Perez handed seven place grid drop for Brazilian GP

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Sergio Perez has been handed a seven place grid penalty for next weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix after crashing into Sauber’s Adrian Sutil during today’s race in the United States.

On the opening lap of the race, Perez tried to overtake Sutil heading into turn 15 at the Circuit of the Americas, but instead made contact with the German driver.

The end result was that both drivers were forced to retire from the race, with this marking the third straight year that Sutil has failed to complete the first lap of the race in Austin.

“What happened today is really unfortunate,” Perez said after the race. “I made a move on Adrian at turn 15 when he left the door open, so I went up the inside.

“Then Adrian started to close the door and I had to try and brake later than him. By doing so I was unable to avoid contact with Kimi [Raikkonen], which caused me to make contact with Adrian also.”

The stewards looked dimly on the incident, handing Perez a grid penalty for the Brazilian Grand Prix next weekend.

“The driver of car #11 could not reasonably have expected to complete the manoeuvre,” the stewards said in a statement. “His collison with car #99 was reckless.”

Perez has also been handed his first two penalty points on his FIA superlicense, which will remain for 12 months.

Sergio Perez still has coronavirus; will miss second consecutive F1 race

F1 Sergio Perez out
Laurent Charniaux/Pool via Getty Images
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SILVERSTONE, England — Sergio Perez will be out for a second F1 race at Silverstone this week after again testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Mexican driver had hoped to return to Formula One after spending seven days in quarantine, but his Racing Point team said this morning he had tested positive.

“He is physically well and recovering,” the team said. “The whole team wishes Sergio and his family well and we look forward to his return.”

That means German veteran Nico Hulkenberg again fills in for Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix after having also replaced Sergio Perez when he was out for the F1 British Grand Prix at the same venue last week. Hulkenberg did not start that race because of an engine problem.

There are two consecutive weekends of racing at Silverstone as Formula One tries to pack in races following the pandemic-delayed start to the season.

Perez became the first Formula One driver to test positive for coronavirus, and it had been unclear whether he would be available to drive after the period of quarantine was extended to 10 days.

Racing Point also was in the news Friday after being hit with a 15-point penalty in the Formula One constructors’ championship and fined 400,000 euros ($470,000) Friday for using brake ducts based on those from last year’s Mercedes cars.

The stewards ruled that Mercedes was the “principal designer” of the parts, and that Racing Point made only minor changes to computer design data it received from Mercedes.

Rival team Renault filed protests about the legality of the brake ducts, which were added to the “listed parts” under F1 rules for 2020. That means teams must design their own. Racing Point argued it was merely using information about the Mercedes parts to inform its own design.

Racing Point uses customer engines from Mercedes and has admitted basing its 2020 car design on photographs of last year’s Mercedes car. The similarities led to the Racing Point being nicknamed the “pink Mercedes” when it was first seen in testing ahead of the season.

Racing Point can appeal the ruling. The points deduction drops the team from fifth to sixth in the standings, below Renault. The ruling doesn’t affect the points totals for Racing Point’s drivers.