In the closing stages of the race at the Circuit Paul Ricard, Perez accelerated past Bottas on the run down to the fast Turn 10 right-hander.

The Mexican went wide through Turn 10, going over the white line on the exit, so was investigated by the stewards for potentially going off the track and gaining an advantage.

As a result of the investigation, Mercedes decided not to stop Bottas for a second time to get the fastest lap in hope that Perez would be given a penalty.

The stewards cleared Perez of any wrongdoing, stating: “The stewards determined that Perez had fully completed the pass on Bottas by the time he left the track at Turn 10. This made the fact that he left the track subsequently as a standard “track limits” question.

“The stewards determined that Perez lost sufficient ground in the following turn that he could not be deemed to have ‘gained a lasting advantage’.”

Explaining the battle with Bottas, Perez said in the post-race press conference: “It was quite tricky because we were reaching the lapped cars, with the DRS and the traffic ahead it was pretty hard.

“I went around him into Turn 10. I was already ahead, I tried to give him as much room as possible so that meant I went off the track. I came back and basically I had no advantage as the move was already done and it was mainly done to give him room and to avoid any possible contact at that point.”

Perez’s second consecutive podium has allowed Red Bull to extend its lead in the constructors’ championship over Mercedes to 37 points.

“We did a good strategy,” Perez added. “We went very long on that first stint, which really paid out. We lacked a couple of laps to get Lewis as well.

“But it’s a good result for the team and it’s showing that definitely there’s some good progress and we have to keep working on it to get this consistency and take another step very soon.”

F1 2021 Circuit Paul Ricard | Full race results & driver standings | French GP