Grand Prix Drivers' Association director George Russell has called for an exemption for Pierre Gasly from the FIA should the AlphaTauri driver trigger a one-race ban for collecting 12 penalty points on his super licence.
The Frenchman enters the penultimate round of the championship on 10 points after a string of incidents that has largely consisted of issues in practice sessions or behind the safety car rather than dangerous driving standards.
But with the FIA deploying a rolling 12-month validity period, Gasly will be forced to be patient for the opening period of next year's campaign when he joins Alpine whilst he waits for his current points to be erased.
Outspoken in his defence, Gasly has insisted his errors have not warranted the punishment handed to him. Ahead of the São Paulo Grand Prix, he has revealed talks have taken place with the FIA.
Asked for his viewpoint on the crisis, Mercedes driver Russell replied: "The penalty doesn't fit the crime, especially in Pierre's case.
READ MORE...Gasly reveals FIA talks to avoid "embarrassing" F1 ban
"He has some for safety car infringements or incidents in practice sessions.
"If anything were to result in a race ban, it would need to truly be for something pretty reckless and dangerous, of which I personally don't associate Pierre with being a reckless or dangerous driver.
"It is actually something we spoke about earlier in the year, I think it was around Barcelona, where some drivers picked up penalty points for nothing of an incident.
"So I hope he does not get a race ban because he certainly doesn't deserve one. If he somehow does manage to get 12 penalty points, there needs to be some exemption because the rules aren't in the right place in that regard."
Russell calls for increased reprimand usage
The FIA has the ability to distribute reprimands rather than penalty points, with Yuki Tsunoda handed a grid penalty at the Italian Grand Prix for collecting five in a 12-month period.
But with the current system in place determining all sporting penalties carry at least the addition of a point, Russell suggested: "We have got the reprimand, which I think is a good system at the moment.
"I am still not actually sure on the ruling for reprimands because I am not too sure whether I have collected any this year and I have penalty points.
"I think it is five reprimands and you get a grid penalty? I think that works quite well.
"I have not looked into the details for what exactly you get the penalty points for but for sure, the small sporting infringements, they are not dangerous to result in a race ban. It should only be down to reckless driving."