Force India have come out to defend Sergio Perez, after rival Daniil Kvyat accused him of a “desperate” PlayStation-like move that cost them both points in the Monaco Grand Prix.
Perez had been charging up the field on fresh tyres in the closing stages, when he collided with then ninth-placed runner Kvyat on lap 72 after diving down the inside at Rascasse.
The incident forced Kvyat out of the race and Perez dropped down the order to eventually be classified 13th.
Kvyat was furious about what happened, and the FIA race stewards handed Perez a 10-second time penalty for what happened – which did not cost him anything as he was came home last anyway.
Although Force India was disappointed that its run of points finishes had come to an end, it fully backed Perez’s attempts to make gains.
“He pushes hard but he’s not reckless,” explained Force India COO Otmar Szafnauer. “He usually makes the moves stick. He overtook [Lance] Stroll, [Jolyon] Palmer, [Stoffel] Vandoorne, and tried on Kvyat. He probably overtook more than anyone [in this race], three of the four successfully.”
Asked specifically about the Kvyat incident, Szafnauer reckoned that the incident was triggered by the Toro Rosso driver leaving too much room down the inside.
“To me, Kvyat left the door open and then closed it on Checo,” he said. “It ruined Checo’s race too. And I thought the FIA recently said, ‘Let them race.’ Did they not? That’s the new edict.
“Well, that, to me, was a racing incident. The door was open and then closed. It ruined Checo’s race too, that’s punishment enough – I don’t know why Toro Rosso would want anything else.
“Yeah, it ruined Kvyat’s race, but you don’t leave the door that wide open. You take Rascasse like you should, take a tight line like everyone else does, and it doesn’t happen.
“Do the fans want to see that kind of stuff? I think so. I’d hope so.”