Perez at risk of 10-place grid drop after second Portimão reprimand

© XPB 

Racing Point's Sergio Perez was handed his second reprimand of the weekend on Sunday for his robust defensive move on AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly in the Portuguese GP.

Perez landed himself in hot water with the stewards on Saturday for impeding Gasly in qualifying, a fault that warranted his first reprimand of the 2020 season.

Gasly was again involved in the Mexican's rebuke by the stewards on Sunday. The Frenchman was chasing down the Racing Point charger in the closing stages of the race, aiming to snatch fifth.

On the main straight, the Frenchman pulled out of the Racing Point's wake, but Perez darted to the right to block his opponent. The move was frowned upon by the stewards.

"On lap 64 of the race at the end of the main straight, Perez moved in defence at the exact same time that Gasly who was overtaking to the right having slipstreamed Perez down the straight," read the FIA steward's report.

"Gasly’s move was made before the braking zone and was entirely reasonable. As Gasly was moving to the right with significantly greater speed, Perez moved to the right and then continued to move in front of Gasly for a significant portion of the track but stopped having left a car width to the inside.

"The Stewards noted that earlier this year, the drivers discussed “late movement in reaction” moves and agreed that they were potentially very dangerous.”

"The Stewards considered that this move was at the fastest portion of the track, but also noted that Perez did not move in reaction, but rather moved first or simultaneously.

"Further he is entitled to make a single defensive move, but such a move cannot constitute a danger to another driver. In the hearing, both drivers agreed that while on the limit, this manoeuvre was fundamentally okay and constituted racing at the limit.

"The Stewards however, believe that this was too close to that limit and that Perez had not sufficiently accounted for the speed differential. In selecting a penalty, the Stewards have taken into account the views of the drivers involved and ordered a Reprimand (Driving)."

Should Perez be hit with a third reprimand this season, it would automatically trigger a 10-place grid penalty for the Mexican.

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