"Hard to believe" Perez's Sirotkin hit was deliberate - Whiting

Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting finds it "hard to believe" that Sergio Perez deliberately drove into Sergey Sirotkin during their intense battle in the Singapore Grand Prix.

"Hard to believe" Perez's Sirotkin hit was deliberate - Whiting

Perez and Sirotkin came to blows at the Marina Bay circuit after the Mexican swerved left into his Williams rival, following mounting frustrations about being held up by the Russian.

The crash earned Perez a drive-through penalty for his actions, although some suggested that such an unnecessary clash warranted tougher action and even a black flag.

But Whiting did not think that what Perez did was so bad, as he is sceptical that a driver would be so stupid to deliberately crash at racing speed.

“I haven’t spoken to him, nor have the stewards as far as I’m aware,” said Whiting. “But it’s hard to believe a driver would intend to hit a [rival's] car.

“He’d been trying hard to get past Sirotkin, and he looked a little bit frustrated, and I just think he misjudged how far in front he was in front of him.

“You saw how closely they were racing all the way through [Turns] 14-15-16-17, and I think he just misjudged it.”

For several laps before the collision Perez complained on team radio about Sirotkin breaking the rules by weaving under braking – but this was something Whiting had not noticed.

“He [Perez] complained about this happening in Turn 7 and Turn 14, and we didn’t see anything that gave us any trouble. Then he complained again, and we looked again, and frankly he simply wasn’t close enough.

“Sergey was maybe just being circumspect going into Turn 14, but as they were approaching the corner, just moved slightly left. It wasn’t as if Sergio was getting really close, he was a good distance back.

“I just said to them he’s going to have to get a lot closer if we’re going to start looking exactly what he’s doing under braking, because it really wasn’t an issue for us.”

Baku memories

Perez’s swerve towards Sirotkin reminded some of what Sebastian Vettel did to Lewis Hamilton behind the safety car in Baku in 2017.

But Whiting thinks the incidents were different, because Vettel’s actions took place at much slower speed.

“The safety car was out in Baku,” added Whiting. “You can say it was, I wouldn’t say safer, but less likely to cause an accident than when at racing speeds. 

"But that’s a decision that the stewards took, and presumably they took that into account.”

shares
comments
How Ferrari went from favourite to nowhere in Singapore
Previous article

How Ferrari went from favourite to nowhere in Singapore

Next article

Singapore Grand Prix driver ratings

Singapore Grand Prix driver ratings
Load comments
How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle Prime

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021