Perez reprimanded for 'too-close-to-the-limit' defensive move on Gasly
Sergio Perez has been reprimanded by the Portuguese Grand Prix stewards following his close-to-the-edge defensive move with Pierre Gasly.
It was Perez's second reprimand of the weekend after he was deemed to have impeded AlphaTauri's Gasly during qualifying, and leaves him one away from a potential penalty.
In the closing stages of the race at the Algarve International Circuit, and in a bid to hold on to his fifth place, Racing Point driver Perez swerved to his right as Gasly attempted to pass along the start-finish straight.
The French driver's reactions were remarkable as he just managed to avoid a collision with the Mexican's car.
Although unable to get the move done on that occasion, on the following lap Gasly made a subsequent pass stick to claim fifth, while Perez took the chequered flag seventh after also losing out to McLaren's Carlos Sainz soon after.
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Perez's manoeuvre, however, resulted in him being summoned to the stewards for a potential breach of Article 27.4 of the FIA sporting regulations state that "at no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be
deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person".
In response, and after hearing from both drivers, the stewards determined that "on lap 64 of the race at the end of the main straight, Perez moved in defence at the exact same time as Gasly, who was overtaking to the right having slipstreamed Perez down the straight. Gasly’s move was made before the braking zone and was entirely reasonable.
"As Gasly was moving to the right with significantly greater speed, Perez moved to the right and then continued to move in front of Gasly for a significant portion of the track but stopped having left a car width to the inside.
"The stewards noted that earlier this year, the drivers discussed 'late-movement-in-reaction' moves and agreed that they were potentially very dangerous.
"The stewards considered that this move was at the fastest portion of the track, but also noted that Perez did not move in reaction, but rather moved first or simultaneously
"Further he is entitled to make a single defensive move, but such a move cannot constitute a danger to another driver.
"In the hearing, both drivers agreed that while on the limit, this manoeuvre was fundamentally okay and constituted racing at the limit.
"The stewards, however, believe that this was too close to that limit and that Perez had not sufficiently accounted for the speed differential.
"In selecting a penalty, the stewards have taken into account the views of the drivers involved and ordered a reprimand [driving]."
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