Leclerc escapes Monaco GP grid penalty

Date published: May 25 2019 - Mark Scott

Charles Leclerc believes his strategy did cost him time in Baku, but xpects Ferrari's intentions were good.

Charles Leclerc has escaped a grid penalty for speeding during a VSC period in final practice at Monaco, instead receiving a reprimand by the FIA.

Leclerc was placed under investigation by the FIA stewards for a Virtual Safety Car infringement, a VSC period initially occurring due to Sebastian Vettel locking up and crashing into the barrier at Ste Devote in the early stages of FP3.

The home favourite was instructed to see the stewards 15 minutes after the final practice session ended because he failed to stay above the minimum time set during the VSC period. In other words, he was going too fast.

Leclerc would go on to top the final practice session by 0.053s with Ferrari showing at least some signs of pace heading into the all-important qualifying session.

After meeting with the stewards, Leclerc was happy enough to oblige for the Ferrari fans waiting to see him.

The stewards’ verdict:

โ€œThe driver clearly and appropriately braked before turn 1 in reaction to the incident at the corner.

โ€œThe VSC appeared when the driver was between turn 1 and turn 2. The driver did slow significantly, however he remained below the minimum time set by the FIA ECU until past turn 8.

โ€œThe Stewards recognised that the driver was considerably slower than a normal lap throughout the sequence. However, as the VSC is imposed for safety reasons, the Stewards determined that the breach needed to be recognized. The Stewards therefore impose a Reprimand, which is consistent with similar cases during practice sessions.โ€

Follow all the action from the Monaco Grand Prix with the PlanetF1 live centre