Lewis Hamilton questions Charles Leclerc Italian GP ruling
"It seems like the new generation get away with a lot more," suggests the world champion after black-and-white flag to Leclerc
By Matt Morlidge at Monza
Last Updated: 09/09/19 11:57am
Lewis Hamilton has suggested Charles Leclerc should have received "different consequences" for forcing him off the track at the Italian GP, claiming "the new generation get away with a lot more".
Hamilton and Leclerc were locked in a gripping duel for much of Sunday's enthralling race but, in their critical encounter at Monza's second chicane, the Mercedes driver was squeezed wide and onto the run-off area when trying to make a move around the outside.
Leclerc was handed a black-and-white flag, a final warning, after the incident but avoided a penalty and went on to seal a popular home win for Ferrari, while Hamilton eventually dropped back to third.
"It seems like the new generation get away with a lot more in that space of how they manoeuvre their car compared to, I would say, the more experienced drivers," Hamilton, who said he had to "avoid the collision", told Sky F1.
"But it's good knowledge - now I know - and, yeah, look forward to the next one."
Hamilton then appeared to question why Leclerc was not handed a time penalty.
"We've just constantly asked for consistency," he added. "There was a rule put in place and it wasn't abided by today.
"They used different consequences for the rule today but I don't really know why that was the case. I guess the stewards woke up on a different side of the bed this morning."
"It's racing I guess. I had to avoid colliding with him a couple of times but I guess that's how the racing is today."
Why was Leclerc handed a 'yellow card'?
The use of the black-and-white flag in the Leclerc-Hamilton incident was explained by the FIA's race director, Michael Masi, when he joined Sky F1's Anthony Davidson at the SkyPad following Sunday's race.
Leclerc: New approach helped me win
Leclerc has raced wheel-to-wheel in a notably different style since he controversially lost out to Max Verstappen in Austria, and admitted this helped him claim victory on Sunday.
"Since Austria it's clear that we can go a bit further in the way we defend and overtake," he said. "I believe that Austria helped me to change my approach and today it's also thanks to this that I managed to win.
"It was obviously very on the limit but I'm happy to race like this."
He continued: "I obviously knew he was on the right but I thought I left a car width. I think it's good if we can race harder. I'm happy."
Wolff: Leclerc defence 'maybe a little bit over the edge'
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff praised Leclerc and Ferrari's performances over the weekend, as the Scuderia ended their nine-year Monza victory drought.
But the Austrian reckons the stewards' Leclerc calls could have gone the other way too.
"He drove a hard but brilliant race - and Ferrari had the strongest package, no doubt about that," Wolff told Sky Sports.
"We threw everything at them, two of our guys at him, and it wasn't enough.
"In terms of the driving, it was maybe a little bit over the edge but what is the consequence? Do you want to give him a penalty in Monza winning the race? I think we would have had riots here!"
He added to reporters: "We'd need a police escort!"
On the black-and-white flag, Wolff said: "We've seen in the last years that the young ones that came into Formula 1 may be a little bit more aggressive. These moves can end up a wall if one doesn't give up.
"Today, the driver that goes for the Drivers' Championship saved Charles and saved himself. Lewis knew what he was doing, he didn't lose any bits or parts in that incident, but he could have equally decided I'm not going to let this happen, and put the two cars out.
"I think there will be more cars touching, it will be common practice. My opinion is that it's going to get to the point where there is a collision ."
Wolff added: "I have so many problems in my life to sort out that I don't want to have Michael Masi and the FIA's problems, because this is another problem they have! We want to see hard racing but how far does the leniency go? You could have given a penalty for both incidents - the one pushing Lewis off and the other one being a bit feisty.
"But I want to give him the credit: they won the race, they had the strongest car here and look at this [the atmosphere]."