Charles Leclerc given two time penalties in Japanese GP after Max Verstappen collision
Ferrari driver drops behind Ricciardo to seventh in Japan after a 15-second penalty for Max Verstappen shunt and "unsafe" aftermath
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 13/10/19 4:29pm
Charles Leclerc has dropped a place to seventh in a revised Japanese GP result after being handed two time penalties in the wake of his first-lap clash with Max Verstappen.
The Ferrari driver was given an initial five-second sanction for the incident itself after stewards ruled Leclerc was "predominantly at fault" for the collision, which forced the Red Bull off track and effectively ended Verstappen's race.
But Leclerc was also handed a more severe 10-second penalty for not pitting at the end of the first lap to repair his car's damaged wing - and then carrying on until lap three, by which time the wing had broken apart and debris strewn backwards towards Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes, which sustained a broken wing mirror.
Ferrari were fined €25,000.
"By not bringing car 16 into the pits at the end of lap 1, immediately after the incident for a safety inspection when there was damage clearly visible and then by telling the driver to remain out for an additional lap after telling the Race Director otherwise, the team created an unsafe condition on the circuit which only narrowly avoided being a major incident," said the stewards.
Leclerc tweeted: "My mistake in Turn 1. It ruined Max's race and put ourself in a bad position for the remaining [sic] of the race."
Leclerc drops behind Renault's Daniel Ricciardo to seventh place, with the Australian promoted to sixth after a charging drive from 16th on the grid.
However, in a further post-race stewards' investigation, Racing Point protested both Renault cars on Sunday night at Suzuka over an alleged technical infringement. The race result therefore remains provisional.
Revised provisional Japanese GP Top 10
1. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
3. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
4. Alexander Albon, Red Bull
5. Carlos Sainz, McLaren
6. Daniel Ricciardo, Renault
7. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
8. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso
9. Sergio Perez, Racing Point
10. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault
In full: Stewards' verdict on the collision
"Car 16 [Leclerc] and car 33 [Verstappen] were side by side as they transited turn 1 and approached turn 2 on the first lap, with car 16 on the inside. As the cars approached the apex of turn 2, car 33, which was marginally in front, stayed wide and allowed sufficient room to the inside but car 16 lost front grip in the wake of the car in front and abruptly understeered towards the outside of the track, contacting car 33 and forcing it off the track.
"While the loss of front grip on car 16 caused the contact and was not intentional, that loss of grip in close proximity to the car in front should have been anticipated and allowed for by car 16. Car 16 is judged predominantly at fault for the incident. This is a somewhat unusual first lap incident, as only these cars were directly involved, so few of the normal mitigating circumstances exist."
In full: Stewards' verdict on not pitting immediately
"Car 16 received front wing damage in an incident on lap 1 at turn 2. The car continued on after the incident and did not pit at the end of lap 1. During lap 2, anticipating a call about the car, the team told the Race Director they were calling the car into the pits at the end of lap 2. During lap 2, at turn 11 one section of the front wing detached from the car. Later on that lap, after turn 14 a larger section of front wing detached from car 16 and impacted car 44 [Hamilton] which was closely following car 16.
"This piece of wing narrowly avoided an impact in the area of the cockpit of car 44 and destroyed the right-side mirror of car 44. After this second piece detached, the team felt the car was now in a safe condition and despite previously telling the Race Director that the car would be called to the pits, they told car 16 to remain out and not to pit. On lap 3 the Race Director called the team and directed the car be brought to the pits for inspection. Car 16 pitted at the end of lap 3.
"By not bringing car 16 into the pits at the end of lap 1, immediately after the incident for a safety inspection when there was damage clearly visible and then by telling the driver to remain out for an additional lap after telling the Race Director otherwise, the team created an unsafe condition on the circuit which only narrowly avoided being a major incident and also increased the likelihood of additional incidents after the one noted."