Pierre Gasly insists that he was unaffected by the prospect of being banned from a Formula 1 race after finally losing penalty points from his superlicence.
After sporadically picking up points on his licence for a variety of minor infringements over the last twelve months, the Alpine driver has spent the first few races of the season with ten points on his F1 superlicence.
For a long time the Grand Prix winner has sat uncomfortably close to the 12-point limit, which would trigger a one-race suspension.
Fears that Gasly could be handed a race ban were heightened at the Australian Grand Prix, when a collision with teammate Esteban Ocon resulted in a trip to the stewards.
However, no penalty points were handed out, and the Frenchman carefully navigated the Azerbaijan and Miami Grands Prix without any punishments.
The cancellation of last weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix also inadvertently helped Gasly, who had one less opportunity to pick up a penalty before two of his ten points expired on the 22nd May.
Gasly now heads into the Monaco GP on eight penalty points, and whilst he believes it had no impact on his commitment to racing, he expressed his relief at the increasing breathing space.
“Personally, I don’t think this had any impact on my performance or my approach to racing,” Gasly told media, including RacingNews365.com.
“Obviously, it wasn’t an ideal situation to be in. It’s sort of always in the back of your mind, but I know I’m a respectful driver.
“I always fight at the limit, but it’s not like I go purposely over the limit, so I wasn’t really concerned about it.
“But it’s great to know that I’ve got these two extra points [taken off my licence] after last weekend, and I won’t have to think about it that much.”
Gasly will need to wait until 10th July for three more points to fall from his licence. The Frenchman will contest the Monaco, Spanish, Canadian, Austrian and British Grands Prix in that time.