Leclerc: Verstappen crash was my fault

Jamie Woodhouse
Charles Leclerc accepts blame for Max Verstappen crash.

Charles Leclerc accepts blame for Max Verstappen crash.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has accepted full responsibility for his incident with Max Verstappen at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Like his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, it wasn’t the best of starts for Leclerc as he went through Turns 1 and 2 battling with the Red Bull of Verstappen over P4.

But, the 21-year-old would veer into the side of Verstappen, sending the Dutchman into a spin while Leclerc suffered front-wing damage.

Verstappen would be forced to retire from the race on Lap 15, while Leclerc received a five-second time penalty for causing the collision, one which he accepts was his fault.

“I had a poor start. I got a little bit distracted, I saw Seb moving a little bit [when poleman Vettel jumped forward before the lights went out] and then my reaction time was very poor,” he told

“The start was not so bad but the reaction was very poor.

“And with Max I just did a mistake, clearly. I was on the inside and being behind Seb and Lewis I lost the front a little bit.

“Normally you need to anticipate those things and I didn’t.

“Yep, I’m the one to blame.”

Leclerc would continue with the damage after the incident despite FIA orders for Ferrari to pit him. A ten-second time penalty would come his way for that, as well as a €25,000 fine for Ferrari.

The incident was also significant as it meant both Leclerc and Verstappen were mathematically eliminated from the 2019 title race.

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