Perez avoids penalty, McLaren uses curfew exception – sporting news

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Red Bull’s Mexican driver Sergio Perez avoided a penalty at the French Grand Prix after performing a bold overtaking manoeuvre on Mercedes racer Valtteri Bottas for third place.

The 31-year-old driver was fighting with Bottas in the dying stages of the race at Paul Ricard, and drafted past his Mercedes rival on the run out of the chicane on the back straight on lap 49.

However, as he and the Finn ran through the high-speed Signes right hander, the Mexican went off track and across the white line on the exit. The FIA stewards launched an investigation into the matter after the chequered flag fell at Paul Ricard to find out whether leaving the track led to a lasting advantage for Perez.

After reviewing the data, Tim Mayer, Eric Barrabino, Yannik Dalmas and Jean Marie Krempff decided to take no further action against the Red Bull driver.

„The Stewards reviewed video evidence, positioning and timing data. The Stewards determined that Perez had fully completed the pass on Bottas by the time he left the track at Turn 10.

„This made the fact that he left the track subsequently as a standard “track limits” question. The Stewards determined that Perez lost sufficient ground in the following turn that he could not be deemed to have “gained a lasting advantage.” The Stewards take no further action,” read the FIA statement.

McLaren was forced to work on its cars on Friday night longer than permitted, using one of two two individual exceptions in terms of curfew. The Sporting Regulations incorportes a time, called mandatory curfew – during which time teams’ mechanics are forbidden from working on their cars, or even being within the confines of the circuit.

„Last night team personnel of the McLaren F1 Team, who are associated with the operation of the car, were within the confines of the circuit during the nine and a half hour period which commenced at 23:30 on 18 June, twelve and a half hours before the scheduled start time of P3 and ends three hours before the scheduled start time of P3 at 09:00 on 19 June.

„This was the first of the two individual exceptions permitted for the McLaren F1 Team during the 2021 Formula One Championship season and therefore no action should be taken,” read the FIA report.

Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi had a lap time deleted at the French Grand Prix after disrecpecting the track limits. The Italian driver did not use the track at Turn 6 at 15:24 during the 53-lap race at Le Castellet when he set a time of 1m41.689. The penalty was applied in accordance with point 22 of the Race Director’s Event Notes (reference Article 12.2.1.i) and Article 12.4.1.e of the FIA International Sporting Code.

Following his crash during the qualifying session for the French Grand Prix, Yuki Tsunoda was forced to start the race at Le Castellet from the pit. His team, the AlphaTauri outfit needed to change the gearbox of his car for a new one, which triggered a five-place drop.

However, the Japanese driver was forced to start the race from the pit lane for two other changes. The Faenza-based team changed the floor on Tsunoda’s car which is different from the one originally used and also changes have been made to the set up of the suspension.