Perez penalised, keeps Singapore GP win

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez has held on to victory in the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix despite picking up a post-race time penalty.

The Mexican was investigated after the race for a Safety Car infringement which resulted in a five-second time penalty.

His official margin of victory is therefore 2.595s over Charles Leclerc after 59 laps of racing.

Perez was referred to the Stewards after dropping more than 10 car lengths behind the Safety Car, a breach of Article 55.10 of the FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations.

Two separate reports were published by the Stewards on the matter; the first announcing a Reprimand for the incident, and the second a five-second penalty and two penalty points on Perez’s licence.

They relate to two separate instances when the Mexican, who was leading the race, fell too far behind the Safety Car.

“Car 11 was the lead car on lap 10,” Document 56 noted in its reasoning.

“It was admitted while the lights of the safety car were still on, PER failed to keep within 10 car lengths of the safety car between the exit of turn 13 and turn 14.

“When questioned during the hearing PER said that the conditions were very wet and that it was very difficult to closely follow the safety car with little heat in his tyres and brakes.

“Although the track was wet in parts, we do not accept that the conditions were such as to make it impossible or dangerous for PER to have maintained the required less than 10 car length gap.

“Nevertheless, we took into account the wet conditions and the difficulties highlighted by PER as mitigatory circumstances for this incident and, accordingly, determine that a reprimand ought to be imposed.”

The second Stewards decision, Document 57, was published moments later and related to a similar incident on Lap 36.

“Car 11 was the lead car on lap 36 during the second safety car period in the race,” it stated.

“It was admitted that while the lights of the safety car were still on, PER failed to keep within 10 car lengths of the safety car between turn 13 and turn 14.

“This occurred notwithstanding the fact that the Race Director had issued a warning to the team that PER was not respecting the less than 10 car lengths regulation between turns 9 and 10. The team passed that warning on to PER.

“We refer to Doc 56 by which we imposed a reprimand on PER for a breach of the same regulation during the first safety car deployment during the race.

“As this was the second breach of Article 55.10 by PER during the race and followed an express warning from the Race Director, we determined to impose a 5 second time penalty on PER.”

Wary of the pending investigation, in the closing laps, the Red Bull pit wall instructed Perez to push in an effort to extend an advantage over second-placed Leclerc.

That saw him take the chequered flag 7.595s clear of the Ferrari driver, the official margin of victory now 2.595s.

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