Perez made it through to the final session of qualifying at the Red Bull Ring with his final Q2 lap after his initial time was deleted when he exceeded track limits.
But it emerged in the aftermath of the session that Perez appeared to have breached the track limits on that last lap as well, resulting in a stewards investigation.
Perez qualified fourth for Red Bull, but will now drop to 13th on the grid after he was found to have exceeded track limits on his Q2 lap, resulting in all of his Q3 times being deleted and his best lap time in Q2 deleted.
The stewards admitted it was “not identified until the moment before Q3 started” meaning he took part in Q3 because there were “many situations to examine in each session.”
It was also accepted the situation where a driver advances through a round of qualifying only to later be found to have breached track limits “does not happen regularly and certainly not recently”, prompting it to be investigated as a “new situation”.
“The team made the point that they took both risk and expended resources to compete in Q3,” the FIA bulletin reads. “The stewards accept this point. However, in assessing a penalty after a session, this is no different than any other situation.
“The usual penalty is deleting the lap time concerned, and the stewards order the same penalty here.
“However, as a consequence, the driver would not have proceeded into Q3 and therefore, in fairness to all the other competitors, the stewards order that all the lap times for Q3 for the driver also are deleted.”
Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18
Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
The bulletin also confirms that the Q2 lap in question from Perez was also deleted, meaning his revised fastest time drops him to 13th in the qualifying classification.
Perez’s penalty will move Mercedes’ George Russell onto the second row of the grid, starting fourth behind Max Verstappen and the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
One of the biggest losers from the failure to delete Perez’s lap immediately was AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, who dropped out in 11th place in Q2 after finishing 0.014s shy of Mick Schumacher’s time in 10th.
The stewards also confirmed that Mercedes driver Russell had received a warning for entering the track without permission when he crossed the circuit on foot following his Q3 crash.