‘Perez did not deliberately hit Sirotkin’

Date published: September 18 2018

'Sergio Perez did not deliberately hit Sergey Sirotkin'

Charlie Whiting has poured cold water over the suggestion that Sergio Perez deliberately hit Sergey Sirotkin in Singapore, saying it was just a misjudgement.

Stuck behind Siroktin’s Williams for 17 laps under the lights in Singapore, Perez eventually passed the Russian driver.

However, when doing so he moved across into Sirotkin’s line and gave him a hefty whack.

Watch: Perez smashes into Sirotkin

Perez was handed a drive-through penalty for the incident with some on social media suggesting it should have been more as it seemed deliberate.

Whiting reckons it wasn’t.

“I haven’t spoken to him, nor have the stewards as far as I’m aware,” the FIA race director said.

“But it’s hard to believe a driver would intend to hit a [rival’s] car.

“He’d been trying hard to get past Sirotkin, and he looked a little bit frustrated, and I just think he misjudged how far in front he was in front of him.

“You saw how closely they were racing all the way through [Turns] 14-15-16-17, and I think he just misjudged it.”

As for Perez’s complaints about Siroktin’s driving, the Force India driver calling on his team to get the stewards involved, Whiting says they felt Sirotkin was above board.

“He [Perez] complained about this happening in Turn 7 and Turn 14, and we didn’t see anything that gave us any trouble,” Whiting said.

“Then he complained again, and we looked again, and frankly he simply wasn’t close enough.

“Sergey was maybe just being circumspect going into Turn 14, but as they were approaching the corner, just moved slightly left.

“It wasn’t as if Sergio was getting really close, he was a good distance back.

“I just said to them he’s going to have to get a lot closer if we’re going to start looking exactly what he’s doing under braking, because it really wasn’t an issue for us.”

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