Stroll broke “black-and-white” racing rule and got no penalty, fumes Gasly

2023 British Grand Prix

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Pierre Gasly says he has been left “extremely confused” over F1’s rules after accusing Lance Stroll of overtaking him off the track.

The Alpine driver’s British Grand Prix ended after he clashed with Stroll in the closing laps of the race. Prior to that the Aston Martin driver appeared to overtake Gasly off the track at Stowe while the pair battled over 11th following the Safety Car restart.

On lap 39, Stroll had tucked into Gasly’s slipstream along the Hangar Straight. Gasly moved to the inside to defend, with Stroll taking the outside line as the pair ran side-by-side through the corner. Stroll ran outside the white lines of the track with Gasly to his right, taking the position in the process despite appearing to have done so outside the track limits.

“He was off the track,” Gasly immediately reported over team radio, with race control noting the incident soon after.

However, despite Gasly’s protests and Stroll’s lap time being deleted for exceeding track limits at the corner where he had made his pass, the stewards determined that no further investigation into the incident was necessary, and Stroll allowed to keep his position. Gasly was left baffled by the stewards’ decision not to investigate or penalise Stroll over the incident.

“If you go off the race track, you’ve got to give the position back – just as simple as that,” Gasly told media including RaceFans after the race. “If you try and you see you’ve been off the race track, just give the position back. That’s how I’ve been taught racing by the FIA.

“I’ve paid the price in different situations. It’s just not fair, not having that consistency. Now, next race I’m supposing that going off the line of the race track while overtaking someone is allowed, and then all of a sudden I’m going to end up with a five-second penalty. So I just can’t understand.”

Gasly pointed to an incident in the Formula 2 feature race earlier in the day when Alpine junior driver Victor Martins was handed a five-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining a lasting advantage for going outside of the white lines at Village before passing Ayumu Iwasa for the lead into The Loop. Gasly insisted that such rules were “black and white.”

“It just doesn’t seem fair,” he continued. “Black-and-white, track limits. [It’s] black-and-white if you’re on the track or off the track. Off the race track gaining an advantage; five-second penalty or give the position back. [It’s] always happening and it happened with Victor this morning, so I just don’t understand it at all.

“I got done 15 seconds last weekend for track limits, now I lose a position to someone getting off the track and nothing happens. So I’m just extremely confused with what’s going on at the moment.”

Gasly insisted that he was “just asking for consistency” from how the rules were applied. “If that’s allowed – fine,” he stated. “But it’s got to be allowed for everyone.”

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Gasly eventually reclaimed the position from Stroll with a bold overtake around the outside of Luffield. However, the two clashed again on lap 48 when Stroll attempted another move around the outside of Vale corner. The collision left Gasly with damage that left him crawling back to the pits and ending his race as a classified finisher in 18th.

Lando Norris, McLaren, Silverstone, 2023
Gallery: 2023 British Grand Prix in pictures
Stroll was investigated and handed a five-second time penalty and two points on his superlicence for the collision after the stewards determined that Gasly had been “ahead at the apex of turn 16” and was therefore “entitled to the line at the exit”. Stroll was responsible, the stewards determined, because he “re-entered the circuit at an angle that caused him to collide” with the Alpine.

Asked by RaceFans who he felt had been to blame for the clash, Stroll argued that Gasly should have left him more space before he tried to rejoin the track.

“There was a touch,” he claimed. “I was forced wide and then I came back on the track and we touched. If I was given more room, I wouldn’t have had to come back on the track and we wouldn’t have touched.”

Stroll also insisted he had been pushed wide by Gasly during his initial pass at Stowe which the stewards had determined had not required investigation.

“I got forced off the track both times I passed him, so I’m not really sure why I got a penalty because I was given no room,” he said.

“Both times I was given no room, he just pushed me off the track. I got a track limits for one, but I was forced wide, and then the next time I passed them again, I was given no room.”

The clash ended a frustrating day for Gasly who had started 10th and ran behind Fernando Alonso in the first stint while targeting a points finish in the race.

“We were chasing Fernando, there was good speed,” Gasly said. “I just lacked some straight-line speed to try something and get a move on him. But, it was still good to be in that pack and then all our efforts get ruined with what followed. So disappointing.”

