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Perez claims Gasly lucky to escape punishment for near-miss

Perez claims Gasly lucky to escape punishment for near-miss

Perez claims Gasly lucky to escape punishment for near-miss

Perez claims Gasly lucky to escape punishment for near-miss

Sergio Perez believes Pierre Gasly was fortunate to escape a penalty for ignoring blue flags at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver was chasing down Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in the final stint of the season after moving to a two-stop strategy, providing him with fresher tyres for a late onslaught.

Mexican Perez eventually ended the race 1.3secs adrift of Leclerc, but the result could have been different had he not been held up by Gasly's AlphaTauri during his charge.

When Perez came up to lap the Frenchman, Gasly was locked into battle with Alex Albon's Williams.

With Gasly swinging wide on entry to turn six with three laps remaining, Perez moved to the inside, only for the AT03 to come back across the apex, narrowly avoiding contact.

Asked how crucial the situation was for his race against Leclerc, with the Monégasque consequently taking second in the drivers' standings, Perez replied: "Well, I certainly lost a bit, probably a second or so or probably more.

"There were clearly blue flags, but he was in a fight and it's pretty hard not to give up the position.

"I think he was thinking to go for the move but I just end up being there and I thought he left it open.

"I went for it and luckily I could brake at the last minute otherwise there would have been contact.

"In normal conditions that will certainly be a penalty for Pierre but it is the last race. It's how it goes sometimes."

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