Leclerc handed three-place grid penalty after Sakhir GP opening lap collision

Charles Leclerc has been handed a three-place grid penalty for the Formula 1 season finale in Abu Dhabi for causing an opening lap collision in the Sakhir Grand Prix

Leclerc handed three-place grid penalty after Sakhir GP opening lap collision

Leclerc was involved in a tussle with Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas as they ran up towards Turn 4 on the opening lap of the Bahrain race.

But he misjudged his braking point and locked up a front wheel, which resulted in him running into the back of Perez's Racing Point car.

Leclerc was out on the spot with damage to the front of the car, while Perez was able to resume and pit for fresh rubber - before launching a brilliant charge to victory.

Verstappen, who was on the outside, was left with nowhere to go and ended up running wide to avoid the accident and skipped across a gravel trap before hitting the tyre barriers.

Leclerc was summoned to see the stewards after the race and it was decided that he was to blame for the crash.

A statement issued by the FIA said: "The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 16 (Charles Leclerc), team representatives and have reviewed multiple angles of video evidence.

"Car 16 braked too late into Turn 4, locking the front right wheel and colliding with Car 11 which was taking the normal racing line into the corner."

Speaking after the race, Leclerc had said he expected Perez to remain wide through Turn 4, but was caught out when the Mexican cut across.

"I was in fifth I think, and I was side-by-side, a bit behind Max I think, and tried to overtake him into Turn 4," Leclerc said.

"I had seen Checo, but I expected him to go around the outside of Valtteri and stay there, but I think he decided after to come back on the inside, and I was there.

"It was too late for me to slow down. I don't think it's a mistake from Checo, I'm not putting the blame on Checo. If there's anybody to blame today, it's me."

Verstappen later called Leclerc's actions as "reckless" in driving like that on the opening lap of the race.

"I don't know why they were being so aggressive and so reckless," he explained.

"We are all up in the front, and at the end of the day now, three cars basically were the victim of that, two cars heavily."

shares
comments
Ocon hopes F1 Sakhir GP podium silences his critics
Previous article

Ocon hopes F1 Sakhir GP podium silences his critics

Next article

Mercedes reveals radio failure led to Russell F1 Sakhir GP tyre mix-up

Mercedes reveals radio failure led to Russell F1 Sakhir GP tyre mix-up
Load comments
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021