Formula 1

Sergio Perez’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Comments Bring FIA Summons

Red Bull Driver Faces FIA Scrutiny for His Outspoken Criticism of Race Stewards

Red Bull Racing’s Mexican sensation, Sergio Perez, found himself in hot water with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) after his outspoken comments during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Perez, known for his fearless driving and candid personality, did not hold back when he criticized the race stewards over the team radio. His choice of words, describing them as a “joke” and “very bad,” raised eyebrows in the world of Formula 1 and triggered a summons from the sport’s governing body.

The incident unfolded during the season finale at the Yas Marina circuit, where Perez secured an impressive second-place finish at the chequered flag. However, his moment of glory was soon tainted as a five-second penalty was imposed for his on-track altercation with Lando Norris’s McLaren on Lap 47. This contact dropped Perez from second to fourth in the final race standings.

The penalty was a bitter pill to swallow for Perez, as it not only cost him a podium finish but also impacted Red Bull Racing’s chances in the Constructors’ Championship. The team, eager to secure as many points as possible, needed Perez to maintain his position and help them fend off Mercedes in the title race.

In a surprising turn of events, Charles Leclerc of Ferrari played a pivotal role. He allowed Perez to pass, enabling Red Bull to secure a 1-2 finish in the race. However, this strategic move was not enough to thwart Mercedes, as they clinched the Constructors’ Championship by a mere 3-point margin, leaving Red Bull and their fans disappointed.

The repercussions of Perez’s comments were swift, as the FIA cited a potential breach of the International Sporting Code. According to the code, such comments may constitute “misconduct towards licence-holders, officials, officers, or members of staff of the FIA and members of the staff of the organizer or promoter.” The summons served as a reminder that even in the heat of competition, sportsmanship and respect for officials must prevail.

In the high-stakes world of Formula 1, where every point and position counts, emotions often run high. Sergio Perez’s outburst during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us all that sportsmanship and respect for the rules are fundamental to the integrity of the sport.

Nevertheless, once the race had concluded, Perez took a dig at the stewards via the team radio. He remarked:

“The stewards are a joke, man. I cannot believe it.

“They have been very bad this year, but this is a joke. That was really a joke.”

In the post-race interview, Perez informed the media that he was entirely alongside Lando Norris when their collision occurred through Turns 6 and 7. He stated:

“We ended up contacting, which was unfortunate.

“But to make contact you require both partners. Lando also had some responsibility in that because he turned into me as if there was no-one there.

“We ended up making contact tyre-to-tyre. I was fully alongside him. He cut the corner.

“He gained time and I still had the penalty.

“I honestly don’t agree with the decision but as a driver there is nothing you can do.

“In my opinion, it was a 50-50 but he didn’t end up losing anything. If anything, he gained. Hard to understand why I got the penalty if I’m totally honest.”

When imposing a 5-second penalty on the Mexican driver, the stewards provided the following justification:

“Coming into Turn 6, notwithstanding that [Perez] was alongside [Norris], the driver of Car 11 [Perez] dived in late, missed the apex of the corner and understeered towards the outside of the corner colliding with [Norris].”

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