Japanese Grand Prix – Charles Leclerc has been handed two post-race time penalties for the Japanese Grand Prix, totalling fifteen seconds.
The Ferrari driver has had fifteen seconds added on to his final race time following a stewards enquiry into two incidents during the race at Suzuka.
After starting in second place, the Monegasque came to blows with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on the opening lap of the race.
With Verstappen attempting to overtake on the outside of turn two, contact between the two drivers sent Verstappen spinning onto the grass and into eventual race retirement.
Leclerc was judged to have caused a collision between the two drivers, for which he has been handed a five-second time penalty and two penalty points on his license (bringing his total to two over a twelve month period).
The additional ten-second time penalty comes from Leclerc continuing to drive with a damaged car and not pitting for repairs straight away.
On the incident with Verstappen, the stewards ruled:
“Car 16 and car 33 were side by side as they transited turn 1 and approached turn 2 on the first lap, with car 16 on the inside. 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.”
As a result, Leclerc drops to seventh place and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo has been promoted to sixth place.