Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2021

Perez given permission to start Belgian GP after pre-race crash

2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez has been granted permission to start the Belgian Grand Prix from the pit lane, should the race eventually get underway.

Perez crashed into the barrier at Les Combes on his reconnaissance lap to the grid, breaking his right-front suspension. That left him unable to take the initial formation laps conducted under the Safety Car before the race start was suspended.

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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2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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10 comments on “Perez given permission to start Belgian GP after pre-race crash”

  1. Complete bs. The other cars did a formation lap and another lap using tyres and fuel and Perez gets a brand new car.

    1. Same as kimi, still in the pitbox. Nothing extraordinary.

    2. @jimfromus there is also an argument that the next clause, which was 38.2, should have kicked in if Perez was starting from the pit lane, and that he fell foul of the requirement under that rule that the driver has to make their way to the end of the pit lane under their own power.

    3. Seems Red Bull knows the rules much beter then the race director..

  2. He’ll be one lap down, right?

    1. I don’t think so, because no race laps have been completed, only formation laps. If there had been an extra formation lap, e.g. stalled car on the grid, the race laps would have been reduced by one but someone starting from the pits wouldn’t be considered a lap down.

    2. He will be two.
      The green light will open the pit for kimi and perez when the first lap is completed.
      They can follow the cars but are not allowed to pass until the sc goes in.

  3. Nope will start from the pitlane. If they start at all.

  4. Fair play.

  5. For a race that eventually didn’t start.

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