Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen, Suzuka, 2023

Perez given four penalty points for two incidents in Japanese Grand Prix

Formula 1

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Sergio Perez collected four penalty points in a single race after being involved in two separate incidents in the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver was penalised for overtaking Fernando Alonso under Safety Car conditions on his way into the pits and colliding with Kevin Magnussen at the hairpin.

Following Perez’s retirement from the race Red Bull returned him to the track, 25 laps down, in order to ensure he served the second of two five-second time penalties he was given for the incidents. He also received two penalty points for each, moving him onto a total of seven. Any driver who reaches 12 penalty points in a 12-month period receives an automatic one-race ban.

“It was just a disastrous weekend,” Perez told F1TV. “It all started into turn one with a really bad start and I was squeezed down and I was just a passenger then in a sandwich. I think we carried a lot of damage in the car as well and that just made it a lot harder for us.”

Perez originally retired from the race on lap 13 after taking damage in a series of incidents with rivals. He tangled with Lewis Hamilton on the approach to turn one at the start, suffering front wing damage, and pitted for a replacement during the subsequent Safety Car period.

The Red Bull driver attracted the attention of the stewards as he overtook Fernando Alonso on his way into the pits. That resulted in his first five-second time penalty.

After rejoining, Perez was involved in another collision with Kevin Magnussen at the hairpin. He was given a further five-second time penalty for the collision, but having sustained further front wing damage the team opted to retire the car.

The stewards ruled Perez failed to execute his passing attempt safely.

“The stewards determine that Perez was predominately to blame for the collision,” they ruled. “Applying the 2023 Driving Standards Guidelines for overtaking at the inside of a corner, the stewards noted that there was no significant portion of car 11 alongside car 20 and therefore determined that car 11 was not entitled to racing room in turn 11. Perez did not manage to do the overtaking manoeuvre in a safe and controlled manner.”

This article will be updated.

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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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74 comments on “Perez given four penalty points for two incidents in Japanese Grand Prix”

  1. He was unusually clumsy & hopefully, FIA closes a loophole in the rules that has seemingly always existed without anyone using it to their advantage until today.

    1. This is usual for Perez. He punted Tsunoda off right at the start in Singapore and then blatantly punted Albon out of what was a surefire points finish (he had caught up to Lawson whom he had taken more than 3 seconds per lap out of for multiple laps) knowing he’d only get a 5-second penalty that wouldn’t hurt him. And he’s had a lot of these incidents this season.

      1. Well Perez is clearly not in the RB team to win races, so that just leaves this secondary role, punting off the opposition, and creating general mayhem behind his #1.

        You would think with all the points they have RB would find a way to engineer a win for Perez, the same way Mercedes did in the past, but i doubt it. Verstappen is all about the Max Records.

    2. @jerejj The loophole’s been there and most likely used in the past. It’s just that other teams didn’t brag about it, so it didn’t get closed.

      Red Bull should have let Perez do a few more slowish laps and then billed it as a test session – that is what other teams have done in similar circumstances.

      (Although we did at least establish one cannot serve a 5-second penalty by pausing before pushing the car back into the pits. I had wondered why nobody tried that before).

      1. @alianora-la-canta, I seem to remember Schumacher in his Ferrari days received a stop-go penalty issued a couple of laps from the end of a GP he was leading with a gap to second. He stayed out until the end of the last lap, took the chequered flag from the pit lane, and his garage was beyond the finish line, the team argued he had still won the race and figured there was nothing in the rules said he couldn’t serve his penalty after he’d crossed the finish line since the race was still in progress until all the remaining cars had reached the line. I remember the controversy, but cannot remember whether they let them keep the win or not.

  2. Honestly, one of the worst moves I’ve ever seen in recent times. He was so late, it was so clumsy!

    1. Indeed, zero chance of succeeding without contact as Mag had to start turning right eventually anyway.

      1. Would be an interesting tactic in a left-hander

  3. Just put Ricciardo in the RBR already. We know he gels with that car extremely well. That will also free up a seat for Lawson. Perez used to be a great midfield driver, but he’s well and truly broken now. With how much he costs them in broken car parts, headaches in the media, etc., it’d probably cover 50% of the cost alone. Like I said, it also frees up space for determining their near and long term future more quickly as Perez is clearly not the future.

    Lawson owes Perez big time. Without his terrible driving, Liam’s not in the points in Singapore.

