Sergio Perez walking F1 race ban tightrope after Jeddah penalty

Sergio Perez will have to be on his best behaviour for the next 15 F1 races to avoid a potential ban.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing in qualifying parc ferme. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix,
Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing in qualifying parc ferme. Formula 1…

Sergio Perez is now just four points away from triggering an automatic F1 race ban following his penalty in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver was hit with a five-second time penalty for leaving his pit box in an unsafe manner during the early stages of Saturday’s race in Jeddah.

With the majority of the field opting to pit under the early Safety Car, Red Bull double stacked their cars.

But Perez was released directly into the path of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, who had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting the Mexican.

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix stewards ruled that Alonso had to “take evasive action to avoid a collision” and subsequently penalised Perez.

“What made the situation worse was the fact that car 11 left the pits when there was a red light shown to it (indicating that it should not go out of the pit box),” they noted.

Although the penalty had no bearing on the result for Perez, who finished second behind Max Verstappen for a second consecutive Red Bull 1-2, it could have consequences further down the line.

That is because Perez was also issued with a penalty point on his licence, taking his total for the current 12-month period up to eight.

Any driver who collects 12 penalty points within a year is hit with an automatic one-race ban.

Perez won’t have a point scrubbed off his licence until September 17, meaning he must get through the next 15 races without picking up four penalty points to avoid a ban.

Where Perez racked up his penalty points

2023 Singapore Grand Prix: One point for a collision with Alex Albon 

2023 Japanese Grand Prix: Two points for overtaking Alonso under Safety Car conditions

2023 Japanese Grand Prix: Two points for a collision with Kevin Magnussen 

2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Two points for a collision with Lando Norris 

2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: One point for an unsafe release

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