Sergio Perez has avoided a penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix, despite appearing to block Lance Stroll during qualifying. On the Canadian's fast lap, Perez was driving slowly at the final chicane, where Stroll felt his lap was heavily hampered.
After Stroll failed to get a second clean run in due to Romain Grosjean causing a red flag, the 18-year-old dropped out in Q1. Both drivers were called to the stewards following the qualifying session, and it was decided that no further action should be applied.
Full statement from the stewards
"Throughout qualifying cars were slowing considerably entering Turn 16 in order to achieve a gap to the cars in front of them. This created an accordion effect when several cars were doing this in succession. This contributed to the incident between Perez and Stroll.
"Perez was setting up for a fast lap behind several cars ahead of him. Pierre Gasly was behind Pérez and approaching Turn 16 passed Perez, which he was entitled to do so. The interaction with Gasly caused Pérez to be at the apex of Turn 17 at the moment that Lance Stroll, who was on a fast lap, also reached Turn 17.
"After Gasly passed Turn 17, he was told by his team to pit. Article 31.6 prohibits ‘unnecessarily’ impeding. Both drivers agreed in the hearing that had there not been the interaction of the other cars, Pérez would not have been in the position he was and that the situation changed significantly and unavoidably when Gasly passed Pérez. Therefore the stewards concluded that while Pérez certainly impeded Stroll he did not unnecessarily impede Stroll and therefore take no further action."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing