The stewards have upheld the initial decision to give Sergio Perez a five place grid penalty for this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix as punishment for causing the crash with Felipe Massa in Canada two weeks ago.
On the final lap of the race in Montreal, Massa and Perez came together at the first corner in a high-speed crash that saw both drivers go to hospital for a routine check-up.
Both denied any wrongdoing, and the stewards deemed Perez to have been at fault and handed him a five place grid penalty for this weekend’s race.
However, Force India appealed against the decision, saying that the initial meeting with the stewards came before the team had spoken to Perez about the incident, as he was still at the hospital. On these grounds, the FIA agreed that the data could be reassessed in Austria.
After hearing Perez’s explanation, the stewards have not seen any reason to change the initial decision, and his five place grid penalty for this weekend’s race remains.
The statement from the stewards says:
“It was clear to the stewards that the defence of his [Perez’s] position occurred in the braking area. Article 20.4 specifically states that any right to defend by using the whole track must occur prior to any braking area. Accordingly the driver of car 11 was not entitled to defend his position in the manner he did.”
Yesterday, Massa made his feelings about the incident perfectly clear, saying that Perez needed to come to him and explain himself after refusing to do so after the race in Canada. The Brazilian driver even went as far as suggesting that Perez should be banned for one race to teach him a lesson.
You can watch the incident here and make up your own mind as to who was at fault.