Leclerc Penalty At The Japan Grand Prix Twice As Painful For Ferrari

Leclerc Penalty At The Japan Grand Prix Twice As Painful For Ferrari
 
The ruling from the FIA comes a couple hours after the provisional results were published. As such, we’ve updated your F1 results page accordingly.

Leclerc was called “predominantly” as the at fault party by the FIA at fault for the lap 1 incident with Max Verstappen.  They handed down a five-second time penalty. He was also given two penalty points on his license for unsafe driving.

Due to the negligence he and his team showed of grid safety allowing debris to spread on the track, he was awarded another 10-second time penalty. His team were fined €25,000. This took him from 6th place to 7th place.

“…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.”

“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.”

Japanese Grand Prix Stewards On Leclerc/Ferrari Safety

…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.

Leclerc Penalty Japan Implications Going Forward

As a result, Leclerc was deemed “predominantly” as the at fault party by the FIA at fault for the lap 1 incident with Max Verstappen.  They handed down a five-second time penalty. He was also given two penalty points on his license for unsafe driving.

Due to the negligence he and Ferrari showed of grid safety allowing debris to spread on the track, he was awarded another 10-second time penalty. His team were fined €25,000. This took him from 6th place to 7th place. 

Michael Masi On Instructing Ferrari to pit Leclerc

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.

What happened is we got the damage and Charles is the one who is driving and can feel the car, and how it behaves. 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 realized maybe we should have come in earlier and we have been penalized for that as well.

He is trying to imply that Ferrari are victim of the FIA in hindsight – which is objectively irrational at best. Ferrari got punished for allowing an unsafe situation unfold with their driver, plain and simple. The FIA forcing you to come in to check if your car is safe is a poor standard to live up to in the world of Formula 1. Two things can be true at once:

  1. The FIA should have been more forthright in calling Leclerc in.
  2. Ferrari should have been responsible and focused on the safety of the grid as a whole than just their own results.

Just because it may sacrifice part of your race doesn’t you get the right to sacrifice the lives and races of other drivers. This situation will set the benchmark, in my estimation, of a more firm FIA. They have shown that not only can drivers walk all over them knowing they will be bailed out, but teams are now taking advantage of a looser FIA.

For those who want a less strict FIA, you seem to be missing the fact that they are there not for safety, but to ensure the selfish nature of constructors and drivers alike don’t reign supreme. If everyone cares first and foremost about their results, that only lasts so long before two interests with opposing motivations meet. There plenty of F1 news to prove that – in particular from the Japanese Grand Prix It just happened in Japan and we’re lucky Lewis or Lando were injured in a severe way.

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