Force India suspect a conspiracy, after Sergio Perez was penalised for a terrifying last lap crash at the Canadian Grand Prix.
As they tussled for fourth on the last lap, Williams’ Felipe Massa hit the back of Mexican Perez’s Force India, sending them both into the tyre walls at high speed.
They were both transported to Montreal’s Sacre Couer hospital for checks and later released with no injuries.
Both Williams and Force India pointed the finger of blame. Williams’ post-race press statement said that Perez “crashed into” Massa, but Force India claimed that Perez was “the innocent victim”.
The Mexican said after a check up, “On the final lap I was defending my position going into turn one when I suddenly got hit from behind. It was a big impact, but I am okay.”
Ultimately, the stewards sided with Massa, penalising Perez five places on the forthcoming Austrian Grand Prix grid.
But according to Auto Motor und Sport, however, Force India suspect a conspiracy because, in addition to the four stewards in Montreal including former driver Derek Daly, also in the stewards room on Sunday was Adrian Fernandez.
Former Indycar driver and Mexican Fernandez was Perez’s manager until two years ago, when they split acrimoniously .
“The driver steward was Derek Daly,” said Force India team manager Andy Stevenson. “I don’t know why Fernandez was asked for his opinion.”
FIA race director Charlie Whiting insisted: “From time to time, there are observers to the stewards. Fernandez will be the driver representative in Russia, so we invited him here to have a look.”
Whiting said that any talk of an anti-Perez conspiracy is “nonsense”. (GMM)