Hulkenberg’s penalty was “not fair” – Perez

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez said Nico Hulkenberg’s penalty for going off the track to overtake him in Abu Dhabi was not harsh enough.

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The Renault driver was given a five-second time penalty for cutting across turn 12 to regain a place he had lost to the Force India on lap one. However Hulkenberg was able to pull far enough ahead of Perez during his first stint to make his pit stop and come out ahead of his rival.

“I think the way he got back the position was very unfair,” Perez told media after the race.

“And just a five-second penalty at the stop, when you have more pace than the other car, is quite good [for him]. You can cut the track, gain an advantage, and pay it at the pit stop, open the gap during the stint, and then it’s OK.”

“That really is a bit ridiculous. We should have the position back. But anyway I’m happy we finish the season on a high.”

During the race Perez said on his radio that the problem of corner-cutting had been discussed during the drivers’ briefing and said Hulkenberg’s sanction was “not fair”. Perez finished the race in seventh place, 6.3 seconds behind Hulkenberg. The Renault driver was also given one penalty point on his licence for the infringement, putting him on a total of five points for the current 12-month period.

The Force India driver received the same penalty as Hulkenberg in the Belgian Grand Prix, when the stewards ruled he had cut across the Les Combes chicane to overtake Romain Grosjean.

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “Hulkenberg’s penalty was “not fair” – Perez”

  1. Well it’s consistent. Every other incident like that has been a 5-second penalty. Sure, he should’ve given the position back as even though he had no room, he wasn’t alongside or anything. He had to cut the corner, but should’ve given the position back afterwards, so he got a 5 second penalty.

  2. Yeah right… Even it not in my favor i moan, when its my favor its all fair and expected. I am kind of fedup to hear them (all teams, all drivers) moaning each and every time the penalty is not what they wanted to get an advantages. I think Perez should have had a penalty yesteday in quali, but weirdly that is also fair in FI point of view…

    1. +1.

      Hulk’s penalty was enough. Allow me to say that I suspect PER pushed Hulk off-track on purpose. What did Hulk do wrong until the point he went off-track?! Nothing. He tried an overtake on the exterior in order to get the inside next corner of the S. Happened before, successfully too. Perez tried (and managed) to cover that move by braking later, enough just to cover the entire track. He left no room to Hulk. It’s some sort of obstruction. Wonder how many times Perez took that very corner in the same manner, very probably that was the only time! So, it was quite an unorthodox move by Perez too, so I wouldn’t go ballistic on Hulk.

      1. That’s how I saw it too. I think Perez pushed him off the track. If they felt he pushed him over then maybe there should not have been a penalty?

    2. @pyon

      I think Perez should have had a penalty yesteday in quali, but weirdly that is also fair in FI point of view…

      Agree completely. I was absolutely shocked how he didn’t receive a penalty for his ridiculous manoeuvre in qualifying. Looks like karma came back to bite him in the …

      Perez pulled the same move at Spa on Grosjean. I didn’t see him whining about the rules a lot after that incident.

    3. @todfod
      I’m pretty sure he was attempting to enter the pitlane and not block the Renault? It was an obvious accident.

  3. So it’s fair to push your teammate into the wall because you are a coward who cannot cope with the fact that you are slower, but it’s unfair when someone overtakes you like that? Well, Hulk had only one legal move as Perez didn’t leave enough space. Fair penalty to me.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      26th November 2017, 18:08

      It’s unfair to leave the track to overtake. Even if Perez caused Hulkenberg to go off the track because of his defending (leaving space is not an issue since that rule applies to straights only), Hulkenberg can’t use that as an excuse to then overtake.

      1. So you suggest they should clash so both race are over and then Perez get a penalty? Would that be better than an offtrack and 5s penalty? I think given the circumstances this is fair, and if Perez had more pace he would have get the place by himself at the end of the race, however he was so much slower than Hulk only had to manage a ~6/7 gap all race.

