Sergio Perez has landed himself two grid penalties for the Singapore Grand Prix after being twice found guilty of yellow flag offences during qualifying on Saturday.
The Sahara Force India driver had made it through to the final part of qualifying and was set to start tenth on the grid, but was handed a five place grid penalty for failing to slow sufficiently under double waved yellow flags, and then a further three-place penalty for passing Esteban Gutierrez under the same yellow flags.
Perez will therefore drop down eight positions on the grid, although he will move one place back up when Romain Grosjean takes a penalty for a gearbox change, meaning the Mexican will start seventeenth on the grid. He also received three penalty points for the incident.
“The driver of car 11 failed to reduce his speed significantly and be prepared to change direction or stop as required under Art126.96.36.199(b) when double yellow flags were being waved at both Turns 9 and 10,” read the stewards statement.
“The Stewards took into consideration the fact that the driver had two corners in which to slow down significantly and failed to do so and both of which were blind corners (including one where the accident had taken place and where the damaged car was still in the barriers) and where the driver would not have known if the track had a hazard wholly or partly blocking the track and/or marshals working on or beside the track.”
Perez believed he did lift off for the yellow flag zones, and was disappointed to lose his tenth place on the grid after feeling he had a strong performance in qualifying at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
“It was a very tricky session for me – pretty much like the rest of the weekend so far,” said Perez. “We had a few technical issues yesterday and we had to make some compromises with the set-up to get a better feeling with the car, so to make Q3 was a good result. The final session was very tight and a couple of hundredths would have moved us up the grid.
“I’m disappointed to receive the grid penalty because I did significantly lift off for the yellow flags during Q2. Tomorrow’s race is going to be very long and the chance of a Safety Car is very high.
“It’s one of those races where just getting to the end gives you a chance of points: anything can happen and we need to make the most of every opportunity.”