Verstappen: "Irresponsible" Leclerc deserved instant clash penalty

Max Verstappen has labelled Charles Leclerc's driving in the Japanese Grand Prix as "irresponsible", saying he 'doesn't understand' the Formula 1 stewards' decision not to immediately penalise the Ferrari driver

Verstappen: "Irresponsible" Leclerc deserved instant clash penalty

Leclerc had started the race from second on the grid but got a poor getaway, while Verstappen was able to sweep his Red Bull past the fourth-starting Lewis Hamilton to gain an advantage heading into Turn 2.

But the Ferrari driver ran deep into the corner before going wide, then colliding with Verstappen and forcing him off the track.

The stewards initially deemed the collision a racing incident that did not require an investigation, before reopening the case some laps later to be looked into after the race.

NEWS UPDATE: Leclerc gets double penalty

Verstappen ultimately retired his Red Bull on lap 15.

"At Turn 2, Charles just drove into the side of my car," Verstappen told Sky.

"From my side I don't think I could have done anything different there.

"We all know that you lose downforce behind a car so that is not an excuse, he's experienced enough to know that.

"For me, the weird thing is that initially they don't investigate it - the whole car was destroyed, there were just holes in the side of the car.

"Now they've started to investigate it but it's after the race. What more should he do to get a penalty?

"I like hard racing but this wasn't hard racing, just irresponsible driving.

"They had a bad start so he was trying to recover but there's only so much you can do in a very long race. It's a shame that it happened."

Leclerc did not attribute blame to Verstappen for the incident after the race and said it was a "tricky situation" that he would need to see a replay of.

"Obviously I understeered being behind Seb and Lewis, and then we touched," said Leclerc.

"I don't know what happened from the full situation from the outside, and this I need to look at.

"From the car it was just a tricky situation."

Sebastian Vettel was also briefly under investigation for a jumped start, but ultimately escaped a penalty - with this adding to what Verstappen saw as the inconsistency from the FIA.

"Also, just watching the footage back from Seb's start, he moves, he stops - the rules say you cannot move," said Verstappen.

"It's fine because he didn't gain an advantage there?

"I really don't understand what's going on today with the rules."

shares
comments
FIA explains why Vettel didn't get Japanese GP jump-start penalty

Previous article

FIA explains why Vettel didn't get Japanese GP jump-start penalty

Next article

FIA launches investigation into early Japanese GP chequered flag

FIA launches investigation into early Japanese GP chequered flag
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Max Verstappen , Charles Leclerc
Author Lucy Morson
Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row? Plus

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row?

Aston Martin claims Formula 1’s latest technical tweaks have cost it competitiveness – and that it’s the innocent victim of a regulatory stitch-up aimed at pegging back Mercedes. But is any of this actually true? It depends on who you ask, says STUART CODLING

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021