  4. Michael Brown (@)
    26th November 2017, 18:14

    It’s consistent with off-track overtaking this year, for example, Palmer on Alonso in Monza.

    I don’t understand when the norm of 5-second penalty for overtaking off the track began, because I recall in the 2013 Monaco and Singapore Grands Prix, the stewards instructed the drivers who performed illegal overtakes to give the position back. If they didn’t, they got a drive-through penalty, which they had to serve within three laps.

    But with the 5-second penalty, a driver can overtake illegally if they think that they would lose 5 or more seconds being stuck behind the car in front, or if they can create a gap of over 5 seconds. In addition, they can take the penalty when they want, instead of being forced to serve it within three laps.

  5. This rule needs to be changed because Pérez is correct in saying it is unfair. Hülkenberg had no right taking the place like he did even if he was forced out of the track limits, but not only he was allowed to keep the place, he ultimately built up a gap large enough to stay ahead of Pérez even after the penalty was applied. So Hülkenberg gained a place on Pérez unfairly but the penalty given out didn’t overturn this action and this is wrong.

    If a driver gains a position unfairly they should be told to give it back and if they fail to do this within one lap then they should be given a drive-through penalty, this process will be much more instantaneous and therefore much fairer for the drivers and spectators.

  6. It’s been the same conversation after every race this year (and last year).

    I commented a few days ago that this could be a problem again here with three chicanes. Funny how they don’t realise it though

  7. WOW, hulkenberg-perez incident replay, with correct outcome, when no humans are stewerding–xYlIQF0k&

  8. Same old story again. It is clear that the introduction of the 5 second penalties are indeed misused in these situations. A joke, as Alonso said. This needs to be adressed. Bring back the “give back the position or get a drive through”-policy please to stop this nonsense.

  9. While it’s consistent for the season, it’s also such a lame penalty that you hardly see anyone giving the position back anymore, especially if you expect the other to hold you back. It’s simply a better strategy to bet on getting 5 seconds ahead.

  10. Maybe Perez just needs to be faster on track.

    1. What Steve said …….

  11. So cutting the corner to gain a lasting advantage is “Playing a Joker” No different now to DRS, it’s a passing tool with a five second recoverable penalty.

  12. This was ridiculous. Alonso GB 2010 had to give the place back to Kubica even though Kubica was far behind. Had he done this he may have won the title in 2010. Hamilton also got away in 2010 Valencia where his eventual penalty did not affect his position. Yesterday Hulkenberg should of been forced to let Perez past no matter what or face a 1 minute stop go penalty.

    1. Markp, in the case of Alonso in the British GP, there was no way for him to return the place because, only a few laps later, Kubica retired from the race with a transmission failure: Alonso was therefore given a drive through penalty because that was the only option available to the stewards at the time.

  13. No problems with any of it. Just racing as far as I am concerned. Hulkenberg did leave the track, but he had little choice as Perez drove him there. No driver would ever automatically give the place back, as Hulk felt he was pushed off, so he waited for the steward’s decision. He received a 5 second penalty which he served during his pitstop (which was also slow) … and Perez could not take advantage of this to regain the position. Therefore Hulk was faster and deserved to finish ahead of Perez. Not sure why the Mexican and Force India are complaining, the stewards gave them a fair chance to regain the place, but they did not have the pace to do it … that is fair for everyone and that is the way it should be in my book.

  14. Hulkenberg was all locked up, he wasn’t making that corner. His nose was barely even alongside Perez’s rear wheels. The Renault was faster on the Ultra’s all weekend, Perez needed to make a move stick earlier and defend. The way I see it Hulkenberg’s ridiculous corner cut and paper-thin defense of said move robbed us of an extremely good battle between a slightly faster Renault vs the Mercedes powered Force India. I for one would have rather a tasty battle to view in an otherwise uneventful race such as Grosjean vs Stroll which was one of the lone bright spots.

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