Sergio Perez has kept his eighth place finish in the Singapore Grand Prix despite being penalised for a late-race collision with Alexander Albon.
Perez appeared to be several car lengths behind the Williams over the Anderson Bridge approaching the braking zone but attempted s pass up the inside. As they reached the apex, the pair collided, sending Albon into the barriers.
“I had no room,” Perez insisted over the radio after the accident. The clash dropped Albon down to 14th place. Perez took 10th position, then passed Liam Lawson for ninth before George Russell’s crash on the final lap promoted the Red Bull driver to eighth at the flag. Albon eventually finished 12th.
The incident was investigated by the stewards who determined the Red Bull driver was “predominantly to blame” for the clash. The stewards explained they felt Perez’s move “was an ‘optimistic’ late manoeuvre”, that he had been “diving in” and that “there was nothing that [Albon] could have done to avoid the collision”.
Perez was handed a five-second time penalty for the collision as well as a single penalty point on his superlicence, bringing his total to three. However, Perez retained his eighth position as Lawson finished 10 seconds behind him.
Albon said Perez’s lunge cost him a chance of finishing in the points. “I got divebombed by Checo into turn 13,” he said. “He T-boned me and I went straight on into the wall, had to reverse out and dropped to 13th and I finished 11th, so we should have scored points today and we didn’t.”
Albon and Perez were also investigated for an earlier incident where Albon was alleged to have passed Perez under the Virtual Safety Car. After Esteban Ocon retired from the race with a gearbox problem on lap 43, the Virtual Safety Car was deployed. Albon pitted from 11th place for medium tyres and emerged just ahead of Perez with the two crossing the Safety Car line at the end of the pit lane almost together.
Perez moved ahead but Albon passed the Red Bull on the run to turn four, stating his belief that he had been ahead at the line. However, the stewards took no further action for the incident as they noted that the timing system was “unable to determine that there was any difference in their respective times of arrival at [Safety Car Line Two].” Video footage from the incident was also “inconclusive”, leading both Red Bull and Williams to agree that no action should be taken over the incident.
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