On lap 34, the duo proceeded side by side in the last corners of the Istanbul track and Sergio Perez it ended up wide at the entrance to the pit lane, then re-entered the track after passing over the bollard that delimits it.
The Red Bull driver then managed to hold the position once the two arrived paired at Turn 1. However, there were those who had speculated that the Mexican could be asked to return the position, as he had passed over the bollard. .
Masi, however, explained that there was no formal investigation into what happened, as it was evident that it was not an aborted pit stop, something for which instead Lewis Hamilton had received a reprimand in Germany in 2018 for example.
“I took a look, absolutely,” he said. “But as our regulations and notes explain, you must keep to the left of the bollard only if you are busy entering the pit lane.”
“So it doesn’t fit into that, because it was just a tough battle between the two. Neither team raised the issue, neither Mercedes nor Red Bull. It was just a good tough fight.”
Immediately there was no direct comment from the two protagonists, although later, in the following lap, Perez said on the radio: “He pushed me out”. And his engineer replied: “I understand Checo, great defense”.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, battles with Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Usually the pilots open immediately on the radio to defend their actions, knowing that they are also listened to by the race direction. However, as Masi reiterated, none of the teams involved contacted him to try to point out the opponent’s fault.
“We don’t listen to all pilots’ radio. Generally, teams are very careful if there is something they want us to review. As you know, the radio panel comes on very quickly!”.
After the race, Perez had no further complaints about being pushed off the track: “That first stint was very difficult for me, especially towards the end, because Lewis was pretty fast,” he said. “I think at that moment he was the fastest on the track, so keeping him behind was quite challenging.”
“We had a good fight. I also had to avoid the bollard at the entrance to the pits, but I managed to stay in front,” he concluded.