Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2019

Leclerc fumes over “unacceptable” run-off after crash

2019 German Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

An unhappy Charles Leclerc criticised the “unacceptable” run-off area at the outside of turn 15 after the crash that put him out of the German Grand Prix.

The corner was the scene of multiple incidents and crashes during the race. Leclerc crashed after losing control of his car on the Tarmac drag strip at the exit of the corner.

“It was very slippery,” said the Ferrari driver. “The only thing I can say is I think it’s unacceptable to have this type of Tarmac exit out of the two last corners there. It’s like a dragster track and once you go on it, it’s just very, very dangerous

“So my mistake was not huge but the fact that going on this Tarmac I had absolutely no control over the car.”

However Leclerc said he was solely to blame for the crash which put him out.

“This is in no way an excuse to the mistake. I take full responsibility of it. But I believe that this type of Tarmac should not be on a Formula 1 track.”

Leclerc’s crash came after his car was repaired overnight following the fuel system problem which put him out of qualifying yesterday.

“It feels very bad,” he said. “I feel very bad for the team, for the fans, for everyone that has been working also to put the car back together for today. It’s a big shame.”

Don't miss anything new from RaceFans

Follow RaceFans on social media:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

79 comments on “Leclerc fumes over “unacceptable” run-off after crash”

  1. He should have done with Vettel did.

  2. Sorry for saying this, but overrated

    1. Not excused. Drivers like Lewis, Kimi and Hulk, also did the same mistake.

    2. Then Hamilton is overrated. For a seasoned veteran to have 2 spins in one race, one occurring during a safety lap, doesn’t do much for those claiming is the GOAT.

      1. Hamilton, at this point, is a bit overrated indeed. Or rather, Lewis actually is a great in the history of this sport but he is just a little bit flattered by being in a Merc in this hybrid era.

        Leclerc looks very promising but we are talking about him in the same breath as Verstappen, whilst Max already has 7 wins in a mostly inferior car. Charles has 0 in a car that actually is good enough to challenge Mercedes on merit. Now, his tenure in the red car is only 10 races old, but he did make a few glaring and costly mistakes already.

        1. Slavisa (@sylversurferr)
          28th July 2019, 19:20

          Crashstappen is overrated to.

      2. Hamilton is overrated.

        1. You might as well say Senna and Schumacher were overrated too.

          Being a great driver doesn’t mean you don’t have a crappy race weekend. It’s how you deal with it that counts.

          So how many F1 races have you won?

          1. Here we go, all the little trolls have been waiting an eternity for Lewis to make a mistake and are creaming themselves at the chance to twist the knife. Pathetic.

            First mistake in god knows how long but sEb iS bETter ThaN leWiS all of a sudden when he makes errors most weekends.

          2. I’m quite sure I have won the exact same amount of F1 races as anybody here, so that doesn’t settle much. I think Hamilton is overrated. That’s my opinion on the topic; overreaction from your part does absolutely nothing to change that.

    3. Oh yeah! Well I think Stroll is overrated!!!!!!!!!

  3. I don’t know, Charles, that’s kind of become my favourite corner.

    1. Not very classy of Leclerc to go on about ‘unacceptable’….
      Others didn’t end up underneath the Mercedes Benz sign like he did.

      1. He’s probably upset that no matter what he does, Mercedes Benz always ends up on top of him.

    2. Its entertaining that people want gravel run off, not tarmac. In this instance the tarmac is lined by the tiniest amount of gravel, but just enough to trap a car.
      Full gravel trap today would have removed at least another two or three cars. Enough that Williams could have had a major winfall!
      I know in this instance he’s complaining about the “wrong type” of tarmac, but I guess its good that tracks are different, even off track.

  4. It was easy to see than run-off made big impacts on relatively small mistakes, as seen with Hülkenberg, Hamilton and Räikkönen too.

    1. Yeah, it died; still, not everyone go on it when it was the biggest problem, so they were there to pick up the win/podium/points.

  5. “But I believe that this type of Tarmac should not be on a Formula 1 track.”

    Er, it wasn’t. Stay on the track…

    1. Exactly.

      All those fans who get annoyed at drivers’ inability to stay between the white lines feel vindicated today.

    2. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
      28th July 2019, 16:33

      He has a point, having standing water defeats the whole purpose of the run-off. The point is that you still have some control of your car, not that you aquaplane into the barriers.

      1. @passingisoverrated yeah, well said – stay on track, but for safety, gravel would have been better there today.

        1. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
          28th July 2019, 16:40

          They are unrelated. It’s rediculous to suggest that you can’t criticise an issue, just because you made a mistake.

