Sergio Perez was incredibly frustrated after last Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as he was penalised for causing a collision with Lando Norris.
It’s safe to say that Checo didn’t agree with being on the receiving end of a five-second time penalty, which demoted him from second to fourth after crossing the finish line for the final time in 2023.
He labelled the stewards as a “joke” and that they’d been poor throughout the season, something which resulted in him being summoned by them.
The FIA released a statement where they confirmed that Perez had apologised for his comments but that he still received a formal warning.
It was certainly an unfortunate incident which Perez caused whilst battling with Lando Norris for position, as they entered the tight Turn 6.
Perez dived to the inside of Norris before he understeered wide, which resulted in slight contact between the duo.
Nevertheless, it was seen as enough contact to warrant a time penalty, much to his disappointment.
The 33-year-old reflected on the incident after the race and stressed that it was “just a racing incident”, with the penalty having been very “frustrating” to get his head around.
“It is frustrating at times,” Perez said after the race, as reported by the official F1 website.
“I’ve seen the incident and from my opinion… You’ve got to remember that when we dive into the inside of someone from behind, we are braking later than we can, so we are not totally at full control.
“As I was braking I couldn’t control fully the car and Lando [Norris] at the same time decided to turn as if there was no one in the corner, so we ended up making contact, but it was tyre-to-tyre. He cut the corner, he gained some time… I think it was just a racing incident, to be honest.”
Of course, being demoted to fourth had no impact on his position in the Drivers’ Championship, as he secured second over Lewis Hamilton at the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
A podium would’ve been a good way to end what’s been a rollercoaster of a season for Perez, with him still lacking the required consistency to be a genuine title contender.
However, he’s already targeting the 2024 crown and recognises that next year is a “new opportunity” to take the fight to Max Verstappen.
“One more [position] better,” Perez stressed.
“I think we need better pace, better consistency – we went through a bit of a rollercoaster this year. Next year we have a new opportunity and to be honest, I felt I was not totally at one with this year’s car.
“The last few races have been a lot stronger for us, but we have to give credit to Max [Verstappen]. He’s done the best season in history and been outstanding.”