Why did Red Bull send Sergio Perez out after he retired from Japanese GP?

Perez initially retired from the race on Lap 17, but was sent back out by Red Bull much later.


Sergio Perez endured a Japanese Grand Prix to forget after picking up two five-second penalties before retiring on Lap 17.

The second of those five-second penalties caused by a clumsy incident with Kevin Magnussen at Turn 11 triggered a bizarre moment where Perez was sent back into the race 26 laps down.

Perez wasn’t sent out to get the fastest lap or to become shotgun for teammate runaway race leader Max Verstappen but rather to avoid having his workload doubled for the Qatar GP in a fortnight.

So why did Red Bull send Perez back out?

Regulation loophole saves Perez grid penalty

With the constructors championship seemingly secured, Red Bull used a loophole in the regulations to help Perez avoid a penalty.

Under article 54.3 of the FIA’s regulations, stewards may impose a grid penalty on a driver if they cannot serve their penalty during the race.

To avoid carrying over a grid penalty to the Qatar GP, Red Bull, as a precaution, waited until Verstappen had completed his second pitstop on Lap 38 before sending Perez back out on track.

Once his penalty was served and the danger of a grid penalty was averted, Perez returned to the pits and retired for a second time, picking up Red Bull’s first retirement of 2023.

Is it allowed?

By definition, yes, as it’s allowed in the regulations, and there have been previous instances where drivers have returned to the race after initially retiring.

In the rain-disrupted 2021 Belgian GP, Perez crashed on the sighting lap with the damage caused by the shunt at Les Combes initially unrepairable in time for the start.

However, with a long red flag following due to the awful weather conditions, the stewards allowed Perez to rejoin the race after Red Bull repaired his car during the stoppage.

Once racing technically resumed, Perez rejoined the race for the second formation lap and was classified 19th after Lance Stroll was given a 10-second time penalty for a rear wing change during the red flag.

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
- Advertisment -


Charles Leclerc Monaco GP record: Ferrari star out to banish seven-year curse

After growing up in Monaco, Charles Leclerc must know the streets of Monte Carlo like the back of his...
Joey Logano leads the field at the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway | NASCAR

Was the NASCAR All-Star Race’s option tyre a success?

The NASCAR All-Star Race is often used as a testing ground for concepts that might be incorporated into points...
McLaren F1 launch bespoke Senna livery for the 2024 Monaco GP | McLaren

McLaren unveil stunning Senna tribute livery for 2024 Monaco GP

McLaren have announced a special Ayrton Senna-inspired livery for the 2024 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, celebrating the legendary...
Lewis Hamilton during 2024 Australian GP | Mercedes / Sulay Kelly

Race to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes down to two candidates

As Lewis Hamilton prepares to leave Mercedes for Ferrari ahead of the 2025 Formula 1 season, there has been...
Ollie Bearman with his new helmet ahead of his practice outing in Imola for Haas

Haas boss outlines how Oliver Bearman can secure 2025 F1 seat after Imola audition

Oliver Bearman has been hailed for his faultless performance by Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu in practice at the...

Esteban Ocon tempted by Mercedes 2025 switch as Alpine doubts emerge

Esteban Ocon has opened the door to replacing Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, as the Alpine driver ponders his future...
Toto Wolff at 2023 United States Grand Prix | Mercedes / Sebastian Kawka

Toto Wolff ‘can’t wait’ to prove Horner wrong after latest Mercedes jibe

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has fired back at Christian Horner for suggesting over 200 employees left Mercedes for Red...
Race winner Max Verstappen and runner-up Lando Norris of McLaren celebrate on the podium after the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP | Mark Thompson/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Winners and Losers from 2024 Emilia Romagna GP

Lando Norris' miraculous late-race pace brought a previously lacklustre 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to life as the McLaren...
Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren at the start of the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Driver Ratings – Emilia Romagna GP 2024

Max Verstappen returned to the top of the podium after seeing off a late challenge from Lando Norris to...
Scott McLaughlin at 2024 Indy 500 Pole Day | Penske Entertainment: Joe Skibinski

Scott McLaughlin secures pole for Indy 500, as Team Penske sweep front row

Scott McLaughlin clinched the P1 Award in IndyCar's Fast Six qualifying for the 108th Indy 500, leading Team Penske...
- Advertisment -