Sergio Perez claimed his contact with Lando Norris in the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was a racing incident and accused the McLaren driver of turning into him.
Perez finished second on the road at Yas Marina but his five-second penalty dropped him back to fourth behind Charles Leclerc and George Russell.
That means Perez has picked up just one podium since the end of the European leg for the 2023 season, but he’d already claimed second in the drivers’ championship at the Las Vegas GP.
“We ended up contacting, which was unfortunate, but to make contact you require both parties and Lando also had some responsibility in that,” Perez told the media.
“He turned into me as if there was no one there, we ended up making contact as I was fully alongside and he cut the corner. I honestly don’t agree with the decision, there’s nothing you can do.”
Perez: He didn’t gain anything
Perez was charging through the field on an offset two-stop strategy, with ground to make up starting from ninth after his final time in qualifying was deleted for a track limits violation.
He went for a move up the inside of Norris at turn six, with the McLaren driver desperate to hold onto fourth to secure fourth-place in the drivers’ standings.
However, Perez missed the apex of the corner with Norris leaving plenty of space on the inside. The drivers made tyre-to-tyre contact and Norris cut the chicane, holding the position before Perez made the move stick on the next lap.
He built over a five-second gap to Norris, but couldn’t do the same with Russell or Leclerc – the latter let him past attempting to help Ferrari‘s constructors’ championship finish.
“He didn’t lose anything, if anything he gained,” Perez added. “To have that sort of contact you require both cars to do that, I think he had some responsibility in it as well.
“In my opinion, it was a 50-50 but he didn’t end up losing anything, if anything he gained. So it’s hard to understand why I got the penalty.”