Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Sochi Autodrom, 2020

F1 stewards aren’t giving me an easy time, says Leclerc

2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc says he doesn’t think Formula 1’s stewards are treating him more leniently than other drivers.

However he admitted there had been one occasion this year where he was surprised not to receive a penalty.

Leclerc escaped sanction for performing a practice start outside of the prescribed area at Spa-Francorchamps, an infringement which Lewis Hamilton fell foul of later in the season at Sochi. During the Spanish Grand Prix Leclerc also drove for over a lap with his seatbelt disconnected, which the stewards also did not take action on.

In Leclerc’s view, the stewards were correct not to take action on both occasions. “In Spain, I think I’ve explained the situation better, at first there was some doubt so, I don’t think so,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “In Spa it was very different to what happened to Lewis in Sochi.”

However Leclerc admitted he was fortunate to avoid a penalty in the Russian Grand Prix. He collided with Lance Stroll on the first lap of the race, which left the Racing Point driver in the barriers. Stroll was among those who questioned why no action had been taken against Leclerc.

“I would say probably the incident with Lance, I was a bit lucky to escape that one,” said Leclerc. “But on the other two if you look at the situation better then it was not that obvious.”

Leclerc’s most recent penalty was at the Styrian Grand Prix, where he received a three-place grid drop for impeding Daniil Kvyat during qualifying.

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2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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    19 comments on “F1 stewards aren’t giving me an easy time, says Leclerc”

    1. Wait what?

      1. Careful with the headline, it has a completely different implication to the first line of the article. The headline makes it seem as if he was complaining about it.

      2. That is what his answer was on the question that he was giving him a easy time with 3 examples which he debunked. Do his accident with Lance could be seen as the stewards ignore it and that was lucky as he could be penaulized.

    2. I really can’t see where he’s coming from here; the seatbelts incident was stupid beyond belief imo and, although last season, he was extremely lucky to get away with his block on Hamilton in the 2019 Italian GP. I’m honestly struggling to think of one incident where I thought he was treated harshly.

    3. The pattern was set at Monza last year when he drove Hamilton off the road (given the Leclerc-special black-and-white flag meaning “proceed as you wish, we’ve got your back”), cut a chicane to save a place and moved twice under braking. And somehow all that was applauded later as a ‘superb defensive drive’. Sure.

      1. Dont forget the worst example of his driving seen at Suzuka GP which was gone unpenalised and at Monza- weaving on straights, moving while braking and waiting in anticipation of overtake move from opponent.

    4. The problem is the rapid changing of SD philosophy.
      A few years back they had discretion on the offence (but was it dangerous) and penalties (nothing up to 10 sec penalty) but there were complaints that SD were inconsistent and not transparent. For a little while Charlie monitored and encouraged “Reasons” to not be just the written rule but HOW is had been broken.
      Unfortunately FIA culture can’t cope with ‘objective’ decisions/penalties.
      So rules were changed to black or white offences and set minimum penalties. No one was threatened with harm but is a minimum 5 sec penalty.

      It needs a new man/team at the top to change the whole culture to that adopted in many hazardous industries aviation, O&G, mining, chemicals and also their legislation & stds in many nations. eg ISO Management STds.

    5. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      22nd October 2020, 18:20

      The inconsistencies all come down to the stewarding. I don’t believe anyone driver or team is getting preferable treatment as a whole by the stewards. Maybe instead of having different groupings each and every race… the FIA puts together a group 1, 2, 3 (each group having the exact same stewards) so at least you have the consistency between groups. That way, drivers and teams will have a better idea what the pattern maybe at the races each group stewards? Think of it as the referees at NFL games! Each referee grouping calls a game a particular way and the teams know their tendencies (in-turn knows what to expect to get away with).

    6. They will eventually replace the stewards with a FIA-developed version of Siri. This can provide fair and instant answers in a smooth Finnish accent. They can call it Kimi.

      1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
        22nd October 2020, 19:22

        Brah… as long as I can listen in on all the convos!

    7. We all know its max who is the stewards baby driver. When red bull is not comfortably the second fastest car his skills will show once again. Just like vettel in 2015 people were saying vettel is one of the best because he was always on the podium and got some 2nd places and a few wins, now look at vettel

    8. Hamilton was given time penalties and points for practicing starts outside of the acceptable area. The points were not removed! The points were replaced with a team fine because the team approved HAM’s request to practice there.
      Not only did Leclerc not get a time penalty for practicing starts in the wrong location, there were no points to LEC nor a fine to Ferrari for the action.
      I don’t blame LEC but the stewards are definitely pro Ferrari.

    9. If any driver on the grid has it easy with stewards.. it’s probably Leclerc. We’ve seen a 6 time WDC in Hamilton get penalised for smaller infringements.

      I really like Leclerc.. but this is a topic where he should just stay quiet on.

    10. Slightly disappointed with the wording of this headline @dieterrencken and @keithcollantine. It seems to suggest that Leclerc went out of his way to complain that the stewards are giving him a hard time. The reality is that he was responding to a question as to whether he thought the stewards were being lenient with him, and he seems to disagree for two out of three incidents, and agree partially on the Sochi incident with Stroll.

      1. @wsrgo

        he was responding to a question as to whether he thought the stewards were being lenient with him, and he seems to disagree

        F1 stewards aren’t giving me an easy time

        The headline is literally saying exactly the same as you did but in fewer words, kinda how a headline works really. If you interpreted it wrongly that’s hardly the headline writers fault.

      2. I can see how you could read it that way, but I read it the other way. You have to remember that virtually every quote from a driver is a response to a question from the media. Most of them have better things to do than instigate a media briefing of their own accord.

    11. RIP Charlie Whiting.
      Zero stewarding bs in his day.

      1. You forget quickly. ;) F1-stewarding most closely resembles a RNG.

    12. He’s probably the driver in F1 getting away with things that most other drivers get penalised for..

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