FIA Race Director Michael Masi clarifies that Red Bull were contacted in Sergio Perez case in F1 Italian GP, after Christian Horner noted of no communication.
After the safety car restart, following the divisive and shocking crash between the two title protagonists, Perez made a bold move on Charles Leclerc for P3 which involved jumping over the kerbs after being squeezed by the Ferrari ace. Red Bull and the FIA have different interpretations as to how each other dealt with it.
Perez had been enduring yet another mediocre race in Italy, but the arrival of the safety car was when his race started to show some promise as he was bumped up to P4 and hot on the heels of Leclerc. During the restart he made the move across the kerbs for P3. Red Bull say they asked FIA race control if the move was okay and didn’t get an answer.
However, the race control said they never heard from Red Bull. As a result of this fundamental communication error, Perez was handed a 5 second time penalty for gaining an advantage. When FIA F1 race director Masi was asked if Red Bull got in touch regarding the move he claimed otherwise. “They didn’t ask race control,” he said to written media.
“I suggested to them that they may want to look at giving the position back, and they said they were looking at it themselves.” This suggests that there was clear communication between the two that Red Bull dispute and you can see why a penalty was given. Perez had a similar incident on Saturday and gave the place back whereas here, it was a different approach from the team and a 5 second penalty was awarded.
“We look at certain things from gaining a lasting advantage, and look at it in a holistic manner,” said Masi, regarding the approach of the stewards. “So, where it’s given up, how it’s given up, etc. It all comes into the review of what is the lasting advantage,” continued the FIA F1 race director. “If you pulled across and stopped right before a DRS detection zone, let someone by and then took straight after them, that will probably be looked at very differently to giving it up three or four corners before. Some of them choose them strategically, but you also have to look at how quickly it actually happens in sequence.”
At the end of the day, race control felt Perez had gained a lasting advantage which is why the penalty was awarded. As you’d expect, Red Bull have a very different view. “It was another tough one because Sergio’s driven a great race he managed to pass Carlos then got to Charles,” said Horner to TV media. “It was a bold move with Charles, it was what we felt was right on the limit. We asked race control but we didn’t get a response, and then you think, ‘okay we’ll go with it’ and then unfortunately we got the penalty.”
So the communication dispute is there and is something Red Bull perhaps need to investigate going forward. You can understand why they didn’t give the place back, they weren’t told to when they felt they’d asked, maybe they thought they’d got away with it. One thing everyone can agree on though it that it was a terrific attempt from Perez.
“He’s on the outside, yeah, he’s jumped the kerb, I’m not sure quite where he could have gone, I mean, he has gained an advantage there you cannot argue but again we weren’t asked to give it back so you know one of those things,” said Horner. Leclerc squeezed him hard and left Perez no room, whether he was entitled to the room is another conversation but it’s an unusually measured and calm outlook on it from the boss here who admits to an advantage being gained.
Meanwhile, Perez concurred with Horner. “Was it a risk? Probably yes, but we were, I think, as a team hoping to have a bit of a..the way I see, basically if I try to make the corner and not cut it, we would have had another contact,” said the Mexican. “So, I basically avoided a contact.” Bigger the risk, bigger the reward, Perez doesn’t have regrets about going for the move, his point here is that he cut the kerbs not to gain an advantage but to avoid a crash, parking some of the blame on Leclerc’s door.
“It was my corner, so I really had to go, to go and avoid it,” said Perez. “It was a very eventful race and a real shame to miss out on the podium. With the penalty, I think we hoped for a wider view in the sense that it was my corner and I was ahead of Charles, but it is what it is and we tried to recover.” Without the penalty, the Mexican would have been on for a fine podium from ninth on the grid, in a Sunday recovery.
A communication error ultimately cost Red Bull and Perez a podium in Monza, something so simple has cost them a handful of points of the constructors standing race, especially with Valtteri Bottas ending up the podium. You’d expect Horner to show more resistance against the penalty, but the team are taking a measured and philosophical approach to a situation that cannot be changed now.
The story was written by Ollie Pattas
Here’s the video of the incident: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-italian-grand-prix-sergio-perez-jumps-over-corner-to-overtake-charles-leclerc-before-receiving-penalty.1710705097234627931.html
Here’s Valtteri Bottas on getting stuck behind Sergio Perez
Here’s Toto Wolff on his tactical foul comment
Here’s Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris defending Red Bull/Mercedes
Here’s Toto Wolff/Lewis Hamilton and Christian Horner/Max Verstappen’s viewsCop