Sergio Perez has been handed a grid penalty for his collision with Kimi Raikkonen in second practice at the Tuscan Grand Prix, and says the pit exit was partly to blame.
The Racing Point driver was exiting the pits when Raikkonen was on the pit straight starting a timed lap, and the Finn eventually overtook Perez just as they reached the braking zone for Turn 1. However, Perez locked up on the inside of the track and ran into the right rear of Raikkonen’s car, spinning the Alfa Romeo and damaging his own front wing.
Perez 💥 Raikkonen
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 11, 2020
After reviewing the incident, the stewards handed Perez a one-place grid penalty, saying he was the driver completely at fault but acknowledging that the clash took place in a practice session.
“The driver of Car 11 was warned by his team of the approach of Car 7 and Car 23 as he was leaving the Pit Exit, there was a blue flag waved at him prior to Turn 1 and it was apparent that he saw Car 7 in his mirrors,” the stewards’ decision read.
“The driver argued that the Pit Exit is extremely long and he had reached a high speed by the time he was passed by Car 7 and that he was unable to take a different approach to the turn.
“In deciding penalty, the stewards considered other similar incidents in Free Practice, including BOT (Abu Dhabi 2019 – Reprimand) and VET (Bahrain 2015 – no further action). We consider there is some merit in mitigating penalty and therefore reduce the normal penalty for an offence of this type from three grid positions to one, noting that a grid penalty is appropriate as Car 11 was exiting the pits, whereas Car 7 was on a fast lap and therefore the driver of Car 11 was wholly to blame.”