It was a strange set of circumstances that led to Sergio Perez’s return to the track as he served his suspension.
Sergio Perez’s eventful Japanese Grand Prix culminated in strange circumstances when he drove to his garage to retire, only to be sent back by the team 26 laps later. The Mexican decided to park his RB19 after he suffered further injuries in a collision with Kevin Magnussen after colliding with Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz on the first lap. After an investigation by lawyers, he was found guilty for the collision and received a five-second penalty.
When Perez retired, he didn’t serve it when he entered the pits. Fearing that he might receive an additional penalty at the next race in Qatar, the team sent him back after further repairs to complete a lap, pit, serve the penalty and then complete another lap. before retreating again. Red Bull did this to maintain second place in the drivers’ championship, as any penalty could affect its position in the final standings. What do the rules say? The most important article in Red Bull’s F1 Sporting Regulations was Article 54.3, which covers all the penalties that a jury can impose if they are involved in a road accident.
Section D of that rule states: If a driver is assessed one of the four (4) penalties above and that driver is unable to complete the penalty due to a sprint or race stoppage, the Jury may award the driver a grid position penalty. his next race. Although this is voluntary, it is important to note that they do not have to transfer sanctions.
Red Bull only covered if it happened after the race. Red Bull has revealed a potential loophole It is not unusual for cars disabled by crash damage to return to their garages for repairs and then be sent back to the lead for several laps.
It happens all the time in endurance racing – think of cars needing repairs or brake changes at Le Mans – and F1 is technically endurance. This is usually a rarity due to the limited number of transmission and transmission parts, and the extra mileage is not worth the lack of points. But in general, if the car is in good enough condition, there is nothing in the regulations to prevent it from being rejoined.
Red Bull already used a similar area in the rulebook to Perez at the 2021 Belgian GP when he crashed at a wet junction. With the start of the race delayed due to poor conditions, the team claimed they were able to make repairs and get back on track – albeit at the back of the grid.
Perhaps the regulation should be re-examined to avoid the possibility of carrying a more severe punishment, because banning the car should be considered the ultimate punishment.