Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Paul Ricard, 2019

Perez: I got a penalty for following the rules

2019 French Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez complained he was given a penalty despite obeying the rules when he went off on the first lap of the French Grand Prix.

In response to a question from RaceFans the Racing Point driver said he was “totally aware” of the rules he had to obey when he left the track at turn three.

“You have to follow the rules. Today I got a penalty because of following the rules.”

The stewards ruled Perez had correctly followed the instructions on how to rejoin the track, but had still gained an advantage by passing other cars.

Perez explained what happened: “I locked up, I went off and I just did what I’m supposed to do, to go around the bollard to make sure that you respect track limits.

“But I still got a penalty so I don’t know what is their view. Because it’s been very clear, the rule, you have to go around the bollard and as long as you are behind the bollard you are complying with the rules.”

The Racing Point driver said the route he had to follow onto the circuit should have cost him enough time that he did not gain any advantage.

“For me it’s hard for me to comment whether or not I gained an advantage,” he added. “All I can say is that I stuck to the rules and if that’s quicker it’s not my problem, it’s how it is, we should just make it slower.

“Because [on] lap one of the race, chaotic lap one, you’re just trying to go around it to judge where you are. I ended up behind [Nico] Hulkenberg, it’s where I started, so for me it was very hard to see if I gained or not an advantage. All that I care about is to stick to the rules.”

Asked whether the race director should have told him to give the place back Perez said: “Yes, or just make the chicane slower. Because apparently if you go there you are meant to lose a lot of time but obviously if it’s lap one so I think it was wrong what we had and that hurt me a bit.”

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Dieter Rencken
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37 comments on “Perez: I got a penalty for following the rules”

  1. This week on silly steward penalties: How can we match taking a victory away? How about we issue one for a driver who followed the rules?

    1. Nonsense.
      He overtook several drivers while cutting the track.

      1. Maybe one driver, but still overtook.

      2. Clearly they were too slow or the stewards should take it up with however made the rule and put the bollard up. Not Perez fault at all. Silly penalty

        1. Who were too slow?
          Drivers, who got overtaken by Perez?!?!

          It is not their problem. Perez should have given them the place back.
          You can’t cut the track, return in any manner (even if it safe and allowed) and NOT give the place back.

    2. A silly penalty. The race director should have told him to give the spot back to K-Mag and left it at that… We spend more time talking about penalties and useless tyres than we do about racing. way to go F1!

      1. @ming-mong A 5-second penalty is more lenient than being forced to cede position to Magnussen.

      2. It’s not up to the Race Director to tell the driver what to do. He or his team, should have taken the initiative and hand back the places. I’m glad that the basic rules of racing are coming under scrutiny and that the stewards are demanding compliance. In a chaotic situation I can see him getting away with it but not when it’s as clear as what we saw.

      3. No, the drivers do not want that. It has been discussed (after Monaco), that only after the first corner of the first lap the stewards should tell them to give a place back and not after that

        And, according to the Race Director, before the race a note has been sent to the teams that while driving around the bollard gaining places was not allowed, so Perez should have known that he had to give the place back.

    3. @philipgb, if you read the decision, they make it clear that the reason for Perez being penalised is because he overtook another driver whilst he was going round that bollard – the commentators noted that Perez was behind Grosjean before he went off the track, but came back onto the track ahead of Grosjean.

      1. … and what was Checo supposed to do? The pack was bunched up as it was lap one and he was rejoining the track in a tiny bit of straight between T5 & T6. Should he have come to a stop and said ok where is Grosjean, oh there he is I can go now… Seriously, nothing much else he could have done except let the Haas overtake him right away on the Mistral straight. Also what happens if Grosjean lost positions in T3 & T4 was he supposed to let them all through as well? He followed the rules there was no need for the penalty.

        1. “Also what happens if Grosjean lost positions in T3 & T4 was he supposed to let them all through as well? ”

          Yes, that’s always been how it works.

  2. Perez is correct, why should he be further penalised having followed the rules because the FIA have once again, got it wrong.
    I have been saying for years that the FIA are long since unfit for purpose…..proof positive, if it were actually needed.
    The reason the racing is err, tedious, at best, is that the FIA are incompetent and LM are equally clueless, Ross Brawn or no, he’s just chasing money now.

    1. Yes, everything was better back in the day. The stewarding under Jean Marie Balestre and Max Mosley was nothing short of stellar!

    2. And what did they get wrong?!
      He went off, overtook a driver or two, didn’t return position, got the penalty.
      Looks perfectly correct for me.

      1. Absolutely. Is he deliberately being stupid here? The bollard is only there to make sure your not rejoin in the wrong place. The position you fit back into is still your own responsibility. You can never gain a lasting advantage off track. There can be more than one rules at the same time.

  3. He’s right. If they are going to put a bollard and make drivers go round it in case they miss a corner, make sure that route is really really slow.

    Even if he had gained no advantage in terms of track position it’s still an advantage in the sense that he got away with a mistake nad managed to.keep his position for one more lap. It’s the same as Grosjean at Spain this year, going round the bollard twice in consecutive laps.

    I don’t blame the stewards for.imposing a penalty, because he did gain track.time. but these things should be avoidable.

