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Perez suffers sprint punishment after qualifying breach

Perez suffers sprint punishment after qualifying breach

F1 News

Perez suffers sprint punishment after qualifying breach

Perez suffers sprint punishment after qualifying breach

Sergio Perez has had his times in the final session of Austrian Grand Prix qualifying deleted as punishment for breaching track limits in Q2.

The Red Bull driver was due to start from fourth on the grid for Saturday's 100km sprint event.

But as a result of the stewards' decision, Perez will now line up 13th given his best lap time at the end of Q2 - prior to the one being deleted - was only good for that position.

Track times were deleted throughout the entirety of qualifying as drivers ran wide of the white lines, predominantly at turns nine and eight.

The incident involving Perez occurred at the end of Q2 and was not spotted until the start of Q3, due to what a stewards' report has described as "a consequence of having many situations to examine in each session".

If it had been spotted at the time, it meant Perez's fastest lap from Q2 would have been deleted.

Explaining their decision-making, the report added: "The video was clear and there is no doubt of the breach, which the team admitted.

"The team made the point that leaving the track at this point is not a clear advantage and brought data to support that point.

"However, the stewards considered that this was not a case of 'gaining a lasting advantage', but rather is 'leaving the track without a justifiable reason', which is another part of the same rule and which is the section that is being applied to qualifying sessions.

"This situation, where a driver moves through to a subsequent round of qualifying, and then is identified as having committed a track limits breach, does not happen regularly and certainly not recently.

"Thus the stewards have to examine this as a new situation.

"The team made the point that they took both risk and expended resources to compete in Q3. The stewards accept this point.

"However, in assessing a penalty after a session, this is no different than any other situation.

"The usual penalty is deleting the lap time concerned, and the stewards order the same penalty here.

"However, as a consequence, the driver would not have proceeded into Q3 and therefore, in fairness to all the other competitors, the stewards order that all the lap times for Q3 for the driver also are deleted."

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