Sergio Perez was predictably handed a formal reprimand by the FIA for his post-race ‘personal insults’ levied upon the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix stewards.
In the final part of F1’s season finale at Yas Marina, Perez came to blows with McLaren’s Lando Norris as the pair exited Turn 6.
No damage was done but the stewards placed the move under investigation and eventually handed a five-second time penalty to Perez for causing a collision.
The sanction kicked the Red Bull driver off the podium and down to fourth, a punishment that did not sit well with Perez.
"The stewards are a joke, man. I cannot believe it. They have been very bad this year, but this is a joke. That was really a joke,” he told his team over the radio.
Perez’s comments earned him a trip to the stewards’ office after the race where he was deemed to have put himself in breach of Article 12.2.1 K of the International Sporting Code, which covers misconduct towards race officials.
In their verdict, the stewards said that they had no issue with Perez’s public criticism, but “personal insults” are unacceptable and in breach of Article 12.2.1 K.
"The Stewards explained to the driver that they had no issue with someone disagreeing with their decisions, however comments that amount to personal insults are a breach of the International Sporting Code," they stated.
"The Stewards note that they are obviously conflicted in this matter as they were the subject of the radio statements and that normally this would be referred to the next panel of Stewards. However as this is the final event of the season, the matter needed to be dealt with here.
"The driver made a genuine and sincere apology to each of the Stewards and explained that he made the comments in the heat of the moment and did not consider the fact that they would be broadcast, and the impact of that.
"He expressed his regret that his comments caused offence to anyone or harm to the sport, which he said he was concerned to avoid. The Stewards accept his statements and accept his apology.
"The Stewards also note that the driver is not known for making such comments and has always been extremely respectful in Stewards hearings."