Australian GP: Perez penalized, drops three grid positions

March 23, 2024
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Red Bull's Sergio Perez has been slapped with a three-place grid penalty after impeding Haas F1 Team Nico Hulkenberg during qualifying at the Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Melbourne, March 23 (IANS) Red Bull’s Sergio Perez has been slapped with a three-place grid penalty after impeding Haas F1 Team Nico Hulkenberg during qualifying at the Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The incident occurred during Q1 when Hulkenberg encountered Perez on his flying lap, forcing the German to take evasive action to avoid a collision. Despite the stewards’ review, it was determined that Red Bull failed to adequately warn Perez of Hulkenberg’s presence in time, resulting in the penalty for the Mexican driver.

Originally qualifying in an impressive third position, Perez’s grid penalty pushes him back to sixth, elevating drivers like Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc, and Oscar Piastri up a place on the grid.

While Hulkenberg expressed his frustration with the incident, citing its impact on his qualifying session, Perez has yet to comment on the matter. However, Red Bull remains undeterred, expressing confidence in Perez’s ability to make up ground during the race.

“That was the first run, so that was not the deciding lap, but still that wasn’t ideal of him,” said Perez after the results.

“But then my second run just wasn’t clean. The lap was looking promising up until Turn 9, or actually from exit of Turn 7 – somehow the wind changed and I lost a bunch of lap time on that straight going down to Turn 9, just from a different wind direction.

“But then also, I don’t know, I lost the front tyre for the rest of the lap and didn’t manage to improve enough,” he added.

–IANS

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