Track limit violations are nothing new at the Red Bull Ring, and after finishing the qualifying session in P4, Sergio Perez has now had his Q3 lap times deleted.
“Perez left the track at Turn 8 on his last flying lap of Q2, just prior to the end of the session,” the decision document stated.
“As this was not identified until the moment before Q3 started, the lap was not deleted prior to the start of Q3, and Perez started Q3. This is a consequence of having many situations to examine in each session.
“The video was clear, and there is no doubt of the breach, which the team admitted.”
It’s since been confirmed that Checo will start P13 for tomorrow’s Sprint.
“The team made the point that leaving the track at this point is not a clear advantage and brought data to support that point,” he document continued. “However, the stewards considered that this was not a case of “gaining a lasting advantage”, but rather is “leaving the track without a justifiable reason”, which is another part of the same rule and which is the section that is being applied to qualifying sessions.
“This situation, where a driver moves through to a subsequent round of qualifying, and then is identified as having committed a track limits breach, does not happen regularly and certainly not recently. Thus the stewards have to examine this as a new situation.
“The team made the point that they took both risk and expended resources to compete in Q3. The stewards accept this point. However, in assessing a penalty after a session, this is no different than any other situation.
“The usual penalty is deleting the lap time concerned, and the stewards order the same penalty here. However, as a consequence, the driver would not have proceeded into Q3 and therefore, in fairness to all the other competitors, the stewards order that all the lap times for Q3 for the driver also are deleted.”
How many places do you think Checo will make up tomorrow?