Sergio Perez has been given an official warning after his radio outburst following the F1 Abu Dhabi GP regarding the penalty.
The closing stages of F1 Abu Dhabi GP saw Red Bull’s Perez come alive as he started to lap quick times and catch the drivers ahead to find his place on the podium. He had the likes of Charles Leclerc, George Russell and Lando Norris to pass to get behind Max Verstappen.
He actually passed all the three with Leclerc helping him out, but a five seconds time penalty dropped him to fourth again behind Leclerc and Russell. The penalty was for his contact against Norris while passing him in the left-hander.
Norris was on the outside with Perez taking the inside line. Both looked a bit clumsy during that moment where the Brit took the corner despite having space on the outside, while the Mexican took a tight line and eventually made minor contact.
While it looked like a racing incident, but the stewards deemed Perez as the guilty party. “Coming into Turn 6, notwithstanding that Car 11 was alongside Car 4, the driver of Car 11 dived in late, missed the apex of the corner and understeered towards the outside of the corner colliding with Car 4,” said the stewards.
Perez now has seven penalty points in the past 12 months, only five away from facing a ban. Irked by the penalty, the Mexican vented his anger on the radio which eventually caught the eye of the FIA stewards and in the breach of International Sporting Code.
“I mean stewards are a joke man,” said Perez on the radio. “I cannot believe, I mean, they have been very bad this year, but this is a joke. That was really a joke. I just cannot believe that they give a penalty for that.”
Race engineer and Red Bull boss Christian Horner noted it to be a racing incident, as Perez further added: “I am sorry for you guys, we deserved a podium there on track but you know these stewards are not Formula 1 level.”
While entering the pits, Perez inquired, ‘who were the stewards today?’, from his team, who did not have the names at hand. The stewards for Abu Dhabi GP were Garry Connelly, Mathieu Remmerie, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Mohamed Alhashmi.
The stewards eventually warned him for his comments where they were fine with disagreements but not the personal insults. The stewards noted that they Perez apologised to each and every member and they agreed that he has been respectful all-through.
They had discussions about radio broadcast which the FIA agreed that they will have further discussions about it. “The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 11 (Sergio Perez), the team representative and reviewed team radio,” said the stewards. “The Stewards explained to the driver that they had no issue with someone disagreeing with their decisions, however comments that amount to personal insults are a breach of the International Sporting Code.
“The Stewards note that they are obviously conflicted in this matter as they were the subject of the radio statements and that normally this would be referred to the next panel of Stewards however as this is the final event of the season, the matter needed to be dealt with here. The driver made a genuine and sincere apology to each of the Stewards and explained that he made the comments in the heat of the moment and did not consider the fact that they would be broadcast, and the impact of that.
“He expressed his regret that his comments caused offence to anyone or harm to the sport, which he said he was concerned to avoid. The Stewards accept his statements and accept his apology. The Stewards also note that the driver is not known for making such comments and has always been extremely respectful in Stewards hearings. He was also reminded that the Stewards are always available to explain their decisions when requested by a driver or team representative.
“The driver, team manager and the Stewards had a constructive discussion about the use and broadcast of team radio messages. The incident itself was also reviewed in detail with the driver and although he still disagreed with the Decision he stated he could understand the Stewards’ perspective of the incident.”
Here’s how F1 Abu Dhabi GP panned out
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