Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto feels that Sergio Perez should have been given two 5-second penalties instead of one after the Singapore GP. The Red Bull driver was guilty of falling behind the Safety Car by more than 10 car lengths twice during the race and was hence investigated by the stewards.
After the race was over, Sergio Perez went to meet the stewards and was given a 5-second penalty for one of the infringements and he was given a reprimand for the second one. Mattia Binotto, however, felt that there was a case for two 5-second penalties and not one. He said:
“There were two infringements behind the Safety Car, so it can twice be a penalty. But we can only trust on what they decide. On the occasion of two different Safety Cars he made the same mistake, being too far from the car. If I look at similar cases, like Giovinazzi in 2019, the driver was punished with five seconds and I believe the sporting regulations impose a penalty of five seconds, 10 or a drive-through.”
He also touched on the fact that Charles Leclerc's race approach could have been completely different if he had known that Sergio Perez was getting a 5-second penalty after the race. Binotto continued:
“We are sorry the decision did not come during the race because this delay affected not only the podium but also the management of the race itself because Charles, in an attempt to stay close to Perez, inevitably wore his tyres."
Offering an explanation as to why the stewards went down that path, Binotto speculated that this was probably because they wanted to hear Sergio Perez and Red Bull's point of view on all of this. He said:
“I guess the stewards want to understand from the driver and the team what prompted him to drive differently. Maybe they didn’t want to rush a decision and possibly make a mistake. This is why they took their time.”
Red Bull boss feels penalty for Sergio Perez was unwarranted
“I think there’s so many precedents we’ve seen, even in the recent past when there’s been a concertina going on up and down the field, we see it. We’ve seen it even on formation laps."
He further added that,
“I think, again, the mitigating circumstances were that the Safety Car was just driving so slow. And they had spent, what, 30-odd laps on inter tyres, they are all out there on a set of slicks. You could hear Checo screaming to get [on] because they pick him up first. So he had no temperature in his tyres.”
This was Sergio Perez's second career win this season and fourth in F1. This also brought him to within touching distance of Charles Leclerc in the World Drivers' Championship.