Former Red Bull driver dubs Sergio Perez penalty ‘not strict enough’ after repeat offence

Oliver Harden
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez grimaces in the garage at the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix.

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez grimaces in the garage at the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix.

Alex Albon believes the penalty system in F1 isn’t “strict enough” after Red Bull driver Sergio Perez’s woes continued at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Albon was left frustrated at the recent Singapore GP when a forceful move by Perez saw the Williams driver almost strike the wall and denied him a points finish.

On the day Max Verstappen’s 13th victory of the 2023 season secured the Constructors’ Championship for Red Bull, Perez suffered his first retirement of the year on another difficult day at Suzuka.

Sergio Perez under fire after streak of on-track incidents

Having already incurred a five-second penalty for overtaking under Safety Car conditions, the Mexican was hit with another after colliding with Kevin Magnussen’s Haas following a late lunge at the hairpin.

Perez retired before serving his second penalty, but returned to the track for a handful of laps to avoid carrying it over as a grid penalty at the next round in Qatar.

Still stung by the events of Singapore, Albon – who was replaced by Perez at Red Bull at the end of the 2020 season – revealed he had another close call with Perez at the hairpin himself before claiming that five-second penalties are not strict enough as a punishment.

According to, he said: “In Turn 11 he did the same move again to me on track. I avoided it – and then he did it again to Kevin. I was behind him, so I had the best view of everyone.

“So clearly it’s not really teaching the drivers anything, because the penalties aren’t strict enough. That’s two races in a row.”

George Russell, the Mercedes star and a director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association union, pointed to an incident his own – his collision with Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz at the start of the 2022 United States GP – as evidence that the penalty threshold may require a rethink.

Despite causing polesitter Sainz to retire from the race, Russell escaped with a five-second penalty and went on to finish fifth in Austin, with the British driver acknowledging on reflection that his move merited a stiffer penalty.

He explained: “When I look at Austin last year when I made a mistake with Carlos [Sainz] and I got a five-second [penalty] for it that was really drive-through worthy.

“It’s difficult because we always say that we shouldn’t judge the consequence of the incident, but sometimes you need to judge the consequence of the incident.” recommends

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With Magnussen describing Perez’s act as a “s****y move” by a driver in a “s****y position” after the race, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner claimed it was a function of the pressure Perez is currently feeling as scrutiny surrounding his Red Bull seat intensifies.

“I think obviously Checo can feel the pressure. You know which pressure he feels – and these things happen. He already had a penalty before he hit us, I don’t know exactly what he did under the yellow, but he did break the rules.

“And obviously some more pressure and then these things happen. It’s five seconds, but there’s no consequence because he retired afterwards.

“I’m never happy that somebody has to retire, but he just destroyed our race, so I’m not happy about that as well.”

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