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Leclerc handed grid penalty

NEWS STORY
11/07/2020

As if Charles Leclerc wasn't miserable enough having failed to make it out of Q2, the stewards have compounded his misery by handing him a 3-place grid penalty.

According to the stewards, Leclerc had been adequately informed by the team after turn 7 that Kvyat would be approaching and that he should watch out for traffic.

Following this, he accelerated on the approach to turn 9, but eventually slowed down again after spotting another car in front of him in turn 9 in order to prevent having his following lap affected. The Monegasque stated that it would have been impossible for him to see anything in his rear view mirrors due to the bad weather conditions.

Video evidence and telemetry data however clearly showed that Kvyat was impeded in turns 9 and 10.

Although the weather conditions might have affected the visibility in the rear view mirrors and he had no intention of impeding another car, the stewards determine that Leclerc must have been aware of Kvyat approaching, could have reacted differently and therefore impose the penalty.

The youngster faced an even harsher penalty when he was summoned by the stewards for crossing the control line after a red flag was shown following Antonio Giovinazzi's crash at the end of Q1.

Having spoken to Leclerc and his team representative, as well as vewing video evidence, the stewards deemed that the red flag came at the moment the Ferrari driver was approaching the entry of Turn 9 and fully committed to the turn.

Leclerc braked hard, did not accelerate after turn 9 and considered entering the pit lane by crossing the white line at pit entry, but felt it would have been unsafe do so. The driver reacted appropriately, continued on track and drove the lap afterwards at safe speeds.

Taking this into account, the stewards determined not to take no further action.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Spielberg, here.

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