Sergio Perez has ended his 2023 F1 campaign in the FIA stewards’ office following a scathing criticism of the officials after the Abu Dhabi GP.
Perez finished second on the road at Yas Marina but was thrown off the podium and demoted to fourth as the result of being handed a five-second time penalty for a clash with McLaren’s Lando Norris earlier in the race.
The pair were battling for fourth on lap 48 of 57 and barreling down to Turn 6 when Perez took the inside line into the corner.
Norris widened his own line but on the exit the two drivers made contact, which forced the McLaren driver to run off the course.
The move was frowned upon by the stewards and put under investigation. It was eventually considered that the Red Bull driver had been responsible for the run-in, even in the absence of damage or prejudice for either driver.
After the checkered flag, on his cool down lap, Perez vented his frustration over the team radio.
“The stewards are a joke, man. I cannot believe it,” he said. “They have been very bad this year, but this is a joke. That was really a joke."
Perez was set to answer for his conduct which constituted a potential breach of the FIA’s International Sporting Code.