    1. Nick T, I’m starting to get the feeling that had Ricciardo not broken that bone in his hand, he might well have been in the Red Bull already (subject to lawyers – Perez has unusually good ones). As it stands, it would not surprise me if Ricciardo was in the second Red Bull for the start of 2024. Unless Perez manages to do something that upsets Helmut Marko even more, in which case he might get it later this year after all.

      1. That might be all too hasty. We haven’t seen Ricciardo perform for years now I would say the jury is still out whether he still belongs in F1. Lets have a look at that firstly before putting him in the RB. Yuki is not delivering good enough and they will need to replace Max at a certain stage so I would rather have a closer look at Liam.

  4. You know the problem wasn’t that Marko said he lacked focus. It was the generalisation of people based on their ethnicity (which was factually wrong given the counterexamples of Senna, Piquet, Fangio, Fittipaldi, etc.), as well as getting the ethnicity wrong in the first place.

    But clearly a bit of casual xenophobia is OK for you.

  5. @armchairexpert Marko said the difference is because of ethnicity, which is not only racist, but also let’s Checo off for his mistakes while taking away from Max’s achievements.

    1. pretty much. Its a shame how unprofessional earlier in the season things got, and how toxic things seem to be on that team. A lot of the guys there are probably not like that either, but I having worked with people who behave like that in order to keep the status quo, its not a pleasant thing, and it creates toxic splits between the peoples that work in an organization. The problem with lots of money, is it makes things like honest apologies very difficult.

  6. I still don’t know what needs to be done for a driver to get a drive-through penalty.

    1. They need to drive into a hairpin at top speed and wipe out at least three cars. They’ve turned what was initially a good penalty option that allowed the stewards to avoid ruining a driver’s race for actual racing incidents or other minor infringements that gained them no advantage into an actual tool to avoid losing time behind another car actually making a pass. I guess Alonso would “naive” for not just punting Ocon today. Would have saved him a lot more than five seconds.

    2. driving into a RBR maybe. penalties are usually much harsher, when its the other way round.

    3. Probably leaving the drive through without paying for the family feast box.

      Great to see the “universal icon ” of F1 back where they belong as serious contenders.

    4. @tifoso1989 I think the driver would have to show reasonably clear sign of crashing deliberately rather than through error (of any severity).

  7. what a waste of one of the best F1 seats in history. Imagine actually having a championship battle between teammates instead of this dullness every week.

    I don’t care if the same guy wins, but at least make it interesting.

    1. It’s become a massive joke at this point. I can see him retiring at the end of the season or RBR just buying out his contract if it continues to go this badly.

      I remember Perez fans gloating and mocking Ricciardo for his stated hopes of getting back into the RBR after Checo had a strong first 4-5 rounds. Then they said RBR was favoring Max. Now, they’ve gone quiet.

      1. You don’t have to be a fan of anyone at all to know Red Bull favour Verstappen. Even the team admit it.

        And there’s no need to replace Perez until they stop winning championships. Remember, Red Bull are far more interested in the WDC than the WCC.

        1. You don’t need a driver as bad Checo to ensure your #1 maximizes their points.

          1. But they do need someone who accepts their place as number 2 within the team, and who is prepared to suffer all the consequences of such – including the disgraceful and unjustified media and fan-bashing they get every other week.

          2. But they do need someone who accepts their place as number 2 within the team

            Based on today’s race both Russell and Piastri fit that description, and add Leclerc based on last week’s race.
            But of course those facts do not support S’s view of the F1 world.

            I enjoyed your ‘against the grain’ and ‘devil’s advocate’ posts, but it’s getting a bit old sharing your anti Verstappen views and unfounded conspiracies. To me it feels you are just giving yourself enough excuses in case Ricciardo gets promoted back and finds himself to be slower than Verstappen as well.

        2. I generally agree, but with the cost cap and teams like McLaren making gains, I wonder how much impact car damage starts to make on development. Perez has been disappointing lately and has caused a lot of damage to the car. Red Bull will surely have a limit which I fear isn’t far away.

          1. I wonder how much impact car damage starts to make on development.

            Not much in reality. Physical materials and parts aren’t all that expensive – certainly not in F1 terms.
            What costs the most money is HR, and they remain on the payroll regardless of how much damage there is.

