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Perez accepts penalty was fair

NEWS STORY
17/09/2018

It was pretty much a case of hero to zero for Sergio Perez in Singapore. The Mexican produced a stunning lap on Saturday, which while not on a par with Lewis Hamilton's was still pretty impressive and enough to secure seventh on the grid.

Unfortunately, the subsequent race was a different matter entirely with the Mexican clashing with his teammate - thereby eliminating him just a few corners into the race - and going on to incur a drive-through penalty following an unnecessary incident involving Sergey Sirotkin.

Stuck behind the Russian, and aware that his (early stop) strategy was being compromised, Perez called on his team to 'have a word' and have the Russian move aside. However, as the pair were 'racing' for track position, the Williams driver was entitled to do precisely what he was doing.

After several attempts, the Force India driver eventually managed to get by, and when the Russian fought back, Perez opted to give him a nudge.

The stewards investigated the incident and soon agreed that whilst overtaking Sirotkin after Turn 17, Perez moved to the left on the straight and collided with the Russian, which was deemed "potentially dangerous".

As well as handing Perez 3 penalty points - bringing his 12-month total up to 5 - the stewards issued a drive-through penalty.

Ironically, subsequent stops for fresh rubber and to serve the penalty meant the Mexican had to pass the Russian at least twice more over the course of the evening.

"I have to see the incident," said Perez after the race. "I closed the door earlier than I should have so I have to double check but I think the penalty was fair.

"It was hard racing," he continued, "he was defending his position very hard, fighting very hard, moving a lot under braking and a lot of lock-ups under braking. And then as I was going through him, I tried to close the door but I think he was too close.

"In the end not ideal," he admitted. "It was very costly, but I don't think it would have changed anything on my result. I knew my race was going out of my hands, it was so hard to overtake. I was just burning my brakes, my engine, my tyres, so it was a massive frustration."

Referring to the early clash with his teammate, he said he simply didn't see Ocon.

"It was a very unfortunate incident, one of those that is very hard to avoid," he insisted. "As I am picking up the power I just get a clip from one car, I'd not even realised it was Esteban, and then as I get the message from the team I was very sorry for that."

When asked if he would speak to his teammate, he admitted: "I don't think I have much to say, I'm just very sorry for the day the team had in general. I wish I could have seen Esteban there or done something differently."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Singapore, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by mickl, 18/09/2018 14:13

"Can't remember when Perez last did a clean non DRS assisted overtake? His skill is making tyres last which doesn't usually make for a quick driver."

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2. Posted by imejl99, 17/09/2018 15:11

"I honestly believe that he didn`t saw Ocon, as footage from Ocon`s car shows he fly by 2 cars and is side by side with Perez in a blink of an eye, Perez exiting the turn and clipping Ocon into the wall... as well as I can not believe(!) that they actually asked Charlie to do something about car in legitimate position in front of them...

There is more talent and performance than RPFI result shows, and I am afraid we haven`t seen last of it... As it is proving to be quite disturbing, maybe FIA could ban ownership changes during season. I am under the impression that it is quite different than facing uncertain future due to team existence. Team will be there, but drivers are doubtful. Perez clipped Ocon, Perez clipped Sirotkin, we often forget that lives are at stake.

There are a lot of nervous people out there on the track, from one that kissed the wall in Germany to one highly appraised by one Zak but ditched, with many in between with questionable motivation... strange season. Just hope last 6 rounds no one does anything stupid."

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3. Posted by Mad Matt, 17/09/2018 12:35

"I got the impression that he "chopped" Sirotkin due to frustration that he couldn't get past and that he felt Sirotkin was moving around under braking and the stewards weren't doing anything. However, it's hard to prove that was the case and not an error of judgement..... to me a drive through penalty seemed severe enough. Much better than these stupid time penalties.

As for the touch with Ocon, that seemed to me more like a racing incident, given the pressure going into the corner and all that was going on it's easy to believe that he simply didn't see Ocon. "

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4. Posted by Lapps, 17/09/2018 9:24

"I DONT think this penalty was fair!
What Checo did was done in anger and highly dangerous.
He should have been given at least a one race ban to reflect and repent.
A great pity as he is normally a nice guy. Perhaps a symptom of the current upheaval in the Driver Market?"

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