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Christian Horner

Horner identifies 'only decent thing' from Perez's Japan weekend

Sergio Perez returned to the track late on in order to serve a time penalty, ensuring it wouldn’t carry over to the next race.

Perez Japan
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner says Sergio Perez avoiding a penalty for the Qatar Grand Prix was the only positive from his Japanese Grand Prix weekend.

Perez endured a difficult outing at Suzuka, as he consistently lacked pace compared to team-mate Max Verstappen, who took pole position and won the race, with Perez qualified seven-tenths behind.

During the Grand Prix, Perez was involved in a collision with Lewis Hamilton on the run to the first corner, forcing him to return to the pits to change his front wing.

He was then found guilty of overtaking under a Safety Car and given a five-second time penalty, which was served when he pitted again following a coming together with Haas' Kevin Magnussen at the hairpin.

The Magnussen contact also saw Perez issued a five-second time penalty - but only after he had retired from the race.

Red Bull's loophole

Red Bull opted to fire up his car and send the Mexican back onto the circuit in order to come back into the pits and officially serve the penalty.

It meant that the unserved punishment would not carry over to the following round in Qatar in the form of a grid penalty - which Horner has described as the only positive from his weekend.

"It got off to a bad start,” Horner told media including RacingNews365.

“He got sort of pinballed on the way down to Turn 1, that was unlucky for him,"

"He then had damage with Lewis [Hamilton] and broke the front wing.

“He then passed Fernando on the way in under the Safety Car and picked up another penalty.

"He goes out a little bit too optimistic, probably out of frustration trying to pass Magnussen - another front wing and the steering damage.

"So, the only decent thing we managed to get out of today was not carrying a penalty through into the next race in Qatar."

F1 2023 Japanese Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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