          1. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
            28th July 2019, 16:42

            @bosyber Was for someone else, this comment

        2. @bosyber – but they did have gravel at the periphery, didn’t they? So that helped bleed off speed before arriving at the barriers.

          1. Yep, it did, today that was a good thing, it definitely helped to keep Hamilton in the race, for example @phylyp

      2. @passingisoverrated @bosyber well, no. Or, not sure @bosyber is tongue in cheek, but the alternative is either fatal wall, or almost-always fatal gravel. Tarmac means the *right* driver can salvage it (say, Kimi)

        1. @hahostolze, well, it would have been better today to have gravel, but I was a bit flippant, bit of a high after that race I suppose :)

          To be serious, that bit of tarmac there is the dragstrip, which probably means it has quite a bit of rubber there to be slippery when wet. They could look whether a different solution there might be better for wet races (have at least a year now, I gather …).

          But, as you say @hohostolze, ultimately, those that slipped up there, went too fast into the corner so they couldn’t halt the momentum on that slippery bit that was off track, while others didn’t let it get to that point.

        2. The “right driver” running an illegal car.

          Good point.

      3. The drivers became too comfortable using the runoff areas without any serious time loss, but once when its wet and when it bites them they start to moan and cry. If there would be gravel, he might have been stuck, if there would be a wall he would break the wing or the suspension as well. And he would still moan it is not fair. I thought more of him, but he is becoming a professional moaner. He was moaning in Austria, now he moans in Germany….

        1. Nothing wrong with run off, learn to stay on track. Make everything gravel and grass again, see em complain..

        2. If there would be gravel, he might have been stuck

          @proteus – it was amusing (in a cruel way) to see the Hulk frantically spinning his wheels in the gravel. I don’t know what he hoped to achieve, what with the way his car was pointing into the barriers, and with apparent front-left suspension damage.

  6. Does Monaco also have unacceptable runoffs then? Unforgiving layout just how it should be, Charles. Better luck next time!

    1. It doesn’t have a bath at the edge of the track (even the big bath is separated from the track by barriers).

  7. Now can we know why LEC escaped the unsafe release penalty? VER was penalized with 5 seconds penalty in Monaco for unsafe release.

    1. It was a penalty. I was waiting for 5 or 10 seconds. Unacceptable. If there was a touch with Grosjean, they could easily run over pit members

      1. i think they dont want to enforce a race penalty for something that doesnt affect the race. if they had contact he would take a penalty like max in monaco an i think they have made a good decision

    2. Boudi The team has been fined, the driver should not be penalised for this they go when told.

      1. The thing is, whatever the fine is (say 50k pounds), it means different things to different teams. To someone like Williams, it’s a fair chunk of money. To the manufacturers and RBR, it’s a rounding error. And that sets into motion a calculus that “OK, let’s shave a tenth off the pit exit to overtake the car ahead, the worst is we pay 50k”. Max’s shenanigans at Monaco were bad enough, and now this.

        A time penalty hurts everyone equally, those competing for positions/points more so. And that would make them fear it more.

        I was pleased that Leclerc escaped sanction for a pit crew error, but am disheartened at the precedent that has been set.

        1. Yep, sets a dangerous precedent. Dangerous being the key word, it’s to protect the people working in the pitlane, they just but a price on their injuries..

          1. they just [p]ut a price on their injuries

            @maxv – perfectly summed up.

          2. @phylyp
            I think its pretty clear that had he gained an advantage or caused a crash he would have gotten a penalty. This is no precedant to do whatever you want in the pitlane for a fine…

        2. @phylyp

          A time penalty hurts everyone equally, those competing for positions/points more so. And that would make them fear it more.

          That’s the issue for me, a driver or the other part of the team being penalised for the others mistake. The driver runs a separate points sore than the team so that could be one option. if a monetary penalty is imposed it could be proportional to the teams budget. So yes Williams may be 50-100k while Ferrari may be several million.
          I’m sure there will be further discussion after that decision.

        3. @phylyp then maybe put a fine proportional to the bonus payments?

          1. @johnrkh @spoutnik – a proportional penalty would work in many cases, but there’d still be times like a title decider where the prestige of a win outweighs even a stringent cost. And no, I fail to see the distinction between a driver being penalized for a crew error – they’re a team and they win/lose as one. It’s no different from the team losing out on points because a driver binned the car.

