RED BULL’s Sergio Perez suffered a nine-place penalty at the Austrian Grand Prix.
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Ted Kravitz has revealed that Red Bull are “perplexed” at the penalty that Sergio Perez received for leaving the track without a justifiable reason, while Mercedes’ George Russell was only given a warning for entering the track on foot. Perez saw all of his Q3 lap times deleted in an eventful session in Austria, having originally qualified for Saturday’s sprint race in fourth but was dropped back to 13th place.
“Red Bull really are a little bit perplexed about what happened to Sergio Perez,” Kravitz told Sky Sports F1. “To backdate a track limits infraction like that into a previous session, when they’ve already had Q3, they don’t really understand. They tried arguing about it, team manager Jonathan Wheatley tried to say Perez didn’t have a lasting advantage. But the stewards weren’t having it.
“What a penalty it is. Effectively a nine-place drop on the grid for the Sprint race today, and no new tyres because of course Perez used those tyres in Q3! So Red Bull believe it was a bit of a harsh penalty.”
Perez was deemed to have gone outside the white line at Turn Eight before his Q2 run, while Russell walked onto the circuit as he made his way back to the pit lane following his crash. In a statement, the FIA said that despite Red Bull making the point that leaving the track is not a case of gaining a lasting advantage, it is breaking another section of Article 33.3 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations – Leaving the track without a justifiable reason.
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Red Bull are “perplexed” at Sergio Perez’s punishment in Austria. (Image: GETTY)
Russell’s crash saw red flags come out and despite walking onto the circuit and being spoken to by the stewards, he escaped with just a warning. “Russell had just crashed in turn 10 and caused a red flag,” read an official FIA statement. “He then crossed the track on foot and entered the section of the pit lane that does not have a speed limit, without permission from any marshals.
“At the time he started crossing the track, some of the cars were still on track and could possibly have missed the pit entry, causing an unsafe situation. The stewards spoke to the driver and he was issued a warning.”
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Ted Kravitz in Austria has claimed that Red Bull are “perplexed” by Sergio Perez’s penalty. (Image: Sky Sports F1)
Perez however did not avoid punishment, and the Mexican driver was aware his starting position for the sprint race was subject to an investigation.
“Perez left the track at Turn 8 on his last flying lap of Q2, just prior to the end of the session,” the stewards’ report read. “As this was not identified until the moment before Q3 started, the lap was not deleted prior to the start of Q3 and Perez started Q3.
“This is a consequence of having many situations to examine in each session. The video was clear and there is no doubt of the breach, which the team admitted.”