Sergio Perez and Red Bull receive hefty FIA punishment for rules breach in Canada

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez retires his RB20 In Canada

Sergio Perez had a nightmare weekend in Canada

Retiring from the Canadian Grand Prix after whacking the wall, Sergio Perez’s day went from bad to worse with news he has a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Spain.

Perez’s hopes of rebounding from his opening lap crash at the Monaco Grand Prix were undone on Saturday when the Red Bull driver failed to make it out of Q1.

Sergio Perez already on the back foot for Spain

Lining up 16th on a wet Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, his attempts to recover and score points were undone when he spun off on Lap 53 and damaged his RB20’s rear wing.

He limped back to the pits to retire the car, his day over.

However, he was later summoned to the stewards for driving back to the pits with a damaged car which contravenes 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, having reviewed the video, team radio and in-car video evidence, handed Perez a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Spain.

Red Bull were also fined €25,000 over the incident as they told the Mexican driver to bring the car back.

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“After making contact with the barriers in Turn 6, the driver continued on track for the remainder of the lap with a significantly damaged car and thereby lost several carbon fibre parts on the way back to the pits,” read the stewards’ verdict.

“The team confirmed in the hearing that the driver had been advised to bring the car back to the pits as they were trying to avoid a Safety Car situation.

“The stewards determine that, as well as a financial penalty for the team, a sporting penalty is necessary due to the safety implications of the incident. The penalty is imposed in line with precedents.”

Christian Horner admits it was a horrible weekend for Perez with Red Bull only getting away with it because of Ferrari’s failure to score a single point with their double DNF.

“That was a horrible weekend for Checo,” the Red Bull team boss told Sky Sports F1. “Obviously we picked up some damage, so he’ll need to come back strong in Barcelona.

“Thankfully Ferrari had a shocker, so didn’t pick up any points, so that let us off the hook somewhat.

“But we need both cars scoring. We got away with it today but we need Checo back up there where he was at the beginning of the year from Barcelona onwards.

“What we see with Checo time and time again is that when you think he’s on the ropes, he bounces back. He’s a tough racer and he’s a tough character and it hurts him more than anybody else.

“He’ll be determined to come back and show everybody the form we know he’s capable of and that he showed in the first four races of this year.”

Perez is fifth in the Drivers’ Championship on 107 points, 92 behind his team-mate Max Verstappen.

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