    This parking lot that they call Paul Ricard has a common problem with other tracks in their lack of proper track limits, but instead of specific corners, it’s the whole track that’s wrong. If I had to pinpoint what’s wrong with F1 these days for having such a snorefest of a race today, id chose that, the painted lines on the parking lot (aka the track) is just woeful.

    1. He also did gain position, not only time.

    2. William Jones
      24th June 2019, 7:37

      The bollard is there to make sure the drivers feed in safely, it’s placed to maximise safety, it’s not placed to inflict a time penalty and no safety measure should be compromised to baby the “best” drivers in the world.

    3. It feels like Perez left the track intentionally and it might be the reason for the penalty given that he managed to overtake doing so.
      Not sure he would have been penalized if he was trying to avoid a big tangle and several drivers had to take the escape road… Still a bit strange and unnecessary.

  4. I agree it was bizarre, but you can’t expect to overtake someone by cutting and not get a penalty, right?

    I think he was totally aware where he was before going off and after (btw, he was NOT behind Renault when he went off, he already lost places before that time)… he could have returned the place himself… he didn’t. He got a penalty.

    Looks fair to me.

    1. @dallein From that point of view I can totally agree, you shouldn’t gain advantage offtrack and overtake cars you couldn’t have ontrack, clear. But I can also relate to Perez, as he and all the drivers were instructed how to rejoin the track if they happened to leave it in that particular corner, and if following the official instructions result in gaining advantage, then the official instructions weren’t thought out very well. I wouldn’t say that Perez deliberatley abused this backdoor possibility but certainly didn’t hold himself back and happily rejoined the track a few positions higher, but honestly, I wouldn’t be in the shoes of stewards these days, as they must have an incredibly hard time delivering correct decisions.
      This Perez-incident is really special, I’m still not convinced what could have been the right decision for the Vettel-Hamilton incident back in Canada. And there is another tough one, this time from Formula-E, back in Hong Kong ePrix, where countless contacts have been made throughout the race, even between race leader Lotterer and second place driver Bird. If you saw it, you know what I’m talking about, still don’t have a clue about what could have been the right decision.

  5. That’s for gaining positions, though.

    1. Thank you!
      At least someone has seen what happened there.

  6. On a different note, after reviewing the incident between Danny Ric and Norris few more times, I’m convinced Dan should be getting a penalty. He was all four wheels off the track and after rejoining made Norris to take an evasive action. Harsh, but a logical outcome after the Canadian incident.

    1. Agree. And afterwards he overtook Räikkönen off track as well. I theory there should be two penalties.

    2. Not harsh at all, Ricciardo comes back to the track at the very apex of the corner. That’s as bad as it gets.

  7. GtisBetter (@)
    23rd June 2019, 17:40

    Perez:” you told me I just had to go around the bollard, which is what i did! You never told me i can’t overtake other cars off-track,”

    Stewards:”that is actually an already established rule for many years, we shouldn’t have to tell you that every GP.”

    1. Perez: “D’oh!”

    2. The teams were even warned before the race that gaining a position going around the bollard was not allowed.

  8. “All I can say is that I stuck to the rules and if that’s quicker it’s not my problem, it’s how it is, we should just make it slower.”

    You can’t really sum it up better than that. Don’t tell the drivers that if they miss the corner, they have to take a shortcut to get back on track. Simple.

  9. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    23rd June 2019, 18:24

    I think the penalty is fair though. He made a mistake and chose to run wide and cut the corner. He did all this correctly, but he most certainly did gain an advantage and he triggered this advantage to be the case by going off. So I think the penalty did make sense. But I can see his view that he did what he should have following going off. But the thing is, I don’t know why he needed to go off. If he didn’t decide to do this, he looked like he would have only gone slightly too wide and will have been able to re join again. Don’t think he will have gone off far enough to have to do what he did.

  10. I don’t get it. The runoff is to cancel out the advantage. If it still gave him an advantage, it isn’t his fault. the runoff should’ve been longer.
    It is literally like saying “yeah okay we understand you followed the rules, but you see you got an advantage anyway, and we don’t know what to do cause our little trick didn’t work, so here, take a penalty so we feel good.”
    My opinion, this was a lapse on the stewards and whoever came up with that runoff solution. Shouldn’t penalize the driver for it.

    1. They penalized him for overtaking another driver.
      It is the same for cutting any other corner (with bollards or not) and overtaking someone.
      You cut the corner, you overtook someone – please return the place you gained.

      It has been that way for the last 20+ years.

      And bollards and “safe track return” don’t have anything to do with it.

    2. William Jones
      24th June 2019, 7:43

      What you’re not getting is that there are two rules about a car leaving the circuit and rejoining, and they are both perfectly reasonable.

      1. A car that leaves the track must rejoin safely

      2. A car that leaves the track must ensure that it does not gain a lasting advantage by doing so.

      The bollard is there to help enforce rule 1. It is placed to maximise the safety of the re-entry point onto the circuit. It is not there to police rule 2, unlike, say the tyre chicane at Monza. The drivers know this, it’s part of their race briefings.

  11. Come on Perez, you’re better than that.

    The rule is simple. You rejoin the track at the same position as you lost it *AT BEST*.

    Perez left the track, he came off 2 places better. He didn’t give them back. Penalty.

    Open, shut.

    Conflating this with the Vettel issue, no matter your view on that one is silly.

Comments are closed.