Force India ace Sergio Perez has been handed a combined eight-place grid drop for Singapore Grand Prix race following being found guilty of two infractions under waved double-yellows in qualifying at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Five of Perez’s penalty places were enforced following stewards ruled he had neither significantly reduced his speed nor demonstrated he was ready to stop on the approach to the crash scene. Also he received three licence penalty points for the infringement.
Three penalty places were also applied for Mexican passing the other Haas of Esteban Gutierrez while yellow flags were being waved, taking his total penalty up to eight.
A statement read: “The stewards took into consideration the fact that the driver had two corners in which to slow down significantly and failed to do so and both of which [sic] were blind corners (including one where the accident had taken place and where the damaged car was still in the barriers) and where the driver would not have known if the track had a hazard wholly or partly blocking the track and/or marshals working on or beside the track.”
Force India Singapore GP Qualifying Report
Sahara Force India performed well in today’s qualifying session for the Singapore Grand Prix with Nico Hulkenberg ending the day in eighth place ahead of Sergio Perez in tenth*.
P8 Nico Hülkenberg VJM09-03
Nico: “I’m not entirely happy with eighth place. I believe there was more speed in the car – maybe two of three tenths – but it was quite a messy session and we couldn’t extract the maximum from it. We always felt that Q3 was a realistic target, but we faced some strong competition, especially from the Toro Rossos. It was quite hard to find my rhythm because I had a software issue in Q1 and then the yellow flags in Q2 meant I didn’t complete my second lap. Considering all the circumstances, eighth place is a reasonable result and I think we are in good shape for the race. The long run performance from yesterday looked solid and we’ve done the homework we need ahead of the race.”
P10* Sergio Perez VJM09-02
Sergio: “It was a very tricky session for me – pretty much like the rest of the weekend so far. We had a few technical issues yesterday and we had to make some compromises with the set-up to get a better feeling with the car, so to make Q3 was a good result. The final session was very tight and a couple of hundredths would have moved us up the grid. I’m disappointed to receive the grid penalty because I did significantly lift off for the yellow flags during Q2. Tomorrow’s race is going to be very long and the chance of a Safety Car is very high. It’s one of those races where just getting to the end gives you a chance of points: anything can happen and we need to make the most of every opportunity.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal – “Even though we saw both our cars through to Q3, there was definitely a sense that we didn’t maximise our full potential this evening. Both drivers found it difficult to find their rhythm and there were various issues that disrupted the flow of qualifying on both sides of the garage. A few tenths here and there would have certainly moved us up the grid. Looking ahead to the race, I’m wary of making any bold predictions. It’s always a long race, close to the two-hour mark, and there will be plenty of opportunities to show our competitive race pace and hopefully collect some valuable points.”
*Sergio is expected to start the race from P18 following a grid penalty.