Sergio Perez’s grid penalty at the Singapore Grand Prix for a yellow flag infringement was too harsh according to Force India’s COO Otmar Szafnauer.
Especially with Nico Rosberg not receiving a penalty for a similar incident earlier on in the season.
Perez qualified tenth on the streets of Singapore but received two separate grid penalties for failing to slow while yellow flags were enforced and overtaking a slow overtaking Esteban Gutierrez under yellow flags.
Rosberg was involved in a similar incident in Hungary earlier on in the season, the German driver claimed pole position even with an incident bringing out the yellow flags. Force India were surprised by the harshness of the penalty for Perez after Rosberg was not penalised.
Speaking to F1i, Szafnauer said: “We told them that Rosberg didn’t slow down nearly as much as Sergio did and we also told them that Sergio followed the rules,”
“The rules are under a double waved yellow you’ve got to be prepared to stop, you’ve got to slow down and you’ve also got to be able to take evasive action if needed. He did all those things, so I don’t see why he needed to be penalised.”
Force India’s COO feels that Perez’s second penalty was not necessary, “[We mentioned] the pass on Gutierrez as well. You’re allowed to pass a stationary car or a car that is going slow under double yellows. Does it make sense that if there’s a stationary car and you come up to it you’ve got to stop? No.
“So then does it make sense that if a car is going much, much slower – say it has a puncture or a problem – and you come up to him, you’ve got to stop? No.
“So you’re allowed to pass a car that’s going much slower. Actually, it’s more dangerous, he was off line. To slow down to his speed you block the whole track now! Now what happens if someone is coming up behind you? They’ve got nowhere to go. So it’s frustrating.”
With the penalties being enforced Perez started in seventeenth but a long tyre strategy allowed the Mexican to finish an impressive eighth place.