'The lowest point in F1 for years' – Perez 'so angry' with Suzuka tractor

By Sports Desk October 09, 2022

Sergio Perez considered an incident when a tractor appeared on the track ahead of Pierre Gasly at the Japanese Grand Prix "the lowest point" in Formula One "for years".

Dreadful conditions in Suzuka saw a series of crashes on the first lap on Sunday, with the safety car almost immediately introduced.

The race was then red-flagged on lap three, but Gasly passed a tractor – seemingly recovering Carlos Sainz's crashed Ferrari – as he was still driving around the track, with the incident appearing to occur just seconds after drivers had been notified of the red flag.

As the cars returned to the pit lane and waited for the rain to ease, a number of drivers took to social media to angrily point out how dangerous that moment was.

Jules Bianchi was the last F1 driver to suffer a fatal crash, which happened in Japan in 2014 when he hit a recovery vehicle.

"That's the lowest point we've seen in the sport for years," Red Bull's Perez said. "What happened today just makes me so angry.

"I just hope ever in the sport we never get to see this situation ever again. It's putting all the drivers at risk.

"We saw what happened here a few years ago with our friend Jules, and absolutely I don't care about what was the reason for that. It should never happen again, ever in any category."

Gasly was later handed a 20-second penalty by the FIA for speeding under red flag conditions, but he described his fear as he encountered the tractor.

"We lost Jules already," Gasly said. "We all lost an amazing guy, an amazing driver for the reasons that we know – eight years ago, on the same track, in the same conditions, with a crane.

"How? How today can we see a crane not even on the gravel, on the race track while we are still on the track? I don't understand that.

"Obviously, I got scared; obviously, if I would have lost the car in a similar way that Carlos lost it in the lap before, it doesn't matter the speed – 200, 100 – I would have just died. It's as simple as that.

"I don't understand. It's disrespectful to Jules, disrespectful to his family."

The AlphaTauri man added: "I'm just extremely grateful that I'm here. Tonight, I'm going to call my family and all my loved ones.

"The outcome is the way that it is because I passed two metres from that crane. If I would have been two metres to the left, I would have been dead."

Related items

  • 'The best player on Earth can't get a call' – Lakers fume after game-defining missed foul 'The best player on Earth can't get a call' – Lakers fume after game-defining missed foul

    The Los Angeles Lakers are furious after an obvious foul on LeBron James' potential game-winner was missed, with the Boston Celtics going on to secure a 125-121 victory in overtime.

    Playing in Boston, James was spectacular with a game-high 41 points on 15-of-30 shooting, adding nine rebounds and eight assists, but the game was tied at 105-105 after Jaylen Brown's and-one with four seconds remaining.

    The four-time MVP and four-time NBA Finals MVP would be the player entrusted with the last shot for the Lakers, and after driving left and getting all the way to the rim, James was smacked on his shooting arm by Jayson Tatum with under one second on the clock.

    But the foul went un-whistled, with James, All-NBA team-mate Anthony Davis and the entire Lakers bench erupting in fury as the game was sent to overtime.

    Los Angeles guard Patrick Beverley was issued a technical foul after bringing over a camera to the referee in an effort to show crew chief Eric Lewis the clearly botched call, and the Celtics went on to score 20 in the extra period, led by Brown with 11 of his 37 total points.

    Speaking after the loss, Davis made it clear he felt cheated by the referees.

    "It was bull**** at the end of the day," he said. "It’s unacceptable, and I guarantee nothing will happen to the ref. We got cheated tonight, honestly. 

    "[Beverley] got all ball on Brown, [but they] called a foul. LeBron, they smack across his arm. Unacceptable, to be honest. The refs were bad – they were bad tonight."

    James echoed those sentiments, saying this is not the first time this season he has felt disrespected by officials.

    "You saw my reaction… it’s challenging," he said. "I don’t get it. 

    "I'm attacking the paint just as much as any other guy in this league that’s shooting double-digit free throws a night. I don’t get it. I don’t understand it."

    He added: "You guys seen some of the games we lost this year, with late-game missed calls. I don’t understand what we're doing. 

    "I watch basketball every single day. I watch these games every single game, and I don’t see it happen to nobody else. It's just weird."

    Head coach Darvin Ham joined the chorus of discontent.

    "The best player on Earth can’t get a call – it’s amazing," he said. "You have to call a cat a cat, you can’t look at something and try to pretend it’s not what it is. 

    "He’s a guy that tries hard to play the right way. Doesn’t flop, plays downhill, plays a strong, physical brand of basketball. 

    "Just because he doesn’t flop or doesn’t flail and he’s not screaming when he’s shooting the ball like I see a ton of other players doing, he gets penalised for it.

    "As much as you try not to put it on officiating, it’s becoming increasingly difficult. I don't want to see another Last 2 Minute report – they can save that. It doesn't do no one any good."

    In an Instagram story, where he included a still photo of the foul, Lakers guard Dennis Schroder also voiced his frustration.

    He wrote: "The refs gotta start getting fined for their mistakes! They also giving technical fouls to people who are reacting to their mistakes.

    "The replay center should also use replay to get these calls right, especially on an important play like the OBVIOUS foul on LeBron at the end of the game.

    "This needs to stop… to lose 3-5 games this season off of referees' mistakes is really hard."

    In an uncommon occurrence, crew chief Lewis confirmed the botched call immediately after the game finished.

    "There was contact," he said. "At the time, during the game, we did not see a foul. The crew missed the play."

    The loss has the Lakers fall to 23-27, sitting 13th out of 15 teams in the Western Conference.

