Sergio Perez has been granted permission to start the Belgian Grand Prix from the pit lane, should the race eventually get underway.
Red Bull originally believed Perez would be unable to take the start. But following the extensive delays to the race start as a result of the track conditions, the team lobbied race director Michael Masi to confirm that Perez would be able to start the race should they fix the car in time.
The team faced a complication as article 38.1 of the sporting regulations states: “Any car which does not complete a reconnaissance lap and reach the grid under its own power will not be permitted to start the race from the grid.”
However Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he had pressed the team’s sporting director, Jonathan Wheatley, to confirm that there would be no reason why Perez would not be able to start from the pitlane should the race get underway.
“I’ve been pushing Jonathan; ‘come on, we’ve got to get that car back in the race,'” said Horner.
“Checo [Perez] wanted to leave and I said ‘no, he’s got to stay’. You never know. If there is a race, hopefully we can get him in it. We’re reasonably confident that the regulations say that he should be able to start, at the very least, from the pit lane.
“I think he’s with the stewards, Derek Warwick, he knows the stewards pretty well with Gary Connelly and the other stewards. So hopefully they’ll come to the same conclusion we have and if there is a grand prix, hopefully Sergio will be in it.”
After referring the matter to the stewards, Masi later informed Red Bull that Perez would indeed be permitted to take the start.
“Good news, Sergio will be the pit lane starter,” Masi informed Wheatley over radio.
“That’s what I thought,” replied Wheatley. “Thank you very much, Michael. We’ll crack on.”
Race control is yet to confirm whether the race will begin.
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