Brundle pins Perez and Ricciardo penalties on Paul Ricard's run-off area

25-06-2019 12:36
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
F1 News
Brundle pins Perez and Ricciardo penalties on Paul Ricard's run-off area

In his regular post-race column on Sky Sports F1, former driver and current pundit Martin Brundle thinks the large, tarmac run-off areas at the Circuit Paul Ricard have part of the blame for both Sergio Pérez' and Daniel Ricciardo's penalties.

Pérez got penalised after an incident on the very first lap of the race, when the Mexican was forced off track and had to take a long way around to rejoin the spectacle. Although he went around the penalty bollard as required, he still gained two positions as the other cars were scrapping in each corner. A five-second penalty was dealt to Pérez for the incident.

"The problem here is not the drivers but the track, as Sergio Pérez found out during the opening lap," Brundle wrote when analysing the Pérez incident.

"He lost the back end in the second chicane and duly took the scenic route around the penalty bollard to rejoin.

"Nevertheless, Pérez had gained a lasting advantage of two places, and a temporary five-second penalty until his next pit stop when it could be patiently unwound before work commenced. He needed to have backed off to the position he was when he went off, if he could have remembered in the melee or his team could have seen. Or preferably have stayed on track in the first place."

The main attraction of an otherwise dull race came at the very end, although the broadcast wasn't there to show it live as it unfolded. Lando Norris, who was hanging onto seventh place for dear life with mechanical problems, got overtaken by three cars in a matter of seconds. Ricciardo's lunge was a late one and he went off track before rejoining it, and he went off track afterwards as well when he got a run on Kimi Raikkonen. Brundle gives his take on it all.

"The action I missed was the great four-way scrap between Lando Norris impressively surviving car issues, with Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg pursuing him like the wounded animal he was with ailing hydraulics, and all the ramifications of that in today's F1 cars. Throttle, gearshift, power steering, differential, and drag-reduction rear wing, for example.

"Ricciardo without doubt did run all four wheels off the track whilst going around the outside of Norris, and was also rather rude, without even a thought for 'mirror signal manoeuvre' whilst rejoining the particular piece of tarmac defined as the racetrack among the many other zones.

"But he wasn't finished yet. As the cunning Kimi R charged past the pair of them, Ricciardo pumped up his Renault motor in the slipstream of the Alfa Romeo and passed him far to the right, which is a zone formerly known as sun-baked gravel.

"Today it's all immaculately manicured and not defined as race track. And now that the Stewards are bound by regulation and increasing precedent to act more like traffic wardens than referees, Ricciardo was frankly bound to be handed two five-second penalties, and removal from world championship points in 11th."

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