Pierre Gasly branded track limits at the Austrian Grand Prix a “nonsense” which was impossible for the viewers to follow and drivers to obey.
A plethora of penalties were dished out across the Austrian Grand Prix for drivers having been judged to have exceeded the boundaries of the track, while plenty of lap times were deleted in qualifying for similar offences.
The FIA would actually reveal that they had “well over 1,200” potential instances of track limit breaches to assess after the Austrian GP, with Aston Martin having protested the result on the grounds of track limits. That led to further time penalties, Gasly caught up in those and dropping from P9 to P10 as a result.
Pierre Gasly calls track limits a “nonsense”
The Alpine driver accepts that like in football, the rules are the rules on the boundaries of the track, but felt the enforcement had been taken too far and was leaving viewers very confused.
He believes the easier option then would have been to drop the enforcement of track limits, but if the FIA is to look at a different way of ensuring the boundaries are respected at the Red Bull Ring in future, then he suggests putting grass at the corners in question to stop drivers venturing too wide for their liking.
Gasly was among the drivers to pick up a five-second penalty during the race.
Speaking to Sky F1, Gasly said: “Track limits, I was chasing Fernando [Alonso] and I could see him pulling away two, three-tenths per lap and I was like ‘I’ll try everything I can to stay with that guy’ and unfortunately, I went once too many too wide, probably for one, two centimetres.
“We’ve been talking all weekend and I think it would have been easier for everyone, [at] home, in the steward’s room, and all of us drivers to just drop it, but there is a rule. I love football, the rule in football is the same and that was the way it was this weekend.
“I do believe if you go 10 centimetres wider you anyway damage your car and lose performance.
“Ultimately four, five centimetres, I don’t think it’s right to be penalising and dropping in qualifying, it was just nonsense. 43 lap times deleted, when you follow on TV, you have no clue on what’s going on and who is actually in, who is actually out.
“As drivers inside the car with the visibility that we have, it’s pretty much impossible to really notice this one or two centimetres, whether you’re on the line and you’re always going to take it to the limit.
“So either put some grass there, no one’s going to go there, or just leave it as it is, make life easier and let us use the track limits, but I’m sure it’s going to be reviewed.”
Pierre Gasly feels Alpine missing vital two to three-tenths
Gasly was able to pick up two points for a P9 finish in Austria, managing to get the better of Lance Stroll in the Aston Martin.
It seems though that Alpine are currently hovering just that bit too far adrift of the likes of Aston Martin and Mercedes to challenge them, Gasly saying the team need another two to three-tenths per lap to really bring themselves into this fight and take the next step on their ‘Mountain Climber’ journey to F1’s summit.
“I think overall we maximised the race and the points we could score,” said Gasly. “Today we even managed to beat one Aston and we finished right behind the two Mercedes.
“But ultimately, we want more than P9 and we want to fight for bigger points and at the moment I just feel like we were missing these two, three-tenths compared to these guys ahead of us, so that’s what we’ll be chasing.”
Alpine remain P5 in the Constructors’ Championship but have become very much detached from Ferrari one place and 113 points up the road.