“Don’t want the equivalent of footballers taking a dive” – Christian Horner believes the Sergio Perez clashes with Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc should have been considered as ‘racing incidents’ by the race stewards.
Setting a wrong precedent, the race stewards led by Michael Masi gave time penalties to Lando Norris and Sergio Perez for defending their track position. Norris got it for holding off Perez, while Perez got two 5-second penalties for doing so against Charles Leclerc.
Both shouldn’t have been penalised but they set the precedent now
— Jakie (@Jakie_1993) July 4, 2021
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner is unhappy with the decisions, and rightfully so. He believes this will encourage the chasing driver to move off the track and look for penalties for the driver ahead.
You don’t want the equivalent of footballers taking a dive.
“I think we need to avoid that. It’s incredibly difficult – because we talk about these things very often – and difficult for the race director. But I did feel that maybe today the incidents that we did see could have been leaned to more ‘racing incidents’ than being deserving of penalties.”
Horner impressed with Perez
The Mexican did not let the double penalty deter him, finishing a credible P6. He has been a strong ally to championship leader Max Verstappen so far, as they look to break the immense dominance of Mercedes in the turbo-hybrid era.
“I think he knew that it was going to be very hard to pass Lando because they were so quick on the straights. So he was trying to get the move done quickly. And obviously, it was a shame at that point to lose your buffer with Mercedes.
“Then he picked up another couple of penalties with Charles. But I think once he managed to get himself past Daniel [Ricciardo] and into clear air, then he drove incredibly well and got his head down and built that 10 seconds by the end of the race to Daniel.”