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Leclerc drops to P7 after post-race penalties

  • Published on 13 Oct 2019 11:34
  • comments 14
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Charles Leclerc has been demoted to seventh place in the final classifications of the Japanese Grand Prix after receiving two post-race time penalties.

Leclerc was handed a ten-second time penalty for driving in an unsafe condition when his front wing was broken due to contact with Max Verstappen on the opening lap of the race.

For the collision itself, Leclerc was issued a five-second time penalty, which promotes Daniel Ricciardo up into sixth place.

“Car 16 and car 33 were side by side as they transited [sic] turn 1 and approached turn 2 on the first lap, with car 16 on the inside," read the stewards statement in relation to the contact between Leclerc and Verstappen.

"As the cars approached the apex of turn 2, car 33, which was marginally in front, stayed wide and allowed sufficient room to the inside but car 16 lost front grip in the wake of the car in front and abruptly understeered towards the outside of the track, contacting car 33 and forcing it off the track.

“While the loss of front grip on car 16 caused the contact and was not intentional, that loss of grip in close proximity to the car in front should have been anticipated and allowed for by car 16. Car 16 is judged predominantly at fault for the incident.

"This is a somewhat unusual first lap incident, as only these cars were directly involved, so few of the normal mitigating circumstances exist.”

The stewards added that Ferrari increased the risk of causing another accident during the race by not ensuring Leclerc pitted at the end of the opening lap of the race.

"Car 16 received front wing damage in an incident on lap 1 at turn 2,” the stewards wrote. “The car continued on after the incident and did not pit at the end of lap 1.

“During lap 2, anticipating a call about the car, the team told the Race Director they were calling the car into the pits at the end of lap 2. During lap 2, at turn 11 one section of the front wing detached from the car.

"Later on that lap, after turn 14 a larger section of front wing detached from car 16 and impacted car 44 which was closely following car 16. This piece of wing narrowly avoided an impact in the area of the cockpit of car 44 and destroyed the right-side mirror of car 44.

“After this second piece detached, the team felt the car was now in a safe condition and despite previously telling the Race Director that the car would be called to the pits, they told car 16 to remain out and not to pit.

"On lap 3 the Race Director called the team and directed the car be brought to the pits for inspection. Car 16 pitted at the end of lap 3.

“By not bringing car 16 into the pits at the end of lap 1, immediately after the incident for a safety inspection when there was damage clearly visible and then by telling the driver to remain out for an additional lap after telling the Race Director otherwise, the team created an unsafe condition on the circuit which only narrowly avoided being a major incident and also increased the likelihood of additional incidents after the one noted.”

Replies (14)

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  • Leclerc just didn’t accept he lost the start, unnecesary accident in my opinion. Penalty should have been given in the race. Why doesn’t he get 2 penaltypoints at his license?

    • + 0
    • Oct 13 2019 - 12:21
    • JCF1

      Posts: 27

      It's just karma playing tricks with Verstappen.

      • + 0
      • Oct 13 2019 - 12:29
    • abhidbgt

      Posts: 239

      I think he did receive two penalty points on his licence.

      • + 0
      • Oct 13 2019 - 19:00
  • f1ski

    Posts: 601

    total utter bs. I would like to know how many times this season Max has been in an incident in these exact circumstances. its racing you have to first Finnish to finish first and max of late is getting tangled up when he should be more patient. I thought lewis lost his mirror with sainz.

    • + 0
    • Oct 13 2019 - 14:42
    • Which race did you see??

      • + 0
      • Oct 13 2019 - 14:55
    • You mean total utter BS what you write here. It was a clear error by Charles that ended the race of another competitor, Charles was to blame for causing a collision, so 10 seconds penalty should have been applied in lap 5/6. Then Charles also didn't follow safety rules by not "pitting and check the damaged car", so willingly put other drivers at risk. In this case Lewis was pretty lucky that the wing-end-plate that flew of the car of Charles during 300+ km/h 'only' ripped of the mirror of Lewis car and not his head. And it destroyed also Norris race. Charles should have been penalized during the race for both offences. As should Vettel for the false start, because it was a false start.

      • + 0
      • Oct 13 2019 - 15:53
  • Maybe a harsh penalty, but if there was a perpetrator in this incident, it'd be Leclerc. I'm yet to determine whether I think it was a race incident or not, however, I would say the fact Leclerc stayed out so long and spewed debris everywhere didn't help his case here.

    • + 0
    • Oct 13 2019 - 15:06
    • f1ski

      Posts: 601

      I think the penalty for debris deserved. When at the start if you are passing on the outside with cars in front you need to leave more room in anticipation. the race is only lost on the first lap

      • + 0
      • Oct 13 2019 - 15:18
    • I thought it was a clear penalty for Leclerc. The only consideration would be that it was the opening lap. What I find unacceptable is that he was allowed to drive with a car spreading not just bits, but chunks of carbon fibre all over the track. A big chunk of front wing could have easily hit drivers behind. I would be OK with no penalty for the driving, but definitely one for the later offense.

      • + 0
      • Oct 13 2019 - 18:03
    • All in all I feel we kinda agree on this one. I like Leclerc, but he need to overcome these kinda things should he want to become a true great one, which I feel he has the potential to become.

      • + 0
      • Oct 15 2019 - 07:07
  • f1dave

    Posts: 732

    If the stewards can't determine that a penalty is due within a set number of laps , say five, then there should be no action taken. These after the race decisions are pure BS.

    • + 0
    • Oct 13 2019 - 17:13
    • They do it precisely to allow the show to continue and avoid the melodrama from Canada, where fans were melting down for the next two months. Granted, we shouldn't cater to the lowest common denominator, but I see why they did it

      • + 0
      • Oct 13 2019 - 17:49
  • I feel its a racing incident, and staying out with damaged car is wrong. But, lack of consistency from racing stewards on first admitting it as a racing incident, and then penalizing later after external pressure is pure incompetency.

    • + 0
    • Oct 13 2019 - 20:29
  • LeClerc paid a calculated cost in order to send a clear message to VER and other drivers that the gloves are off. It's thanks to VER that we have more aggressive racing so he can't whine too much when he gets bumped off the track.

    • + 0
    • Oct 14 2019 - 04:44

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