Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat’s penalties for blue flag violations during the Spanish Grand Prix were prompted by a new “crackdown” on backmarkers failing to let the leaders through when instructed to.
Perez and Kvyat were found to have ignored blue flags from turns six to 15 on one lap, and on to turn one of the subsequent lap, during Sunday’s race.
FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi said the pair “took way too long” to respond to the instructions. All drivers had been warned earlier this this year the stewards would pay closer attention to their obedience of blue flags.
“It was something that we discussed at the drivers’ meeting following the first Austria event,” he said. “At the Styrian Grand Prix drivers’ meeting it was discussed that there would be much more of a crackdown on blue flags this year.
“This is the first place that we’ve seen that with two cars in particular, the two that got penalised, The regulations say [that] they should have effectively allowed the other car to pass at the first available opportunity.
“There’s a level of discretion within it to allow reasonable elements with the other cars. But those two were both clearly excessive and [I] referred those to the stewards accordingly.”
But several team principals told Masi they approved of the tougher stance that was taken yesterday. “Up and down pit lane and I’ve even had a number of team managers actually ring and say they’re really glad to see people penalised for not obeying blue flags,” he said.
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