Perez given three-place grid penalty in Melbourne

Sergio Perez has been handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Nico Hulkenberg in qualifying at the Australian Grand Prix.

The incident occurred early in Q1, with the stewards opting to investigate it after the qualifying session had been completed. Hulkenberg lost time on his first flying lap when he came across Perez in the final sector, and was eliminated in the first part of qualifying. Perez had originally qualified third, but will now start from sixth as a result of the penalty.

“Hulkenberg was on a fast lap when he approached Turn 13,” the stewards’ decision read. “Perez, who was on an out lap was at the apex of the turn and Hulkenberg had to leave the racing line to drive around him. Hulkenberg was forced to lift the throttle early and brake early for that corner.


“In reviewing the audio from Perez’s car, the stewards observed that the team was focused on the car in front of Perez that had just slowed, and did not give Perez a warning that Hulkenberg was behind him until one second before Hulkenberg arrived, and significantly too late to avoid impeding Hulkenberg.

“While the stewards appreciate the dynamic situation facing the team and driver during the Q1 session, which was described in the hearing, the Stewards find that Perez ‘unnecessarily impeded’ Hulkenberg and issue a three grid place drop, consistent with previous cases.”

The penalty promotes Lando Norris to third on the grid for Sunday’s race at Albert Park, with Charles Leclerc now starting from fourth and Oscar Piastri fifth.

Story originally appeared on Racer