Sergio Perez handed three-place grid penalty for Spanish GP

Sergio Perez penalised for continuing in the 2024 Canadian GP with a damaged car after hitting the barriers

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Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has been penalised following the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix, with the Mexican handed a three-place grid drop at the next Formula 1 race after his failure to leave the track with serious mechanical difficulties after damaging his rear wing.

After making contact with the barriers at Turn 6, Perez continued to drive round the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with a significantly damaged car, resulting in the loss of several carbon fibre parts on his way back to the pits. The team admitted they advised Perez to return to the pits to avoid triggering a safety car situation.

Following a review of video evidence, team radio, and in-car footage, the stewards decided to impose a €25,000 fine on Red Bull and a three-grid position drop for Perez in the next race he participates in which will be the Spanish Grand Prix. The stewards emphasised the safety implications of the incident as the primary reason for the penalties.

“The Stewards determine that, as well as a financial penalty for the team, a sporting penalty is necessary due to the safety implications of the incident. The penalty is imposed in line with precedents,” a statement from the FIA stewards read. 

Perez’s Challenging Weekend in Canada

Perez‘s weekend in Canada was particularly challenging especially following the announcement of his two-year contract extension with Red Bull. He failed to advance beyond Q1 in the qualifying session and retired from the race after hitting the wall..

The contact with the barriers during the race was not the only setback. At the start, Perez had a collision with Pierre Gasly‘s Alpine, damaging his front wing. Although the team replaced the wing during his first pit stop, the true issue lay with the car’s overall handling and the challenging track conditions.

“Touching with Pierre affected the entire race,” Perez told the press, including Total-Motorsport.com. “In the first stint, I had a damaged wing. We changed it, and it was better, but overtaking was very difficult. 

“It was necessary to take a lot of risks in the wet area. I was catching up to [Daniel] Ricciardo, but I made a mistake in Turn 6. I couldn’t stop the car. I was one of those drivers who, in a very difficult situation, made a mistake.”

The championship is becoming increasingly competitive, and teams cannot afford to lose points. Red Bull’s recent performance has not been up to their usual standard, prompting the need for a swift understanding of their recent struggles to reclaim their dominance.

Perez concluded: “We need to understand what has happened in the last few races. The latest updates have changed the car. These cars operate on a very thin edge, and it’s important to understand.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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