  • Embiid, 76ers take down the reigning MVP in statement-making performance Embiid, 76ers take down the reigning MVP in statement-making performance

    Joel Embiid made it clear he is only concerned about winning a championship after dominating in the Philadelphia 76ers' 126-119 victory against reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.

    Embiid – who has finished runner-up in each of the past two MVP votes – was spectacular on Saturday, finishing with a game-high 47 points on 18-of-31 shooting, a game-high 18 rebounds and equal game-highs with three steals and two blocks.

    He outplayed Jokic, who still posted a terrific stat line of 24 points (eight-of-12 shooting), nine assists and eight rebounds, but his seven turnovers were the third-most he has had in a game this season,

    It continued a remarkable campaign for Embiid, improving his league-leading scoring average to a career-high 33.8 per game, while also shooting a career-best 53.2 per cent from the field. He is shooting a career-best 86.1 per cent from the free throw line while leading the league at 10.0 made free throws per game.

    When asked after the win if he feels he should be the MVP, Embiid said he is no longer concerned about the award.

    "I don't know, that's up to you guys to decide," he said. "Like I told you, I'm done arguing for myself. It's all out there.

    "But the focus is on winning. As long as we win, I know everything is going to take care of itself. If we keep winning, and everyone stays healthy, I've got a better chance of going out there and winning a championship."

    Embiid also had his streak of five consecutive selections as an All-Star starter snapped this past week as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant and Jayson Tatum claimed the three frontcourt spots in the East.

    He said he feels that is an indication that he is "not well-liked", but he is not bothered by it.

    "I'm used to it," he said. "It's not the first time. I think it's more of a motivation to go out and win the whole thing – that's the only way I'm probably going to get that respect.

    "I was not surprised, I think it's well documented that I'm not well-liked. That's cool. I don't know if it's because I troll a lot or that I guess I'm an a****** – but it's cool. 

    "I keep being me, I keep being an a******, and I keep trolling, and if people don't like it, that's their problem. But like I said, it all goes back to winning."

    The 28-year-old believes winning would cure everything, and that the current 76ers roster – with a healthy James Harden – has the balance required to go all the way.

    "You've got James Harden, obviously he's been playing great basketball," he said. "You've got Tyrese Maxey, Tobias has been great, P.J. Tucker... we've got a group that fits with each other.

    "We'll find that out in the postseason. But I think as far as the fit, you've got everything. Everybody fits with each other, we've got shooters, we've got defenders, and we've got James Harden. So I think we've got a good chance."

    The 76ers are now 32-16, sitting second in the Eastern Conference while owning the third-best record in the league.

  • Grizzlies coach Jenkins says death of Tyre Nichols has 'hit us hard' Grizzlies coach Jenkins says death of Tyre Nichols has 'hit us hard'

    Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said his team have been deeply affected following the death of fan Tyre Nichols.

    Nichols, 29, died on January 10, three days after he was beaten by five police officers after a traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee.

    The five officers have been sacked and charged with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. 

    Police have released bodycam and CCTV footage of the incident, in which Nichols can be heard protesting his innocence and calling for his mother.

    The footage was released just prior to the Grizzlies' meeting with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.

    Before the game, Jenkins told Bally Sports: "It's been tough being on the road, not being home.

    "I wish I could extend my arms through this camera right now to the family. They're going through a lot.

    "The senseless loss of life for Tyre Nichols has really hit us hard."

    Nichols' mother, RowVaughn Wells, said in an interview that she felt "sorry" for the officers who killed her son.

    "People don’t know what those five police officers did to our family. And they really don’t know what they did to their own families. They have put their own families in harm's way," she said.

    "They have brought shame to their own families. They brought shame to the Black community. I just feel sorry for them. I really do. Because they didn't have to do this.

    "They had beat him to a pulp. He had bruises all over. His head was swollen like a watermelon. His neck was busting because of the swelling. They broke his neck. His nose was like an S.

    "They actually just beat the crap out of him, so when I saw him, I knew my son was gone. Even if he did live he would have been a vegetable."

    Wells said he cried after seeing the interview, though disclosed after Friday's 111-100 defeat that he had not watched the disturbing footage of the arrest and subsequent beating.

    "There's way harder things on in the city versus what's going on with our basketball right now," Jenkins told reporters.

    "I'm proud of our guys going out there. We're playing with heavy hearts, but we're also playing for our city that's going through a lot right now.

    "My words will only mean so much. I want to continue to encourage people to put their arms around each other.

    "To put their arms around the Nichols family, the Wells family to remember a beautiful life in Tyre Nichols – who I did not know, but I'm learning about.

    "Our guys are still grappling with everything going on. We have been just getting all the updates over the last couple of days on this road trip.

    "No one's been able to see the video but we do know of a tragedy that's taking place and just trying to grapple with that so there's still ongoing dialogues; everything's on the table to how we want to support our city, support the Nichols family."

    Nichols' death has echoes of the murder of George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis in 2020, sparking civil rights protests and riots in the United States and many other nations.

    The Grizzlies were among several NBA teams to release statements, with Memphis saying they were "distraught to find ourselves dealing with a needless loss of life due to police brutality". 

    An NBA statement read: "The images of Tyre Nichols' life needlessly cut short are horrifying.

    "While there have been steps toward accountability in this instance, the NBA family remains committed to partnering with advocates, policymakers and law enforcement to work toward solutions to the issues we continue to face."

    Memphis police chief Cerelyn Davis said there was a "disregard of basic human rights" and called the officers' actions "heinous, reckless and inhumane".

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.