Why the stewards only imposed one time penalty on Perez

Red Bull Content Pool


2 October at 19:22
Last update 3 October at 07:00
  • GPblog.com

Sergio Perez has been found guilty of not staying within ten car lengths of the safety car. The Red Bull Racing driver allegedly failed to do so on two occasions, yet he was only given a five-second time penalty once. Why that? The stewards offered an explanation.

Perez on tricky conditions

The first time Perez let the gap to the safety car get too big was on lap 10 between coming out of turn 13 and turn 14. "When questioned during the hearing PER said that the conditions were very wet and that it was very difficult to closely follow the safety car with little heat in his tyres and brakes. Although the track was wet in parts, we do not accept that the conditions were such as to make it impossible or dangerous for PER to have maintained the required less than 10 car length gap."

Nevertheless, the stewards feel that a reprimand is sufficient in this case. "Nevertheless, we took into account the wet conditions and the difficulties highlighted
by PER as mitigatory circumstances for this incident and, accordingly, determine that a reprimand ought to be imposed."

Second offence does result in time penalty

That dealt with Perez's first offence, but on lap 36 Perez went wrong again, at the same point (turns 13/14) of the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Once again, the safety car's gap to the Mexican's RB18 was too big. "This occurred notwithstanding the fact that the Race Director had issued a warning to
the team that PER was not respecting the less than 10 car lengths regulation between turns 9 and 10. The team passed that warning on to PER."

The stewards blame the Singapore Grand Prix winner for not sufficiently narrowing the gap to the safety car despite a warning. "We refer to Doc 56 by which we imposed a reprimand on PER for a breach of the same regulation during the first safety car deployment during the race. As this was the second breach of Article 55.10 by PER during the race and followed an express warning from the Race Director, we determined to impose a 5 second time penalty on PER."