FIA punish Red Bull for rules breach with Sergio Perez car rebuild

Mark Scott
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez hands in the air after Qatar sprint crash.

Sergio Perez crashed out of the Sprint race in Qatar.

Sergio Perez’s latest weekend of woe has continued with Red Bull found to be in breach of F1 regulations after a chassis rebuild.

Perez was part of an Esteban Ocon and Nico Hulkenberg sandwich during the Qatar GP sprint race on Saturday and was forced to retire after just 10 laps.

Such was the extent of the damage to Perez’s car, Red Bull were forced into a comprehensive repair job on a second chassis in order to get the Mexican driver race ready for Sunday.

More pain for Sergio Perez

However, due to the fact that Red Bull had to perform work on the chassis that went well beyond the stage of the survival cell, that has put them in breach of the FIA regulations as they carried out repairs on the cockpit and fuel without FIA supervision, essentially putting them into the territory of creating a third chassis.

Also according to the regulations, all cars “must be covered and ready for FIA seals to be applied in order to ensure that they remain secure until the following day” but Red Bull’s work means they missed this particular time window and breached parc ferme rules.

‘Last night the Oracle Red Bull Racing team worked on car number 11, chassis 02, two hours after chequered flag of the Sprint,’ an FIA statement read by Jo Bauer, the FIA Formula One technical delegate.

‘Chassis 01 got damaged beyond repair during the accident in the Sprint. Chassis 01 and all other components fitted to it at the time of the Sprint were covered on time at 23:08, two hours after chequered flag was shown at the end of the Sprint.

‘As chassis 02 was assembled without supervision to more than an assembly comprising a survival cell as defined in SR Article 27.2, this has to be considered as a third car available to the competitor.

‘A self-declared scrutineering sheet for car 11, chassis 02, was submitted at 14:05 today, 55 minutes before the covers-off time.

‘As this is not in compliance with SR Articles 27.2 , 40.3 and 40.6 as well as TD021 G, I am referring this matter to the Stewards for their consideration.’

A precedent for this particular rules breach has already been set recently at the Japanese Grand Prix when Williams were guilty of the same infringement on Logan Sargeant’s car.

The punishment then for Sargeant was a pit-lane start and a 10-second penalty.

Red Bull have also took this rebuild job as an opportunity to fit a brand new power unit to his RB19, triggering a further penalty as he had already exceeded his limits from his engine pool this season.

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