MUST-SEE: Perez reprimanded for squeezing Magnussen into wall
Things got a bit feisty between Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen in Free Practice 2 for the Singapore Grand Prix, with Perez squeezing Magnussen into the wall as the Dane tried to overtake him around the outside of Turn 21.
Midway through FP2, Perez was holding back trying to get himself and his Racing Point some free space around the twisting Marina Bay Street Circuit.
In doing so, however, he was also holding up Magnussen’s Haas – and believing his rival was about to pit, Magnussen went to overtake and get on with his lap. Perez wasn’t about to lose his track position, though, and moved over to cover the racing line, squeezing Magnussen’s Haas into the wall.
“What the hell?!” the Dane shouted over team radio – and it seems the stewards were thinking along the same lines, as they duly summoned Perez and Magnussen to appear before them 30 minutes after the end of FP2.
There is not a strict rule, but there is a gentlemen’s agreement
Perez was eventually handed a reprimand, his first of the season, for the incident – but ahead of the stewards’ meeting, the Mexican gave his view of the events: “There is not a strict rule, but there is a gentlemen’s agreement. Everyone is opening up their laps. I had, I think, one of the Mercedes ahead, a few seconds, so I’m opening the gap, and I didn’t expect him to try to go there. I think we touched, and that was it.”
The stewards clearly didn't see it that way, however, stating that: "The manoeuvre by Perez met the definition of driving 'unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers' and therefore ordered a reprimand. The Stewards took into consideration that they did not believe the manoeuvre to be deliberate or extreme."
So, Perez escapes serious punishment – but he probably shouldn't expect a Christmas card from Magnussen this year...