Stewards uphold Perez penalty after Force India appeal

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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.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

 

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.