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Helmut Marko

Marko makes Hamilton comparison after Perez penalty

Dr. Helmut Marko has addressed Sergio Perez's three-place grid penalty for the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix.

Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko has revealed that the outfit "can live" with Sergio Perez's Spanish Grand Prix grid penalty after driving a heavily damaged car last weekend in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Perez will take a three-place grid penalty into next weekend's race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, following an incident which saw him continue driving a car with "serious mechanical difficulties".

The Mexican driver crashed at the sixth corner on lap 53 and broke his rear wing, which dangled off the back of his RB20 as he attempted to return his car to the garage. 

In doing so, his broken rear wing scattered debris across the circuit, with the stewards' having stressed that his car should have been pulled to the side of the circuit and retired. 

Red Bull's fear of retiring Perez on the circuit was that it would trigger a safety car, something they wanted to avoid with Max Verstappen leading. Ironically, a safety car was required a lap later, as Carlos Sainz spun and Alex Albon crashed.

A $25,000 fine was also handed to Red Bull as a consequence of allowing Perez to drive a severely damaged car.

The stewards' report read: "The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 11 (Sergio Perez), team representative and reviewed video, team radio and in-car video evidence. 

"After making contact with the barriers in Turn 6, the driver continued on track for the remainder of the lap with a significantly damaged car and thereby lost several carbon fibre parts on the way back to the pits. 

"The team confirmed in the hearing that the driver had been advised to bring the car back to the pits as they were trying to avoid a Safety Car situation. 

"The Stewards determine that, as well as a financial penalty for the team, a sporting penalty is necessary due to the safety implications of the incident. The penalty is imposed in line with precedents."

Camera hid true damage

With McLaren, Ferrari and now Mercedes having a car capable of competing with the RB20, Perez's grid penalty could have a huge impact in Barcelona. 

Perez will start no higher than fourth on the grid and that can only be achieved by claiming pole position, an unlikely feat based on his recent qualifying record. 

However, Marko insists Red Bull can cope with its punishment and has revealed that the Milton Keynes-based side were unable to view the full extent of Perez's damage.

"We can live with that penalty imposed," Marko told OE24.

"With the camera setup we had at our disposal, we couldn't see from the pit lane how much Checo's car was really damaged. 

"At that point, we wanted him to continue as long as possible, because this was a Grand Prix where anything was possible."

Marko went on to note that Red Bull could never have known how much debris would fall of Perez's car and pointed out that Lewis Hamilton won the 2020 British Grand Prix with a completely delaminated tyre. 

"Others have driven around with more dangling parts," Marko added. "Lewis Hamilton once won at Silverstone on three wheels."

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