Leclerc didn’t know about Vettel penalty

Date published: June 9 2019 - Jamie Woodhouse

Charles Leclerc is handling the pressure at Ferrari better than Sebastian Vettel claims Frederic Vasseur.

Charles Leclerc has revealed that Ferrari didn’t tell him about Sebastian Vettel’s five-second time penalty at the Canadian GP.

Vettel had gone off the track at Turn 3 and re-joined at Turn 4 when defending against Lewis Hamilton, but the stewards ruled that he had done so in an unsafe manner and forced Hamilton to take evasive action.

The penalty bumped the German down to P2 with his rival taking the win and maintaining Mercedes’ 100% record of race wins in 2019.

Vettel’s actions after the race have sparked huge debate in the world of motorsport, but now team-mate Leclerc has revealed that Ferrari didn’t tell him anything about what was going on.

“I didn’t know anything about it,” he told reporters in Montreal.

“The team didn’t let me know that Seb had a five-second penalty, so I was just trying to push to try and catch Lewis up, but I didn’t know about the penalty.”

Asked what he thought about Ferrari’s choice not to tell him, Leclerc said: “I don’t know. In the end I was doing my own race, but I wasn’t aware.”

The 21-year-old was unable to challenge his team-mate or Hamilton for the victory after Ferrari extended his first stint on the soft tyres, the extra laps caused him to fall well behind the pair, but he insisted there was a reason behind the team’s decision.

“There was a reason behind that,” he confirmed.

“It was difficult to challenge the two in front at the beginning so we tried to go long, hoping for a Safety Car that never came.”

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