Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2021

“Stupid accident” which took Leclerc out shouldn’t happen – Ferrari

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto made his frustration clear after Charles Leclerc was taken out of the Hungarian Grand Prix on the first lap.

Leclerc was hit by Lance Stroll at the first corner. The stewards ruled Stroll was entirely to blame for the collision and gave him a five-place grid penalty.

“Certainly the accident at the start is a shame,” said Binotto. “Charles had a good start, was cautious, made sure that he was not damaging the car, he was in a good position with the first corner almost already concluded.

“But obviously the accident happened. I think [it’s] really a stupid accident, I don’t think that such things should happen, but that’s the way it is.”

Following his retirement Charles Leclerc described the crash on social media as a “bowling game”. He said Stroll made a significant error from a long way behind him.

Stroll and Leclerc retired after the collision
“I know that sometimes small mistakes can have big consequences,” said Leclerc. “I think though this time it’s not really a small mistake.

“I couldn’t see Lance in my mirrors and he was five or six positions back. So it was quite unrealistic for him to try anything there.”

Stroll said his first-corner retirement was “very frustrating”.

“Just challenging conditions, a lot going on, and it’s just a shame,” he added. “It was just really tricky, very slippery. I tried to avoid the cars in front of me, and it just was a disaster.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2021 F1 season

Browse all 2021 F1 season articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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.

15 comments on ““Stupid accident” which took Leclerc out shouldn’t happen – Ferrari”

  1. I like Charles a lot, but he also makes some silly mistakes. Bumping into Vettel last year at the Styrian GP comes to mind.

    1. @macaque I actually thought that was a move which was on until it wasn’t…there was over a car width at the apex that disappeared because the cars on the outside started pinching Vettel in the middle. It was at worst a move similar to Spa 2016 which Verstappen tried to pull on the 2 Ferraris (and succeeded).

    2. yeah, I was thinking the same…
      In my mind very similar, difference is that Leclerc could continue in Austria
      And Leclerc more silly, because it was on his teammate

    3. also, Leclerc crashed into Perez and Verstappen last year in Bahrain with the same driver error.

  2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    2nd August 2021, 13:39

    Charles has also ruined Gasly in a race this year and was not even investigated.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      2nd August 2021, 13:40

      F1 race director Michael Masi did look into the incident but felt that the clash was just a typical first lap collision, so did not request a proper investigation by the FIA stewards.

      That was in the dry but in Hungary no allowance has been made for the slippery conditions and the fact that the start was the first time any driver had run with intermediate tyres.

    2. @andyfromsandy
      That wasn’t nearly so bad as what Stroll did, Stroll looked like he was in an F1 2021 public lobby.

  3. Leclerc was in the inside of turn 1 just in front of Ocon (far from the Bottas crashfest) when Stroll hit him. He (or Ricciardo) could have won the race yesterday if Daddy Stroll wasn’t rich.

    1. Rashmil Rajagopalan
      2nd August 2021, 15:34

      The Red Bulls would’ve been in contention if for Bottas’s crash too. In a way, am happy how the race panned out. Makes the post summer break even more interesting. And good to see other guys on the podium for a change.

  4. How many times in the history of F1 has it rained between the opening of the pit lane and the start of the race?
    Surely yesterday’s weather conditions posed a totally unique situation…. Bottas and Stroll are the two that made the mistakes yesterday, but it could have been any other pair of drivers.

    1. And then dried up 30 minutes later. Imagine if the start time was an hour later.

    2. @x1znet I think one famous example was Interlagos 2008, where the rain started falling just minutes before the formation lap started, and everyone switched to inters. Aside from an early incident that put Coulthard out on his last race, I don’t believe there were any other mistakes. Of course, refuelling back then meant lighter cars and also the grooved tyres weren’t as different from wets as slicks are now, but still. Senna S is a tricky turn.

    3. It’s also easy to forget what we are watching and the TV direction takes pain really to mask that with the long angles, tracking shots, etc. If you see the start live or in a fan video, the speed of the last car on the grid by the time it passes the start line is astonishing. And obviously they keep accelerating from there. They way the cars decelerate looks like a cartoon. It seems impossible. You can see how getting it wrong by a fraction of a second on your braking in a big pack of cars can end in tears.

  5. Such a shame Leclerc and Norris didn’t make it. Imagine the fight for the win had been between them.

  6. Oddly enough he hit LeClerc because he tried to avoid hitting Ocon.

Comments are closed.