Canadian GP stewards make decision on punishing Sergio Perez after the race | F1 | Sport

Sergio Perez has been slapped with a three-place grid penalty for the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix for driving back to the pit lane with extreme damage to his rear wing. The Mexican racer crashed into the barriers on lap 53 but hobbled around the track for the remainder of the lap.

Under the sporting regulations, Red Bull should have made their driver pull over and retire the car, but they opted against doing this to avoid a safety car that would have hampered team-mate Max Verstappen, who was leading the race at the time.

However, Red Bull‘s creative tactics were ultimately in vain. Just one lap later, a late clash between Carlos Sainz and Alex Albon brought out the safety car, bunching up the field and forcing Verstappen to defend his lead from Lando Norris.

Following an investigation from the stewards, it was determined that Red Bull had allowed the car to continue in an unsafe condition. Perez was hit with a three-place grid penalty, while the team were fined £21,100 (€25,000).

Explaining their decision, the stewards noted: “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.

“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.”

That verdict adds greater insult to injury for Perez, who has now failed to finish back-to-back races ahead of F1’s return to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The result of those dismal results is that he sits 87 points behind Verstappen in the standings.

This was hardly the perfect way to celebrate his new contract either. The 34-year-old was awarded a two-year extension heading into the race weekend in Montreal, despite an underwhelming start to the campaign.

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