Michael Masi: Nothing wrong with 'good, tough' battle between Hamilton and Perez

Michael Masi has explained why there was nothing illegal in the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez in Turkey.

Arguably the highlight of the Turkish Grand Prix came 35 laps in when the Mercedes of Hamilton caught the Red Bull of Perez.

The seven-time World Champion had been far quicker throughout the race and looked set to get past fairly easily, but the Mexican had other ideas.

The two ran side by side for four corners, with Checo being pushed into the pit entry at one point, and it was he that ultimately prevailed.

Crossing the pit-entry line earns a driver a penalty when they’re heading in or out of the pits, but Masi says doing so is allowed if they’re staying out on track.

Therefore, there was no issue with the battle.

“I saw it, for sure,” the race director said afterwards.

“But our rule book says you only have to respect the marking if you are going into the pits, so there was nothing there. It was a good, tough fight between the two of them.

“Neither team, interestingly, raised the issue, neither Mercedes nor Red Bull.”

Hamilton and Perez served up a treat with this mini battle 🍿#TurkishGP 🇹🇷 #F1 pic.twitter.com/jOTcurRWue

— Formula 1 (@F1) October 10, 2021

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Shortly after the battle, Perez got on the team radio to say that Hamilton had pushed him out wide and forced him to go into the pit entry.

However, Red Bull didn’t then get in contact with the FIA to pass his message on, while there was no word from Hamilton or Mercedes.

Given how quick teams are to complain a lot of the time, as far as Masi is concerned, this proves that the fight was perfectly fair and legal.

 

“His team didn’t say a word,” added the Aussie.

“We didn’t hear the radio from all the drivers. Generally, the teams are very good at that.

“If there’s a problem they want to check, the radio comes very quickly.”

Perez ultimately went on to finish the race in P3, collecting his third podium of the season, while Hamilton crossed the line in P5 after a disagreement between him and his team over strategy.

The result saw Perez’s team-mate, Max Verstappen, take back the lead of the Drivers’ Championship with a P2 finish, with the Dutchman now six points ahead of Hamilton with six rounds to go.

 

 

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