Sergio Perez was unhappy that the Formula 1 stewards failed to take stronger action against Nico Hulkenberg following his corner cut on the opening lap of the race, calling the five-second time penalty "useless".

Perez fought closely for position with Hulkenberg early on at the Yas Marina Circuit, only to drop behind when the Renault driver cut a corner and failed to give the position back.

The stewards handed Hulkenberg a five-second time penalty for the move, but he was able to pull far enough ahead so he could retain position after serving the sanction when pitting.

Hulkenberg eventually finished the race sixth ahead of Perez in P7, leaving the Force India racer disappointed by the stewards' call.

"It wasn’t the most exciting race for me, but I had a very busy first lap battling with Nico. I think his penalty was very strange because I was ahead of him and he just cut the corner, gaining a big advantage and a position," Perez said.

"He had more pace and in clean air he could just go and make up enough time to make the penalty useless. He should have just given up the position, as is required and as he did later in the race with [Romain] Grosjean, and he would have had to overtake me on track."

Despite finishing behind Hulkenberg, Perez still managed to clinch P7 in the final drivers' standings and hit his personal target of scoring 100 points in a season, ending the year on a high for Force India.

“I am happy with the result today and it was important to finish this year strongly. It’s my first year at Force India without a podium, but I think we made a big step forward," Perez said.

"I scored one point less than last year with just 20 races on the calendar instead of 21. The overall result is great: seventh in the drivers’ championship and fourth in the teams’ standings.

"I don’t think we could do anything better than that this year and I hope we can continue this way into 2018."

 

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