Perez and Verstappen have been accused of crossing the yellow line when leaving the pits on Lap 23, trying to stay ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc. Race Control didn’t launch an investigation during the Monte Carlo epic but afterwards Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto accused both drivers of a “clear rules breach”.
The FIA summons then confirmed that both Perez and Verstappen were under investigation, with a Red Bull representative called to stewards at 6.15pm UK time. “We made the protest because we believe it was right to seek clarification,” said Binotto. “I think both Red Bulls were on the yellow line at the exit and in the past that has always been penalised with a five-second penalty.”
Binotto noted both the International Sporting Code and the race director’s notes as he earlier told Sky Sports F1: “We are disappointed because we believe there was a clear breach of regulations on the two Red Bull going on the yellow line exiting the pit. “I think it was not close. It was on the line and if you look at the intonation of the sporting code it is saying crossing, but we had a clarification in Turkey 2020 to avoid any discussions and if you look at the race director notes it indicates staying to the right. “So, being on the line is breaching the race director notes and I think each single team has a duty and a task to follow the race director notes.
“So for us that is something unclear and we are still seeking clarification from the FIA and we will be happy to have as soon as possible our feedback.” But Horner told Sky Sports News: “It’s disappointing that it’s been protested. “We believe the International Sporting Code is clear. He didn’t go over the line, he was always in contact with the line. “We’ve seen other precedents set, with other drivers in the past. If it was any more than even a reprimand, I’d be hugely disappointed in that. I really hope that common sense will prevail.”
It seems both team bosses may have a point, with the race directors’ notes stating that “drivers must keep to the right of the solid yellow line at the pit exit when leaving the pits and stay to the right of this line until it finishes after Turn 1”. But the International Sporting Code just says a tyre must not “cross” the yellow line. Appendix L reads: “Any tyre of a car exiting the pit lane must not cross any line painted on the track at the pit exit for the purpose of separating cars leaving the pit lane from those on the track.”