Red Bulls’ Sergio Perez has been penalized after Austrian Grand Prix qualifying on Friday and has dropped from fourth on the grid to 13th position for Saturday’s sprint race. Perez has breached the F1 sporting regulation during Q2 session.
The Red Bulls driver was decisively punished by the F1 stewards for exceeding track limits at Turn 8 on his best lap of Q2, which has subsequently led to the deletion of the final lap of Q2 and all his lap times of Q3. “Perez left the track at Turn 8 on his last flying lap of Q2, just prior to the end of the session,” the stewards’ statement said.
The Red Bull team provided data to prove that ‘leaving the track is not a clear advantage’. The stewards emphasized that this was not a case of “gaining a lasting advantage”, but rather is “leaving the track without a justifiable reason”.
Meanwhile, Red Bulls’ Max Verstappen went on to claim pole position for Saturday’s sprint race while both Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton crashed out in Q3. Following Sergio Perez’s drop, Russell will start at 4th and Hamilton at 9th. Ferrari’s pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will start second and third, respectively.