Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Monza, 2020

Perez was surprised Norris avoided penalty for slowing field in pits

2020 Italian Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez was surprised Lando Norris went unpunished for slowing the field when they entered the pits behind the Safety Car.

Norris had Perez behind him when he followed team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr into the pits during a Safety Car period. As McLaren had to ‘stack’ their two drivers behind each other, Norris was at risk of losing time to his rivals.

By slowing, Norris could ensure that any drivers behind him did not benefit from him losing time behind Sainz. Perez, who ran fourth behind Norris early in the grand prix, said the McLaren driver backed off and held him up.

“Things were looking so great,” said Perez. “But as soon as the mess started we got the worst out of it.

“Norris making the gap on the pit lane made things really poor. I’m surprised he didn’t get a penalty, but fair enough.”

The stewards investigated whether Norris drove too slowly but after examining video and GPS data ruled he “maintained a reasonable time delta to the car in front and behind.” Esteban Ocon was also investigated and cleared over a similar incident.

Perez’s race began to go downhill from that point. “We had a poor stop, I lost position to other cars,” he said.

“Then at the restart Verstappen just crashed into me at turn two, pushed me off, did a lot of damage to my car. When we had the restart the car was just very damaged.

“In the end we managed to get a point. A good result for the team with a podium [for Lance Stroll] but I think we did everything we could today but just didn’t have the luck we needed.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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20 comments on “Perez was surprised Norris avoided penalty for slowing field in pits”

  1. Ah, so it was Perez that got hit by Verstappen. Also explains why Sergio didn’t even seem to try keeping Lewis behind for 9th.

  2. Actually there were more cars behind the slow driving Norris. They all lost several places because of it. But its part of the game tactics.

    1. Vettel got a penalty for doing that. Although he did it much more blatantly and twice in a row (after being warned not to do that again the first time)

      Still, the distance between cars is supposed to be a maximum of two car lengths. It was clearly a lot more.

  3. The tracing point ended up exactly where it belongs p9-p10 as weve seen all races so far this season it can quilify decent but the car is nowhere in the race itself.

    1. Apart from the one that ended on the podium? With Stroll in it no less.

      1. Cmon you know as well as i do that the mclarens were p2/p4 on merit and the only reason stroll was anywhere near them is bc of the free pitstop.

        1. Well, it wasn’t that “nowhere” since the cars behind were not overtaking.

        2. Na they were the second fastest car yesterday but p2 should have been bottas had he not screwed up the start

      2. How unlucky is Perez this season? It seems that daddy’s boy is getting all the luck and now people are beginning to think he is actually doing well… Checo was destroying him all weekend, only to get a slow stop while Stroll got one for free and was basically handed the race win (which he managed to screw up).

  4. It cost Riccardo a place to Bottas as the Mercs pitted at the start of the pit lane while the Renault was held up behind the slow moving Mclaren. That allowed Bottas to get out ahead.

  5. At the end of the day, the stewards have all the timing data and they said it wasn’t against the rules. Not like anyone commenting here has access to the data to criticize the decision. I happened to think he clearly was at the upper limit of what would be allowed and it was just Perez trying to make a thing of it to get him penalized. Getting a bit fed up of drivers crying for penalties all race because they don’t have the ability/car to overtake another driver. It’s particularly sad in the lower echelons of the midfield. The reason Perez missed out is his team cocked up his pitstop, not because of Norris.

  6. It’s about time Perez just shut up.

      1. Mostly because he’s not as good as he thinks he is, certainly nothing like as good as Norris is, and frankly he’s one of the drivers I’d be most happy to see leaving the sport. Too much moaning, not enough talent. Along with Romain Grosjean and Antonio Giovinazzi

  7. Thats soo stupid they need a rule which says you can’t leave more then an amount of space or you get a penalty

  8. That’s illegal, but he can do it. To some extent. That’s stupidity right there.
    That shouldn’t be allowed. Period.
    These guys love to overcomplicate things.

  9. McLaren were able to double stack perfectly and screw several drivers without a penalty. I’m glad the stewards saw nothing wrong with that. Every driver should do that from now on so that a Williams can screw up P1, P2, P3 so they don’t lose the last position on the grid or just to ruin everyone else’s race :-)

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