SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Australian Daniel Ricciardo and Mexican Sergio Perez have become the first Formula One drivers to be reprimanded under a new rule requiring timely attendance at the pre-race national anthem ceremony.
The two Red Bull and Force India drivers failed to join the rest in standing at the front of the grid 14 minutes before the start of the formation lap at Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.
The sanctions, while nothing to do with actions on the track, could have championship ramifications with three reprimands in a season triggering an automatic 10 place grid penalty for the next race.
The penalty is only imposed, however, if at least two of the three reprimands were imposed for a driving infringement.
Force India’s Perez has now collected two reprimands from two races, his first a driving offence during qualifying in Australia last month. Sunday was Ricciardo’s first.
The requirement that all drivers attend the pre-race national anthem ceremony was written into this year’s sporting regulations after pressure from former commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar