Sergio Perez, Force India, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Perez doesn’t understand penalty for formation lap incident with Hartley

2018 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez will ask FIA race director Charlie Whiting to explain the 30-second penalty he received in the Bahrain Grand Prix for an error on the formation lap.

The Force India driver was given the penalty for overtaking Brendon Hartley on the formation lap. Perez said he was “surprised” to get the penalty because he repeatedly tried to let Hartley re-pass him.

Perez didn’t deny passing Hartley on the formation lap. But he pointed out it is common for drivers to do this off the starting line and then re-take their correct positions.

“On the formation basically off the line I overtook him but then he didn’t re-take back the position,” said Perez. “He didn’t realise that I overtook him, he thought I was always in front of him.”

“I’ve been overtaken many times, I overtake many times, but always the car behind retakes his position,” he added. “Hartley didn’t do it and we both go the penalty.”

Hartley, who also received a 30-second penalty for not being in the correct order before the Safety Car line, took responsibility for the mix-up according to Perez. “We spoke after the race. He just apologised, he knew it was all his fault.”

“When we went to the stewards he just told them ‘listen I didn’t realise Checo should be in front of me’,” Perez added.

Perez said the penalty, which dropped him from 12th to 16th in the results, “didn’t change anything” but he intends “to speak with Charlie on this one.”

“I was quite surprised that I got the penalty. You can see on my video that I really slowed down a couple of times to make him pass but I thought he had a problem.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 19 comments on “Perez doesn’t understand penalty for formation lap incident with Hartley”

    1. did perez start the race ahead of hartley?

    2. Neither do we, Perez, neither do we. That said, the explanation we received on Sunday about both penalties was quite confusing, to be fair, and I couldn’t quite make out the sequence of events.

      Similar to the question that Rahul asked: which grid slot did Perez start his formation lap on? And which grid slot did he end the formation lap on? The same one or a different one? Ditto for Hartley. If it’s the same one, then Charlie should have used his famous “no lasting advantage line/excuse” and let things be, maybe with just a warning to the drivers.

      1. “no lasting advantage line/excuse”


    3. A classic case of an area where simplification should happen.

      This is your starting spot, do formation lap however you want, but be back in your space ready to race a maximum of one minute after the pole sitter takes his place.

      Then it is up to the drivers and teams to get it right.

      1. @captainpie F1 don’t do simple! ;-)

    4. This era won’t be remembered for the quality of stewarding.
      Take the Hamilton/Verstappen incident. Racing incident, no penalty.

      Well, at least one of them must be at fault, if not both. Can you crowd a car aside that aggressively? Can you, once you start to yield, still turn into the other car before you are fully off tracK?
      Had the stewards issued a penalty here then we would have known where the line is drawn.

      1. You know, there doesn’t have to be someone a fault at all times. They are racing after all, it’s not you in your car in the highway.

      2. Well, at least one of them must be at fault, if not both.

        Not necessarily. Cars which are racing each other sometimes make contact despite the best efforts of the drivers, hence why we have stewards saying “no penalty, racing incident. In that incident there were mitigating factors for both, so it was the right call. Hamilton tried to back out, you could hear his engine note drop before the contact. Verstappen ran wider because Alonso was on the apex. It was the right call.

    5. Atleast the warm up lap in MotoGP riders can just do their procedure and come back in their slots as per qualifying. Really the Perez penalty doesnt make any sense. Also last weekend it seems like the controversy of MotoGP stole press attention from brilliant F1 race.

      1. Many of us often criticise F1 for having too many rules and procedures but the embarrassment MotoGP made of itself last weekend shows perfectly why some of them are needed

    6. Count yourselves lucky Sergio/Brendon, Schumacher ended up with a two race ban for doing the same in Silverstone 1994(?).

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        12th April 2018, 11:25

        That was partly because Max Mosley had a vendetta against Flavio Briatore. Which clearly lasted a long time because he got a lifetime ban for his part in Crashgate.

        My opinion on the incident was it should have been dealt with during the race and much sooner

        1. It was, the ban was for ignoring black flag which was shown during the race.

          1. Jonathan Parkin
            12th April 2018, 14:31

            Sorry when I was referring to ‘the incident’ I meant Perez/Hartley

    7. It indeed was a bit bizarre and confusing that both of them were penalized. The funny thing is that I never even noticed this particular incident during the formation lap, which has to be because it was never really even seeable as during the formation laps the live world feed footage usually only focuses on the cars at the front of the pack. It was never even shown as a replay later.

    8. Thanks Charlie- we almost forgot about the stewards! Good thing we have these important issues to give penalties for- how would F1 ever survive without you? Also- can someone talk to the TV directors- we don’t nearly get to watch the stewards on TV enough. Doesn’t everyone agree that they are the most important part of the show!

    9. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      12th April 2018, 19:16

      Perez is funny:

      “We spoke after the race. He [Hartley] just apologised, he knew it was all his fault.”

      But in this case, we all agree we don’t understand the penalty for both drivers either and mostly for Hartley who, unlike Checo, didn’t overtake anyone but was overtaken.

      Couldn’t race direction or the teams solve that with a communication? It’s not a lot of words “Hartley – please pass Perez as he should be behind you”. I guess we’ll have to wait for the next Concorde Agreement for this to be addressed…

    10. Having not watched the race this was still confusing to me. A seemingly honest mistake may have switched the race positions of two teams, but did not affect the others… Not sure why a 30 sec penalty was required.

    Comments are closed.