Saturday, Nov 01, 2014

FIA upholds grid penalty on Force India’s Sergio Perez

Force India driver Sergio Perez of Mexico. (Source: AP) The Canada stewards had found Perez guilty of causing the last lap collision by changing his line as Felipe Massa tried to overtake. (Source: AP)
Reuters | Spielberg | Posted: June 20, 2014 11:17 pm

The five-place grid penalty imposed on Sergio Perez after his Canadian Grand Prix crash was upheld by Formula One’s governing body (FIA) in Austria on Friday.

Perez’s team, Force India, appealed the penalty on the grounds that they had new evidence regarding the crash with the Williams of Felipe Massa.

Austrian Grand Prix stewards considered a request by the team before first practice at Spielberg and agreed to review the decision reached by different officials in Montreal almost two weeks ago.

The Canada stewards had found Mexican Perez guilty of causing the last lap collision by changing his line as the Brazilian tried to overtake. Perez denied doing anything different to previous laps.

Force India argued they had been unable to consult their driver before the original hearing because he was in hospital and had therefore seen the stewards without input from him about the cause of the accident.

The stewards said they had recognised “exceptional circumstances” and exercised their discretion to review the matter.

But on Friday an FIA statement said that it was wrong of Perez to try to defend his position in the braking area for the corner.

“The driver of car 11 (Perez) contended that… in defending his position he was exercising his right, under Article 20.4 of the 2014 Formula 1 sporting regulations, to use the whole track,” the statement said.

“However, it was clear to the stewards that the defence of his position occurred in the braking area. Article 20.4 specifically states that any right to defend by using the whole track must occur prior to any braking area.

“Accordingly, the driver of car 11 was not entitled to defend his position in the manner he did.”

Perez was unhappy with the decision, as he remained adamant he had done nothing wrong.

“We went there to show all the data, the lines, and the pictures we have that we couldn’t show in Montreal,” he was quoted as saying on Autosport.com. “We felt very confident we had the proof.

“So it was a bit disappointing but it’s time to move on. It will be a big pain to be five places back on this track, where it’s difficult to overtake.”

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