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Formula 1 Singapore GP

Perez hit with five-second penalty for Albon clash in F1 Singapore GP

Sergio Perez has been handed a five-second penalty for colliding with Alex Albon in the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix, but the Red Bull Formula 1 driver will keep his position.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, leads Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Perez crossed the line in eighth place after appearing to lunge up the inside of the Williams driver into the sharp Turn 13 left-hander.

The pair made contact at the apex and Albon, who was deflected off-line, had to hit the brakes and lock up his tyres to avoid the outside wall.

Both drivers were summoned in front of the FIA race stewards, who reasoned that 11th-placed finisher Albon had attempted to take the normal racing line through the corner and was unaware of the precise location of Perez's RB19.

Perez's move up the inside was considered to be an "optimistic late manoeuvre that could be defined as 'diving in', and that there was nothing that [Albon] could have done to avoid the collision."

As a result, Perez was found to be predominately to blame and copped a five-second penalty and had a point added to his FIA superlicence.

However, the Mexican retains eighth place in the final classification as his nearest pursuer, AlphaTauri substitute Liam Lawson, crossed the line 13s further back.

Albon reckoned points had been lost. He said: "We did the race perfectly. I was running P9, was about to overtake Liam for P8, then I got dive-bombed by Checo into Turn 13.

"He T-boned me and I went straight on into the wall, I had to reverse out, I dropped to 13th and I finished 11th so we should have scored points today and we didn't."

Alex Albon, Williams FW45, leads Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45

Alex Albon, Williams FW45, leads Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45

Photo by: Mark Sutton

Lawson's presence in the clash was also noted. The stewards reckoned that the slower Kiwi, who has stood in for the injured Daniel Ricciardo, caused Perez to believe he could make the overtake. On this basis, only one penalty point was deemed appropriate for Perez.

Albon, meanwhile, was cleared by the stewards for allegedly overtaking Perez under virtual safety car conditions.

The Williams driver was returning to the circuit after pitting and it was determined that the timing system was unable to clearly rule which car arrived at the second safety car line in front. Video evidence also proved inconclusive.

Both team representatives chose not to lobby for a penalty, and the stewards agreed.

Perez said afterwards that his race was "was just a complete disaster" after he picked up damage to his front wing endplate on lap one in a collision with Yuki Tsunoda that put the AlphaTauri driver out.

"I was on the blind spot of Yuki," he said.

"Unfortunately, I don't think he saw me. And yeah, that just made things very tricky for us.

"It was just a complete disaster, my race."

Additional reporting by Adam Cooper

 

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