F1: Ferrari felt Perez should have received two 5-sec. penalties

Mattia Binotto believes Sergio Perez deserved two penalties at the Singapore Grand Prix having “twice” not kept to within 10 car lengths behind the Safety Car.

Perez won a wet race at the Marina Bay circuit, crossing the line 7.595s ahead of Charles Leclerc.

But his win came under threat, the Red Bull driver facing a stewards’ investigation into an alleged breach of Article 55.10 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations, which pertains to keeping within 10 car lengths of the Safety Car.

Mattia Binotto and his Ferrari team were beaten again, this time by Red Bull’s #2 driver. Photo credit @Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Binotto says there were actually “two infringements” because during both Safety Car periods in the race Perez fell back by more than 10 car lengths.

The Ferrari team boss told Sky Sports, “on the occasion of two different Safety Cars he made the same mistake, being too far from the car.

“If I look at similar cases, like Giovinazzi in 2019, the driver was punished with five seconds and I believe the sporting regulations impose a penalty of five seconds, 10 or a drive-through.”

“We are sorry the decision did not come during the race because this delay affected not only the podium but also the management of the race itself because Charles, in an attempt to stay close to Perez, inevitably wore his tires,” he said.

“I guess the stewards want to understand from the driver and the team what prompted him to drive differently. Maybe they didn’t want to rush a decision and possibly make a mistake. This is why they took their time.”

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner defended Perez and said, “I think there’s so many precedents we’ve seen, even in the recent past when there’s been a concertina going on up and down the field, we see it,” he said. “We’ve seen it even on formation laps.

“I think, again, the mitigating circumstances were that the Safety Car was just driving so slow. And they had spent, what, 30-odd laps on inter tires, they are all out there on a set of slicks.

“You could hear Checo screaming to get [on] because they pick him up first. So he had no temperature in his tires to keep up with the pace car when he accelerated.”


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