Perez penalised for blocking in qualifying

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber. Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday 20 July 2012.Jul.21 (F1 Press Release) Sauber’s Sergio Pérez was hit with a five-place grid penalty for German Grand Prix after the FIA race stewards rules he had impeded rivals in qualifying.

The Mexican driver qulaified in 12th place on the grid but will start from 17th after the stewards ruled that he blocked both Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen in qualifying. During Q2 Raikkonen was heard to tell his team over his radio: “It’s again Perez, blocking me on my timed lap. Unbelievable. Unbelievable.”

Explaining the severity of their decision, the stewards, Paul Gutjahr, Derek Warwick and Tim Mayer said the five-place penalty was imposed because of “the driver being involved in two similar offences in the same session.”

Perez is the fourth driver to be given a grid penalty ahead of tomorrow’s race. Mark Webber, Romain Grosjean and Nico Rosberg are already facing five-place drops for gearbox changes on their cars.