Sergio Perez did nothing wrong when he went off track during the Turkish Grand Prix during a battle with Lewis Hamilton, according to Formula One race director Michael Masi.
At the end of lap 34, the two ran side by side through the final corners, with Perez going wide into the pit entry. Before returning to the track, he passed on the wrong side of the bollard.
When they reached at Turn 1, the Mexican was able to stay ahead of Hamilton.
Some thought that Perez was in trouble since he went off the circuit and behind the bollard before rejoining and reclaiming his position.
Masi says he looked into the Perez incident, but there was no formal investigation because it wasn’t an aborted stop, as Hamilton was penalized for in Germany in 2018.
“I had a look at it, absolutely,” he said.
“But as our regulations state in the notes you only have to keep to the left of the bollard if you’re committed to entering pit lane.
“So nothing in it. It was good, hard racing between the two of them. Neither team funnily enough raised the question, neither Mercedes nor Red Bull. Good hard fight, play on.”
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, neither driver said anything, however Perez said later in the lap, “He pushed me off,” to which his race engineer responded, “Copy Checo, great defence.”
Typically drivers make such comments in part to defend their actions to race control.
However, as Masi pointed out, neither Red Bull nor Mercedes spoke to him on the radio to suggest that the other driver was to fault in the incident.
“[Perez’s] team did not relay a word,” said Masi.
“We don’t listen to every driver’s radio. And generally the teams are very good that if there’s an issue that they want reviewed, as you’re all well aware, the radio panel lights up very quickly!”
Perez made no further suggestion after the race that he had been pushed off.
“That first stint was so difficult for me, especially towards the end and Lewis was pretty fast,” he said. “I think at the time he was the fastest car on track, so to hold him back at that point was pretty challenging.
“We had a good fight. Had to even avoid the pit bollard on pit entry, but it was a good fight overall, and managed to stay ahead.”
The uniforms of Formula One racing drivers are currently available at the following websites for a reasonable price: