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F1 stewards rule on Perez penalty

2014-06-20 19:31

NO LUCK FOR PEREZ: Force India's Serigo Perez will have to contend with a five-place penalty at the 2014 Austrian GP. Image: AP/Kerstin Joensson

SPIELBERG, Austria - Austrian race stewards have upheld Sergio Perez's five-place grid penalty from the 2014 Canadian GP.

F1 stewards examined "new evidence" put forward by Force India relating to Perez's final-lap collision with Williams' Felipe Massa at the 2014 Canadian GP in June.

Montreal stewards deemed that Perez had changed his racing line while defending fourth place from Massa, resulting in a crash that sent both cars into the barriers.

Perez was unable to attend the original hearing in Canada or communicate with his team in the aftermath of the crash as he was in hospital undergoing medical checks.

'EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES'

Force India were granted a secondary hearing in Spielberg, Austria on Friday (June 20 2014).

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

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

The FIA said: "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.

"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. 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."

MASSA TO BLAME?

Perez blamed Massa. He said he was following the same lines and braking patterns as on previous laps: "I watched several replays of the incident and I can't help but notice how Felipe turns right just before he hits me. I can only think he must have changed his mind and wanted to rejoin the racing line.

"His misjudgement cost us a lot of points."

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