            I know I said “I was pleased that Leclerc escaped sanction for a pit crew error”, but I must clarify that if Leclerc had been handed a time penalty that went on to affect his finishing position/points, I’d have been furious with Ferrari, sympathetic to Leclerc, but that’s racing. I wouldn’t have been asking for any waiver for Leclerc.

          2. @phylyp fair enough, I can absolutely hear the “winning and loosing as one” argument. I was more thinking about a way to avoid ruining a race on technicalities.

  8. ‘Oooo it’s too slippery’. Jeez.
    Shame he’s talking like this. Keep being likeable please Charles!

  9. needed someone on his ear saying slow down. charles had many moments many more than everyone else at that moment.

  10. Charles Leclerc, a driver for his generation. Tilke-sad.

  11. Sore loser, showed he needs to delevop a lot more.

  12. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    28th July 2019, 16:42

    This is his 3rd crucial mistake of the year. He is fast and talented but he needs to fix those mistakes. But don’t be too hard on yourself Charles, even Lewis did a mistake as well as Kimi.

    1. and everyone think he is way better than VET

      1. @naylamp
        Well he is, have you been watching Vettel lately? ;)
        LeClerc is having some rookiemistakes but there really is no excuse for Vettels lack of pace and sloppiness.

  13. He knew the run-off was extremely slippery. Hence there is also the option to take it more slowly in that one corner to avoid a DNF – especially on a new set of dry tyres.

  14. So, Mercedes say it’s a weekend for learning and Ferrari blame the track… hmmm…

    1. Since when Leclerc has become Ferrari? It’s just his own opinion After he lost a probable victory due to the mistake

      1. Since 11 september 2018

  15. Leclerc made a mistake so did several other very good drivers. Verstappen won fair and square that’s it.

  16. So obviously LEC is one of these spoiled drivers that want forgiving circuits and predicable victories. I’ll become no fan of him.

    Awesome race!

  17. Neil (@neilosjames)
    28th July 2019, 17:25

    That run-off was perfect today. Properly punished errors, even a single wheel off the road cost a bit of time.

    1. @neilosjames well said, very enjoyable run off.

      1. … should be installed at every track!

  18. Nah, that’s just the kind of thing that we need: mistakes to be penalised. Compare the last few corners in the wet to T1 in the dry: going off the track leads to a crash (unless you’re Kimi Räikkönen) versus nothing of consequence happens.

    Also, can’t see how slipping from the track at almost walking speed could be called dangerous with these cars.

  19. A new game for F1 drivers: “The runoff is lava”

  20. On the other hand, I hope other tracks do something similar to punish drivers who can’t stay on the track.

  21. Got to love people saying mistakes should be punished in relation to Leclerc’s off; then going on the praise Max and no mention that he didn’t get punished for his off.

    1. @riptide
      The corner was no different for Max and i havnt seen a single Max fan complaining about the track when he crashes so love it all you want, i love it to.

      1. Well done for missing the point. Max went off (twice) at different corners and was not punished. Ham went off elsewhere and was not punished Those corners didn’t punish an off. So make up your mind, all corners punish an off, or they don’t?

  22. That run-off was my favorite section of track today. Everyone says they want the driver to be penalized for going off track and that’s exactly what that corner did. I loved it.
    I think this highlights why in the past Ferrari would not put a young driver in their cars.

    1. True statement. The track did what is supposed to do. Some were lucky and others not. Stop weeping, next race new opportunities.

  23. You mean a mix of slippery stuff and gravel? Sounds like what fans were asking for. I loved it, many a driver was cought in it today. Made racing look dramatic and dangerous.

  24. When you leave track limits, you should not expect a racing surface.
    If you crash out with zero, or minimal, injuries then the run off, gravel & barrier did their job as designed.
    I prefer it when mistakes are punished by the track, not the stewards.

  25. i like leclerc but its his job to know the track, same with hulkenberg. same with ricciardo in australia this year. know every inch of he track and the grounds/run-offs/grass/gravel/tarmac. drive accordingly and stop whinning! its the same for everyone.

  26. Controversial opinion here, but I do agree with him. In a sport defined by standard behavior, this was an unexpected addition. All tracks are designed with runoffs that are either tarmac or gravel trap. This isn’t something that is ever put on a track, and while it is entertaining, it does show that no driver was expecting that. This is the same as sprinklers on the track that randomly go off which Bernie suggested. If a slippery piece of runoff that drives people into a wall is acceptable, then so are sprinklers that randomly go off.

    1. @hatebreeder
      As long as the sprinkler is natural then yes, this was an awesome race and it really highlighted the best drivers.

  27. Typical modern-day crybaby.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.