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“Penalty They Got Wasn’t Severe Enough”: Peter Windsor Adds Fuel to Red Bull’s ‘Reverse Crashgate’ Fire

Veerendra Vikram Singh

“Penalty They Got Wasn’t Severe Enough”: Peter Windsor Adds Fuel to Red Bull’s ‘Reverse Crashgate’ Fire

Red Bull got fined €25,000 ($26,935) after the Canadian Grand Prix for asking Sergio Perez to return to the pits following his crash. They did so to avoid a Safety Car situation to help Max Verstappen stay in the lead. F1 pundit Will Buxton later criticized Red Bull’s actions and the leniency of the penalty they received. He tweeted that the scenario was similar but opposite to the infamous ‘Crashgate’ scandal at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

While Nelson Piquet Jr. crashed in Singapore on purpose to bring out a safety car, Perez was asked to keep driving after a crash to avoid the same scenario, making it a sort of ‘Reverse Crashgate’ situation. According to Buxton’s tweet, which he later deleted, the penalty Red Bull received was not appropriate for the severity of the transgression.

And now, former Ferrari man Peter Windsor has said the same thing. In a recent conversation on the ‘Cameron F1’ podcast, Windsor shed light on the situation.

He said, “The other thing was that radio message to Perez which we now know about, saying, ‘Drive back to the pits, try and prevent a safety car’. I mean that’s not only a mistake. That is unbelievably bad to have done that.”

“And I wonder if it’s happened before and it’s just escaped everybody’s notice, particularly the steward’s notice, or whether that’s the first time any team has ever done that. I like to think the latter but if it is the latter then I don’t think the penalty they got was actually severe enough,” he added.

While the team received a nominal fine for the transgression, it is Checo who got slapped with a three-place grid penalty for Barcelona. After Perez crashed on lap 53 at T6, his engineer asked him to keep driving and get the car into the pits, putting other drivers at risk and violating Article 26.10 of the sporting regulations.

Peter Windsor says there are gray areas in calling the incident a ‘Reverse Crashgate’

While Windsor believes that Red Bull should have asked Perez to park the car on the track and should have received a more severe penalty for not doing so, he hesitates to call the incident a ‘Reverse Crashgate’ as Will Buxton did. Windsor pointed out that no one heard the entire radio conversation between Perez and his engineer.

And that is why it is unfair to conclude that Red Bull forced him to keep driving. He explained that Perez’s engineer might have asked him if getting the car back to the pits was possible. And if Perez’s engineer did, then the situation is not as bad as some are making it out to be.

However, Windsor thinks that these types of situations should ultimately be looked after by the race officials. “That decision ultimately should always be in the hands of the FIA and the stewards and the race director in my opinion,” he added.

Unsurprisingly, Red Bull was not happy about the fine or the penalty. They believed that the car was safe enough to get back to the pits and that the penalty Perez received was “too harsh“.

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

About the author

Veerendra Vikram Singh

Veerendra Vikram Singh


Veerendra Singh is a senior Formula 1 journalist at TheSportsRush, with a passion for the sport that goes back to 2008. His extensive coverage and deep understanding of the sport are evident in the more than 900 articles he has written so far on the sport and its famous personalities like Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff, Charles Leclerc and more... When he's not at his work desk, Veerendra likes to spend time with his two feline friends and watch races from the Formula 1 and MotoGP archive. He is always up for a conversation about motorsport so you can hit him up anytime on his social media handles for a quick word.

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