Red Bull’s Sergio Perez handed three-place grid penalty in Australia

Perez had qualified third at Albert Park behind Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz


Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has received a three-place grid penalty at the 2024 Australian Grand Prix after impeding Nico Hulkenberg during Qualifying in Melbourne

Perez qualified third at Albert Park, behind Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, but will now start from sixth position with Charles Leclerc in the second Ferrari now ahead of the Mexican.

“The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 11 (Sergio Perez), the driver of Car 27 (Nico Hulkenberg), team representatives and reviewed positioning/marshalling system data, video, telemetry, team radio and in-car video evidence,” a statement by the FIA read. 

Hulkenberg was on a fast lap when he approached Turn 13. Perez, who was on an out lap was at the apex of the turn and Hulkenberg had to leave the racing line to drive around him. Hulkenberg was forced to lift the throttle early and brake early for that corner. 

“In reviewing the audio from Perez’s car, the Stewards observed that the team was focused on the car in front of Perez that had just slowed, and did not give Perez a warning that Hulkenberg was behind him until one second before Hulkenberg arrived, and significantly too late to avoid impeding Hulkenberg

“While the Stewards appreciate the dynamic situation facing the team and driver during the Q1 session, which was described in the hearing, the Stewards find that Perez ‘Unnecessarily Impeded’ Hulkenberg and issue a three grid place drop, consistent with previous cases.”

Perez hopeful of good result in Australia

Before the penalty was announced Perez indicated that starting position in Australia wasn’t really something to worry about at the Albert Park Circuit.

“I’m happy,” Perez told the press. “I think given how we’ve been during the weekend, it’s been a very nice progression. 

“I think tomorrow we got to fight on our hands to the Ferrari and to the rest of the field because I think the degradation is going to be very high. So I think, yeah, starting position is not that relevant at the moment.”

John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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