Sergio Perez calls out stewards’ decision not to investigate Magnussen crash

Sergio Perez calls out stewards' decision not to investigate Magnussen crash

Sergio Perez has criticized the stewards’ decision not to investigate his first-lap crash with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen at the Monaco Grand Prix.

A frustrated Sergio Perez acknowledged that his first-lap crash with Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix was completely avoidable as his disastrous Monte Carlo weekend came to an end just two turns into the race.

Perez started the race from 16th after qualifying a disappointing 18th, but moved up two positions after the rear wing DRS slot on both Haas cars was found to be too wide, disqualifying the team’s drivers from qualifying and sending them to the back of the grid.

However, the Mexican lost ground at the start and Magnussen attempted an optimistic sneak on the right heading up the hill from Sainte Devote, which cost both drivers when Perez moved across his front expecting the Dane to yield position.

Magnussen clipped the back of his car causing him to crash into the barrier, and colliding with Nico Hulkenberg in the sister Haas, eliminating all three drivers from the race.

The impact tore three wheels off the Red Bull, along with the front and rear wings, while a nearby photographer was injured by the flying debris and taken to the medical centre. Race control quickly threw the red flag as the three cars sat stricken on the race track which was littered with debris.

Despite suffering significant damage to his RB20, Perez managed to walk back to the garage and his team confirmed that he did not require medical attention following the incident.

However, his frustration stemmed from the FIA stewards’ decision to forego an investigation, given their tendency to be less critical for incidents that happen in the first lap.

“I lost a position to one of the Saubers, and obviously, it’s lap one, it’s just important if you’re not in the right position, automatically you’re going to end up losing,” he told F1 TV after his retirement.

“So I was getting out of the corner, basically, if you see my onboard, there is no point where you see Kevin. I was just pretty surprised that he kept it flat at that point, because it was just very unnecessary, we had a lot of damage.

“We had a very dangerous incident and also very disappointed that it didn’t get investigated, because it was a massive incident. My car is completely destroyed and I have a lot of damage.

“I’ve done hurt manoeuvres many, many times and at some point, you have just two options: lift or have a contact, and I think it was just unnecessary the speeds we were doing.

“It’s very, very frustrating but I trust my team, it hasn’t been a straightforward weekend but we will come back very strong.”

The track winds significantly back and forth up the hill and as the barrier eases towards the left, the Haas driver was forced to make contact with the Red Bull after finding himself trapped between the two.

“I think I was with my front alongside Perez’s rear, from the exit of Turn 1 on the run up to Turn 3,” Magnussen explained. “He goes towards the wall, the wall comes a little bit back towards the track, and I had nowhere to go. I don’t know if he didn’t see me or what, but I can’t just disappear out of the blue.

“I made contact with the wall and him at the same time, and unfortunately, we had a crash.”

While Magnussen’s explanation suggested that the incident was a racing incident, Perez did not share that view.

“If you see my onboard, at no point [do] you see Kevin’s car, not even close to me, alongside me, and you could see that the wall is just getting closer and closer and to keep it flat out,” Perez argued.

“It was either contact with my car [or] with the barrier. There was just simply no room for both cars.”

Due to his non-finish, Perez dropped to fifth place in the Drivers’ Championship falling behind Charles Leclerc – who won his home race, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz.

The stewards’ decision not to investigate the incident will come as a relief to Magnussen. He is already on 10 penalty points, and had he been found responsible and given any more he would have been at risk of reaching 12 and triggering an automatic race ban. Magnussen said Perez should have left him room before they collided.

Leave a Reply