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Perez handed three-place grid penalty for Australian Grand Prix after impeding incident

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Sergio Perez will drop three grid positions for the Australian Grand Prix after receiving a penalty for impeding Nico Hulkenberg during qualifying.

The incident occurred in Q1 of the hour when Hulkenberg was forced to take avoiding action on his flying lap after encountering Perez – on an out lap – into Turn 13.

READ MORE: Verstappen surges to pole position for the Australian Grand Prix ahead of Sainz and Perez

After reviewing the evidence, the stewards found that the Red Bull team did not give Perez a warning that Hulkenberg was behind until one second before the Haas had arrived, meaning that it was too late for Perez to avoid impeding.

As such, the Mexican was deemed to have unnecessarily impeded Hulkenberg and was handed a three-place grid penalty.

Perez had originally qualified in P3, meaning that he will now start from P6. This will promote the drivers behind, with Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri all moving up a place.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany driving the (27) Haas F1 VF-24 Ferrari

The Haas of Hulkenberg was impeded by Perez during Q1 of qualifying in Australia

Speaking after qualifying – prior to the penalty being given – Hulkenberg was asked if he was frustrated by the incident with Perez, with the German having exited the session in P16.

“That was the first run, so that was not the deciding lap, but still that wasn’t ideal of him,” he explained. “But then my second run just wasn’t clean. The lap was looking promising up until Turn 9, or actually from exit of Turn 7 – somehow the wind changed and I lost a bunch of lap time on that straight going down to Turn 9, just from a different wind direction.

READ MORE: Verstappen enjoys ‘unexpected’ pole in Australia as he predicts ‘very exciting’ race amid Ferrari threat

“But then also, I don’t know, I lost the front tyre for the rest of the lap and didn’t manage to improve enough.”

While Perez has yet to comment on what happened, Red Bull have stated that they are “ready for some overtakes” when he lines up in P6 for Sunday’s race.

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