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Perez penalised for Kvyat clash

NEWS STORY
28/05/2017

Having had to pit for a new nose assembly in the opening stages of the race, for much of the afternoon it appeared that Sergio Perez' long run of point scoring finishes had come to an end.

On fresh rubber having pitted behind the safety car, at the re-start the Mexican held the inside line on Vandoorne going into Ste Devote, the Belgian losing control on the marbles and running into the barrier.

The Mexican then set about hunting down Kvyat eventually making a move at Rascasse that eliminated the Russian on the spot and necessitated another stop for the Force India driver to assess damage to his car.

"I was just doing my job, just going to the finish," declared Kvyat, "after all that happened this weekend I would be very happy with P9.

"I obviously knew he had fresher tyres, I saw what he did to Vandoorne and I thought 'okay, this guy really is desperate'. So I was just covering my line, to be honest, and then he tried to go from really far away, I didn't even see it coming. All I felt was just a hit, and my race was over.

"He tried to lean on me like it was Play Station, and it doesn't work like that," added the Toro Rosso driver. "I'm very, very disappointed, I think it was a completely desperate move from him."

"It was a bit of a nightmare, my race," admitted Perez. "Starting with lap one, I had a little touch with my front wing, which compromised my whole race.

"We managed to recover," he continued, "I overtook Stroll and I overtook Palmer, I had to risk a lot to overtake. Then I found myself with new tyres at the end and around two seconds a lap quicker than Kvyat and Grosjean. I saw a gap. I went for it, unfortunately there wasn't enough room and we slightly touched, which meant it ruined his race and my race as well.

"To be totally honest, when I found myself in P10 on new tyres, I knew I wasn't going to go home happy if I didn't try. So I had to try everything."

The stewards concluded that although Kvyat and Perez were racing for position, and that the Russian could have yielded more at the second apex of Turn 18, Perez was predominantly to blame under Art. 38.2.a for an incident that forced the Toro Rosso driver to retire.

Consistent with previous decisions, the stewards deemed that as Perez was still running at the end, the penalty applied would be the same as if issued it during the race, and ordered that 10 seconds be added to his elapsed race time, along with two penalty points.

Finishing last on the road, the penalty made no difference to Perez' final result.

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