Charles Leclerc and Zhou Guanyu hit with Hungarian Grand Prix penalties

Sam Cooper
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz speaking, neither happy. Miami May 2023

Ferrari team-mates Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz speaking, neither happy.

Charles Leclerc and Zhou Guanyu both picked up a five-second penalty for different infringements during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

In terms of FIA involvement, it was a relatively quiet race for the stewards and race control with just one yellow flag being waved late on after Logan Sargeant spun on track.

As it was in Austria, race control’s main focus then was on track limits with 18 laps being deleted in total but they did have to hand out two time penalties.

What did Charles Leclerc and Zhou Guanyu get penalised for?

Leclerc was already enduring a frustrating day in a slow Ferrari car and battling his team in terms of strategy but that was only made worse when he picked up a penalty.

The Ferrari man broke the pit lane speed limit by 0.7 km/h and while this usually results in a fine for the team during free practice, it comes with a five-second penalty in a race.

This would go on to have serious consequences for Leclerc later on as George Russell managed to finish within five seconds of the Ferrari driver at the end of the race meaning he leapfrogged Leclerc into sixth place.

Zhou’s penalty meanwhile came right at the start of the race when he was the first domino to fall in a series of collisions.

Having done well to qualify in fifth, all of Zhou’s hard work disappeared when he made a poor start to the race. He lost a lot of positions, including to his team-mate Valtteri Bottas, and perhaps in his eagerness to make amends, he braked a little too late going into Turn 1.

He touched the rear end of Daniel Ricciardo who was powerless to stop himself then touching former team-mate Esteban Ocon. Ocon then hit his current team-mate Pierre Gasly producing a second double DNF in as many races for Alpine.

The stewards found Zhou guilty of breaching Appendix L, Chapter IV, Article 2 d) of the FIA International Sporting Code and as a result, handed him a five-second penalty.

Additionally as it was an incident that put others drivers in danger, Zhou was given two penalty points on his superlicence taking him to a total of four for the last 12 months.

The Alfa man would go on to finish 16th in the Budapest race.

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