Sergio Perez has been handed a one-place grid penalty for Sunday’s Formula 1 Tuscan Grand Prix after his run in with Kimi Raikkonen during Friday practice.

Perez was exiting the pitlane when he collided with Raikkonen at Turn 1 when the Alfa Romeo driver attempted to sweep around the outside on the racing line.

Despite the Racing Point driver being warned that Raikkonen was catching and approaching him as he headed into San Donato, Perez appeared not to see the Finn’s car as he re-joined the Mugello circuit.

The incident was investigated after FP2 and the stewards ultimately found Perez was “wholly to blame” for causing the collision which triggered a brief red flag stoppage due to debris being littered on track.

“There was a blue flag waved at him prior to turn one and it was apparent that he saw car seven in his mirrors,” the stewards noted.

“The driver argued that the pit exit is extremely long and he had reached a high speed by the time he was passed by car seven and that he was unable to take a different approach to the turn.

“In deciding [the] penalty, the stewards considered other similar incidents in Free Practice, including [Valtteri Bottas] (Abu Dhabi 2019 – reprimand) and [Sebastian Vettel] (Bahrain 2015 – [no further action]).

“We consider there is some merit in mitigating [a] penalty and therefore reduce the normal penalty for an offence of this type from three grid positions to one, noting that a grid penalty is appropriate as car 11 was exiting the pits, whereas car seven was on a fast lap and therefore the driver of car 11 was wholly to blame.”

Speaking about the clash, Perez explained: “It’s very narrow and long the pit lane exit. It’s obviously the first time we are here.

“The stewards are considering it. They think that it should be changed, the pit lane exit, because it goes far too long at it doesn’t give you an angle when you are in the pit lane exit so it can cause a bit of an accident.”

 

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