Force India seek to overturn Perez penalty

Sergio Perez crashes on the final lap of the Canadian GP

Sergio Perez crashed on the final lap of the Canadian GP

Force India have presented new evidence to Formula One’s governing body in a bid to have Mexican Sergio Perez’s five-place grid penalty¬† to be served at Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix overturned.

Perez picked up the punishment after he and Brazilian Felipe Massa, driving for Williams, collided in Canada while battling for fourth place as they started the last lap.

Stewards ruled that the Mexican had changed his racing line, sending both cars into the barriers, but Force India said on Thursday that new evidence had come to light.

A team spokesman said that Perez and the team would meet the Austrian stewards, who include nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, at 09:00 on Friday to determine whether or not there were new elements in the case.

If the stewards accept Force India have a case, a hearing will then be convened for 16:00 – after practice has finished for the day.

The team did not give details of the new evidence but media reports indicated Perez had not been questioned by the Canadian stewards after the crash because he was still in hospital.

Perez, whose car was hit from behind by Massa, has blamed the Brazilian for the collision and said that he was following the same lines and braking patterns as on previous laps.

“I watched several replays of the incident and I can’t help but notice how Felipe turns right just before he hits me. I can only think he must have changed his mind and wanted to rejoin the racing line,” he said after Canada. “His misjudgement cost us a big amount of points.”(Reuters)