Formula One’s governing body has offered to investigate the Sergio Perez crash in the final moments of qualifying at this seasons Monaco GP. The event has resurfaced in recent days following Max Verstappen’s very public refusal to allow his team mate through at the recent race in Brazil.
Verstappen launched speculation over his explanation to refuse the team order over the radio which was broadcast to the millions watching.
Perez Monaco crash suspicious
“I told you already last summer. You guys don’t ask that again to me, ok? Are we clear about that? I gave my reasons and I stand by it.”
The collective minds in the paddock immediately believed the double world champion was referring to Perez crash during the final runs in qualifying which denied Max the opportunity to complete his lap. Sergio had a faster time from the first Q3 run and it is argued he ‘did a Schumacher’ to protect his position.
Micheal Schumacher famously stopped his car at the Rascasse corner at the 2006 Monaco GP qualifying.
The German held provisional pole position going into the final Q3 runs but was far from safe. Renault’s Fernando Alonso, the upstart who had taken three wins and three second places to seize an early championship lead, was just 0.064s down the road after the pair’s first runs.
What’s more, Alonso was going significantly faster on his final run.
Michael Schumacher creates the Monaco crash trick
Schumacher, ahead on the road, hadn’t found the same gains through the first two sectors of his own run. As he approached the penultimate section, pole – a vital tool on the streets of Monte Carlo – was therefore slipping from his grasp.
Except that Alonso never got to complete his lap. Schumacher got it all wrong at Rascasse, locking his front right tyre, clumsily veering off line and then parking across the exit of the right hander, a final twist of the steering wheel keeping his Ferrari out of the barriers.
Perez stands accused of performing the same stunt this year given his Q3 first run in Monaco was better than Verstappen’s.
Max was seen disgusted at the end of qualifying and stormed past his friend and mentor Helmut Marko into the garage and away from the cameras.
FIA offer to investigate Perez
Mohammed Ben Sulayem, president of the FIA, offered this weekend to open an investigation into Perez actions if any other team would protest the matter.
Yet it appears the Red Bull competitors have no stomach for this.
Carlos Sainz was caught up in the incident causing significant damage to his Ferrari which of course impacts the team’s cost cap spending to repair the car.
However Mattia Binotto said today they were declining the offer to pursue the matter with the FIA.
“What happened was in Monaco was for us very difficult to judge from outside,” said the Ferrari team boss.
“I don’t think we can judge, and it’s not down to us as well to do it. It’s down to the FIA.
“I’m pretty sure they looked at the time, and we need to move forward and think that things are moving forward.”
Zak Brown withdraws his battle horns
Zak Brown of McLaren who has been a vocal critic of Red Bull over their overspend in 2021 also decided the matter was better left in the past.
“I think on the Perez incident, it was quite some time ago, so I think we need to as a sport, if we see something that needs to be investigated, move more swiftly.”
“I think Monaco was a long time ago. And so to be talking about Monaco in Abu Dhabi, I think that train has left the station.”
Mercedes call a truce
Toto Wolff, an arch enemy of the Red Bull team, also declined the offer for a retrospective investigation for the FIA.
“I’ve I known Sergio for a long time,” said the Austrian. “Would a driver really put his car in the wall and risk his gearbox in the way it was done?
“You could be going all the way to the back of the grid with such an incident. So for me if you want to park your car, you do it in a different way.
“We had enough of a PR crisis in the last couple of weeks around that team, and I think we don’t need another one.”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was questioned over the Perez affair in Monaco and deflected the question without addressing the issue.
“Any crash, particularly in a cost cap environment is disastrous,” said Horner. “It’s expensive, it’s costly, and particularly at a street circuit. So from a team’s perspective, it’s way, way from an ideal. So there was a lot of frustration following that.
Red Bull turn a blind eye
“It could have obviously damaged the gearbox as well, an incident like that, and of course, it then incurred a lot of damage, of course, with Carlos Sainz.
“Thankfully, this year, that’s probably been the biggest accident that we’ve had from a cost basis, which has a one-on-one effect on your performance to develop, because you have to pick whether you’re going to make spare parts or development parts.
“Thankfully, the drivers have done a great job thereafter of managing not to hit things. And so we actually have probably the least amount of crash damage in the year compared to any other team.”
So with Red Bull Racing’s competitors refusing to protest the incident, the FIA again appear rather inept given their view is a transgression may have occurred, but we’ll ignore it so long as does everyone else.
"We want to make sure Checo is in front of Charles tomorrow"
2️⃣0️⃣ pole positions for Max Verstappen, but he also wants to make sure his teammate gets P2 in the Drivers Championship 🔥 pic.twitter.com/T7KTyWaY2T
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) November 19, 2022