Leclerc grid penalty deepens Ferrari gloom

Grid drop caps another disappointing qualy for Ferrari; “We have to work out why and change this state of affairs, which is just not good enough for a team by the name of Ferrari,” says team boss Binotto

By James Galloway and Matt Morlidge

Last Updated: 11/07/20 8:04pm

Charles Leclerc will drop three places from his already-disappointing grid slot at the Styrian GP for blocking Daniil Kvyat in qualifying.

The Ferrari driver had dropped out in Q2 in 11th place but will now start 14th.

Williams’ George Russell takes over at the head of the sixth row to further-improve the Englishman’s best-ever qualifying position in F1. Lance Stroll and Kvyat himself also gain a place at Leclerc’s expense.

After a post-race investigation, a stewards’ statement on Leclerc read: “The driver of Car 16 had been adequately informed by the team after turn 7 that Car 26 [Kvyat] would be approaching and that he should watch out for traffic.

“Following this, he accelerated on the approach to turn 9, but eventually slowed down again after spotting another car in front of him in turn 9 in order to prevent having his following lap affected.

“Furthermore, the driver of Car 16 stated that it would have been impossible for him to see anything in his rear view mirrors due to the bad weather conditions.

“Video evidence and telemetry data clearly showed that the driver of Car 26 was impeded by Car 16 in turns 9 and 10.

“Although the weather conditions might have affected the visibility in the rear view mirrors and the driver had no intention of impeding another car, the Stewards determine that the driver of Car 16 must have been aware of Car 26 approaching, could have reacted differently and therefore impose the above mentioned penalty.”

More to follow…

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