Perez receives formal warning for calling stewards “a joke” after penalty

Sergio Perez has received a formal warning for calling the stewards “a joke” after F1's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. 
Perez receives formal warning for calling stewards “a joke” after penalty

The Red Bull driver finished second on the road in Sunday’s season finale but was handed a five-second penalty for colliding with McLaren’s Lando Norris which dropped him to fourth.

Perez was summoned to the stewards after criticising them on team radio following the chequered flag. 

“The stewards are a joke, man,” Perez said on the in-lap. “I cannot believe it. They have been very bad this year but this is a joke. That was really a joke.”

Perez avoided punishment after making a "genuine and sincere" apology to each of the stewards. 

"The Stewards explained to the driver that they had no issue with someone disagreeing with their decisions, however comments that amount to personal insults are a breach of the International Sporting Code," they noted. 

"The Stewards note that they are obviously conflicted in this matter as they were the subject of the radio statements and that normally this would be referred to the next panel of Stewards however as this is the final event of the season, the matter needed to be dealt with here.

"The driver made a genuine and sincere apology to each of the Stewards and explained that he made the comments in the heat of the moment and did not consider the fact that they would be broadcast, and the impact of that. He expressed his regret that his comments caused offence to anyone or harm to the sport, which he said he was concerned to avoid. The Stewards accept his statements and accept his apology.

"The Stewards also note that the driver is not known for making such comments and has always been extremely respectful in Stewards hearings. He was also reminded that the Stewards are always available to explain their decisions when requested by a driver or team representative.

"The driver, team manager and the Stewards had a constructive discussion about the use and broadcast of team radio messages. The incident itself was also reviewed in detail with the driver and although he still disagreed with the Decision he stated he could understand the Stewards’ perspective of the incident."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he could understand Perez’s frustration. 

“How often do we see football players venting their frustration?” Horner told Sky.

“The problem is that everything is broadcast to a global audience. For Checo to lose that podium after such a great drive, you can understand a bit of frustration."

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