Perez close to F1 race ban after Japanese GP but Red Bull won’t be worried

Formula One preview: A lap of the Japanese Grand Prix

Sergio Perez picked up four penalty points during the Japanese Grand Prix to move within five of a one-race ban. However, Red Bull won’t be panicking as two of his seven points expire on October 2, six days before the next event of this season – the Qatar Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver was penalised on two separate occasions during the main race on Sunday. Firstly, for overtaking Fernando Alonso under Safety Car conditions on his way back to the pits and then again for colliding with Kevin Magnussen at the hairpin.

Perez got off to a disastrous start as he made contact with Lewis Hamilton on lap one causing the Mexican to fall back and have to come in for a new front wing. On his way back to the pits, The Red Bull driver was pulled up by race stewards for overtaking Alonso during the subsequent safety car period, resulting in a five-second penalty.

After rejoining, he was involved in another collision, this time with Haas driver Magnussen, which resulted in a second five-second penalty with stewards ruling that Perez was to blame for the crash.

“The stewards determine that Perez was predominately to blame for the collision,” read a statement after the race. “Applying the 2023 Driving Standards Guidelines for overtaking at the inside of a corner, the stewards noted that there was no significant portion of car 11 alongside car 20 and therefore determined that car 11 was not entitled to racing room in turn 11.

“Perez did not manage to do the overtaking manoeuvre in a safe and controlled manner.” Perez would eventually retire – though unretired briefly to serve his penalty before returning to the garage – from the race while his team-mate Max Verstappen brought home the win for Red Bull once again. 

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Speaking about his disappointing performance in the immediate aftermath, Perez said: “It was just a disaster. It all started with the start as soon as I released the clutch there was no traction at all so I went into a massive wheel spin.

“And then I was a passenger going into turn one with Hamilton by my side and Sainz and they basically took my front wing off and I had a lot of damage.”

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