Pérez slams 'useless' Hülkenberg penalty
27 November 2017 – Sergio Pérez has slammed the "useless" penalty given to Nico Hülkenberg following their battle on the first lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Renault driver Hülkenberg jumped across the run-off area at Turn 12 after going wheel-to-wheel with Force India's Sergio Pérez to gain seventh position.
He was issued with a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage, but negated the impact of his sanction, which was served at his pit-stop.
Hülkenberg thus remained ahead of Pérez, as both drivers gained a spot due to Daniel Ricciardo's retirement, meaning they came home in sixth and seventh respectively.
Pérez, though, was unhappy with the stewards' decision, believing that he had a shot at keeping Hülkenberg behind him in a straight fight.
"It wasn't the most exciting race for me, but I had a very busy first lap battling with Nico," said Pérez.
"I think his penalty was very strange because I was ahead of him and he just cut the corner, gaining a big advantage and a position.
"He had more pace and in clean air he could just go and make up enough time to make the penalty useless.
"He should have just given up the position, as is required and as he did later in the race with Grosjean, and he would have had to overtake me on track."
Hülkenberg made little reference to the incident with Pérez but expressed satisfaction after his result secured sixth in the standings for Renault.
"It was a very interesting first lap, then very interesting again after the stop," he said.
"I had to get past the Haas, which was super-fast on the straights, [and] I had Checo right behind me waiting to take advantage.
"We managed to come out on top and it's a very decent end to the season."