Daniil Kvyat, AlphaTauri, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020

Racing Point will complain over second “harsh” reprimand for Perez

2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Racing Point are unhappy Sergio Perez has been given his second reprimand in as many days, and will raise the matter at a high-level F1 meeting tomorrow.

Team CEO Otmar Szafnauer said he will put the matter forward at an F1 Commission meeting.

Perez was given his latest reprimand for a defensive move against Pierre Gasly in the latter stages of the race. Szafnauer is unimpressed that his driver was penalised, yet the lap one collision between Perez and Max Verstappen was not even investigated.

“They didn’t touch,” said Szafnauer. “Sergio moved first before Gasly did. Sergio is allowed to make that move in defence. You can’t move twice, but you’re allowed to move once. Gasly got out of the throttle and there was no contact. So why the reprimand?

“On lap one Sergio is hit by Verstappen, who comes back onto the track after being off-track, comes back on acutely in order to get his car in a position so he can have grip again and runs into Sergio, and they do nothing.

“Sergio and Gasly didn’t touch. Isn’t that what the fans want? Hard defending, good racing? If we start reprimanding drivers and punishing them for racing hard but safely, where is that going to take our sport?”

Asked by RaceFans whether he will raise the matter with the F1 Commission, Szafnauer said: “I am bringing this up tomorrow because it’s a big issue.”

“To me, when I saw that, I thought, that’s good, hard racing,” he added.

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Szafnauer pointed out the team’s other driver, Lance Stroll, was taken out on lap one in the Russian Grand Prix four weeks ago in another incident the stewards did not investigate.

“You’ve got to look at a collision,” he said. “The Gasly-Sergio thing was not a collision, it was a good, hard defending. And you punish that but then when somebody does collide, you don’t do anything?

“That’s two times in a row – I don’t know if you saw Leclerc and Lance, it was a very similar thing. You cause a collision and then nothing.”

Perez received his first reprimand of the year 24 hours earlier, coincidentally for another incident involving Gasly. If he collects a third before the end of the season he will receive an automatic 10-place grid penalty.

“Sergio in his whole career has never been reprimanded ever,” said Szafnauer. “He’s got two this weekend.

“One of which was in qualifying where he made a mistake in one of the sectors, didn’t realise Gasly was on a fast lap behind him, got out of the way but not quickly enough: Reprimand. Well, Gasly got through Q2 into Q3, it didn’t cause him any harm: Reprimand. You saw the other incident: Reprimand.

“Now for the rest of the season, he’s got to drive like a saint. He’s not going to be able to fight hard because there is a risk of a reprimand and then you get a 10 grid place penalty. So I think that’s quite harsh. You may not think that reprimand was harsh, but it is.”

Perez has had six reprimands in previous seasons: Two in 2012, one in 2015, two in 2017 and one last year.

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2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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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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22 comments on “Racing Point will complain over second “harsh” reprimand for Perez”

  1. I watched that from behind a pillow. It was the Schumacher/Verstappen/Magnusson defence that nobody wants to see. Waayy too late and Gasly did well to avoid an accident.
    Maybe he just misjudged the closing speed a bit…
    In my opinion a reprimand is well deserved but there’s still no rule in play that bans those moves…

  2. F1 – FIA you are shooting yourself in the foot with these dumb decisions. You want to promote F1 and try to get new supporters… Not turn people off and away.

  3. F1 making whacky decisions again. What a surprise

  4. “Sergio in his whole career has never been reprimanded ever,” said Szafnauer. “He’s got two this weekend.

    Perez has had six reprimands in previous seasons: Two in 2012, one in 2015, two in 2017 and one last year.

    By my calcution six is more than zero..

    1. I no longer consider anything Szafnauer says worth fact checking…

    2. I lolled hard at the last sentence of the article

    3. @Qeki

      By my calculation six is more than zero.

      I’ve done a little reading up on this and I think you’re on to something here.

      1. :D

        Also, in years he’s been reprimanded, he’s always had the 2-1-2-1… …pattern going, so it’s absolutely logical from a mathematical perspective that he’d get two this time. With the compressed nature of the season, there was of course fewer tracks in which to obtain these reprimands…

      2. @keithcollantine

        I hope Szafnauer will have his facts right next time :)

  5. F1 is getting near to the point where they’re going to have safety cars for a little bit of gravel getting spit on the track. That was a hard defense, but it is crazy to expect anything different with two laps to go. It is double movement that is unfair, illegal and potentially dangerous. This was simply a driver making a blocking maneuver that actually made sense, unlike moving politely to the dirty side to make it easier for your competitor to blow by AND have the racing line.

    1. Spot on mate.

  6. Typical Szafnauer propaganda. I don’t blame him for being defensive, after all the team has cheated this year and between their two drivers he’s being forced to keep the substandard daddy’s boy who doesn’t deserve a place on the grid. Reality is though that they know this is their best chance – next year they won’t be able to further copy Mercedes, McLaren is getting the same engine and is basically as fast this year with a slower PU, Renault are clearly making strides and Ferrari will probably get on top of things over the winter.

  7. Idolizing Senna then wondering people making aggro defense moves. FOM+FIA made this for themselves

    1. Ironic that Senna’s most famous aggressive defensive move was at the Portuguese Grand Prix…

  8. I have to agree with Szafnauer on this. If you watch the replays again, Perez moves first in order to defend and Gasly went the same way in the hope that he could get the job done, but didn’t. It was not dangerous. This is in no way similar to the Schumacher/Barrichello incident in Hungary in 2010 or the Magnussen/Leclerc incident at Suzuka in 2018, because in Schumacher’s case he knew Barrichello was there and he kept moving over towards the wall and in the Magnussen incident Leclerc moved first. I was also quite surprised that Verstappen avoided some form of sanction for the lap 1 incident, but the stewards always judge lap 1 incidents more leniently because it is a mad phase of the race.

    1. @geemac I also think Verstappen should have been penalised for the Lap 1 accident.

  9. perez should have had +5s penalty too. He always gets a free pass for dangerous driving. In spa with ocon, he was dangerous and nearly killed some of crowd by having a debris flying into the wall, you can watch the onboards of the two…

    perez is the same as magnussen, but never heavily reprimanded.

  10. If we start reprimanding drivers and punishing them for racing hard but safely, where is that going to take our sport?”

    I mean, is it safe if the driver trying to overtake you has to take evasive action to avoid a collision because of how hard you defended? It was good racing, but a reprimand is fair for the situation. Should we let drivers get scott free for purposefully crashing into a competitor because ‘it’s hard racing’?

  11. F1 is becoming too sanitized! Soon the drivers will be dressed in cotton wool suits and
    racing cars made of memory foam.

  12. It was an aggressive move but in my point of view it was legal.

    He moved before Gasly moved and he even gave a car widths space to the right.

  13. I think Perez did move twice, and therefore the penalty was appropriate.

    Complaining is only going to reduce Racing Point’s already-low political stock. As a Racing Point fan, it’s embarrassing.

  14. Everytime Sky Sports goes to Szafnauer on the pit wall, I just cringe.
    Sure, I get that as a team principal, you have to defend your driver’s and you’ll obviously view things in favour of your own drivers, but his interpretation of some events has been so ridiculously biased towards his own drivers, he has lost all credibility in my opinion.

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