australia before one of its drivers collided with the other, ending their race with just one lap remaining.
While Ocon was battling for a 10th place finish to earn race points, Gasly had put up a strong performance for his team, moving up four spots to fifth.
Gasly ran wide on turn one and re-joined the track in the wake of race restart turmoil, and struck Ocon’s car after Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin and Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari made contact.
The Alpines lost their opportunity to steer the team to a great finish when they both struck the wall and were unable to continue the race. The team’s unfortunate outcome affected them as it saw them drop to sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship, behind rivals McLaren.
The Formula 1 stewards spared Gasly from a race ban by classifying the crash as a racing incident after the race rather than placing the blame on the Frenchman.
“The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 10 (Pierre Gasly), the driver of Car 31 (Esteban Ocon), a team representative and reviewed positioning/marshalling system data, video and in-car video evidence and determined that it was a first lap racing incident,” FIA said in a statement.
“Both cars recognised and accepted this as such. In the circumstances, we took no further action.”
Gasly would not have been able to compete in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix if the FIA had fined him for the incident because he would have accrued more penalty points than allowed for the entire season.
Gasly already has 10 points on his license, which puts him in danger of getting his license suspended if it is discovered that he was involved in an incident prior to May 22.