Charles Leclerc, Sauber, Monaco, 2018

No action on Leclerc after brake failure leads to Hartley crash

2018 Monaco Grand Prix reaction

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The stewards will take no further action on the race-ending collision between Charles Leclerc and Brendon Hartley after the Sauber driver suffered a left front brake failure.

Leclerc lost control of his Sauber under braking for the chicane in the closing stages of the race, crashing into the rear of Hartley’s Toro Rosso and forcing a late Virtual Safety Car period.

The stewards reviewed the incident after the race, deciding to take no further action after it was confirmed that the Sauber suffered a left front brake disc failure.

Charles Leclerc expressed his disappointment at ending his first home grand prix in a collision.

“I tried my max to avoid Brendon but basically it was very difficult for me to do any better to avoid him. The only thing is that I had no brakes anymore,” explains Leclerc.

“It’s just a shame that it happens at home.”

Brendon Hartley said he had no warning of Leclerc’s problems before the impact.

“I made a small mistake which allowed Charles to get a little bit closer and he said he had a brake failure,” says Hartley. “He apologised for that. I didn’t see him coming at all, I mean he came from all the way back and took me out of the race.”

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24 comments on “No action on Leclerc after brake failure leads to Hartley crash”

  1. Of course they wouldn’t penalise Charles. A brake wasn’t his fault at all. In fact they should thank him for the great damage limitation steps he took by slowing himself down using the armco and trying to minimise the impact on Hartley’s car.

    Maybe send a video clip of this to Grosjean as an example of considerate and respectful driving.

    1. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
      27th May 2018, 19:04


    2. @todfod Charles said the pedal was getting longer and longer for a few laps. I remember others parking their car because of that same reason. Maybe Charles could’ve done the same. A long brake pedal is bad news. Maybe that’s what they investigated, if the was avoidable or not in that sense.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        27th May 2018, 20:36

        That’s the team’s fault through – not his. I’d expect a more experienced driver to pull over perhaps but not a youngster in his first home race.

        1. Sirotkin got harsh penalty for team’s fault.

          1. So did Alonso a few years back when limping horses were working on his car at 5 min warning and he was in fight for title. it does seem harsh penalising drivers for teams fault but what other options are available to penalise team without hurting drivers? Losing constructor points hurts more than just some random monetary fines.

      2. Sauber said they didn’t think it was a problem until too late.

    3. +1000, that is how a professional driver should handle a failure of car.

  2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    27th May 2018, 18:53

    Didn’t look like a brake failure to me. He got on the kerb and as soon as he did he locked his right wheel and couldn’t stop any faster.

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      27th May 2018, 19:03

      You can see the brake explode just before.

    2. Brakes failed before then. Puff of smoke if you look closely, he goes onto the kerb and locks trying to slow the car down against the barrier to minimise damage.

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        27th May 2018, 23:38

        @passingisoverrated @hugh11
        I’ve rewatched it, you guys were right. My mistake

        1. Womble Hunter
          28th May 2018, 7:03


    3. pastaman (@)
      27th May 2018, 23:37

      You obviously have all the information to come to this conclusion.

  3. I’m curious about the sequence of events leading up to the accident, because Toro Rosso appeared to issue a radio message to Hartley noting a problem for Leclerc and the need to open a gap shortly before the incident. *If* that was because they had heard some Sauber radio exchange describing a brake problem, then that implies Leclerc/Sauber knew they had a problem which ultimately ended another competitor’s race. It seems to me that under those circumstances there ought to be a penalty for Leclerc/Sauber for failing to retire the car before the failure, particularly given the penalty that Sirotkin received for the wheelnut issue pre-race.

    Does anyone know if that was the case, or if that radio message referred to some unrelated issue? (in which case “no penalty” makes sense)

    1. @ Quant
      The issue was indeed unrelated, it was the 5-second penalty Hartley had received for speeding in the pit lane. He needed a gap to stay ahead of Leclerc in the final result (which could’ve easily become a points finish considering he was running in 11th position).

      1. Ah ok, thanks!

    2. There are quite a lot of possible brake issues, some of which can be (and have been) managed for rather longer than the five laps left on the board at the time. I think both Sauber and Toro Rosso thought Charles had one of those issues, and the latter’s message to Brendon was meant to be interpreted as “Charles has a problem, this is a great time to take a few chances in order to break the tow and get a gap”.

      This is as distinct from the teams believing the issue was potentially race-ending and the message meaning “Charles has a problem, strafe left ASAP”.

  4. The right decision.

  5. It wasn’t his fault but I still feel that, this being a team sport, the car’s failure caused a collision and ought to be penalised

  6. He was so close to Hartley throughout the race. Before the race, Ericsson told Swedish media the Saubers were “on the limit” in terms of cooling. Leclerc could probably have avoided this by being less aggressive and cooling his car every few laps. We could see many others dropping back 2ish seconds every ten or so laps before edging closer again.

    1. For most of the race, Ericsson was about the same distance behind Leclerc, because all three of them were forming a train (in the latter half of the race, a frustrated Perez provided the last carriage). There wasn’t much space for either Sauber to drop back into after Perez joined in the melee.

      1. For most of the race, Ericsson dropped back maybe every 8-10 laps to about 2.5 seconds, then built that back up after 2-3 laps.

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