Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was given a formal warning for calling Formula One stewards “a joke” over team radio after they gave him a five-second penalty during the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The sanction demoted the Mexican from second at the chequered flag, in a one-two with team mate Max Verstappen, to fourth.
Stewards summoned the driver to a post-race hearing and handed him a warning.
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“The stewards explained to the driver that they had no issue with someone disagreeing with their decisions, however, comments that amount to personal insults are a breach of the International Sporting Code,” they said in a statement.
They noted Perez had made “a genuine and sincere apology” to each of them, explaining he made the comments in the heat of the moment and had not considered them being broadcast to a wider audience.
“The Stewards also note that the driver is not known for making such comments and has always been extremely respectful in stewards hearings,” they added.
“The driver, team manager and the stewards had a constructive discussion about the use and broadcast of team radio messages.
“The incident itself was also reviewed in detail with the driver and although he still disagreed with the decision he stated he could understand the stewards’ perspective of the incident.”
The alleged team radio that led to the summon:“The stewards are a joke man. I cannot believe. I mean, they have been very bad this year, but this is a joke. That was really a joke.”#F1 #AbuDhabiGP https://t.co/4JlHVp6AnV
— Fastest Pitstop (@FastestPitStop) November 26, 2023
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Sergio Perez came home second behind Verstappen on the road at Abu Dhabi as he was relegated to fourth with a five-second penalty, for a mid-race clash with McLaren’s Lando Norris, which promoted George Russell to third.
Perez’s teammate, three-time world champion Max Verstappen, came home 17.993 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc whose bold drive was not enough for the Italian team to claim the runners-up place in the constructors’ championship.
Verstappen completed a majestic and record-breaking season in familiar style on Sunday when he cruised to a record-increasing 19th win of the year for Red Bull at Abu Dhabi to end the season on a high.