‘Strange there was no penalty then’ – Marko recalls Hamilton’s 2020 British GP win after Perez penalty

Michelle Foster
Red Bull's Helmut Marko and Sergio Perez talking at Suzuka

Helmut Marko and Sergio Perez talking

Helmut Marko says it’s “strange” Lewis Hamilton wasn’t penalised when he completed the final lap of the 2020 British GP on three wheels but Sergio Perez was in Canada.

Hamilton suffered a puncture on the final lap of the 2020 British Grand Prix, his front left tyre shreading pieces of rubber as he completed the final lap to win the race ahead of Max Verstappen.

Helmut Marko calls Sergio Perez penalty ‘too harsh’

Told to “stop” by Mercedes after crossing the line for the victory, Hamilton’s race engineer reiterated he was to stop the car as it “was dangerous.”

Marko finds it “strange” that Hamilton was not penalised then but Perez was in Canada.

Spinning off on lap 53 of the grand prix, the Mexican driver hit the barrier with the rear of his RB20 and damaged the rear wing.

Red Bull felt the car was “okay” for him to drive it back to the pits where Perez retired.

Later Red Bull and the driver were summoned to the stewards for contravening Article 26.10 of F1’s Sporting Regulations which states that “if a driver has serious mechanical difficulties, he must leave the track as soon as it is safe to do so.”

The stewards – declaring he was driving a “significantly damaged” car that “lost several carbon fibre parts” – handed Perez a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Spain while Red Bull were fined €25,000.

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“Three places back for Perez on the Spanish grid because he brought his damaged car into the pits instead of putting it aside in Montreal,” Marko wrote in his Speedweek column.

“I think that’s too harsh a punishment, because in a race with changeover conditions, you have to bring your car back, especially when it’s not immediately clear what the damage looks like.

“Perez’s rear-view mirrors were dirty and he couldn’t see what the rear looked like. We, on the other hand, could see from the data that the suspension was OK.

“Of course we try to bring the car back and, ideally, be able to fight for points again. The race stewards then announced that parts of his car had fallen off.

“But hey there! I remember Lewis Hamilton once crossing the finish line on three wheels at Silverstone and winning. Strange there was no penalty then.”

Perez’s team-mate Verstappen went on to win the grand prix, his sixth victory of this season, to extend his lead in the Drivers’ standings to 56 points.

“Victory in Montreal, thanks to the Verstappen factor, as I like to call it,” said Marko. “Once again, Max Verstappen’s very special qualities were the deciding factor in him winning a race that most other drivers probably wouldn’t have won.”

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