Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Spa-Francorchamps, 2019

Perez avoids penalty for “hard racing” last-lap move on Albon

2019 Belgian Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez has avoided a penalty for his last-lap move on Alexander Albon which saw the Red Bull driver pass him with two wheels off the grass.

The stewards investigated the Racing Point driver for forcing Albon off the circuit on the Kemmel straight, the fastest point on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

Both drivers agreed the move involved “potential danger” but described it as “hard racing”. In view of the fact Albon successfully overtook Perez, the stewards decided to take no action.

“Perez said he had not realised Albon was moving to overtake on the right as earlier he thought he would overtake on the left,” the explained. “Albon achieved an initial overlap with all four wheels on the track, but as Perez moved to his right Albon put two wheels on the grass verge.

“Albon kept on with his overtaking move. Perez said when he knew he was on his right he moved to his left. Albon successfully overtook Perez. Each driver described it as hard racing and agreed there was potential danger.

“In view of the explanations and the successful overtaking move it was considered there should be no further action.”

The pass helped Albon move up from seventh place to fifth on the final lap of the race, as both drivers gained a position from Lando Norris, whose car stopped.

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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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11 comments on “Perez avoids penalty for “hard racing” last-lap move on Albon”

  1. Good call, it is just me or the stewards judgements have been improving? No consistency tho.

    1. I think the stewards have been consistant in looking out for dirty drivers.
      There was nothing dirty in that move, it was just an unconventional line on the limit.

  2. Seb got a drive-through penalty for forcing Alonso onto the gravel in Monza back in 2012 at similar speeds towards Variante della Roggia. Forcing someone onto the grass at 300+ kph is just unnecessarily risky, so a penalty for Checo wouldn’t have been unjustified. His defending against Albon on the Kemmel straight was a bit too over-aggressive and could’ve ended in a big crash. Well, this is the precedent now, and, hopefully, we aren’t in for nasty crashes because of drivers getting forced onto an uneven run-off at speeds excess of 300 kph.

    1. Especially with what happened yesterday just few meters from todays defensive move. Whether it is unsafe release from pit stops or todays stewarding call with Perez a very dangerous presedent has been set.

      1. Schumacher got a race ban for a similar gesture. It was pointless as Albon was clearly going past, so Perez’s only motive was to scare Albon or provoke an accident – as in the Schumacher incident with Barrichello. Albon shrugged it off, nothing happened, so I can see how it could theoretically go unpenalized. But I actually prefer penalties for these kind of futile, adolescent gestures that deliberate risk a dangerous accident than giving them to drivers actually fighting for places.

        1. To be fair he did move when he realised where he was but Albon was already on the grass.

          Just one of those things. What bottas did last year seemed worse

  3. People would be crying for a penalty if that was Hamilton on Kimi what a stupid stupid thing to do. Hopefully the end of the season rankings refelct it as that moves Ham back ahead for me it was so stupid he almost thought what the hell is a Sauber doing i int having a Sauber infront of me it was so impatient and wrecked Kimi and Sauber today

  4. Kudos to Albon for staying on the throttle. Very ballsy. He’s clearly clutching his Red Bull chance with two hands.
    Listening to his sky interview was very entertaining too. The cat and mouse he played with Perez in turn 1 was brilliant. Shows how quick thinking he is.

  5. Wait so the force india nostrils are gone? Shame.

  6. Mark in Florida
    2nd September 2019, 1:07

    Perez should have gotten a penalty for that. That was dirty driving on his part in my opinion. Perez is a good driver, he didn’t need to engage in such behavior. Albon was very lucky his front wing didn’t dig into the grass and cause a massive high speed crash. He shows he’s pretty tough though he shrugged it off like nothing happened.

  7. I can say that both went “kamikaze”.

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