Sergio Pérez could have reached the podium at the Italian GP but, having cut way through the second chicane of Monza to overtake Charles Leclerc, he was punished in 5 seconds and dropped to fifth. After Red Bull stated that it did not receive a response from the decision of the race direction on how to proceed in the bid, Michael Masi stated that the energy team was, yes, advised to return the position.
“They didn’t consult the race direction,” he said in an interview with RaceFans.net. “I suggested that they should return the position, and they said they were looking into it,” he added.
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Masi made this statement in response to Christian Horner, the Taurus team leader, who said he expected a return from the FIA (International Automobile Federation) commissioners to find out whether #11 needed to return the position. Horner said there was no response, a claim denied by the F1 race director.
Pérez, during the race, defended himself from punishment by saying that Leclerc left “no room” and asked his engineer, Hugo Bird, if he needed to return the place: “He didn’t leave me any space. Do I need to return it?” asked Czech. “I think you’re fine for now,” Bird replied. Turns later, Pérez was informed of his punishment.
With the abandonment of Max Verstappen and Pérez off the podium, Red Bull could not beat Mercedes in the Constructors’ World Championship. The German team is ahead with 362.5 points, while the Taurus team has 344.5 goals.
The next official drivers’ meeting takes place in about two weeks, when Formula 1 lands in Sochi for the September 24-26 Russian GP.