Sergio Perez has received a formal warning after apologizing for derogatory comments about the FIA stewards at the end of the Abu Dhabi GP.
–by Mark Cipolloni–
Perez was handed a five-second penalty by the Race Stewards for hitting McLaren’s Lando Norris when he tried to overtake him on lap 47 of 58. That penalty ultimately cost Perez 2nd place in the race.
After crossing the finish line, and he was told he would be dropped from 2nd to 4th, Perez had harsh words about the stewards on the team radio, saying: “The stewards are a joke, man. I cannot believe it. They have been very bad this year, but this is a joke. That was really a joke.”
In their verdict, the stewards said they have no issue with public criticism, but thought Perez crossed the line of “personal insults”, which is in breach of Article 12.2.10 of the International Sporting Code.
“The Stewards explained to the driver (Perez) that they had no issue with someone disagreeing with their decisions, however comments that amount to personal insults are a breach of the International Sporting Code,” their statement read.
“The Stewards note that they are obviously conflicted in this matter as they were the subject of the radio statements and that normally this would be referred to the next panel of Stewards. However as this is the final event of the season, the matter needed to be dealt with here.
“The driver (Perez) made a genuine and sincere apology to each of the Stewards and explained that he made the comments in the heat of the moment and did not consider the fact that they would be broadcast, and the impact of that.