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Perez cleared by stewards

NEWS STORY
17/04/2015

Stewards in Bahrain have agreed that no further action is warranted following Sergio Perez' clash with Sebastian Vettel in FP2.

The Force India driver, at the time busy passing Felipe Nasr, appeared to cut across the front of the Ferrari as all three went into Turn 1. The nose of Vettel's car was damaged as it struck the rear wheel of the Mexican's car, and debris on the track, meant the session was red flagged.

Vettel was immediately on the radio: "I had a brake failure, I had a brake failure and then Perez hit me, unbelievable," he said, suggesting that he blamed the Mexican for the incident even though it was his brakes, by his own admission, that had appeared to fail.

At the end of the session the stewards summoned both drivers, but by now Vettel was admitting that the incident was not down to the force India driver.

"I came out of the garage and had a problem," said the German. "I hit the brakes but suddenly there was a blow and I couldn't brake properly. Therefore I hit Sergio Perez in the corner. Of course I'm sorry, but I couldn't do anything else in that moment. I was looking for Sergio to say sorry, but he was still sitting in the car."

"I was trying to overtake Nasr and, when I got to the apex of turn one, the gap I had on Sebastian was gone, as he had a car problem, and he made light contact with my right rear," said the Mexican. "After the session he came to see me and said he had an issue with the brakes. It was an unfortunate incident but nothing more than that."

Indeed, that's how the stewards saw it also, ruling that no further action was warranted as "no driver was determined to be wholly or predominantly to blame".

However, there is speculation that rather than a brake issue, Vettel's problem was that his right-front wheel had not been fitted correctly, which would count as an "unsafe release" and therefore merit a penalty.

It is understood the stewards will take a closer look at the incident on Saturday morning by which time it will have acquired further evidence.

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