        3. Categorically denied by Perez himself. Do not understand why this keeps popping up tbh.

      2. False. Even his dad has just came out to repeat yet again the “the car is built for Max” fallacy.

    2. I don’t mind teams having a slower second driver if they don’t want the intra team battle (who can blame them?) but such is the state of F1 right now that Perez being vicechampion this year doesn’t sit well at all.

      1. the state of F1 right now that Perez being vicechampion this year doesn’t sit well at all.

        I don’t know why.
        All the others had their chances.
        Doesn’t say much for those who finish behind him.

        1. @davedai The core of the point is that the others didn’t “have their chances” because they didn’t have an opportunity to be in the 2023 Red Bull.

          1. Get your drift but there are reasons behind

            they didn’t have an opportunity to be in the 2023 Red Bull.

    3. Just wait until he wins one or two street circuit tracks and a bunch of people claim he will be a championship contender but RedBull doesn’t allow him to do so. Had a good laugh back then.

      1. Yeah. It’s a joke. I dislike Max, but the idea RBR are somehow giving him an unequal chance is ridiculous. They’re producing the fastest car they can and Sergio just can’t drive it. Just because he had a few good races at the start of the season and now is struggling proves nothing. His fall was progressive and then fell off a cliff. And even when he did win, it was largely down to circumstance rather than pure head-to-head wins.

    4. I’m not convinced Red Bull would allow an actual fight between the two drivers, it’s just not structured that way.

  8. It a basic problem with 2 drivers isn’t it. Either they fight tooth and nail pushing each other off or one of them gets spanked and loses confidence and motivation and turns into a loser like this. It’s the same with Lance and Logan, death spiral.

  9. @armchairexpert you’re the clown if you think nationality has anything to do with lacking focus. Nothing to do with how others view his xenophobic comments.

  10. Remember the articles from the spring? When Pérez had won two races, held him off on sheer pace in Azerbaijan, and was talked up to be a genuine threat to Verstappen’s third* title?

    How does a driver with so much experience go from that to this?

    Something is off, and it’s not just these antics, which seem based more in desperation than incompetence.

    1. How does a driver with so much experience go from that to this?

      The answer is already well known. The driver hasn’t changed, but his car certainly has.
      Naturally, more desperate decision-making is a direct result of being uncomfortable and out of position in the first place.

      1. Incorrect. Pérez is a mediocre driver. Always has been. Just look back to his season at McLaren

        1. Pérez is a mediocre driver. Always has been.

          Even if that is so, it doesn’t disprove the fact I presented about the car changing (away from his driving preference and towards Verstappen’s).
          Further to that fact is Red Bull’s own backing it up, and that they’ve done it every year since Vettel joined the team. Possibly even prior to that.

          That’s the way they like to play F1, and right now it’s working well for them. They are achieving exactly what they want to achieve.

          1. Categorically denied by Checo himself. Do not understand why this keeps popping up tbh.

          2. The same Perez who is currently employed by Red Bull…?
            It keeps popping up because it is factual.

            And I don’t know where you get your information from, but he has repeatedly talked in the media about the car development shifting to Verstappen’s advantage.

        2. Be that as it may, something has changed from March/April to now.

          Pérez was winning races and taking poles then. In the same team with the same car.

          1. street circuits but you forgot the cold periode where Perez was caught with his pants down because of the Red Bull suspension not getting the tyres in the right window fast…….

    2. Remember the articles from the spring? When Pérez had won two races, held him off on sheer pace in Azerbaijan, and was talked up to be a genuine threat to Verstappen’s third* title?

      Maybe they did it on purpose to drive the conspiracy theorists crazy.
      You are clearly falling for it :p

      1. It was obviously an attempt to generate some interest for what was already shaping up to be a boring season that wasn’t worth a TV subscription. But whatever the merits of Pérez title campaign (it’s hard to write this seriously now), he did win those races and he did take those poles.

        Even if he might have been disappointed and frustrated by subsequent events where he did worse (particularly Miami being a bit embarrassing), it doesn’t make much sense that he’d go from there to tangling with Haas and Williams cars in what is still by far the best car on the grid. He’s driven midfield cars for almost a decade, he’s used to having less than ideal circumstances. If anything moving to a top team with better support staff, better facilities etc. should have made him more consistent.

