Gasly: Hamilton, Vettel and others backed me over penalty

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Gasly: Hamilton, Vettel and others backed me over penalty
Valentin Khorounzhiy
By: Valentin Khorounzhiy
Jul 20, 2018, 6:32 PM

Pierre Gasly says he was backed by Formula 1 champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel when his British Grand Prix penalty came up in a drivers' briefing at Hockenheim.

Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso
Sergio Perez, Force India VJM11, leads Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR13
Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso
Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, in the Thursday press conference
Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso
Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13
Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR13
Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso

Gasly was left fuming after what he felt was a “completely ridiculous” sanction cost him the championship point he'd earned in the Silverstone race.

The Frenchman had passed Force India's Sergio Perez late on, but made contact with his rival's VJM10 car in the process and was hit with a five-second penalty that demoted him from 10th to 13th.

Speaking to the media at the next grand prix weekend in Germany, Gasly said he had brought up the penalty to race director Charlie Whiting during a Friday drivers' briefing – and insisted that “everyone” among his fellow F1 drivers supported his viewpoint.

“I asked Charlie and I just wanted his opinion about it, and the drivers’ opinions,” Gasly said. “We talked about it for 40 minutes.

“Lewis said it was a racing incident, Seb said as well. Everyone found that the penalty was a bit harsh.

“So, it was good to know after, there is nothing we can change really. For me it was just to understand.

“I am open to question myself about my vision of racing and it was important for me to get the opinions of others as well, but they all shared the same feedback and they thought the penalty was too harsh.”

Gasly suggested that F1 should consider the example of MotoGP, which has been more lax in policing wheel-to-wheel action.

The motorcycle series announced earlier this year that its stewards would be imposing harsher penalties in the aftermath of reigning champion Marc Marquez knocking title rival Valentino Rossi off his bike in Argentina.

But despite a number of contentious moments in the following races, no penalties for contact have been handed out in MotoGP since the announcement.

“I am a big fan of MotoGP and this kind of thing happens every weekend,” Gasly said.

“And this is why people love MotoGP - because they are touching, they are really fighting to the limit and when we see Valentino and Marquez clashing side-by-side, everyone loves it.

“It is part of racing and I think people are quite excited to see when it happens in F1.”

The Frenchman reiterated that he sought a more consistent approach to F1 stewarding, having felt after Britain that manoeuvres similar to his Perez move had gone unpenalised in the past.

“It is not only for my case, just to have something clear for everyone,” he said.

“Just to know where the line is exactly, because from one weekend to another it seems to change a bit.

“It is important to have some clear feedback on what the limit is.”

Additional reporting by Casper Bekking

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