Sergio Perez facing race ban

Max Verstappen returned to the front in Japan, while Sergio Perez struggled through multiple incidents during the Grand Prix.

Sergio Perez endured a nightmarish Japanese Grand Prix, accumulating penalty points that cast a shadow over his race performance. 

Starting from fifth place and within striking distance of the podium, Perez encountered a series of unfortunate events, beginning with a collision with Lewis Hamilton at the race’s outset, which inflicted damage to his front wing.

As a result, Perez was forced into the pits at the conclusion of the first lap to replace his damaged wing. 

However, his woes continued when he collided with Kevin Magnussen shortly thereafter, necessitating a third visit to the pits. 

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Eventually, Perez had no choice but to retire from the race after incurring two separate penalties.

Adding to his troubles, Perez’s penalty points tally has now reached seven, as he picked up four on his license during the Japanese Grand Prix. 

Formula 1 drivers face the prospect of a race ban if they accumulate 12 penalty points within a 12-month period, a threshold that no driver has ever reached, although some have come close.

While Perez still has some margin before reaching that limit, he must exercise caution for the remainder of the season to avoid walking on a tightrope.

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Reflecting on his challenging day, Perez commented, “It was just a disastrous weekend. 

“It all started into turn one with a really bad start, and I was squeezed down, and I was just a passenger then in a sandwich. 

“I think we carried a lot of damage in the car as well, and that just made it a lot harder for us.”

Perez became the second retiree of the race, but intriguingly, his team decided to reintroduce him to the track later in the event. 

They had sought and received permission from the FIA to do so, even though Perez was more than 20 laps behind the leaders, rendering any hopes of scoring points futile.

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Red Bull’s decision to bring Perez back on track was primarily aimed at averting a grid penalty for the upcoming event. 

The regulations allow stewards to impose a grid penalty in the next race if a driver fails to serve a time penalty during a race. 

To preemptively address this threat, Red Bull exploited a loophole in the rules, effectively “serving” the penalty at Suzuka to safeguard their plans for the Qatar Grand Prix.