Formula 1 Racing

Perez handed Spanish GP grid drop after F1 Canada crash

A Red Bull mechanic gathers the remains of the rear wing from the car of Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20

After hitting a wet patch of road with his right-hand side slick tyres, Perez clattered into the Turn 6 barriers on Lap 53 of a wet-to-dry race on Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Perez severely damaged his Red Bull’s rear wing by rear-ending the outside wall, but was asked by the team to bring his car back to the pits.

 As he limped back slowly to the pitlane for more than half a lap, Perez shed more debris from his ailing RB20, which prompted the FIA race stewards to look into whether or not Red Bull had breached the rules regarding leaving a car out in an unsafe condition.

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They deemed Perez and Red Bull guilty of violating the corresponding article of the sporting regulations and handed Perez a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Barcelona. The team will also cough up a 25,000 euro fine for the infringement.

In the hearing Red Bull admitted that it had asked the Mexican to stay out to avoid a safety car.

His team-mate Max Verstappen was leading the race at the time by a five-second margin to McLaren’s Lando Norris, which he would have lost if Perez had parked his car on the spot.

A Red Bull mechanic gathers the remains of the rear wing from the car of Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

In their statement the stewards explained their decision as follows: “After making contact with the barriers in Turn 6, the driver continued on track for the remainder of the lap with a significantly damaged car and thereby lost several carbon fibre parts on the way back to the pits.

“The team confirmed in the hearing that the driver had been advised to bring the car back to the pits as they were trying to avoid a safety car situation.

“The stewards determine that, as well as a financial penalty for the team, a sporting penalty is necessary due to the safety implications of the incident. The penalty is imposed in line with precedents.”

The Spanish Grand Prix grid drop sealed a shocker of a Canada weekend for Perez, having started 16th after missing the cut in the first phase of qualifying. By the time of his Turn 6 crash Perez had moved up to 13th, with an earlier safety car keeping him in the hunt for a top-10 finish.

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