Charles Leclerc accepted the penalty he and Ferrari were given for failing to bring his damaged car into the pits during the Japanese Grand Prix.Max Verstappen. Parts of Leclerc’s car struck Lewis Hamilton’s car, breaking one of his mirrors, and went into one of Lando Norris’s brake ducts, causing overheating.
Leclerc was also given a 10-second time penalty for the incident. However the subsequent disqualification of both Renaults meant it had no effect on his finishing position.
According to Leclerc, as soon as he saw the footage of the incident he realised he would get a penalty. “Actually I was quite expecting it,” he said. “Once I arrived in stewards room and I saw the images, it would have been wrong to not get a penalty for that.”
However Leclerc admitted he “was not thinking about” the incident during the race. Radio messages between him and the team during the race show he queried the first instruction for him to come in, then the Ferrari pit wall changed its mind and told him to stay out.
Leclerc was also given a five-second time penalty for his collision with Verstappen. He revealed he spoke to the Red Bull driver afterwards.
“We had a small discussion before we went into the stewards room,” said Leclerc. “He knew I had done a mistake and these things happen.”
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