Sergio Perez says uncertainty over a gentleman’s agreement led to his clash with Kevin Magnussen during second practice for the Singapore Grand Prix.
Magnussen attempted to pass Perez on the exit of the penultimate corner just as the Racing Point driver was about to start a flying lap, but Perez defended robustly and squeezed Magnussen against the wall. There was slight contact between the two and before they both headed to the stewards to explain the incident (pictured), Perez said it was the result of confusion over who abides by the agreement.
“Well, basically there is not a strict rule, but there is a gentlemen’s agreement,” Perez said. “Everyone is opening up their laps. I had I think one of the Mercedes ahead, a few seconds, so I’m opening the gap, and I didn’t expect him to try to go there. I think we touched, and that was it.
“I’ll definitely (talk to Magnussen), because we have to figure it out — some drivers stick to the gentlemen’s agreement, but the issue is some others, they don’t. I think it’s something we have to come up with, whether we have to implement a rule or whatever. It’s not good to see that.”
After an investigation, the stewards opted to give Perez a driving reprimand for the incident, saying that the line Perez had taken out of the corner made it reasonable for Magnussen to believe he was pitting and to attempt to overtake.
“The stewards determined that the maneuver by Perez met the definition of driving ‘unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers’ and therefore ordered a reprimand,” the decision read. “The stewards took into consideration that they did not believe the maneuver to be deliberate or extreme.”
The reprimand is the first Perez has received for his driving this year, with a driver receiving a 10-place grid penalty if they receive three reprimands in one season.