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2023 British Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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19 comments on “Stroll broke “black-and-white” racing rule and got no penalty, fumes Gasly”

  1. This seems similar to De Vries and Magnessen last week, Gasly and Stroll were side by side, Gasly used op all the space, and stroll went wide, If that was a penalty for De Vries last week, I don’t see why it should flip around and be a penalty for stroll this time.

    ps. not saying I either agree or disagree with those penalties the rules could be much clearer (as always), but they seem the same to me.

    1. That was my first thought as well – he pushed him off the track and as it was last week, it should be a penalty. You could argue that Stroll should have also had a penalty for gaining a place off the track but regardless of that, Gasly should have had one. I guess in this instance, instead of giving them both penalties, the stewards decided to give neither of them one.

      1. Penalties for both or neither?
        I thought penalties were awarded based on merit, not on equal-ism?

        Stroll seemed to be chancing his arm with the overtake move there, not surprised there wasn’t enough track for both cars.

  2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    9th July 2023, 20:45

    What Stroll got an actual penalty for was deserved. but this thing with Gasly initially with Stroll gaining a place, I’m unsure about. Gasly did play a part – Stroll was fully along side and Gasly basically did push Stroll off. Stroll in reality though should have backed off. Given this was the first thing like this in the race, for Stroll, I think it was fair him just getting the black and white flag. I don’t think he was 100% responsible for him “going off” and gaining the position. If Gasly had given him the space, I think Stroll would have passed there anyway.

  3. Seems it is going from a motor racing championship to a snitching championship

    1. @melanos

      Been like that for a long time. Jenson Button was chief snitcher in most of 2010-2020 before he retired. You could tell he was a school snitch too. Just the way he went about it.

  4. I actually agree with Gasly as Stroll had enough room to keep one tyre within the limits and instead he chose to plant his foot, run extra wide. and use that speed to overtake. Sets a dangerous precedent for the future. The second incident should have been a drive through, no excuses for spearing into other cars when rejoining the circuit.

    1. … no excuses for spearing into other cars when rejoining the circuit.

      Like Gasly did in Australia, luckily he only took out his team mate that time.
      There is no excuse, but I get sick of Gasly whining, especially about things that happen to him when he has usually been an instigator of a similar infraction in the recent past.

    2. I don’t see how Stroll had enough room when Gasly actually goes a bit beyond the white line with his outside tyres. He leaves absolutely no space.

      As for the second incident, it’s Strolls fault and he deserves a penalty, but it’s also the consequences of Gasly’s own actions. If you push someone wide at the first corner of a chicane, guess where they are gonna end up.

  5. I thought he DID get a penalty?

    1. Only for ramming into Gasly by corner-cutting.

  6. It was a clear rule until sit Lewis overtook sir Max offtrack by cutting a chicane without receiving a penalty.
    After that first one Lewis pulled other got away with it too

    1. *in abu dhabi

    2. sir Max

      Please do not insult Max, he is not knighted yes AFAIK

      1. Verstappen is an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau, which is actually one rank above that of Knight.

        For what these shenanigans are worth, that is.

    3. The irony meter is off the charts when you mention adhering to the rule book regarding AD21…

      1. The irony meter is off the charts when you mention adhering to the rule book regarding AD21…

        Leaving aside the fact that Massi created an ELE of the rules at AD21, the situation does have a valid comparison.

        Why was Stroll out there cutting a corner? Because Gasly took a wide line with someone already alongside and forced him off track.
        Why was Lewis off track? Same reason, Max took a wide line with someone already alongside and forced him off track.

        So, a big thank you to Femke for pointing out that Gasly was wrong this weekend in the same way that Max was wrong in 2021

  7. Gasly do the same things to other drivers (a lot of them) and then complain that others do it the same to him. And also he get away with a ban for points in their license thanks to the stewards beeing incosistent in awarding license point for the infractions he incurr.
    Good thing for him that he is in Alipne, otherwise I believe that he will be the first pilot to be replaced on the grid next season.

  8. Stroll indeed clearly gained an advantage via his brief off-track excursion at Stowe exit in the form of ‘maintaining’ position & similarly, Leclerc gained a lasting advantage against his teammate at Farm exit via leaving the track, so stewards’ should’ve instructed position swapping in both cases or penalized for not doing so voluntarily.
    Consistency is indeed key since even maintaining position via off-track excursion has generally led to a penalty.
    Stroll also seemingly thinks that getting forced off track would give a right to pass or maintain position that way despite the opposite being the case without a doubt & he should know all this with his experience, especially that backing off to fight back a little later would’ve been wiser than over-aggressively ramming into him by cutting the corner.

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