• Austrian Grand Prix

Perez grid penalty upheld after review

ESPN Staff
June 20, 2014 « Massa not fooled by Red Bull's practice pace | Raikkonen unable to record clean lap in FP2 »
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The stewards at the Austrian Grand Prix have upheld Sergio Perez's five-place grid penalty in Austria after reviewing his last-lap Montreal crash with Felipe Massa.

The investigation into the crash had been reopened in order to give both drivers a chance to air their views, which they were unable to do in Canada as they went to hospital for precautionary check-ups. Force India had said that "new elements" had to be considered ahead of the race to show Perez was not at fault for the crash.

Despite hearing that evidence at a new hearing which begun at 16:00 local time in Spielberg, the stewards concluded Perez's penalty should stand.

"The driver of Car 11 [Perez] contended that the new element(s) evidenced that in defending his position he was exercising his right, under Article 20.4 of the 2014 Formula One Sporting Regulations, to use the whole track," read the stewards' statement. "However, it was clear to the stewards that the defence of his position occurred in the braking area. Article 20.4 specifically states that any right to defend by using the whole track must occur prior to any braking area. Accordingly the driver of Car 11 was not entitled to defend his position in the manner he did."

Perez said he had felt confident his argument was correct.

"We went there to show all the evidence that we had, the data, the line and the pictures that we couldn't show in Montreal," he said. "For that reason we felt very confident that we had the proof. The stewards looked to be quite sensible and agreed to an extent with everything I said, but then the situation didn't change at all.

"I'm a bit disappointed, but it's time to move on and tomorrow it will be a big pain to be five places back on this track that is so small and difficult to overtake. I don't want to keep talking about the accident and what happened and what did not. It's time to move on together as a team and find everything we can for Sunday. Tomorrow will not be so important for us, it will be Sunday."

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