Leclerc gets double penalty for clash, late stop

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has been handed two time penalties for his incidents during the Japanese Grand Prix.

Leclerc gets double penalty for clash, late stop

Leclerc broke the left front endplate of his car in a second-corner clash with Max Verstappen at Suzuka, and the part dragged along the ground for much of the opening lap.

F1 race director Michael Masi had safety concerns about the part breaking off and, during communication with the team, he was advised that Leclerc would be pitted at the end of the second lap.

But, with Leclerc not losing much time initially, Ferrari kept him out – with the part then breaking off on the second lap.

The flying parts struck Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes, ripping off his right-hand side mirror, and pieces also ended up in the front brake duct of Lando Norris.

Leclerc has received a 15-second time penalty, five seconds for his initial collision with Verstappen and 10 for Ferrari leaving him out with a damaged car.

The penalty drops Leclerc from sixth to seventh, behind Renault's Daniel Ricciardo.

The stewards explained that "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."

Read Also:

Asked by Motorsport.com about the Leclerc situation, Masi said: "I was originally advised that they would be pitting the car. They then chose not to and subsequently Ferrari was instructed by me to pit Charles' car, which it did.

"On the second lap, the elements came off and they were still instructed to pit because we could not confirm if there was going to be anything else that was going to come off."

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto admitted he knew Leclerc would need to stop to change the wing.

However, as well as the stewards' claim that Ferrari was appeased when it saw part of the wing detach, Binotto suggested that the delay in pitting was also a response to Leclerc's pace.

He said that the team was willing to pit as soon as the FIA demanded it.

"What happened is we got the damage and Charles is the one who is driving and can feel the car, and how it behaves," he said. "From outside we saw the wing was broken so it would have needed to be changed at some stage.

"He still had the right pace, stayed out, but then the FIA asked us to come in for safety reasons and we immediately accepted the decision.

"The stewards realised maybe we should have come in earlier and we have been penalised for that as well."

Read Also:

Pushed further on whether or not he was slightly annoyed Ferrari did not pit when he expected them to, Masi said: "More than 'slightly annoyed' from a safety perspective."

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said he was upset about what Ferrari had done, especially because the broken front wing parts cost Norris the chances of a good points-scoring finish.

"We obviously strongly disagree with competitors leaving cars out on track with entire front wing endplates hanging down, putting everyone at risk," he said.

"Unfortunately when this endplate then exploded, we were catching in our front right brake duct debris, from Ferrari. Brake temperature went through the roof so we had to box him to clean it. And then the race was over."

shares
comments
Japanese GP results altered after race was declared early

Previous article

Japanese GP results altered after race was declared early

Next article

Gasly escapes penalty for "very stupid" Perez crash

Gasly escapes penalty for "very stupid" Perez crash
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Japanese GP
Drivers Charles Leclerc
Teams Scuderia Ferrari
Author Jonathan Noble
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021