    3. I’m starting to think the first paragraph may explain the second.

  11. I genuinely couldn’t believe what I was seeing with that lunge at Magnussen. What a howler of a mistake.

    1. If Magnussen had got scared and turned out of it, though…. Suddenly it becomes a genius move.

      I say good on Perez for going aggressive, even if it did fail miserably. Modern F1 is totally dominated by avoidance of risk.

      1. Was it in 2012 that Kobayashi pulled multiple lunges into this same hairpin?

        Pérez doing it with Magnussen was always going to be a tougher sell.

        1. Yeah, Kamui loved it there – still does when he races in other categories. You’ve got to be aggressive there and force your opponent to submit.
          On this occasion, Perez was just too far back to actually make Magnussen think he was really going to go through with it, so Magnussen took his normal line.

    2. Yes, Sir does it (the inside-oversteer move) almost every race, but with a lot more style and practice. Almost makes it look like an accident, as Nico Rosberg used to say.

      1. another hate comment of yours

    3. @keithcollantine I could because Checo did it last week without consequence to himself. Inconsistent stewarding is apt to teach this sort of thing.

    4. I think Pérez hasn’t got the measure of the car, there’s a couple of incidents this year when he takes the rear tire into the grass before turning and ends up in the barriers, now this. The car is too big for him.

  12. The car’s so good that they easily clinched the constructors and will of course get the drivers so I guess what he’s costing them (just some parts) doesn’t outweigh the finances he brings. If it was a tighter season there’s no doubt they would’ve already removed him, his level of performance and the mistakes he’s making are far worse than what cost Albon his seat.

  13. Checo, what’s wrong with you? You used to be at least a good journeyman and a safe pair of hands. Early this season you even seemed to be taking the fight to Max. The car may have changed and not to your liking, but still that’s no excuse. I hope at least you can keep P2, but seriously you have to take heart and work for it.

    1. I actually hope not, an embarassing result, as in losing p2 with that car (webber-like in vettel’s era) would give more chance on a more competitive team mate for verstappen.

  14. Unbelievable. The ferrari, mclaren, merc drivers, and alonso all drove better than perez every race, yet this joker is 2nd in the championship by a clear margin.

    1. You just need to see the MASSIVE gap verstappen has in the driver’s championship and red bull has in the constructor’s to see that is a super car, which makes it very clear how perez is doing the bare minimum to not get fired with the car he has, and perhaps (given the ricciardo plans) not even enough for that.

    2. But that’s only because none of those you mention was the best of the rest, so they spent the year dividing the points among themselves. Do the calculations, with a single driver finishing consistently 3rd and 2nd when Pérez screws it, that driver will be 2nd in the championship.

  15. The clown @armchairexpert strikes again!

  16. He takes out a competitor and only gets 5 seconds for it. Magnussen served a much harder penalty due to being hit. He destroyed both Tsunodas and Albons race in Singapore and yet only one 5 second penalty. I truly miss the harder penalties as this is too lenient. The faster cars can intentionally just push others off, take the 5 second penalty and just blast their way to a massive gap so the penalty has no effect. Time to reintroduce drive-throughs. If this were championship running cars and we have another Prost/Senna incident and it’s just a 5 second penalty it would be laughable.

  17. At this point and with that performance, he will lose 2nd to Hamilton in the end. But I still expect him to fully keep it, as I’d imagine Red Bull will start to prioritize him after Verstappen fully seals the championship.

    1. Verstappen will not move a finger for him. Remember the end of the last season?

      But as you say, Perez only needs a couple of decent results and has the second place covered.

  18. Honestly I hope they look at raising the penalties for causing a collision during a race from the current standard of 5secs to 10sec, or better yet a “stop and go”.

    5secs really is a minor slap on the wrist most times and some times these collisions can really ruin another drivers race.

  19. Maybe RB should take the opportunity once Riccardo is back to get rid of Perez for the rest of the year and retain Lawson on the grid.

    1. I am not sure about Ricciardo’s level these days but for sure from the 5 of them Checo is the worst. So in any case he will have to go rather than not providing a seat for Lawson. Overall they have a very poor line-up with Checo, Ricciardo, Tsunoda. Lawson must break that spell as they will need to start preparing for a time without Max. Which will be sooner than everyone thinks. I am sure he has better things to do than not being valued in a sport that has become a circus and playground for toxic team bosses throwing mud around. Very unprofessional.

  20. for 2024 – Riccardo to RB and Lawson to AT – Perez has been very desperate since summer break. Make Perez the reserve for both teams.

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